Thursday, May 14, 2009

Marks and Spencer self-service - Welsh available but no Gaelic

Campaigners have been trying to get Marks and Spencer to add Gaelic to their self-service machines in Scotland. The language choice if you were to go into their store in Inverness and use the self-service machine the language choice would include Welsh but no Gaelic option would be available.
The Facebook group Support Bilingual Signs in Scotland (Gaelic/English) has organised an on-line campaign but it looks like M&S won't do much about it, in the short term anyway, Customer Services Advisor Mike Thompson is telling protesters:
'I am afraid that these machines are only able to hold 6 languages on them. These same 6 languages are on all of our self service tills across the UK. The decision was made that these were the most popular languages that would be used the most.I will however ensure that your comments with regards to Gaelic being used are logged for the attention of our policies teams.'
It is a bit incongruous to go into a Highland Store and be offered a Welsh language option but not a Gaelic one and it is disappointing. It may be however that it would cost a small fortune in programming resources to add another language or allow local variations, sometimes seemingly simple solutions on databases are just not possible.


Anonymous said...

Welsh has protection under law, while our own native language does not. Check out the examples of the languages avaible in the recent Swine-flu leaflet.

Jane Harkiss said...

That ain't right! Is it? What the fuck were they thinking?

Anonymous said...

If you think about it, it does make sense. When you compare the number of people who can speak welsh to those who can speak gaelic the number is 10:1.

Why should M&S waste their time and money on something that has nothing to do with them.

Highland council doing this with the road signs etc was understandable as they are trying to save the language but this isn't anything to to with M&S. Although i bet they wouldn't have had to waste millions to do it as they know how to put through their proposals efficiently.

Graisg said...

I believe that the percentage number of Gaelic speakers in Inverness comes close to 7% so if a store were to make any concession at all to a local language then Inverness would be the place to do it.

Anonymous said...

i would bet 100% of those people can also speak English

Anonymous said...

What number of people does 7% represent? 100% of 1=1.

Does the figure of 7% refer to the City or the County of Inverness?

Graisg said...

Recommend that you read the Government's own figures.
Highland is 6.7%
Inverness is 5.6% (apologies not 7%)
and even Nairn is 1.8%.

more details here

Anonymous said...

Anonymous (#1) - 100% of Welsh speakers can almost certainly speak English, so you point is what exactly? Also, there's no such county as Inverness. I see your general knowledge is about as accurate as your knowledge of Gaelic.