28 January 2008

Welsh Death-Wish

As someone with a Welsh first name, I have always taken an interest in the Welsh language and efforts to promote it and keep it in the land of the living. Alas, this ain't one of them:

Scores of writers are refusing to let their works be scanned for an online archive at the National Library of Wales because they are not being paid.

A year after a near-£1m project was awarded to digitise modern Welsh writing, a dispute between authors and the library has not been resolved.

The library is putting some 3.5m words from 20th Century English and Welsh periodicals and magazines on the web.

But literature promotion agency Academi wants writers to be paid a share.

Academi chief executive Peter Finch said: "It's an extremely exciting programme: what's wrong with it is there is no small sliver in there for paying the writers.

Hello??? The "small sliver" is that your words live on and people can read the bleddy things. Refusing to allow works written in Welsh to be digitised (which costs money) is a sure way to ensure that the language languishes and becomes even more marginal in the digital age. (Via paidContent UK.)


Gen Kanai said...

Glyn, have you tried the Welsh language pack for Firefox? Somehow I doubt there is one for IE7...


Glyn Moody said...

No - it's on the list....

And you're right, this is a huge strength of open source in general.