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A day in the life of a Welsh language advisor at Ofcom

Category: A day in the life, Ofcom, organisation, Female in business, welsh language, compliant

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Joanna Davies recently joined the Ofcom team in Wales as a senior Welsh language advisor. Since joining she has been busy bringing the organisation up to speed on the Welsh language standards to ensure that we are fully compliant.

Here Joanna talks to us about her role and shares some top tips to remember when producing documents that will require a Welsh translation.

I joined Ofcom Wales in July 2017 in this brand new role managing Ofcom’s Welsh language activities including translation requirements, print and online production and social media. I also ensure that we are compliant with the new Welsh language standards, as required by the Welsh Language Commissioner.

What are the standards for?

The aim of the standards is to ensure that public bodies that have a base in Wales don’t treat the Welsh language less favourably than the English language. They’re also a means to promote and facilitate the use of the language so Welsh speakers can use it in their day to day life without having to struggle to do so.

The standards encompass our day to day operational duties, our policy making, our research, our publications, our communications and events. So there’s no easy way to escape from their grasp...(cackle).

Failure to comply could lead to a financial penalty of £5,000 as well as reputational damage.

So we always need to keep the Welsh language in mind when preparing documents – I manage the process so there’s no pressure on non-Welsh-speaking colleagues.

My typical day

My work is mainly dictated by what gets published by Ofcom so every morning I check the press grid (the ECG as it’s known) to see what’s new and what will require translation.

To be compliant with the Welsh language legislation we usually need to make sure we translate consumer facing content and/or content that’s directly relevant to Wales.

Then I get in touch with the project owner to find out when I can expect a close to final draft of the English version so I can send it out to the translators. We work with external translators who are exceptionally accommodating but they will balk if given 30,000 words to translate in 3 days (which has happened recently!)

I also need to check if there are any graphics or charts that are part of these publications. If so, we will need editable ones so we can create Welsh versions. I also work closely with the wonderful Aidan (in the Digital and Creative team) to produce the more fancy ones.

Then I keep a log of the project, word count, publication date, project owner etc so I remember what’s gone out and when it has to return. When the translation comes back, I cast a final eye over it, implement any changes that might be required and ensure we have our Welsh language branding on any consultation documents or news releases.

The Welsh language is usually the last part of a chain when a document is published as we do have to wait for a close to final draft before we can get the ball rolling our end. When the documents are larger and high profile, the work is far more challenging as I was warned when taking on this job.

Welsh on the web

Working with the fantastically helpful Digital and Creative team, I also ensure the Welsh web pages that showcase these publications are in good order and ready to go. Then I supply our social media colleagues with translations for the Ofcom Twitter account for high profile publications or news stories which also involves graphics.

Day to day I also check the website regularly to ensure the Welsh pages are kept up to date and not ‘treated less favourably’ than the English ones.

Working with colleagues in London, we have just started a project to improve the Welsh language functionality of Ofcom’s content management system. I have audited the site and made a list of what needed to be done on the Welsh pages to ensure we are compliant.

Are you interested in a career with Ofcom? Please click here.

Vercida works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with Vercida to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please call 02037405973 or email [email protected] for more information.

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VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please email [email protected] for more information.

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