THE Welsh language often carries a torch to ignite the passions both of those who speak it and those who do not. It also possesses a font of goodwill which flows in sufficient quantities to douse those flames before they threaten to consume a national asset.

Tourism bosses believe that the Welsh language is a unique selling point for a country too often confused in the global consciousness with England.

And for those at the Millennium Stadium, able to mouth only some of the words of “Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau”, it is still associated with a welling up of pride in their country.

The Welsh Language Act was deliberately targeted at public bodies delivering a service to Wales in the belief that imposing demands for the language on the private sector was too much of a burden.

As it transpired, many of the former utilities companies – now private companies – adopted bilingual policies, sending Welsh language bills, even providing Welsh language helplines for customers.

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