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Language benefits.

* SIR - I felt compelled to write to object to the comments of Gwilym Levell criticising the furtherance of the Irish language policy (Letters, May 26).

I have recently accepted an offer to study at Queen's University in Belfast. When giving my Welsh address I asked if there were any street names in Belfast in Gaelic - they said no as they are all in English. "How boring", I thought.

Mr Levell says we can't compare Wales to Belgium and its language conflicts. This might be true of Flanders and Wallonia, who predominantly speak Dutch and French respectively, but it is not the case of Brussels.

Having recently set up an office there, I find that even though they have more bureaucrats and red tape than even Wales, the main business language is English as in Wales. And, like Wales, that doesn't stop people speaking other languages, including French, Dutch and German to name the main ones there. Why would Ireland be different? In my MSc thesis on minority and heterogeneous cultures I found that language need not be a barrier with modern technology. In fact I found minority cultures like in Catalonia have seen business make more use of Catalan following the Catalan language act of 1997 and linguistic policy law of 1998, and profits increased as a result.

Maybe Mr Levell could look a little further than his own back yard in Neath when looking at the benefits of multilingualism? JONATHAN BISHOP Pontypridd
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jun 4, 2012
Words:243
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