Preparing bilingual materials can broaden your organisation's appeal and strengthen its public bilingual image. Estyn Llaw can give you advice on how to prepare bilingual materials - signs, leaflets, publications etc - that will be equal in terms of content and design. When designing a piece of work, you should remember to take both languages into consideration from the outset. The individual responsible for producing the work and the designer responsible for typesetting the work must be aware of the fact that Welsh and English will be treated equally. You should take both languages into account when designing a logo and visual images or when deciding on a subheading or a slogan for a campaign or a project.
It is essential to ensure that all translations are of a high standard and that all documents are proof-read. This can help you to avoid unnecessary errors that can be embarrassing and expensive to rectify. It is sometimes difficult to know where to find a competent and experienced translator who is able to provide written or simultaneous translation services for your voluntary organisation. We ourselves do not offer translation services, but Estyn Llaw can direct you to the translators best placed to serve your purposes and meet your budget.
If you are considering organising an informal social event, why not make an effort to ensure that the occasion gives equal consideration to both Welsh and English? Generating a bilingual tone is a means of acknowledging and reflecting the bilingual nature of Wales and acknowledging the Welsh speakers in your area. It also demonstrates an inclusive approach involving members of the two main language communities. You should think of measures that could be taken to ensure that the Welsh language is seen and heard in your activities.
Welsh speakers are more likely to attend and contribute to a meeting or conference if it is seen as a bilingual and inclusive event. There are specific steps that the organisers and chairperson can take to create a welcoming atmosphere where those attending feel sufficiently comfortable to be able to contribute in their preferred language.
It may seem like an obvious thing to say, but an organisation with some bilingual staff and volunteers will find it easier to operate bilingually and offer language choice to its clients than an organisation with no bilingual staff or volunteers. Voluntary organisations sometimes find it difficult to recruit bilingual volunteers or staff, and this in turn makes it more difficult for them to increase their use of the Welsh language. Estyn Llaw has experience of assisting various voluntary organisations in responding to these difficulties.
One of the initial points of contact between a voluntary organisation and members of the community/prospective clients will often be the website. Most people are aware of the importance of having an attractive, useful and user-friendly website, but have you ever considered having a website that will manage to achieve these aims using the two official languages of Wales?
If your voluntary organisation is intent on making greater use of Welsh both internally and externally, there are several software packages that would allow members of staff who are Welsh learners or fluent Welsh speakers to use the language on their computers. Existing software includes Welsh-language interfaces for the most popular systems, language improvement packages and spellchecking packages. The provision is constantly increasing and expanding, so please contact Estyn Llaw for advice.
As part of the process of producing a Language Scheme and measuring your organisation's ability to operate bilingually, it is valuable to be able to assess your organisation's current language skills. Awareness of these skills will enable you to ensure that you are making the best possible use of your staff or volunteers' language skills. Estyn Llaw can advise and help you to conduct an audit of this kind.