Bala, Wales – A touch-screen mobile phone containing more than 44,000 Welsh words will be available from Orange next month. The Samsung S5600 features Welsh predictive text and Welsh menus. Samsung launched an Irish-language phone last year.
Welsh Heritage Minister Alun Ffred Jones congratulated the two companies when he unveiled the phone at the National Eisteddfod in Bala, North Wales
“This development shows that they recognise not only the benefits of offering services through the medium of Welsh but also the importance of responding to the needs of their customers here,” he said.
“It’s important to be able to have services and technology available in the language so that people can live their lives through the medium of Welsh.”
Orange head of retail Sian Doyle said: “Orange is really proud to be the first network to introduce this truly innovative service to Welsh speakers. This initiative is part of a broader commitment by Orange to provide Welsh speakers with more choice.”
Campaigners are still battling to convince ICANN to allocate .cym as the top level domain name for Wales (Cymru).
One of the delights of Welsh is that the language of angels contains no swearwords, with people being forced to revert to baser languages such as English at times of stress. The language contains 28 letters, including ch, ff, ll and ng, but omits English characters such as k, v, x and z. Oh, and w is a vowel.