Welsh bilingual project good practice guidance

Welsh bilingual project good practice guidance

If your project will take place in Wales, you must tell us how you will include the Welsh language in all aspects of your work.

By reading this guidance you will understand how to plan and deliver bilingual projects. It covers what you need to think about before applying for funding, what needs to be produced in both languages, translation costs, recruiting Welsh speakers and bilingual social media. It also includes how we monitor bilingual projects and lists further sources of information.

The Welsh language is an important part of our heritage, not just for Wales, but for the whole of the UK.

Wales is a bilingual nation – legally, culturally and socially – and we believe that everyone has the right to explore their heritage through the language of their choice. The projects we fund in Wales should create these opportunities to explore and treat Welsh no less favourably than English.

Your organisation may also have statutory responsibilities under the Welsh Language Act of 1993 or the Welsh Language (Wales) Measure 2011.

What to think about before you apply for funding

Activities and materials in both languages will be part of the approved purposes described when we confirm your grant. Welsh speakers must be able to access your information and services in Welsh.

Therefore, think about how you'll carry out your project in Welsh and English before you submit your application. Any associated costs should be including in your project budget. There is further information on translation costs later in this guidance.

When planning your project, also think about the linguistic profile of your area and the people you want to benefit from your project. This will help you attract and meet the needs of people you might not otherwise reach.

Get help improving your links with the Welsh language community from:

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

What needs to be produced in both languages

We strongly recommend that all projects undertaken in Wales treat both languages equally, but recognise that may not always be possible because of the nature of the work, costs, lack of resources and deadlines.

Even so, you should aim to design all materials with two languages in mind and information should be just as easy to view and read in Welsh as it is in English. Specifically, 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 later 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

You might also need to consider having a bilingual Welsh and English logo for your project or organisation and should consider bilingual options when producing braille, large print and audio tours for people with disabilities.

You must also acknowledge our support and say thank you to National Lottery players in Welsh and English. Plus, you should always use our bilingual logo when promoting your project.

Get help producing materials in both languages from:

Bilingual logos:

Translation costs

Translation is an eligible cost under our grant programmes. You should carefully consider your translation costs and include them under the 'Other' costs category in the project costs section of the application. 

We recommend that every application should include a minimum of £500 for translation in your budget, though the 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.

Get help with translations:

Recruiting Welsh-speaking staff and volunteers

If your project or place funds staff roles, you must consider whether you need Welsh speakers to fill those roles so your beneficiaries can access your service in their first or chosen language.

It’s important to consider the linguistic requirements for each role. Some 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 go into schools to work with children. If a project, for example, 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. You can also consider offering Welsh media training to staff and volunteers.

Get help with recruiting Welsh-speakers from:

Welcoming Welsh-speaking volunteers

Get to know your existing volunteers' Welsh language skills. They might be Welsh speakers or learners. Providing bilingual information can show that your organisation is committed to language choice both internally and externally and ensure that Welsh-speaking volunteers feel welcome in your organisation or project.

When recruiting volunteers, think about the language skills needed for volunteer roles. You might be looking for people who can chat informally in Welsh or can translate just a couple of words. You should explain this clearly when you advertise for new volunteers. Also, Welsh speakers are more likely to support something local, so be clear what the volunteers will be supporting by volunteering with you.

Get help recruiting Welsh-speaking volunteers from:

Building a bilingual social media presence

Social media can be important for marketing and promoting your project or place’s events and activities, and making direct contact with people. Research shows that the public values social media posts in Welsh. Being bilingual on social media also demonstrates that you support and respect the language.

The Welsh Language Commissioner provides the following guidance for charities and businesses on using the Welsh language on social media:

  • 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.
  • 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 X (formerly Twitter) every Wednesday 8–9pm, 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 in Welsh. You can also include this on your website.
  • If you’re planning a live event or a live-posting session, make sure that you consider the Welsh language so people can get involved in the language of their choice.

Get help building a bilingual social media presence by:

  • involving your local Menter Iaith in promoting your online events, for example, @mentercaerdydd 
  • sharing creative ways of acknowledging your grant bilingually with us on social media or with your Investment Manager
  • tagging suitable Welsh language organisations in any posts on social media
  • getting involved with the weekly Yr Awr Gymraeg #yagym campaign, which promotes Welsh language businesses, individuals and organisations each week
  • tagging us on social media wherever possible on @HeritageFundCYM (Wales – bilingual) and @HeritageFundUK (main UK-wide – English only)

Compliance and monitoring

Remember that 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 can have a negative impact on your current grant with us and any potential future grants.

Sources of further help and support

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, providing free proofreading services and practical help with drafting messages in Welsh. Other support includes:

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

For more information email hybu@comisiynyddygymraeg.cymru or call 0345 603 3221.

We’re also here to help

For assistance with the Welsh language in your project and activities, please contact our Welsh Language Manager at cymorthcymraeg@heritagefund.org.uk.

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