Don’t you want the one Army, the one military, to speak the one language?

The Ministry of Defence has appointed its first ‘Welsh Language Champion’ in bid to see more soldiers use the language.

The MoD has created the role to encourage the speaking of Welsh in the forces in a bid to strengthen engagement with rural communities across Wales.

Air Commodore Adrian Williams, the RAF’s most senior officer in Wales, has been appointed with the aim of helping the Armed Forces work bilingually when needed.

Yes, I get the point about it being easier to recruit in certain areas if a certain language is used/allowable. But on the other hand all pilots everywhere have to speak English don;t they, the working language of aviation?

15 thoughts on “Ummm”

  1. On the plus side it would save having to encrypt communications, I doubt the PLAAF has many fluent Welsh speakers.

  2. In all the stories of military derring do of yore there is always someone in the unit called Taf. So it’s a problem already solved. Do they really have communication problems with the locals when yomping across the Beacons, or getting stuff done at RAF Valley?

  3. In the Austro Hungarian army an officer was expected to speak German and Hungarian and at least one of Italian, a West Slav, or a South Slav dialect, Polish or Romanian. And they were a fine fighting force… that… er…swept all before it…sort of…apart from the French, Prussians, Italians and Serbs…

  4. And what about Rorke’s Drift eh ?

    “True English courage fighting all those Zulus.”
    “I thought they was Welsh.”
    “No definitely Zulus, Rodney.”

  5. Noel C:

    Yes, that already happened in the re-taking of the Dutch village of Reusel in WW2. Orders were shouted out to the Royal Welch Fusiliers in Welsh, so the listening Germans couldn’t anticipate their movements.

  6. Ottokring- apparently the reason Hitler gave for not joining the Austro Hungarian army was the free mix of races.

  7. In one of the wars in the former Yugoslavia the British soldiers used welsh on the radio to stop the serbs listening.
    I can see the attraction of making sure that there is enough Welsh speakers

  8. Devil makes work for idle hands. In the absence of Johnny Foreigner kicking off any trouble, the army are going to find other things to do. It’s like the police painting their cars for pride marches. If you’ve got resources to do that, we can cut your budget by 10%.

    Cut the armed forces budget by 10% and see if they keep doing this sort of bullshit. If they are, cut it by 10% again.

  9. The technique of using an obscure hardly used and nearly dead language to stop the enemy listening in was also done by the Yanks, but they used Navajo.

  10. Since our hereditary foe can just recruit Breton-speakers the exercise will prove futile.

    Copy the Yanks: recruit Navajo-speakers.

  11. I know the dutch used…dutch.. in Afghanistan and Yugoslavia.
    You can learn the words, but it takes a lifetime to constructively use the inflections.. 😉

  12. Maybe MoD is planning to invade Wales and would like to speak with the vanquished. Assuming the invaders prevail, of course.

  13. My grandfather had to learn Swahili in 1940 when he was seconded to the King’s African Rifles. Nothing wrong with having a regiment that has a different language of command, as long as the officers and senior NCOs – the people who will be communicating with higher command – can also speak English.

  14. Nothing wrong with having a regiment that has a different language of command

    The KAR used Swahili because there weren’t sufficient recruits who could speak English. A Welsh-speaking regiment would have the reverse problem – apart from some small (and less populous) areas in the NW and SW of the country, fluent Welsh speakers are hard to find.

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