back to article Wales slams Amazon over lack of Kindle support

A publisher has attacked Amazon over its failure to offer books in Welsh on the Kindle e-reading device. More than 1,500 people have also signed a petition demanding the all-conquering badboy of bookselling change its policy after the imprint attacked it in the Welsh press. Y Lolfa, a small publisher based near Aberystwyth, …

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  1. RISC OS
    FAIL

    You can get the bible in klingon for kindle

    but welsh is an unrecognized language?

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Klingon-Language-Version-English-ebook/dp/B003UHVIOC/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1366006736&sr=1-4

    1. LarsG
      Meh

      The welsh lobby

      The Welsh lobby generally make more noise than their actual size suggests.

      1. Fihart

        Re: The welsh lobby

        I'm ancient enough to remember when the only thing on BBC telly on (I think it was) Saturday mornings was Welsh language programmes form BBC Cymru . As a Londoner I was irritated and puzzled as to why we were being subjected to this -- later I learned about Political Correctness.

        1. hplasm
          Meh

          Re: The welsh lobby

          A BBC programme that wasn't London-centric. That must have been a shock, alright.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The welsh lobby

            Too true. I read a leader in the Guardian about how the birds were still in hiding while the ones in our garden were busy building nests.

          2. Paw Bokenfohr

            Re: The welsh lobby

            @hplash: "A BBC programme that wasn't London-centric. That must have been a shock, alright."

            Indeed. It's always amused me that even shows such as the BBC News show which is about the worldwide perspective on things happening in the UK is called "Dateline London" and not something like "World View" or "Global Correspondents Report" or something; they have to get London in to the title despite it being really nothing to do with London.

            And yes, I know that the international dateline runs through London.

            1. Pookietoo

              Re: I know that the international dateline runs through London

              The Greenwich Meridian passes through London, the International Date Line runs down the middle of the Pacific.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The welsh lobby

          "...later I learned about Political Correctness..."

          Pity you didn't brush up on English Imperialism while you were at it.

        3. DrXym Silver badge

          Re: The welsh lobby

          "later I learned about Political Correctness."

          Same thing happens in Ireland and bits of Scotland.

        4. This post has been deleted by its author

        5. Jamie Jones Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: The welsh lobby

          "As a Londoner I was irritated and puzzled as to why we were being subjected to this"

          Why do so called National programmes rejoice about the great weather when it's only great in London, and put a downer on the 'really bad rain' when it's sunny and nice everywhere else.

          Why are London related news items given so much more prominence on National television than those from the North, Scotland, South West, Northern Ireland and Wales?

          Why are the National programmes so London centric?

          As a non-Londoner, I (and I'm sure many others) are irritated and puzzled as to why we are being subjected to this.

          1. Badvok

            Re: The welsh lobby

            @Jamie Jones: "As a non-Londoner, I (and I'm sure many others) are irritated and puzzled as to why we are being subjected to this."

            Simple answer, more people live in the London Metropolitan Area than live in the whole of Wales, N.Ireland and Scotland combined! You may not like it but that is the hard truth. Both Welsh and Scottish programming actually get undue prominence when you consider population sizes. It is hard for some to realise that programming that appears to focus on the London area is actually relevant to upwards of 15% of the population of the entire UK.

            (Note: I'm not suggesting there should be less regional programming, just trying to put things in perspective.)

            1. Tel Starr
              Facepalm

              Re: The welsh lobby

              @badvok 'It is hard for some to realise that programming that appears to focus on the London area is actually relevant to upwards of 15% of the population of the entire UK.'

              And of no relevance to the remaining 85% of the population - but it's still forced fed to us on National TV and Radio.

              1. Badvok
                Mushroom

                Re: The welsh lobby

                @Tel Starr: "And of no relevance to the remaining 85% of the population - but it's still forced fed to us on National TV and Radio."

                And if they removed any programming that wasn't relevant to more than 15% of the population there wouldn't be a lot on except a few reality TV shows and maybe the odd soap.

            2. Jamie Jones Silver badge

              Re: The welsh lobby

              "Simple answer, more people live in the London Metropolitan Area than live in the whole of Wales, N.Ireland and Scotland combined! You may not like it but that is the hard truth. Both Welsh and Scottish programming actually get undue prominence when you consider population sizes. It is hard for some to realise that programming that appears to focus on the London area is actually relevant to upwards of 15% of the population of the entire UK."

              I lived in London for 10 years, and hardly ever saw programmes focusing on the regions. I agree with your population statistics, but that still means that going by your figures, 85% of the National viewing population are not in London.

              I could probably agree that when you count regional TV, we get more than (say) Londoners do of local programmes, but my beef was with the *nationally* orientated programmes that have presenters guffing about what an amazing day it is, then they pan to the weather, and most of the North is covered in snow, and in Wales it's raining :)

              "This Morning" etc. is a big culprit of this (not that I ever watch it of course *cough*)

              P.S. I'd be perfectly happy to agree with you if you said that the London regions should show more regional programmes - it's the nationals I have the beef with!

              1. dogged
                Holmes

                Re: The welsh lobby

                my beef was with the *nationally* orientated programmes that have presenters guffing about what an amazing day it is, then they pan to the weather, and most of the North is covered in snow, and in Wales it's raining :)

                No shit? Raining? In Wales? Remarkable.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: The welsh lobby

                  When I lived there, it rained more in Essex than in North Wales, by a very large margin.

                  When Essex was knee deep in snow I was eating fish n chips on blackrock sands enjoying a bit of (cool admittedly) sunshine.

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: The welsh lobby

              @badvok: Wow, a whole 15%, you say? Well that makes Londoners a pretty insignificant minority of the UK population then. Maybe now that the BBC has moved to Manchester, the other 85% of us will see a bit less irrelevant London news in the future. here's hoping.

          2. Chris Parsons Bronze badge

            Re: The welsh lobby

            Well - and I'm just guessing here - it could be that it's because a sizeable proportion of the UK's population lives in London or its environs.

      2. BongoJoe
        Go

        Re: The welsh lobby

        "The Welsh lobby generally make more noise than their actual size suggests."

        A lot of people simply don't realise that in some parts of Wales, the Llŷn Peninsula for example, not only is the first language Welsh but a good proportion of people on Pen Llŷn have difficulties speaking English.

        We have many friends on the peninsula and it's often easier for us to try to converse in Welsh than it is to have a conversation in English because after the third sentence it's back to Welsh anyway.

        Sadly a lot of people who visit Wales only look at Cardiff, the South East and visit the English speaking sections. Get off the main roads and into the countryside and you will find that most of the locals speak Welsh first and foremost and, as I have said, have difficulty in speaking English.

        I am not knocking those who don't understand this because, quite simply, it's never been brought to their attention. As for these figures about fewer and fewer speaking Welsh there's a lot of suspicion about these numbers but anecdotal evidence is that more are actually speaking Welsh than before For example, there are schools in the South of Wales which are now being built for Welsh speakers and ten years ago this would have been unheard of.

        The Welsh language is not a tourist attraction, is certainly not dying but is a real and significan part of the way of life here in Wales and despite these 'facts and figures' issued from HMG (the same body which tried to forceable stamp it out within living memory) is strong and, more important, a core component of the Welsh culture.

        And, at the and of the day, if we can stuff written in make believe languages such as Esperanto and Klingon (for Goodness' sake) and in languages from other parts of the globe then why not languages from these islands?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The welsh lobby

          Because publishing is not a charity. If your Welsh speakers buy the books, people will spot the market.

          1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

            Re: The welsh lobby

            But if the books aren't available on Kindle, how can people buy them? Same argument as Network Rail not opening disused stations 'because nobody uses them'!

            There must be a market for Welsh books as Lolfa have been in business for many years, and still publish and sell many, many Welsh books a year, as do the other Welsh-language publishers.

            Costs to Amazon of allowing Welsh (and other minority language) would be peanuts, so why not?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: The welsh lobby

              Pen-y-gors, The cost to Amazon is only small if they don't have to create the e-book and do the proof reading.

              All the Welsh publishers need to do, if they want their books to be available for the Kindle, is to supply Amazon with the books in mobi format. Until they do that I can't see Amazon setting up to proof read books in what is a niche language.

              1. davtom
                Stop

                Re: The welsh lobby

                Amazon don't do any proofreading.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: The welsh lobby

              Yes, I wasn't clear. If the sales of print books in Welsh were sufficient, surely Amazon would want to flog E-books? I agree with the people who think Amazon is being annoying and I hope the EU has a word with them, but Welsh speakers do need to show the market exists.

          2. Dave 126 Silver badge

            Re: The welsh lobby

            >Because publishing is not a charity. If your Welsh speakers buy the books, people will spot the market.

            You may have missed the point: The publishers want to publish in Welsh, all they need from Amazon is to have a Welsh Language category.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The welsh lobby

          "that most of the locals speak Welsh first and foremost"

          Rubbish. I've just come from living in Porthmadog, definitely Welsh language territory, and the only time you could guarantee the locals would speak Welsh is when an English person walked in the room.

          You can always tell the English in Wales, they smile sometimes and don't dress like pig-sty's :)

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          4. Jamie Jones Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: The welsh lobby

            " the only time you could guarantee the locals would speak Welsh is when an English person walked in the room."

            That old chestnut.

            That's right. All native Welsh speakers choose to speak their second (and less natural) language to each other all the time, only defaulting to their first language to spite the English, who they obviously hate so much.

            1. BongoJoe
              Headmaster

              Re: The welsh lobby

              "That old chestnut."

              Indeed, as as soon as they suspect that a Saesneg comes into their shop they quickly tear down the posters of Will Carling and quickly affix a picture of Owain Glyndwr to the walls before turning to the in-shop CD player whipping off the "Land of Hope and Glory" that's been playing and then quickly shoving on BrynTerfel's "Calon Lan".

              I see it every time, you know, that I go in for a newspaper or a packet of matches.

              One will find that the only time that they will speak Welsh is when they wish to converse with someone who's Welsh. It's odd that someone may wish to use their own language to talk to their fellow man.

              I know Porthamdog and the shopkeeps here very well, as I do a lot of the establshments hereabouts, and I know that what the poster said a few posts ago about the shopkeepers is certainly not the norm. The only way that this may possibly have happened is if the poster went into the shop and upset the locals in some way. As an immigrant to the area I can assure you that his experience is certainly not normal.

              But this is getting off-topic and, oh by the way, to respond to a third poster; Welsh is not only spoken in Wales. Again, not your fault for not knowing this but is symptomatic of the language issue; over in England a lot of falsehoods are presented as facts and when I see the number of downvotes on these threads it's simply because either people have an anti-Welsh agenda or just are plain ignorant of the facts and not realise how an important subject the language issue is.

              1. Dave 126 Silver badge

                Re: The welsh lobby

                And there are more Welsh speakers in the US, and in Patagonia, than in Wales... the former got very vocal when Bill Clinton used the verb 'to welsh' to describe a group that had reneged on a deal.

                I was amused to visit the Regional Museum in Ica, Peru, to see the name Adolfo Bermudez Jenkins writ large across the entrance.

                1. BongoJoe

                  Re: The welsh lobby

                  "And there are more Welsh speakers in the US, and in Patagonia, than in Wales."

                  Which can only be a good argument for the inclusion of the Welsh language. After all, there's more English speakers in the US than there are in England.

                  1. I think so I am?
                    Thumb Up

                    Re: The welsh lobby

                    Posted Monday 15th April 2013 10:04 GMT BongoJoe

                    You'll find that Americans believe they speak American

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: The welsh lobby

                  I am surprised that Cameron hasn't suggested that, far from Argentina getting the Falklands, Wales should get Patagonia back.

                3. Powelly
                  Headmaster

                  Re: The welsh lobby

                  " the former got very vocal when Bill Clinton used the verb 'to welsh' to describe a group that had reneged on a deal"

                  All well and good, but unless it was written down the word he will have used will have been 'welch', which has nothing to do with Wales. It's similar to those idiots that get worked up about the use of the word niggardly, insisting that it's racist despite the etymology being nothing to do with race.

        3. This post has been deleted by a moderator

        4. David Cantrell
          FAIL

          Re: The welsh lobby

          I'm sorry but it's absolute bollocks to say that there are any significant number of Welsh people who have difficulty with English. Welsh monolingualism has been rare since the 50s, so any that are left will be very old indeed. The best thing that those who love the Welsh language can do is to let it die with dignity instead of bleating and whinging.

          1. calonddraig

            Re: The welsh lobby

            By the same token, and based on percentages of speakers, the best thing the English could do is drop that impeding language called English, and all go and learn American, Simply isn't global any more, to be forced to learn a backward language when a new superset of it (American) exists.

            Get used to it, other countries exist apart from England, and the dream of English imperialism is dead. Monoglot or bilingual, why should we let our language die because it might offend the English? Many English people can speak French, but do we suggest that they stop speaking English because they can speak something else? No. Let people speak what language they are comfortable speaking (or in this case reading!)

            1. Jordan 1

              Re: The welsh lobby

              The dfference is that learning the Queen's English as a first language isn't a barrier to communicating with Americans (or Canadians, or Indians, or even Australians). Having your first language be something that is spoken by fewer people than the population of a decent sized city is.

              It's great to keep a language alive, but most communities do it by creating more and more works in it, to pick up momentum. The only time I see the Welsh language is in posts complaining that various sites don't offer a version in their language.

              P.S. - English imperialism is not dead, and even if it was, it's hard to blame it for killing a language (unless they killed all its speakers). There are 2 million Irish Gaelic speakers, 545 million Hindi speakers, and 18 million Malay speakers. Scots Gaelic is mostly dead, but I suspect that's because Scottish people don't care, because at the end of the day they still have to live in Scotland.

          2. BongoJoe
            Facepalm

            Re: The welsh lobby

            "I'm sorry but it's absolute bollocks to say that there are any significant number of Welsh people who have difficulty with English."

            So, where do you get your information from? I get mine first hand from direct experience of knowing people here on the Llŷn Peninsula, so I can present this (and them too, I suppose) as fact.

            Or does this experience make me out to be some sort of liar?

        5. OffBeatMammal
          Trollface

          Re: The welsh lobby

          "A lot of people simply don't realise that in some parts of ... not only is the first language ... but a good proportion of people ... have difficulties speaking English." ... I can think of many places in England where the same is true today (including anyone under the age of 17!)

        6. Afflicted.John
          Stop

          Re: The welsh lobby

          "For example, there are schools in the South of Wales which are now being built for Welsh speakers and ten years ago this would have been unheard of."

          And that is a good thing? When you have English speaking parents sending their kids to these new schools, lured in by "new and shiny" facilities only to sit back and watch their children regress to cromagnon beasts who cannot converse in either language effectively. It is a stupid and puerile political agenda to push the Welsh language down our throats which ultimately will handicap the kids going to school.

          There should be an entry requirement that these schools are built in areas where there is a large population where Welsh is the first language of at least one member of the household. And furthermore, entry denied to those who do not have at least one parent speaking fluent Welsh.

          If this was the case, you would notice a distinct reduction in the numbers of Welsh Schools being built on the M4 corridor. I am not saying they should not be built, but built in appropriate places according to legitimate business cases on their efficacy.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            WTF?

            Re: The welsh lobby

            > And that is a good thing? When you have English speaking parents sending their kids to these new schools, lured in by "new and shiny" facilities only to sit back and watch their children regress to cromagnon beasts who cannot converse in either language effectively.

            So are you suggesting that English students learning other languages like French, German or Spanish in school will end up backwards because they should stick with the one "true" language of English? What kind of bollocks argument is that? The Welsh-speaking schools are there for parents that want their children to experience the Welsh language as well as English. It's their choice.

            > It is a stupid and puerile political agenda to push the Welsh language down our throats which ultimately will handicap the kids going to school.

            Who's pushing it down your throat? Is there something innately backwards about the Welsh language that regressing children somehow?

            Seriously, there is an incredible amount of bizarre ire about a subject that effects practically no-one commenting in the forum. The news is some people want to learn their native language. It's really not that weird or strange.

            BTW, to put right some of the bizarre facts here:

            1) There are (and always have been) primarily Welsh speakers in Wales. This is not new. The language is seeing a resurgence after years of attempts to systematically eradicate the language by the English parliament.

            2) The fact that you can drive there and there's no border to speak of, Wales is an entirely different country. They have different customs, language and history. You might just as well tell the French that they should speak English, love the Queen and not eat those snails for all the sense it makes.

            Oh and Amazon: add the language to that drop-down selection box FFS.

            In Jobs' words: Not that big a deal.

            1. Irk
              Megaphone

              Re: The welsh lobby

              @skelband

              Sounds like the same hogwash bandied about in the US by opponents of any sort of bilingual/spanish-oriented instruction in public schools. In the end, it's a culture war.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The welsh lobby

            Remember when the Public schools taught Latin? 'Cro-Magnon beasts ' is a bit harsh, the people who produced Lascaux and Altamira shouldn't be compared to the Government Front Bench. But learning Latin did no harm.

          3. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

            Re: The welsh lobby

            The world needs fewer languages, not more. By all means have a dead language if you want it (and this applies to any minority language, not just Welsh), but don't expect it to be supported by anyone else. It was a bleak day for improved communication when the Welsh got road-signs in their dead language, and I was appalled that it is the same in the west of Scotland ...

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The welsh lobby

        When I read the headline I thought it was about Wikipedia. That would actually have been interesting.

      4. Siberian Hamster
        Happy

        Re: The welsh lobby

        Well thank you for noticing, we do indeed tend to punch well above our weight!

    2. goldcd

      Re: You can get the bible in klingon for kindle

      Click - "Language:English"

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: You can get the bible in klingon for kindle

      They can't realistically expect Amazon to support every third world country that has some weird and virtually unused legacy dialect. Wales isn't really a proper country anyway. They don't even have a set at the UN and even Palestine managed that!

      1. BongoJoe
        Facepalm

        Re: You can get the bible in klingon for kindle

        "They don't even have a set at the UN and even Palestine managed that!"

        Could you show me the seat at the United Nations which has the name 'England' on it?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: You can get the bible in klingon for kindle

          I can show you the one that says United Kingdom.

          Is anyone from England bleating that Amazon should support Cornish? No I didn't think so...

      2. Jamie Jones Silver badge

        Re: You can get the bible in klingon for kindle

        "They can't realistically expect Amazon to support every third world country that has some weird and virtually unused legacy dialect. Wales isn't really a proper country anyway. They don't even have a set at the UN and even Palestine managed that!"

        Poor troll is poor.

        Wales isn't a country. No one here has said it is. What has that got to do with anything?

        1. Dave Walker
          Headmaster

          Re: You can get the bible in klingon for kindle

          WEeeellll,

          Wales *is* a country, but relevant to this conversation RE: the U.N., it is *not* an independent sovereign nation.

          </pedant>

          :-D

        2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    4. Mark Eccleston

      Re: You can get the bible in klingon for kindle

      Of course you can get the bible in Klingon. There is a whole empire of Klingons in this quadrant. Who ever heard of the Mighty Welsh Empire?

  2. jake Silver badge

    This is roughly the same as griping about ...

    ... a prix-fixe-only restaurant that provides meat with every dish (chocolate dipped streaky bacon garnishing Maple/Vanilla ice cream for desert/afters ... YUMMMY!), simply because you are a vegan.

    If $BigCo doesn't offer what you want, move on. Vote with your pocket-book and stop bitching about it.

    1. MattEvansC3

      Re: This is roughly the same as griping about ...

      Nothing of the sort, they aren't complaining about the facility to buy, it's a complaint about the facility to sell and Amazon used to put the items on the Kindle so it would be prixe-fixe only restaurant that served vegan food to go with your analogy.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: This is roughly the same as griping about ...

      Vote with your pocket-book"

      What's a "pocket book", where do I get one and how do I vote with it it? What language are you speaking?

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: This is roughly the same as griping about ...

        Wild guess here, but the downvoters are humourless USAians who've never heard of a wallet.

        Personally, the first time I heard the word "pocketbook", many years ago when I was a tad younger, I thought it was something like a small notebook. Separated by a common language.

        Heard recently on an audiobook, I'm still trying to work out what a "clabbard house" is. The spelling may be wrong since I've only heard it, not seen it.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: This is roughly the same as griping about ...

          "I'm still trying to work out what a "clabbard house" is."

          Ah, a youngster. That explains it. Clapboard houses are ... uh, just look it up.

      2. jake Silver badge

        Re: This is roughly the same as griping about ...

        "What's a "pocket book", where do I get one and how do I vote with it it?

        A place to carry money/small accessories. Wallet, purse, handbag, sporran ... pocket. Another way of saying "vote with your disposable income". Are you really unaware of this meaning?

        "What language are you speaking?"

        I'm not speaking. I'm typing. It's English, and in common usage. Are you really as thick as you seem to be?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It may be that the demand is so low that it would not be viable.

    As welsh is only spoken in Wales and usually only when you are trying to buy something in a shop.

    Unfortunately, although I agree that the Welsh language should not be allowed to die I question the ridiculous amount of money pumped into it by the tax payer to keep it alive. The viewing figures for Welsh TV are so low it has to be subsidised, any sane TV station CEO would have dropped it long ago with such low viewing figures.

    1. RISC OS
      Unhappy

      And you think demand for Klingon is higher than welsh?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Klingon Vs Welsh

        "Able to speak Welsh: 562,016"

        Source: Census 2011/ONS

        Fluent Klingon speakers: estimates vary from 25 to around a 1000, unsurprisingly, the vast majority being Male.

        1. BongoJoe
          Meh

          Re: Klingon Vs Welsh

          "Fluent Klingon speakers: estimates vary from 25 to around a 1000, unsurprisingly, the vast majority being Male."

          Do we need to check their declared marital status?

        2. RISC OS

          Re: Klingon Vs Welsh

          Well, unless all 1000 are on the forbes rich list, I can't imagine that the spending power of the 1000 or so 40yr old vergins who have learnt klingon is greater than that of every welsh speaker.

          Also if these virgins are anal enough to have learnt a fictional start trek language, how many are going to be worshipping christ? They are probably all follwers of what ever god klingons follow.

          What's next? Shakespear in Romulan? LotR in elvish?

      2. Naughtyhorse

        HISlaH boyo :-)

    2. MattEvansC3

      That still doesn't explain why there was a need to change the policy to stop them from being on the English store. The authors aren't asking for a Welsh only segment, most Welsh speakers are bilingual so can navigate a store in English.

      Nobody's asking for special treatment, just that if Amazon will no longer put Welsh eBooks on the English Kindle store then to put in a Welsh Kindle store or more preferably go back to the previous way of doing things.

    3. Dave 126 Silver badge

      >As welsh is only spoken in Wales

      Really?

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patagonian_Welsh

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The welsh are good at two things, Rugby and Singing.

    At the moment they do have a lot to sing about.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yes they are known for being good at those two things, but I expect they're good at many more things too..

      For one I am always pleased when I get a Welsh accent when I have the need to call customer support...

      Compared to an adrenaline surge when I hear an Indian accent, as I begin to prepare for verbal battle and repeating myself...

      1. Naughtyhorse

        ah! land of my fathers, and almost a s cheap as bangalore....

        and it does strike me that maybe that indian accent you hear is someone who is neither welsh nor indian trying to do a welsh accent to put you at your ease.

        could happen!

    2. I think so I am?
      Thumb Up

      Wiki - its always hit and miss

      Also a few more thing one being the internet:

      Donald Watts Davies (1924–2000), "Father of the internet" — co-inventor of packet switching (and originator of the term)

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Aw come on

    Leaving aside the article treading a fine line on the border of taking the piss, and the usual insulting comments that Welsh topics generate, the issue is simply one of puzzlement. Why are Amazon, a global mega-corp whose basis for existing is selling stuff, seemingly incapable of publishing books in a language which, despite speaking numbers, is well-established and requires no special fonts?

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon

      Re: Aw come on

      Perhaps they're still sore about the 6-nations

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hungarian

    There are about 15 million Hungarian speakers (30 times more than Welsh) and you can find only a handful of Hungarian books for the Kindle on Amazon. There are at least 100 languages spoken by more people than Welsh, they should wait for their turn :-)

    1. Michael C.
      WTF?

      Re: Hungarian

      Uhh, yeah but Hungarian is actually a recognised language. Did you even read the article?

  7. DavCrav Silver badge

    Lower number than in the article

    "The number of Welsh speakers has fallen from 582,000 in 2001 to 562,000, according to the last census."

    Since this is about books, we should take the number of Welsh readers, which is lower, at 431,000 (and this is self reporting, so almost certainly an overestimate). Generously, let's suppose that half of these people have a desire to read in Welsh, so much so that they would pick a Welsh title over the *many* competing titles in English, which they can also read. The best-selling book in the UK in 2012 was Fifty Shades, but that it an outlier. The next best selling is about 2m, so let's say that a given book is likely to be bought by 1 in 30. (This is an obvious wild overestimate.) We get to about 5000 copies, which is important for the author, but so irrelevant that it isn't worth Amazon employing someone to add the extra lines of code in their database.

    As for minority languages like Galician, Basque and Catalan being supported, those are spoken languages, in the sense that they are the first language in their respective regions. Welsh, despite millions of funding, just isn't. You cannot compare it.

    As I'm not Welsh, I couldn't care less if the language dies. Welsh speakers can jump up and down and shout at the government and private companies, but the fact of the matter is that Welsh, like may small languages, is dying in a more globalized world. Huge subsidies might delay the process but that is all.

    1. John H Woods Silver badge

      Re: Lower number than in the article

      "We get to about 5000 copies, which is important for the author, but so irrelevant that it isn't worth Amazon employing someone to add the extra lines of code in their database."

      As someone who has been involved in i18n projects, I think it's very unlikely that the effort involved here is that considerable. Amazon only have to add a small premium to Welsh language books to cover it, so - whilst I agree that Welsh should not have any special subsidies, it isn't unreasonable for it to be a supported language.

      As for those people who found Welsh language programmes on the telly annoying, a performance of La Traviata I once saw was utterly ruined for me by the near-stage-right presence of a signer, waving their arms and grimacing dramatically, presumably for the benefit of the small proportion of deaf people who (a) go to the opera and (b) are unable to read the surtitles. Now *that's* PC gone mad.

      1. g e
        WTF?

        Actually, if they designed their admin software properly

        They should be able to add 'Welsh' or 'Cymraig' (or whatever it is) to the list of supported languages in one place.

        I notice you can get Principia in Latin and there's not many 'deader' languages...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Actually, if they designed their admin software properly

          "I notice you can get Principia in Latin and there's not many 'deader' languages..."

          There are arguably more people in the world who can *read* Latin than Welsh (think of christian churches, people in the medical sector etc) . A book seller couldn't care less whether anybody can *speak* it as long as people buy something they can read.

          1. Dave 126 Silver badge

            Re: Actually, if they designed their admin software properly

            Latin was the lingua franca of science for a long time.

  8. wowfood
    Meh

    Did anyone else

    Think this article was about Jimmy Wales bitching about the kindle? And not the actual country?

    Or was that just me.

    1. Richard Wharram

      Re: Did anyone else

      I was expecting to hear the national anthem of whales. What rhymes with plankton again?

      1. g e
        Coat

        Re: Did anyone else

        @Richard

        'Wanked on'

        Sorry.. coat got.

      2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
        Happy

        Re: Did anyone else

        I was expecting to hear the national anthem of whales. What rhymes with plankton again?

        You don't need to rhyme with plankton, when you've got kirll:

        It's brill

        To eat your fill

        Of lovely krill

        Or, I suppose, on a Whales in Wales theme, you could have:

        Krill of Heaven, Krill of Heaven,

        Feed me 'til I want no more - want no more,

        Feed me 'til I want no more.

    2. Ross K

      Re: Did anyone else

      That was my first thought too :)

  9. Turtle

    And the reason is...?

    “'It seems strange as Amazon takes books in other minority languages, yet they won’t support Welsh' [said Euron Griffith]"

    It does seem strange. What's the reason?

    (And I too thought it was about that money-grubbing extortionist Jimmy Wales.}

  10. Ross K
    Holmes

    Declining number of speakers you say?

    If the number of Welsh speakers is declining, it hardly makes commercial sense to publish ebooks in Welsh does it?

    Or is the Welsh Assembly going to foot the bill for conversion of the great works of literature to Welsh epub format?

    1. MattEvansC3

      Re: Declining number of speakers you say?

      Did you read the article? It's not asking to have English literature written in Welsh, it's Welsh writers who have been selling their Welsh books on the Kindle store being told they can't do it anymore because they aren't in English and Amazon don't officially support the Welsh language.

      1. Ross K
        WTF?

        Re: Declining number of speakers you say?

        Yes I read TFA.

        Welsh speakers, just like speakers of Irish or Scots Gaelicare a tiny market and obviously not seen as viable by epublishers.

        Again, like Irish or Scots Gaelic, I'd wager the number of Welsh speakers are even lower than the census figures suggest - people like to show their national pride by letting on they're fluent in x, y or z.

        Downvote away... It's the truth.

        BTW, Galician is mentioned in TFA, and is compared to Welsh by Mr Gruffudd. To put things in perspective 3 million people speak Galician - to a publisher that's still a tiny number of eyeballs but it's still a huge amount compared the number of people who use the Welsh language on a daily basis. 9 million people speak Catalan; again no comparison to Welsh...

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Not That Andrew

          Re: Declining number of speakers you say?

          Given by the ignorance of stuff covered by the article shown in your original post, I suspect you only read the article after being called out. And you are really taking the piss or showing ignorance by implying the number of Irish Gaelic speakers is negligible and inflated.

          Do you really think that there isn't also political element in speaking Galician and Basque and especially Catalan, considering the Spanish government's former attempts to eradicate the regional languages?

          1. Ross K
            WTF?

            Re: Declining number of speakers you say?

            And you are really taking the piss or showing ignorance by implying the number of Irish Gaelic speakers is negligible and inflated.

            Yes, the number of Irish speakers IS negligible. Guess know how I know?

            Kids are forced to learn it in school for some unknown reason - never to be used again after leaving secondary school. The time wasted teaching kids a dead language like Irish or Welsh from the age of 4 or 5 would be much better spent teaching them German, French, Polish or some other language that would improve their job prospects.

            Irish is an official EU language, unlike Scots Gaelic, but try using it in any kind of official situation like dealing with a cop, or buying your road tax and you'll soon find how dead and irrelevant it is.

        3. Tom 38 Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: Declining number of speakers you say?

          You clearly didnt read the article.

          Welsh speakers … are a tiny market and obviously not seen as viable by epublishers.

          Y Lolfa, a small publisher based near Aberystwyth, is leading a campaign to put Cymru back on the Kindle.

          Amazon won't distribute a publisher's books on the Kindle because 'Cymru' is not in their list of supported languages. They don't want to do this:

          INSERT INTO kindle_supported_languages (name, iso-639-1, iso-639-2) VALUES ('Cymru', 'cy', 'cym');

          and that is being dicks, given the number of other esoteric languages they do allow in there.

          1. Norman Hartnell
            Headmaster

            Re: Declining number of speakers you say?

            Possibly because Cymru is the name of the country, not the language?

          2. Ross K
            FAIL

            Re: Declining number of speakers you say?

            Amazon won't distribute a publisher's books on the Kindle because 'Cymru' is not in their list of supported languages. They don't want to do this:

            INSERT INTO kindle_supported_languages (name, iso-639-1, iso-639-2) VALUES ('Cymru', 'cy', 'cym');

            Here was me thinking that 'Cymraeg' is the language, and that 'Cymru' is the country...

            I hope your programming skills are better than your grasp of the Welsh language.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: It doesn't matter whether Tom is any good at Welsh

              His point was absolutely on the money.

              Curtail pedantry!

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: It doesn't matter whether Tom is any good at Welsh @AC 13:51

                Whinging about pedantry? You must be new here ... As for whether his point is on the money, you have no basis for that assertion; all he's done is go, "Look, I know some SQL. All they need to do is this ..." and spat out one line. Another old Reg reader habit when they think someone should do what they want.

                1. Turtle

                  Whinging about pedantry...

                  "Whinging about pedantry? You must be new here".

                  Truer words were never spoken.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Declining number of speakers you say? @Tom 38

            If you support Welsh so much, shouldn't you get the name of the language right?

    2. LarsG
      Meh

      Re: Declining number of speakers you say?

      The Welsh assembly will demand it, the English tax payer will pay for it.

  11. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. wowfood

      Re: Difficult to understand language...

      Imagine if he'd posted that in Welsh.

  12. Jamie Jones Silver badge
    FAIL

    Translation

    “Wnes i ddarllen hyn mewn 5 diwrnod, doeddwn i ddim yn gally rhoi hi lawr! Werth pob ceiniog a awr! Joia pobl!”

    According to Google Translate, this means: “I read this in 5 days and could possibly have wished I did not put her down! Worth every penny and now! Polite people" [That can't be right].

    I'm rusty, but I'd say something like:

    "I read this in 5 days, and couldn't put it down. Worth every penny and more.[word that is not welsh] people"

    By the way, why so much Welsh negativity? I can take a joke as can most of my fellow sheep-shaggers, but there are some not very nice undertones in some of these posts... Klingon ffs

    1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      Re: Translation

      Joia pobl = Enjoy it people! (Joio is a fairly recent colloquial term for 'Enjoy')

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Translation

      I'd have said that the end of the second sentence is equivalent to 'worth the time and money'.

      1. Jamie Jones Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Translation

        @Pen-Y-Gos, and JustaKos: Cheers for the clarifications!

        Incidentally, I grew up in the very "English [language]" South Gower. I do not natively speak Welsh, and like others, had to do it for a few years in Comprehensive School.

        Not interested at all in languages, but having to take at least ONE at 'O' level (showing my age) I chose Welsh over French and German, simply because I found it easier. As it was, I failed the O level.

        Growing up in this "insular" society, as a kid, Welsh was this annoying language that confused road signs, and often stole from our choice of TV channels.

        It wasn't until I went to Cardiff University that I started to pay attention, as alot of the (mostly English) students would ask me if I spoke Welsh.. At the end of my time at Cardiff I was virtually fluent, through no specific learning classes.

        It's at times like these, when I read the majority of posts on this topic, that I tend to brush up on it :)

  13. Jack Project

    How about this, if there is this supposed market how about you stop whining and provide the books yourself.

    I must have forgot when Amazon became the BBC.

    1. Jamie Jones Silver badge
      FAIL

      "

      How about this, if there is this supposed market how about you stop whining and provide the books yourself.

      I must have forgot when Amazon became the BBC.

      "

      Did you actually RTFA, or just decide to whine about others whining?

  14. MrXavia
    WTF?

    So Amazon is too lazy to add a few Database entries to enable the Welsh language?

  15. Anonymous Coward 101
    Thumb Down

    It is highly problematical that a large organisation that controls the biggest selling eBook format should have the right to determine what books are sold or not sold. The cost of making the book suitable for the Kindle format is borne by the publisher. What would it cost Amazon to sell this book for the Kindle, even if it didn't sell a single copy? I would hope this is just bureaucratic sloppiness rather than anything more sinister.

    1. Ross K
      WTF?

      @Anonymous Coward 101:

      It is highly problematical that a large organisation that controls the biggest selling eBook format should have the right to determine what books are sold or not sold

      They can use their distribution system as they see fit - they're not running a charity.

      Nothing's stopping you writing a book, setting up your own website and looking after billing and distribution...

  16. cheveron
    FAIL

    Wasn't Amazon supposed to democratize publishing?

    You can get self-published crud on Kindle but you can't get Welsh language books from an established publisher? The size of the market is irrelevant. I can understand a small independent bookseller being reluctant to keep a lot of Welsh stock, but these are eBooks and Amazon has plenty of server space. The default view that everyone should just speak English is anti-free trade. If people want to buy Welsh books on Kindle (and plainly they do as they bought them last year) then they should be permitted to do so.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The problem with WRITTEN Welsh is...

    .. that no two people can agree on the correct written forms for anything. Then add the North/South [significant] differences and you can start to see the problems.

    1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      Re: The problem with WRITTEN Welsh is...

      Bit of a red herring - written Welsh is far more standardised than the spoken dialects, and there is no serious difficulty in comprehension for speakers, wherever they come from. There are differences between the spoken dialects in various corners of our little land, but probably rather less than between heavy-duty Glaswegian, Essex-speak and rural Devonian (and home counties plum-in-the-mouth).

      Anyway, as far as publishing books goes, the author writes what the author wants to write.

      1. Mike Richards Silver badge

        Re: The problem with WRITTEN Welsh is...

        The article mentions books being available in Cornish. Well that language is even more fragmented and marginal than Welsh.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The problem with WRITTEN Welsh is...

          The number of Cornish speakers is growing, and almost every one of them uses one of two very similar spelling systems, as close as the British and American systems of spelling English are to each other.

    2. Naughtyhorse

      Re: The problem with WRITTEN Welsh is...

      never mind north south, village to village is more like it

  18. Crisp

    It's only fair.

    There are copies of kindle books in other dead languages

  19. Richard Wharram

    Gwasanaeth cyfieithu ar hyn o bryd. Ar gyfer gwasanaethau cyfieithu yn eich ardal chi, gofynnwch yn eich swyddfeydd y cyngor lleol.

    Idris oedd y ddraig yn Ivor yr injan. Cennin cennin gennin.

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    2. Naughtyhorse

      Gazuntite

      Da iawn Diolch.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Gazuntite"

        Is this just you being backward, or is it another example of making up new Welsh words by simply spelling an existing English (or in this case German) word in lolspeak?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Sigh @Richard Wharram

      What are you trying to achieve with that, exactly? I'm sure Pen Y Groes will be impressed (or miffed; I think he's normally the one who goes for "Make a Welsh pride point by writing a post most people on the forum won't understand" and you've beaten him to it. Reminiscent of the earlier comments about Welsh people doing it to spite the English. Clap. Clap. Clap.

  20. Richard Gadsden

    Complaint-handling

    I wonder if Amazon's problem is to do with complaint-handling; if there's a complaint about the content of a book (eg copyright, obscenity, libel), then they will want to check over the book to make sure that complaint is valid before pulling the book. If they don't have anyone who can read Welsh, then that's going to be a problem, whereas Amazon probably does have someone who can read Klingon - at least, well enough to be able to chuck out completely groundless complaints.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Complaint-handling

      It seems crazy, but you may be right. I can't think of any other practical difficulty that they might be having.

      So the question then is : why can't they employ one or maybe two people at the most to do this? Are they afraid of having employees involved in something other than distribution in the UK?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Complaint-handling

      "I wonder if Amazon's problem is to do with complaint-handling; if there's a complaint about the content of a book (eg copyright, obscenity, libel), then they will want to check over the book to make sure that complaint is valid before pulling the book. If they don't have anyone who can read Welsh, then that's going to be a problem, whereas Amazon probably does have someone who can read Klingon - at least, well enough to be able to chuck out completely groundless complaints."

      A good point, however the Welsh assembly offer free translation services - I'm sure they'd also do free checks if there's a complaint, as you suggest.

      There are already ties between Amazon and Wales with the HUGE distribution centre in Swansea... Ok, so it may be "just a big warehouse" but you can bet that channels were open between the Welsh assembly and amazon prior to this being built.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Complaint-handling @AC 12:52

        "There are already ties between Amazon and Wales with the HUGE distribution centre in Swansea... Ok, so it may be "just a big warehouse" but you can bet that channels were open between the Welsh assembly and amazon prior to this being built."

        Yeah - if they're the same as in the North those ties were "Here - have a big grant to build a warehouse so you can employ our constituents for a lower wage than you would pay anywhere else in Britain."

  21. smallfry

    Another translation

    I think it's closer to: "I read this in 5 days, couldn't put her down! Worth every penny and hour! Enjoy people!"

    As many of the commenters have said, all the publishers want is a means of categorising their already existing e-books as Welsh, with just another category entry. Which Amazon say they're working on, splendid.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just to clarify the problem for the hard of thinking...

    Currently there are Welsh publishers (including Y Lolfa, Gomer etc) who have Welsh language books in print. Many, many books. What they wish to do is offer these EXISTING Welsh books as ebooks on kindle, which is probably the most widely known epublishing platform, which they can't do since Amazon has stopped them submitting them as English titles, but not allowing them to be submitted as Welsh.

    There's no call for a subsidy, no call for translating existing books or any of the other nonsense that some commentards have been complaining about. Simply access, at standard terms, to a publishing platform.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just to clarify the problem for the hard of thinking...

      "There's no call for a subsidy, no call for translating existing books or any of the other nonsense that some commentards have been complaining about. Simply access, at standard terms, to a publishing platform."

      Then they should set one up themselves. Apparently it's all the rage on the Internet, you know ... Actually, I'm surprised Cymdeithas Yr Iaith hasn't set something up for them, since they're recommending that Welsh authors move towards other platforms. But then Cymdeithas is probably too tied up putting their little stickers up wherever they see English in public life.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    An idea

    Other than the lawsuit/libel explanation given earlier I can see no reason why they can't add a new language option. So as an interim workaround why don't they publish the books as another non-English language?

    E.g - Does amazon allow 'old english/anglo-saxon' language books (e.g. Beowulf)? If so what language are they classed as, and maybe Welsh could use that. If not then use Klingon.

    Would Amazon know the difference? Would anybody know the difference (joke).

    Just make sure that the title or cover has a clue to the fact that it is Welsh (discrete sheep/rugby ball/mt snowdon on the cover or a picture of the beautiful Pembrokeshire coastline)

    They shouldn't have to do this though - sort it out Amazon

    PS. I am not, never have been, and have no intention of ever being Welsh and.or speaking/reading Welsh - but support the protection of heritage (or more correctly I object to the blocking of the ability of Welsh to protect their own heritage)

  24. David Paul Morgan
    Coat

    Consistency would be appreciated

    ... so that Cymraeg is treated in the same way as Breton or Catalan (or Manx or Kernowek).

    Welsh is most certainly spoken in the Americas - think Thomas Jefferson/Pennsylvania, USA and Patagonia, Argentina.

    The biggest irony is, of course, that Amazon have a major distribution centre located just off the M4 in Swansea/Abertawe - and I'm pretty sure there was a 'development grant' for them to do this from the WAG.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Consistency would be appreciated

      "Consistency would be appreciated

      ... so that Cymraeg is treated in the same way as Breton or Catalan (or Manx or Kernowek)."

      Why do you use the Welsh name in an English sentence? That usage is more what I'd expect from the rabid types posting on Betsan's blog on the BBC News site, and goes against your own consistency request.

      "The biggest irony is, of course, that Amazon have a major distribution centre located just off the M4 in Swansea/Abertawe - and I'm pretty sure there was a 'development grant' for them to do this from the WAG."

      I made the "grant" point myself before reading your post, but there's no irony. Going by my dictionary, irony involves contradiction. All Amazon did was plonk down wherever they were given the highest bribe (factoring in what level of wages they could expect to pay), and there's nothing to contradict there.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Stop

        Re: Consistency would be appreciated

        > Why do you use the Welsh name in an English sentence? That usage is more what I'd expect from the rabid types posting on Betsan's blog on the BBC News site, and goes against your own consistency request.

        Because he wanted to? Were you trying to make some kind of point?

        It's bordering on the ad hom which, like sarcasm, is the tool of the ignorant.

        1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

          Re: Consistency would be appreciated @ skelband

          Yes, because Oscar Wilde was soooooo ignorant ...

      2. MattEvansC3

        Re: Consistency would be appreciated

        Because Wales and Welsh are technically insults as their translations equate to "foreigners".

  25. Tegne
    Joke

    Why is it that all their road signs are in Welsh too? Afterall only 23% of the country...

    ..can actually read.

    1. Naughtyhorse
      Devil

      I can answer this!!!!!

      Why is it that all their road signs are in Welsh too?

      It's a diabolical plot to kill the evil saes!

      there are loads of un gated level crossings in darkest wales - each of which is preceeded by the bilingual sign explaining what it is, and how it works and what to do in the case of an emergency. in welsh first!

      now given welsh is an aincient tongue - so aincient indeed that words for new technologies have to be imported from other tongues - 'radio transistor' from the english (you have to say it with the accent) and fenester from the latin (i shit you not - welsh is older than windows, glass ones that is) so you can imagine the kind of essay you end up with trying to writh the level crossing warning.

      consequently the saes never get as far as the bit they understand, and <hopefully> get hit by a train

      1. BongoJoe
        Facepalm

        Re: I can answer this!!!!!

        Why is it that all their road signs are in Welsh too?

        It's a diabolical plot to kill the evil saes!

        Reminds me of the kerbside crossing instructions in Caerdydd. In Welsh it said "Look Right" and in English it said "Look Left"...

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nebes Kernewek (Some Cornish)

    Wosa an nowodhow da a-dro dhe'n kynsa lyver Kindle yn Kernewek, my a wayt Amazon a wra dalleth dyllo lyvrow yn lies yeth usyes le. Nyns eus travyth a wra Sowson dhe dhos ha bos serrys avel skoodhyans rag an yethow Keltek a Vreten Veur...

    (After the good news about the first Kindle book in Cornish, I hope Amazon will start to publish books in many lesser-used languages. There is nothing that makes the English become angry like support for the Celtic languages of Great Britain...)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nebes Kernewek (Some Cornish)

      I know what you mean (I'm English) - but there are different things that make people angry. Some get angry at the expense of having to translate things into Welsh etc (government sites) for which they may have a point. But this is not about that, and no English should get angry about this other than anger with Amazon.

      Even if Welsh died out as a living language there would still be a need for people to study it (as people today study old English or Latin). Printed books are being replaced with e-books so where will the documented material be in the future?.

      Technology is not just a way to progress but also provides us with a better way to record history. If publishers start not allowing 'dead' languages in e-books (just by not having a section for them) then what will be used in the future for historical research? Where will students go to get the material? The library (if there are any left). And that is even if Welsh dies out - which it may or may not do.

      So yes, I'm English and angry - but not with the Celtic language supporters in this case - but with Amazon.

  27. Mystic Megabyte
    Happy

    poem

    Many years ago whilst living in Wales we had a party and a man recited a poem in Welsh.

    Even though I could not understand it I felt that it was somehow moving. I asked what the poem was about and was told that it was a yearning for something so ancient that it had been forgotten what the yearning was for.

    Quite magical, anyone know the name of the poem?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: poem

      Not much to go on, and I'm no student of Welsh poetry, but the poem discussed here : ‘Cofio’ gan Waldo Williams; ‘Remembering’ seems to fit the bill.

  28. Naughtyhorse

    Only the irony impared...

    could fail to appreciate all this whining and whinging about the electronic publication of the text of what is, above and beyond all else an aural language that has only been nailed to a page for 1500 years or so! (which is about 1/3 of it's history i think) - and then grievously fucked about to fit latin/english letter frequencies.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Only the irony impared...

      I don't even know what your point is? Only been nailed to a page for 1500 years? What? Do you mean it's too 'young'? What are you trying to say? Irony - where?

      The version of English you are using, very badly by the way, in your comment has only been 'nailed to a page' for 600 years - and even since then it has gone through quite a substantial change - so this affects whether Amazon should have a section for it how, exactly?

      The only irony is that you seem not to be able to use a modern language to clearly make a point about how useless old languages are. Perhaps you should try writing in Welsh to see if it's better.

  29. Norman Hartnell

    Why does the Welsh language attract such hatred from people (mainly English) who don't speak it?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Norman Hartnell

      "Why does the Welsh language attract such hatred from people (mainly English) who don't speak it?"

      It's probably not the language as such, but the way that the Welsh speak about the English when it comes up. Doesn't matter what your attitude to the Welsh or the language is, you'll always be a bastad Sais and personally responsible for the Welsh being conquered. The English are simply responding in kind.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @AC - Re: @Norman Hartnell

        'Responding in kind', you say? Looking back over the comments there are plenty which are just gratuitously hostile (eg "Cast off your dribble-soaked language"), whereas the pro-Welsh comments tend to be civilised in the face of such nastiness.

        This issue only matters to those who would like to be able to buy Welsh-language e-books from Amazon, and the cure to the problem would not affect anyone else. So why the hostility?

        If you've had the misfortune to meet the sort of Welsh tosser who would see you only as a "bastad saes", then you have my sympathy. But we're not all like that, any more (I hope) than the examples present here represent all English.

    2. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      @Norman Hartnell

      My anger comes from the sheer inefficiency of supporting more languages than are really needed in the world, and resuscitating ones that are dying just beggars belief. We need to move towards fewer languages to improve communication, not more. (I have this argument with my wife, whose native language is even less useful than Welsh, but not often - have you ever tried telling a Czech that the country's founders would have been better off sticking with German* instead of forcibly re-introducing a language that few people other than the nationalist academics spoke?)

      However, I am honest enough to admit to myself that part of it is that many of these zombie languages are a) politically motivated, and when it comes to Welsh especially I don't see any justification for it, and b) they are often totally lacking in aesthetic appeal (Czech is awful, and Welsh and the other Gaelic languages aren't much better). Someone else used the term "spittle-flecked", and it sums it up nicely for me - if a language sounds like you are hawking up a mouthful of spit, then I hear someone doing just that, and it is offensive to me.

      *Remember the modern Czech Republic/Czechoslovakia derives from the Austro-Hungarian empire, and the official language was German until about 1922, so I'm not referring to WW2.

      1. Danny Roberts 1

        Re: @Norman Hartnell

        Then I suggest you start writing in American English, why support more than one way of spelling, very inefficient, having to maintain more than one language on a spell checker. I also suggest you don't take a holiday or attempt to broaden your horizons in any way just in case you become offended.

  30. Dropper
    Pint

    Welsh Eh?

    This topic is close to my heart. My Grandparents were Welsh and it would be nice to publish a book in tribute to his memory in his native language. I don't speak Welsh myself, so I'd probably need assistance with the translating my tome "The Rise of the Sheep LGBT Movement".

  31. Bernard M. Orwell

    Welsh by the Grace of God

    I was born in London, but moved to Wales shortly before beginning my adult career in IT. Where I work, in South Wales, I am surrounded by the very live and kicking Welsh language every day. It is used interchangeabley with English by nearly everyone, and I know of no one in this organisation who cannot speak English, though I know one or two who choose not to.

    Over the many years I have been living and working here I have come to develop a deep and profound fondness for the the Welsh language, its people and its culture; indeed I refer to myself as Welsh rather than English (both coming a second place to being British, of course) and when challenged I often like to say "English by Birth, Welsh by the Grace of God" or "I got here as fast as I could, what more do you want?" - always this is a point of humour and never a derogatory thing.

    The Welsh language is truly ancient, predating Latin and most other western languages by several centuries. It is the oldest known written language in the UK and possibly the oldest in Europe. It was violently suppressed during the "Dark Ages" by English Kings (such as Edward II, Longshanks) and that is amongst the reasons it is less widely spoken now than it might be; similarly with the tongue of "Kernow", under which language books apparently are published on Amazon/Kindle. I am told that the number of speakers of Kernow (the cornish tongue) now number in the dozens. Even Microsoft recognise the Welsh Language in windows and we have a conversion kit that translates (almost) all of Windows into Welsh as well as many applications and related features.

    To allow the Welsh language to fade is to allow another slice of British history, culture and art to disappear and that, I believe, diminishes us all as a nation.

    For that reason, even being a "saes", I have chosen to learn the Welsh language as best I can, and it's a delight to be able to converse in it in my day to day work.

    Diolch yn fawr am ddarllen hon!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Welsh by the Grace of God

      Far from being in "the dozens", the number of Cornish speakers now runs to around 500 fluent speakers, and thousands of less-fluent speakers, and the number is rising.

      1. Bernard M. Orwell

        Re: Welsh by the Grace of God

        Good to know, as thats another piece of our culture saved from loss.

        :)

  32. mickey mouse the fith

    Dos i chwara dy Nain cymru

    Im wondering if Amazon worry that the next demand will be Welsh as an option in all the ui dialogs, payment pages etc and are just nipping it in the bud to save the effort in the future.

    Having suffered Welsh tv for most of my childhood, I have no love for it really, s4c`s tv output really was shit compared to the proper channel 4, the Welsh always seemed to replace the good English programs with shit Welsh ones (I used to suspect on purpose). Theres only so many eisteddfod`s, awful duel language chat shows and news broadcasts (where the presenter always speaks welsh, but the person being interviewed sometimes answers in english for some bizzare reason) and bloody choirs one can put up with.

    Before s4c it was even worse, all the channels were Welsh. I seem to recall English kids programs being dubbed into Welsh on BBC1.

    There was a survey done a while back that estimated that some welsh tv shows had no viewers whatsoever, theres a great use of taxpayers money eh?

    1. Jamie Jones Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Dos i chwara dy Nain cymru

      The rest of your post would have had more value if you hadn't have written "s4c`s tv output really was shit compared to the proper channel 4, the Welsh always seemed to replace the good English programs with shit Welsh ones (I used to suspect on purpose)."

      Back then, I wasn't too bothered because I could get English Ch4 also - but to think that S4C would deliberately replace the popular programmes (and hence the ones that would bring in the greatest ad revenue) is ridiculous. It *maybe* true that popular programmes were left out due to cost reasons etc, but to think that S4C would purposely attack their revenue just to piss off people like you is paranoid in the extreme,.

      1. mickey mouse the fith

        Re: Dos i chwara dy Nain cymru

        " but to think that S4C would purposely attack their revenue just to piss off people like you is paranoid in the extreme"

        I was sort of joking, although the welsh stuff was quite heavily subsidised and I get the feeling that the people who push welsh programming put the language`s exposure higher than revenue(see the surveys that showed how low/non existent viewing figures are). I have so many memories of friends at school raving about some cool program or film they saw on channel 4 the previous night, but not me, it was either replaced with some utter shite welsh choir/farming/chat/`culture` thing, or broadcast at the most inconvienient time, sometimes weeks later, or sometimes never.

  33. arober11

    Appears Amazon now supports Welsh on the Kindle:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Welsh-Kindle-Celtic-Languages-Books/s?ie=UTF8&page=1&rh=n%3A13435831%2Cp_n_binding_browse-bin%3A368165031

    1. Pookietoo

      Appears Amazon now supports Welsh on the Kindle:

      Books about the Welsh language, not literature written in Welsh. A big clue is that the titles are in English.

  34. TheWeddingPhotographer

    Is this a case that ... No Welsh books have been offered by Welsh Authors/publishers for sale, or that Amazon just don't like the Welsh?

    1. Jamie Jones Silver badge
      FAIL

      "Is this a case that ... No Welsh books have been offered by Welsh Authors/publishers for sale, or that Amazon just don't like the Welsh?

      If you read the article before replying, it would have probably made your reply look less stupid

  35. GitMeMyShootinIrons
    Joke

    I went to Wales once.

    It rained.

    On a separate note, perhaps one of the Yanks at Amazon ran a book through a English to Welsh translator and got back a stream of vowels that made less sense than Klingon, thought it had buggered up and gave it up as a bad effort. He then went onto translating it into a more useful language, like Esperanto or Latin.

  36. Maharg
    Trollface

    Mae hyn yn wirion

    Nid oes unrhyw un yn siarad Cymraeg erbyn hyn

    1. TheVogon
      Mushroom

      Re: Mae hyn yn wirion

      "Nid oes unrhyw un yn siarad Cymraeg erbyn hyn"

      Did you fall asleep on your keyboard?

  37. HippyFreetard

    "Welshy!"

    I was brought up in Wales. Most of the locals were first-language speakers, and Welsh was compulsory in the same league as English - Welsh grammar exams, Welsh lit. exams. Primary school was completely in Welsh, and lots of my secondary school lessons were in Welsh too. In order to learn (anything) I had to be sent away to a Welsh learning school for a few terms.

    It's a bit silly, really.

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