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Orange launches Welsh language Samsung handset

“Never ask for directions in Wales, Baldrick, you’ll be washing spit off your face for a fortnight.”

That’s Edmund Blackadder’s advice for navigating the country of Wales.  Me, I’m much closer to my celtic — or semi-celtic — brotherhood.

I don’t speak any Welsh at all, though.

But if you’re Welsh and you’ve been longing for a mobile handset that actually uses that language, stand-up and be counted — thanks to Orange.  They’ve launched a Welsh language handset from Samsung.

# Orange and Samsung join forces to put Welsh language on a mobile phone for the first time

# The innovative phone includes never-before-available features including menus and predictive text in Welsh

# The phone and service will be available exclusively through Orange from September

# Wales’ Minister for Heritage, Alun Ffred Jones and S4C Presenter, Alex Jones joined Orange and Samsung to unveil the phone at The National Eisteddfod of Wales

via Orange newsroom.

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

8 replies on “Orange launches Welsh language Samsung handset”

Another pointless win by the Taffia. Consider that only around 20.5% of Wales population of 3 million speak Welsh (apparently:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Welsh_people) and most of those are the older generation who barely care about mobiles! When it becomes a standard language selection in phones from the major manufacturers, then it should be applauded as this has abject failure all over it.

Then again, I wonder how much funding Orange and Samsung got from the Welsh Assembly for this.

Plus an additional 28% who understand Welsh, who you chose not to mention, and may like the option… Oh, and the fact that the number of fluent Welsh speakers is actually *rising* according to the same set of statistics.

Given that it is one single solitary model of phone, and given that there is no evidence whatsoever that it has been funded by the Assembly, what the hell is your problem?

The 28% “claimed to understand welsh” as per the wiki article. There's a difference there – I can understand dutch (both written and oral) but I'd still consider myself inbetween a beginner and intermediate. I can understand a bit of German and French but what is the definition of “understanding”. Statistics are interesting providing you look at the way they are generated and how they are obtained. Given that the census allows the religion of Jedi to be officially counted, I'll take that figure with a bit of Anglesey Sea Salt.

As I wrote, one model isn't enough to really convince me that this is a good idea for the Welsh language. Perhaps yes, in retrospect my comment about the funding is cyncial and based in knowledge that a lot of money is spent on pointless projects to promote Welshness rather than for example, eradicating poverty in Wales (look it up and ask the question why statistics are England AND Wales). If these quangos are serious are they going to other manufacturers to get this installed as standard or just waiting till the funding runs out and start complaining at the English? Or I'll put it more accurately: the Welsh kids want an iphone not a Samsung and will sell their language to get one. That part of the population is the only hope for the Welsh language if it is to survive in a technology driven world then it has to be in far more handsets.

BTW, I don't have a problem with the language per se – I actually live in Wales both North and South.

Mr/Mrs glass half empty…. it has to be on one phone first before it can be in quote “far more handsets” thats the whole point!!!

The quote is taken out of context. One phone is a start, yes and in the short term, but I'll direct you to the fact that it's only available on the Orange network. It is a bit limiting especially as Orange coverage is sketchy out in the regions where Welsh is spoken as the first not in places like Cardiff. My latter point in my post is hinting at the the committes who have or should be working on this need to be more proactive in getting other manufacturers interested – are they doing this or as I said , spending half their time trying to get funding and then sit back to complain they haven't got enough to do the work. Unfortunately, there is a lot of Welsh committees who are paid a lot of money to run projects but don't deliver (hint: look up objective 1 and compare with Ireland).

It will be interesting to see the figures on sales in 6-12 months time and how Orange/Samsung are progressing and what the Welsh Assembly are doing to promote it.

The quote is taken out of context. One phone is a start, yes and in the short term, but I'll direct you to the fact that it's only available on the Orange network. It is a bit limiting especially as Orange coverage is sketchy out in the regions where Welsh is spoken as the first not in places like Cardiff. My latter point in my post is hinting at the the committes who have or should be working on this need to be more proactive in getting other manufacturers interested – are they doing this or as I said , spending half their time trying to get funding and then sit back to complain they haven't got enough to do the work. Unfortunately, there is a lot of Welsh committees who are paid a lot of money to run projects but don't deliver (hint: look up objective 1 and compare with Ireland).

It will be interesting to see the figures on sales in 6-12 months time and how Orange/Samsung are progressing and what the Welsh Assembly are doing to promote it.

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