A software package to help Welsh language spellchecking and grammar checking has been released as a free download thanks to a partnership between Bangor University and the Welsh Government.
The release aims to support Welsh-medium learners and their parents, home workers and small organisations during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic – and beyond.
The first version of the Welsh spell checker – CySill – was launched in 1988. Users have, up to now, had to pay a licence fee to use the software, which now includes various dictionaries as well as the grammar checker, on their Windows PC.
But from today onwards, individuals, schools and organisations employing 10 people or fewer can download and use the package for free.
This comes as part of a package of support to help children and their families, and the general public, to use the Welsh language as they work from home during the Covid-19 crisis.
Eluned Morgan MS, the Welsh Government’s Minister for International Relations and the Welsh Language recently announced additional resources to support Welsh learners and speakers during the coronavirus pandemic, of which the free version of Cysgliad is one.
She said: “I’m delighted that Cysgliad is now free-of-charge for individuals and small organisations, as a result of this partnership between the Welsh Government and Bangor University.
“This will be of particular help to non-Welsh speaking parents whose children are in Welsh-medium schools, as well as the pupils themselves, small businesses and charities and others who use Welsh day to day.”
Delyth Prys, Head of the Language Technologies Unit at Bangor University added: “We know from the feedback we’ve had over the years that Cysgliad is a really valuable tool for people who write and use Welsh – it’s a great confidence builder.
“We’re very happy that the free licence is available to help those learning, educating and working from home in these difficult times. We look forward to seeing more people of all ages downloading and using Cysgliad, and growing in their confidence to use the Welsh language as they do so.”
11 year old Anest Heulfryn Smith, who usually attends Ysgol Gynradd Bontnewydd has been using Cysgliad whilst learning from home. She said: “We use Cysgliad at school and it really helps to make sure my Welsh spelling is correct.
“I also like to use the dictionary and thesaurus to improve my vocabulary and find more interesting words for things when I’m writing. It’s good that children like me can use Cysgliad at home to help us with our school work.”
Tim Albin from Cwm-y-Glo runs a branding and design agency and is currently home educating his two sons Oscar, 14 and Milo, 10 alongside running the business from home. He said: “Welsh is my second language, so it’s great to have a practical tool like this to help me when I’m helping the boys with their Welsh medium subjects whilst schools are still closed.
“I also find it really useful when I’m working on bilingual projects for clients, and to check my grammar when doing things like coming up with straplines and drafting emails.”
To download Cysgliad free of charge, visit www.Cysgliad.com