Guidance for delivering a Welsh bilingual project

Guidance for delivering a Welsh bilingual project

Train pulling into station with bilingual acknowledgement logo on the front
The Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways train. Credit: Chris Parry
This guidance is designed for applicants and grantees of Welsh projects – it will help you manage your project bilingually in both Welsh and English.

Introduction

Wales is a bilingual nation – legally, culturally, socially, and as individuals and communities. The National Lottery Heritage Fund believes that everyone has the right to explore their heritage through the language of their choice. A thriving Welsh language is a driver to improve wellbeing and will lead to a wider range of people benefiting from your heritage project.  

If you've been successful in your grant application to deliver your project in Wales, you will need to do so in Welsh and English. Offering services, activities and materials in both languages is part of your Approved Purposes described in your Grant Notification Letter.

Welsh speakers must be able to access information and services in Welsh. Embedding the use of Welsh is good practice and will ensure that the project better meets the needs of Welsh speakers and learners.

This good practice guidance will help you to effectively deliver your project in both languages.

Plan before you apply for funding

Think about how you'll carry out your project in Welsh and English before you submit your funding application. You will need to include any associated costs within your project’s budget – there is further information on translation costs in this guidance.

Adopting a bilingual approach when planning your project will ensure that you meet the linguistic needs of your target audience, as well as the wider public. That way, as many people as possible can benefit from our funding.

Get to know your audiences

When planning your project, it’s important to understand the linguistic profile of your area and the people who want to benefit from your project. This will help you meet the needs and interests of people you might not otherwise reach.

Here are some of the ways you can improve your links with the Welsh language community:

  • Y Cyfeiriadur CymraegY Lolfa has contact details for Welsh medium organisations, including magazines, papurau bro (local newspapers), and the media. They can help promote or raise awareness of your project.
  • Mentrau Iaith Cymru: The Mentrau Iaith, based throughout Wales, offers a range of language support services, including the language profile of each local authority in Wales.
  • Y Awr Gymraeg: The #yagym campaign on Twitter reaches over a million people every Wednesday evening between 8pm – 9pm. Having a platform with a substantial following and influence enables projects and organisations to reach new and wider audiences. 

What should be produced in both languages?

We strongly recommend that all projects undertaken in Wales treat both languages equally, but we recognise that this will not always be possible. This may be due to the nature of the work, costs, lack of resources and deadlines. Our Welsh Language Manager is always at hand to answer any questions you may have: cymorthcymraeg@heritagefund.org.uk

You will need to design and print all materials with two languages in mind. Information should be just as easy to view and read in Welsh as it is in English. For guidance on how to achieve good bilingual design, see the Welsh Language Commissioner’s Bilingual Design Guide.

We recommend the following should be available in both Welsh and English:

  • Printed material – booklets, leaflets, signage, posters, instructions, acknowledgment, publicity, interpretation, books and display materials.
  • Digital content – any website pages and social media posts dedicated to your project (there is further information on having a bilingual social media presence in this guidance).
  • Activities involving the public – live events, talks, presentations, workshops, online sessions, subtitles, simultaneous translation and transcripts.
  • Audio or visual materials – films and video, podcasts, interviews, oral history recordings, DVDs, CDs, interactive displays and presentations. For oral histories, we recommend that you find Welsh speakers to participate in your project.
  • Job vacancy advertisements  also offer Welsh medium training for staff and volunteers.

When producing information in different formats and media for people with disabilities, (for example, Braille, large print and audio tours), you should also consider bilingual options.

It's important that you promote your Welsh language materials so that as many Welsh speakers as possible can engage with your project.

Translation costs

Translation is an eligible cost under our grant programmes. You need to carefully consider the costs of working bilingually, so that they can be included in the project’s budget. 

You should include the budget for translation under the 'Other' costs category in the project costs section of the application form. We recommend that every application should include a minimum of £500 for translation in their budget. However, the required sum can vary from project to project. The average cost for the translation of 1,000 words is around £65 – £85. This will vary depending on whether you’re using a freelance translator or an agency, as well as the deadlines and the time of year.

The Welsh Language Commissioner’s advice document provides useful information for planning the provision of translation and interpretation.

Cymdeithas Cyfieithwyr Cymru has developed a bilingual directory where you can search for registered translators and interpreters across Wales. Plus, Helo Blod offers a free translation service (up to 500 words) each month, to businesses or charities.

Recruiting Welsh-speaking people

If your project funds staff roles, you must consider whether you need Welsh speakers to fill those roles. This is for your project beneficiaries to be able to access your service in their first or chosen language.

Some roles have an obvious need for a Welsh speaker, for example, roles that will work in communities with a high number of Welsh speakers, or roles that have to go into schools to work with children. However, it is important to consider the linguistic requirements for each role – if a project employs four identical roles, a proportion of those roles will need Welsh language skills.

All job roles should be advertised bilingually, regardless of whether or not Welsh language skills are essential. It is beneficial if projects can attract Welsh speakers to any role.

There are several recruitment agencies that specialise in recruiting Welsh-speakers that could help you along the way:

The Welsh Language Commissioner has also published recruitment guidance that includes advice on issues such as workforce development, advertising job vacancies and language requirements in the recruitment process.  

Welcoming Welsh-speaking volunteers

Ensure that Welsh-speaking volunteers feel welcome in your organisation or project. Providing bilingual information will reflect that your organisation is committed to language choice both internally and externally.

Get to know your volunteers' Welsh language skills. Those who already volunteer might be Welsh speakers or learners. Think about what's needed for the role – you might be looking for someone who can chat informally in Welsh, or someone who can translate just a couple of words. You should explain this clearly when you advertise for new volunteers.

If you’re struggling to attract Welsh-speaking volunteers, several organisations might be able to support and help you to advertise. You could get in touch with your local County Voluntary Council, or your local Menter Iaith – a community-based organisation that works to raise the profile of the Welsh language in a specific area.

You can tag suitable Welsh language organisations in any posts on social media. Plus, get involved with the weekly Yr Awr Gymraeg #yagym campaign, which promotes Welsh language businesses, individuals, and organisations each week. 

Third Sector Support Wales has also produced useful guidance that offers practical ideas on how to attract Welsh-speaking volunteers to your organisation.

Welsh speakers are more likely to support something local, so be clear who the volunteers will be supporting by volunteering with you. 

Acknowledge your grant bilingually

You must acknowledge our support and say thank you to National Lottery players in Welsh and English.

Projects should always use our bilingual logo when promoting their project. On social media, please tag us wherever possible: 

If you are thinking of creative ways to acknowledge your grant bilingually, please share them with us on social media or with your Investment Manager.

Find out more about how to acknowledge your grant and download our bilingual Welsh and English logo.

Building a bilingual social media presence

Research shows that the public value the provision of Welsh medium services by businesses, charities and organisations. This is important for marketing and promoting your project’s events and activities, and making direct contact with people. Being bilingual on social media shows a wide range of people that you support and respect the language.

The Welsh Language Commissioner provides guidance for charities and businesses on using the Welsh language on social media. Here are some of their tips:

  • If you have one social media account that posts in Welsh and another that posts in English, consider how often these accounts will be used. The use and content of the messages should be consistent in both languages. Plus, the English feed should include the address of the Welsh feed (and vice versa).
  • If you’re planning on having just one bilingual account, make sure the Welsh content is visible and consider posting the Welsh version first.  
  • If your project or organisation has an English-only name, get it translated and add this to your social media platforms. You could consider having a creative bilingual name that would work in both languages.
  • Make sure you always use our bilingual Welsh and English logo when acknowledging us online. You might also need to consider having a bilingual Welsh and English logo for your project or organisation.
  • Don’t rely on translation tools, it’s better to get your social posts checked by a Welsh speaker or a translator.
  • Use hashtags to facilitate your Welsh messages. The Welsh Hour is on Twitter every Wednesday 8pm – 9pm, but you can also use the Welsh Hour hashtag every time you tweet in Welsh: #yagym. Remind users of any corresponding language hashtag – bilingual hashtags should be promoted equally.
  • Communicate on social platforms that you’re happy to be contacted through the medium of Welsh. You can also include this on your website.
  • If you’re planning on hosting a live event or a live-tweeting session, make sure that you consider the Welsh language so people can get involved in the language of their choice. You can also involve your local Menter Iaith in promoting your online events, for example, @mentercaerdydd. Find your local Menter here.  

Compliance and monitoring

Compliance with your Approved Purposes will be monitored by your Investment Manager in the same way as our other grant conditions. We expect to see evidence that your project is available bilingually and that the Welsh language is not treated less favourably. 

Failure to meet your Approved Purposes may have a negative impact on your current grant with us and any potential future grants.

Help and support

There are many resources and organisations that can help you along the course of your project. 

Useful resources and services 

It’s important to ensure that the Welsh language is included from the outset in the planning of all new materials. The Welsh Language Commissioner has produced a useful document to help you with bilingual design work

Cymdeithas Cyfieithwyr Cymru has developed a bilingual directory where you can search for registered translators and interpreters across Wales.

Helo Blod offers a free translation service (up to 500 words) each month, to businesses or charities. You can also get more practical advice, guidance, and support to help you use the Welsh language.

Welsh Language Commissioner

The Welsh Language Commissioner's Hybu team offers support and advice to third and private sectors on the use of Welsh in your work. For example, free proofreading services, providing practical help for drafting messages in Welsh.

Other support available includes:

  • research and guidance
  • Welsh Language Promotion Scheme
  • 'Bilingualism at Work' training
  • 'Welsh medium' resources

For more information or to chat with one of their officers, get in touch with hybu@comisiynyddygymraeg.cymru, or call 0345 603 3221.

We’re also here to help

If you would like any assistance in including the Welsh language in your project and activities, please contact our Welsh Language Manager at cymorthcymraeg@heritagefund.org.uk. We’ll be in touch as soon as possible.

You can also speak directly to your Investment Manager during the delivery phase, or one of our Engagement Managers at the start of the application process.

Explore more of our good practice guidance to help you plan and deliver your project