Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Welsh Web Sites

New suffixes for Welsh web sites are in prospect. Should your business website wish to have .wales or .cymru on its domain name this will soon be available. I can see a point if the business trades on its Welsh heritage and is a localised attraction, particularly for a tourist market.
In general terms I think a business should think carefully. Within the UK Cymru is not known widely let alone pronounced properly. In the wider world Wales is not even well understood to be a Principality within the UK.
For all sorts of reasons the wider context for Wales is not well understood. It can be said that this is wrong, a pity and an undesirable position. However an essential aspect of the Internet and having a web site is the ability it has of being seen by people anywhere who otherwise would not have come across the business.
A compromise in many contexts needs to be accepted. If no one will understand your point, your message, you offering then it is not being delivered.
For similar reasons a business address in a clearly understood location (Pontypool, Pembroke, Abergavenny, Cardiff etc etc) has an edge where the business is looking for a wider audience.  Give your address as Ystrad Mynach, Ynys Ddu, Pontllanfraith, or anything considered 'unpronounceable' outside the locality and you immediately set up a barrier to be overcome. Unfortunate and undesirable of course, but realistic.
This has nothing to do with defending Welsh language, culture or heritage. There are plenty of contexts where this can be celebrated handsomely and with delight. Put up the barriers and you create an insular defensive position. Speak and use Welsh by all means but don't ignore the reality that everyone who speaks Welsh also speaks English and 25% of the populace in Wales was actually born elsewhere.  

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