Way back in its infancy in 2011, SSi was nominated for an Inspire Wales Award and won the Global Wales category. For a company so young it was an overwhelming experience, but also an incredible boost to keep going despite the odds.
This month, twelve years after that glorious event, we found ourselves once more biting our nails watching a gold envelope being opened, but this time at a different awards ceremony – The Wales Business Awards.
It was an honour for SSi to not only have been nominated for a Wales Business Award but also to have been one of the finalists for the Digital Business of the Year category, listed among the brightest and the best in Wales.
Now in their 20th year, the Wales Business Awards (which celebrate ‘gold-standard businesses’ from all sectors across Wales) aim to reward the successes of businesses within the last year.
This year’s glitzy, Great Gatsby-themed awards ceremony was held at the ICC Wales in Newport on Thursday the 18th of May and was hosted by broadcaster Andrea Byrne.
Aran Jones, Catrin Jones, Dr Joanne Phoenix, Nick Prichard and Tom Cassidy represented SSi at the ceremony, taking advantage of the invaluable opportunity to network. We met with so many impassioned and hard-working individuals, who form the backbone of some of Wales’ most innovative businesses.
The evening was a spectacular success, filled with some amazing 1920s-themed outfits and music from the swing band Almost Modern Jukebox.
EatSleep Media was the very worthy winner of our category – a highly creative team of individuals who create cutting-edge digital content for a wide range of platforms. If you have the time it’s worth checking out their website!
We did walk away with a bottle of prosecco from the raffle, though, we only wish we could share it with all of you!
SSi is proud to have a long-standing relationship with Global Welsh – a superb initiative devoted to creating a global Welsh community.
Established in 2015, their aim, based on the belief that being Welsh is more than just geography, is to bring together Welsh people from around the world, and those with an affinity and love for Wales, in one online community. The objective of this community is to foster links, opportunities and connections with other global members.
Since their official launch in 2017, Global Welsh has gone from strength to strength, extending their community to all parts of the globe and strengthening their connections.
This month, SSi features in Global Welsh’s Business Spotlight Section. This great piece written by Bethan Payne focuses on our Non-Executive Director, Nick Prichard. Nick discusses with Bethan his journey to SSi, the company’s rich provenance, bespoke methodology and plans for the future.
A week or so back The Guardian ran a piece about the growth in the importance of Welsh language drama on our TV screens.
This article highlights a wonderful development, even if hard fought and over too long a time. It is one that SSi feels can really help longer-term language uptake of the Welsh language. So much so, we have been advising a Welsh production company, Triongl, who are experts in bilingual productions, Triongl used the first season of their show Y Golau (The Light in the Hall), to map the production processes, determine efficiency improvements and assess cast & crew needs for multilingual productions.
Then we worked with this knowledge to jointly scope out TriSSI, a digital tool to support cast and crew working on bilingual productions with a specific focus on back-to-back content.
The TriSSi platform will support actors working bilingually, encouraging those lacking linguistic confidence, at the same time as allowing the crew to film efficiently, correctly and consistently in multiple languages.
There is still a long way to go but we hope that TriSSi and all the positive developments around Welsh language TV productions will only increase their growth and importance further.
We are really happy that some course development films we posted were picked up by Nation Cymru last week.
Welsh is core to all that SaySomethingin does, but we realise that our methodology is suited to all languages. We have a long-term goal of creating courses for every language, especially indigenous or endangered ones.
To this end we are developing some pilot projects in Sri Lanka to help Tamil and Sinhala speakers learn each other’s languages and English.
We are working closely with an amazing locally-based charity called The Tea Leaf Trust, (https://tealeaftrust.com,) to train rural people to become teachers of our methodology so that they can help themselves become more self-sufficient whilst boosting their community’s overall employability at the same time.
To introduce the power of our methodology in our “Anyone Can Teach” programme, we teach Welsh, a totally new language to the pupils.
Imagine our delight when after an hour we have a room full of Sri Lankans speaking Welsh!
Check out the films and Nation Cymru article below:
SSi stands on the shoulders of the Welsh language. The history, beauty and plight of this language were the catalysts for inventing our unique methodology. Also, it is via the Welsh language that our methodology has, many times over the years, been tested and improved to ensure the best results.
We are immensely proud of the fact that our course is helping to strengthen the Welsh language, and that we have become one of the many building blocks which we hope will secure the future of one of Europe’s oldest living languages.
Being one of the building blocks means that we see ourselves as part of an ever-growing team of experts. From educators to marketing professionals, language specialists to government officials, we’ve become part of an impressive network of teams brought together to strengthen the Welsh government’s campaign to reach a million Welsh speakers by 2050.
Because of all this, we’re genuinely delighted to see SaySomethingin mentioned in the Welsh Government’s latest policy and strategy document Cymraeg 2050: Welsh language strategy action plan 2023 to 2024.
And not just mentioned, but described as an ‘exciting project’ – it’s certainly got all of us pretty excited! And we can’t wait to see the results.
In recent years SSi and the National Centre for Learning Welsh have developed a valuable working relationship. On the basis that the Welsh language belongs to all, we have formed a partnership which has begun adding new layers of language learning provision in Wales through some interesting initiatives.
To learn more about who The National Centre are, follow the link below:
Recognising that learning experiences vary greatly and that our neighbourhoods are constantly evolving, SSi and The National Centre have brought together the best of their expertise and experience to provide resources for individuals, schools, and localities throughout Wales.
We are already seeing improvements in how individuals from all generations and all cultural backgrounds are enjoying success on their Welsh learning journeys, which in turn will enrich our communities and workplaces and help reverse the language shift in Wales.
The National Centre’s latest newsletter outlines some of the inspirational initiatives we’ve been working on together. Follow the link below to read the newsletter, and learn more about the new resources provided and hopes for the future.
On the day that London was brought to a standstill by a tube strike and a huge march by teachers, doctors and railway staff, SaySomethingin managed to get to the point of their ire, the Houses of Parliament.
Our CEO, Aran, donned his best, even polishing his green Doc Martins, as we had been invited to a House of Commons reception for Sri Lankan High Commissioner.
Why should we be in such an important place and talking with such exalted, non-Welsh, company?
Here at SSi, in addition to our core belief in the importance of the Welsh language, we believe that learning languages can contribute to an individual’s growth in so many ways, emotionally, socially and economically.
We are currently developing Tamil and Sinhala modules, which are the two languages spoken in Sri Lanka. A local charity there, The Tea Leaf Trust, sees the ability for each language to speak each other and English as key to growth for so many.
At the reception, we met with important Sri Lankan officials including the High Commissioner’s Deputy who is keen to meet with the Welsh Education Minister to find out more about our Welsh language pilot within Welsh secondary schools.
Further evidence that wherever you go in the world, everything always leads back to Wales!
In addition to promoting the Welsh language in Wales (and all over the world,) one of the core purposes of Saysomethingin is to extend the use of its unique language learning methodology to other indigenous and endangered languages.
To achieve this aim we need to understand how to market ourselves abroad, who to partner with in countries we would like to work in and build a robust export strategy.
Fortunately, we have access to a wide range of expert resources that can assist us with these and many other commercial activities through the Welsh Government’s Business Wales initiative.
That is why we attended the Explore Export Wales 2023 conference at Cardiff City Stadium which was organised by Business Wales.
We were able to access top-notch advice around a myriad of export-related topics which, whilst not reading as an exciting top ten of subjects for the dinner table, are in fact vital to get right before we consider expanding our offer abroad – tax, IP protection, finance, trade agreements and training to name just a few.
There was also a chance to meet Welsh Government representatives who are based in the countries we may consider extending the SSi offer to. This local resource is vital to our building the right foundation before committing to any new language provision.
SSi went to a function earlier this week that served as a prelude to an exciting Welsh event to be held later in the year. We very well may attend, to demonstrate our e-learning platform to our Tech peers.
It is Wales Tech Week 2023, which will be held at the ICC, Newport, in October.
See for yourself at https://www.walestechweek.com
The presentation updated all attendees on how the event will promote Welsh Tech on the global stage through…
- Illustrating the scope of opportunities for Welsh businesses to embrace local Tech
- Building Welsh Tech talent – “from a talent pool to a talent ocean”
- Showcasing Welsh innovation
- Linking government, academia and business
A range of exhibitions, panels and specialist speakers are going to bring Tech to life around three key pillars…
- Tech for good
- Tech for the planet
- Tech for tomorrow
To further develop our distinctive language methodology, SSi aims to take advantage of the exciting opportunities being explored by the Tech sector. We want to increase access to the Welsh language so that more people may learn it when, where, and how they want, in the most engaging ways imaginable.
We also would love for whatever tech we employ to be Welsh Tech!
SaySomethingin celebrated St David’s Day in Dublin as part of a week-long Welsh Government Trade Mission to Ireland.
Following our desire to apply SSi methodology to indigenous and endangered languages, we enrolled on the Mission to explore possibilities with the Irish language.
The Welsh Minister for Education and Language, Jeremy Miles, was also in Dublin to promote the importance of increasing the use of Irish and Welsh languages. He visited a Dublin primary school that was teaching Welsh to its pupils and spoke with real heart about the importance of language in all aspects of culture.
We visited both Dublin and Galway and were fortunate enough to meet Irish language providers, bi-lingual universities and government officials that are the major influencers for the teaching of Irish at every level.
We really hope that we can work with these wonderful people to achieve in Ireland for Irish what we have done in Wales for Welsh. There is a long way to go and we have a lot to learn but we hope this mission is the start of a long partnership with our new friends in Ireland.
In addition to the meetings, we were treated to cultural events and musical performances that celebrated the Irish and Welsh cultures around St David’s Day.
The Dublin Welsh Male Voice choir sang to us, bringing many to tears. Then the Irish violinist, Aoife Ni Bhriain, and Welsh harp legend, Catrin Finch, combined to share some mind-blowing original renditions that received a standing ovation!
We must thank Export Wales and the Dublin-based Welsh Government Trade team that organised so much and looked after us so well.