BA Welsh Language line?

Old Nov 19, 19, 12:29 pm
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BA Welsh Language line?

Sorry if this has been asked before – I did try to search but couldn’t find anything.

Basically an old friend of mine who lives on Anglesey is a native Welsh speaker (and is also partially deaf which doesn’t help). He wants to book some flights with BA (first time he has flown since the early 1990’s) but he cannot find a Welsh language telephone number to call BA.Having played on the BA website, I cant find one either. Is there one?

I was posted to RAF Valley on Anglesey twice (I don’t think the drafters liked me!), and he was a civvy employed on the base so I can just about get by speaking ‘pidgin Welsh’ with him, and he can speak 'pidgin English' but wouldn’t like to book his flights for him myself as I am not fluent enough to translate.

He is not very internet savvy either, but could just about manage if they had Welsh translation, but when I input United Kingdom as my location on BA.com, it just offers English, and quite a few other languages, but not Welsh. Or am I missing something?

Thanks

Barney.

Last edited by BarneyMcGrew; Nov 19, 19 at 12:39 pm
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Old Nov 19, 19, 2:52 pm
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Originally Posted by BarneyMcGrew View Post
Sorry if this has been asked before – I did try to search but couldn’t find anything.

Basically an old friend of mine who lives on Anglesey is a native Welsh speaker (and is also partially deaf which doesn’t help). He wants to book some flights with BA (first time he has flown since the early 1990’s) but he cannot find a Welsh language telephone number to call BA.Having played on the BA website, I cant find one either. Is there one?

I was posted to RAF Valley on Anglesey twice (I don’t think the drafters liked me!), and he was a civvy employed on the base so I can just about get by speaking ‘pidgin Welsh’ with him, and he can speak 'pidgin English' but wouldn’t like to book his flights for him myself as I am not fluent enough to translate.

He is not very internet savvy either, but could just about manage if they had Welsh translation, but when I input United Kingdom as my location on BA.com, it just offers English, and quite a few other languages, but not Welsh. Or am I missing something?

Thanks

Barney.
Hi Barney

This is not something I've ever come across for Welsh speakers. I'm pretty sure I would have come across this otherwise. It looks like there are a few independent travel agents on the island and 'over the bridge'. Your friend would likely then be able to find a Welsh speaking travel agent who could assist him with making a flight booking.

Diolch
M
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Old Nov 19, 19, 3:23 pm
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Originally Posted by lawbuff View Post
Hi Barney

This is not something I've ever come across for Welsh speakers. I'm pretty sure I would have come across this otherwise. It looks like there are a few independent travel agents on the island and 'over the bridge'. Your friend would likely then be able to find a Welsh speaking travel agent who could assist him with making a flight booking.

Diolch
M
Yes, I think he is going to have to make a trip to Llangefni or Holyhead and visit a Welsh speaking travel agent, although I am not sure if they will charge him more than if he booked direct over the phone or online.

I dread to think what would happen if he telephoned BA and got the call centre in India or the USA as I think their knowledge of Welsh would be minimal to say the least.

Thanks anyway.

Barney.
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Old Nov 19, 19, 3:27 pm
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I'm afraid I have to second the suggestion of finding a Welsh-speaking travel agent to sort this out. This is one of the situations where travel agents can add value.

The BA.com website doesn't support Welsh so "do it online" directly with BA isn't an option.

Using Google I can see a couple of travel agents on Anglesey and a couple just over the water in Caernarfon, so there are some local options he could try. Phoning them and simply asking them to book a flight, in Welsh, may be the best start.

Agents get extremely tiny commissions (often zero for a smaller agent) so I'm afraid he's likely to pay some ticketing fees over the cost of the ticket from BA.
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Old Nov 19, 19, 3:30 pm
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Originally Posted by BarneyMcGrew View Post
I dread to think what would happen if he telephoned BA and got the call centre in India or the USA as I think their knowledge of Welsh would be minimal to say the least.
I expect the Indian and US agents' knowledge of Welsh will be as good as those based in Newcastle.
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Old Nov 19, 19, 3:38 pm
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Yes it's a bit odd that there isn't a Welsh language option on the website, given that many other UK firms provide such an interface. I suspect your friend is not on Twitter but BA may reach out to a Welsh language speaker if they had DMs in Welsh.

I've seen a few Welsh language badges on cabin crew.

Last edited by corporate-wage-slave; Nov 19, 19 at 4:43 pm
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Old Nov 19, 19, 4:27 pm
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I love the idea that there are Welsh speakers who are not fluent in English. I thought that the problem was the other way around: people were forgetting how to speak Welsh (although I know there've been lots of recent efforts to revive it).
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Old Nov 19, 19, 4:29 pm
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
Yes it's a bit odd that there isn't a Welsh language option on the website, given that many other UK firms provide such an interface.
Perhaps those that actually deliver services in Wales (utility companies etc) but I wouldn't expect it to be high on the priority list of web languages for BA. There are many destinations BA actually flies to where it does not have a local web language.
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Old Nov 19, 19, 4:31 pm
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Has your friend tried Chrome browser with translation from English to Welsh? Then just book on ba.com. Google Translate supports Welsh, so it should work. Might do the job for him; and it’s free

Also, forgive my ignorance, but is it common for native UK residents to not speak English (even as a second language learned in school)? Genuinely curious.
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Old Nov 19, 19, 4:39 pm
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Originally Posted by swingaling View Post
Also, forgive my ignorance, but is it common for native UK residents to not speak English (even as a second language learned in school)? Genuinely curious.
There are several thousand Welsh speakers who spend most of their days only speaking Welsh. Normally they would speak English too, but they'd just be very uncomfortable or find it difficult to have an extended time speaking English with any fluidity. There are a few Gaelic communities in the Western Isles which won't use much English, including a few older speakers who are effectively monolingual.

I've got a sheepdog who only understands Welsh, whereas my other dogs only understand English, just as a digression.
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Old Nov 19, 19, 4:46 pm
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Wonder if there's a Weegie line?
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Old Nov 19, 19, 5:08 pm
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There is nothing British about British Airways, it should read London Airways. I doubt they’ve ever considered a Welsh lang option, despite it being a British language. Brace yourselves for some dismissive comments
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Old Nov 20, 19, 1:42 am
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Thanks all.

As I said in my second post, I think it will have to be a Welsh speaking travel agent for him.

I would say he speaks Welsh at least 99% of the time. His village on Ynys Mon (Anglesey) is very Welsh orientated, with Welsh the usual language spoken. Even at the village primary school the children are taught bi-lingually.. To many Welsh people, English is a 'second language' though rather like we English get taught French or German etc. As he is of an older generation, he was taught purely in Welsh with no 'second language'. He has picked up a bit of English through contact, but since he retired and doesn't often go out of Bodedern (his village) he is not really 'current' in English.

I found it all very strange when I was first posted to RAF Valley, hence I took some free lessons in 'Conversational Welsh' which the Education Centre on the base were running at the time. Sadly, though using it so infrequently nowadays I have forgotten a lot of what I learned.

One myth I could dispel though, is the one that says if an Englishman goes into a Welsh pub, the locals all start speaking Welsh. I found it the other way round, particularly after I had learnt a few words in Welsh, they liked to try out their English (to varying degrees of success).

Having thought about it, it is a bit remiss that BA, a British airline, has a lot of other language translations on its UK website, but not Welsh (a British language after all).

Barney

Last edited by BarneyMcGrew; Nov 20, 19 at 2:02 am
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Old Nov 20, 19, 2:33 am
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What route is he planning to fly, and will he be travelling independently once he arrives wherever he is trying to get to? If his level of English is so basic that BA.com would be a struggle, I'd question how easily he'll be able to navigate the rest of the trip, particularly once he leaves the (reasonably) easy airport environment!
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Old Nov 20, 19, 2:44 am
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Originally Posted by Deltus View Post
What route is he planning to fly, and will he be travelling independently once he arrives wherever he is trying to get to? If his level of English is so basic that BA.com would be a struggle, I'd question how easily he'll be able to navigate the rest of the trip, particularly once he leaves the (reasonably) easy airport environment!
Thousands of non-English speakers manage this ever day
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