Amazon attacked for Welsh-language stance

Amazon attacked for Welsh-language stance

West Wales-based publisher Y Lofla has attacked Amazon over the unavailability of Welsh-language books on Kindle, according to Welsh media reports.

The online retailer's Kindle platform does not support Welsh-language books, and the publisher has launched a petition in protest.

Y Lolfa managing director Garmon Gruffudd told Wales Online the publisher had last year managed to publish Welsh-language books on the Kindle by listing them as English books, but that Amazon has this year refused to put them up, saying they are in an "unrecognised" language. Sixty Y Lolfa titles remain available, but new titles will not be added.

Gruffudd said: "It is ironic that our existing Welsh-language books are there but the situation now is we can't put any new Welsh-language books on the Kindle. With books available in languages such as Galician, Catalan and Basque, the situation does seem bizarre. The alphabet is the same and there aren't any technical reasons why they shouldn't be able to support the Welsh language."

He added: "We've had a lot of people quite angry about this and we're looking to set up a petition to ask Amazon to support Welsh-language books."

Gruffudd also singled out Amazon as having an "incredibly negative" attitude towards Welsh compared to other digital or online companies such as Kobo, Sony, Google and Facebook.

A spokesman for Amazon said: "We are working on adding more languages through our KDP portal all the time and Welsh is one that we hope to support in the future."

This follows a similar row over Amazon not supporting Cornish-language books, with UK press Diglot Books successfully petitioning Amazon to make its Cornish language title Matthew ha'n Eskisyow Glaw (Matthew and the Wellington Boots) available through the Kindle Direct Publishing platform earlier this week.