Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Bad language

After recovering from my apoplexy induced by Vodafone mail I've spent a weekend away in Norfolk introducing the Brinksters to some dinosaurs, spending a day on the beach searching for crabs and digging for fossils and then fulfilling my paternal obligation surrounding them in military hardware and then letting them shoot things and get (tiny) gunpowder burns.

Meanwhile, back in Worcester Park, there seems to be plenty of opinion being voiced with the Sutton Guardian getting on its high horse about hand-written Council signs and then pointing out the typo in "Assembley Walk" in Carshalton and meanwhile Worcester Park Blogger, freshly returned from his holiday, has posted a well-measured response to the Guardian and chucked in a couple more points on top.

Picture and story from BBC News There seems little else for me to add other than to say that we've got a long way to go to catch up with Swansea Council who famously sent an email back in 2008 to their local Welsh translator with a phrase for translation "No entry for heavy goods vehicles. Residential site only", and then faithfully added the reply to the sign.

It was only once the sign had been put up that a proper Welsh speaker pointed out that what it actually said was "I am not in the office at the moment. Send any work to be translated".

Yes, it was the translators out-of-office reply and, apart from the obvious embarrassment of the whole thing to Swansea Council, it still begs the question as to the viability of the Welsh language as the sign would have had to go through several layers of design, approval and manufacture and it appears that nobody picked up the mistake at any point, suggesting that Swansea Council doesn't actually have any Welsh-speakers involved in that process.

I'd love to speak Welsh but I'm having enough trouble with Italian at the minute...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As it goes I am a WP resident, originally from Swansea who has family working for Swansea Council. I am also a welsh speaker and can confirm there are a lot of welsh speakers working for the council.

I remember when this first surfaced, more than likely to someone who just couldn't be bothered to check it.