Indigenous, Minority and Lesser-Used Languages

Indigenous, Minority and Lesser-used Languages (IML)

Lead Administration

The Welsh Government Chair the Indigenous, Minority and Lesser-used Languages (IML) work sector.


The rich linguistic heritage of the Council's Member Administrations is an important part of the culture of these islands. In recognition of the desire to support indigenous, minority and lesser-used (IML) languages, the topic was added to the BIC portfolio of work sectors at the third summit in June 2002.

The IML languages group concentrates on Irish, Welsh, Gaelic, Scots, Ulster Scots, Manx, Jèrriais, Guernesiais and Cornish.

Current Focus

The group are currently working on 3 key areas as part of their work plan:-

Social use of language (standing item);

Early Years; and,

Infrastructure / Technology/Economic Impact

Recent Meetings

The work sector held their IML Ministerial level meeting on the Isle of Man in November 2019, and translated versions of the Communiqués of this meeting are below. This meeting focused on three principal topics: Adult Learning of IML languages; Workforce Planning; and Social use of IML languages, including through the arts and digital technology. Ministers also received a presentation from the Manx Language Network which outlined the history of the Manx language and celebrated the work of those involved in its remarkable resurgence.  

In addition to holding regular officials meetings across the eight BIC Member Administrations, the work sector has organised seminars for policy makers and practitioners to help share good practice amongst people who work in the IML languages sector. Each seminar focuses on a different area of the work sector’s remit. A seminar was held in March 2018 in Belfast bringing together officials and stakeholders from across the UK and Ireland, a report of which can be accessed here. The group recently worked together to produce a playlist to celebrate the European Day of Languages which took place in September 2019.