Lost in the Welsh Translation

Oct 24, 2013 by

Welsh Bilingual Sign Lost in Translation http://tinyurl.com/5e37xw

Welsh Bilingual Sign Lost in Translation http://tinyurl.com/5e37xw

In Wales, most public signs are bilingual, written in both the Welsh and English language. Sometimes, however, the translation from Welsh to English seems to get lost in translation.

In 2008, the Swansea local council decided they needed a bilingual sign warning supermarket delivery trucks not to use a nearby residential road. A request was sent to a translator service for the Welsh version of the language needed for the sign, and the council received a quick reply–“Nid wyf yn y swyddfa ar hyn o bryd. Anfonwch unrhyw waith i’w gyfieithu“. The sign was promptly designed in English and Welsh and installed at the proper location–problem solved.

Er, not quite.

Welsh speakers soon noticed that the English and Welsh wording on the sign didn’t match up. “Nid wyf yn y swyddfa ar hyn o bryd. Anfonwch unrhyw waith i’w gyfieithu” translates as “I am not in the office at the moment. Send any work to be translated.” Embarrassed local officials had to admit the sign was mistakenly printed with the Welsh automatic e-mail response because no WELSH speaker had been asked to proofread the sign. Ooopsy.

Swansea’s red-faced blunder wasn’t the first in bilingual Wales and certainly won’t be the last. In fact, a group of Welsh speakers has set up a Flickr group just for signs with improper use of the Welsh language: http://www.flickr.com/groups/scymraeg/discuss/72157594294784528/

I’m glad to know that the Welsh language continues to gain ground in its native land. Here’s hoping that beginning Welsh speakers and visitors to Wales won’t get lost in the translations of the local signs.

image:http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/wales/7702913.stm
#Wales #Welsh #funny #Welshsign #Cymru #Welshlanguage

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