Survey results showing an increase in the numbers speaking Welsh on a daily basis are encouraging says the Welsh Language Commissioner, but warns that COVID-19 may lead to a reduction in the figures.


The results of the Welsh Government’s Language Use Survey for 2019-2020 show that 56% of Welsh speakers speak the language every day, compared to 53% in 2013 -2015.


Welsh Language Commissioner Aled Roberts said: 'The results certainly show a step in the right direction. However, the Government’s target to double the percentage of the population that speak Welsh daily by 2050 is very ambitious.  The challenge now is to look at the statistics and see how further progress can be achieved.


'Between the publication of this report and the previous report, there have been a number of important developments in terms of Welsh language promotion – from the introduction of Welsh language standards and establishing language rights, to the Government's strategy and the target of a million Welsh speakers, to name but a few.


'During the autumn I will publish a 5-year report on the position of the Welsh language, a comprehensive report that weighs up the different developments and factors that have affected the language between 2015 and 2020. The report will provide context for the survey results, and will also include recommendations to ensure further progress.'


The Government's survey ended earlier than planned because of COVID-19 and therefore does not deal with the impact of the pandemic on the Welsh language.


Aled Roberts added: 'With COVID-19 having changed the way we live our lives and engage with each other, it is important that the Government measures the impact of the pandemic on the language, and use the findings as a basis for recovery plans.'