Welsh Bi-Lingual Signs

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by PaulHarding150, 15 May 2018 at 15:23.

  1. DelW

    DelW Member

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    [O/T, trivia] On a recent visit there, noticing that the Irish name for Irish Rail is Iarnrod Eireann (sorry, can't work out how to add accents), it occurred to me that the first word possibly means literally "Iron road". Can anyone confirm if that's right or is it just a coincidence that it looks similar to that in English?
     
  2. 158820

    158820 Member

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    You are correct but ród is not actually used as a term for road very much anymore. We use a different word (Bóthar)
     
  3. DelW

    DelW Member

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    Thanks, nice to know my guess was right :)
     
  4. berneyarms

    berneyarms Established Member

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    Hold down Ctrl & Alt Gr keys and the letter to add a fada (accent)!
     
  5. mmh

    mmh Member

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    Never is quite a claim - Wales existed before the Normans invaded and won the Battle of Hastings.
     
  6. Del1977

    Del1977 Member

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    These settlements didn't all exist at that time. Some of them are mining villages which didn't exist before the industrial revolution. And the older settlements - many of them - were places that were built by the Normans or onwards. It's a myth that every settlement that exists in Wales today had Welsh speaking people centuries ago. The reality is - most of them didn't even exist.

    Of course there will be many places with real Welsh names. I'm objecting to the pure fabrication of names to suit 20th Century and 21st Century Welsh language board requirements.
     
  7. craigybagel

    craigybagel Established Member

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    And even though outside the Gaéltachtaí (protected communities in Ireland, mostly in the West, where Irish is the primary language for most people) you're much less likely to hear anybody in Ireland speaking Irish then you are to hear Welsh in rural Wales - if you were to suggest cutting back on the language requirements (like bilingual signs and official publications, or the fact that education is compulsory for most children up until they finish secondary education) there would be a similar uproar, and suggestions of oppression.

    In both countries though, I'd suggest it really is a distraction from much more important issues, and I hope we see something more tangible at the new W&B franchise then just a push to do more things in Welsh.


    Off topic I know, but any particular reason you picked that particular unit for your user name?
     
  8. Gareth Marston

    Gareth Marston Established Member

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    Here in Newtown we claim to be the original"Newtown" as it was a settlement built by the Mortimer family after Edward l had foricbly taken control over the cantrefs of Cadewain and Ceri At the end of the 13th Century.

    Further back in history the capital of the ancient Welsh Kingdom of Powys was at Wroxeter modern day Shropshire. Many places in west Shropshire have historic Welsh names as they were once Welsh.

    The made up by Powys CC Welsh name for the street that joins our is regularly rubbed out.
     
  9. Gwenllian2001

    Gwenllian2001 Member

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    Most of the villages concerned with mining etc would have taken their names from the farms on which they were built. Anywhere with Tre or Tref in the name would originally have referred to a home farm. In England the same often applies. The railway town of Crewe took its name from a farm.
     
  10. Del1977

    Del1977 Member

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    I've no objection to Treherbert (Herbert's town) being a mix etc. It's when there are places like Wrexham, (Wrecsam) that I find it irritating.
     
  11. Gwenllian2001

    Gwenllian2001 Member

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    What is irritating about it? There is no 'X' in
    Why would you find it irritating? There is no 'X' in the Welsh alphabet. Welsh is a phonetic language, unlike English, which is full of traps for the unwary. If you find Welsh irritating don't ever go to Poland.
     
  12. jj1314

    jj1314 Member

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    Ha, very good!
     
  13. Del1977

    Del1977 Member

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    I know there is no X. I am Welsh. Was born in Wales, grew up in Wales, did Welsh as a second language GCSE. My objection to 'Wrecsam' is that there is no Welsh name for Wrexham so one has been made up, which is essentially the English name, with Welsh lettering.
     
  14. Gareth Marston

    Gareth Marston Established Member

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    Let's live in the real world no amount of Welsh language is going to provide better quality and quantity rolling stock, electrify lines, upgrade stations, address ticketing issues etc and it certainly won't do anything between Abergavenny and Manchester, Chester and Manchester and Gobowen and Birmingham International where the franchise needs the English £ to work.
     
  15. transmanche

    transmanche Established Member

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    My guess (from the 'ham' suffix in Wrexham) is that the name is of Saxon origin.

    But transliterating the 'English' name into Welsh is no different to how many Welsh place names were transliterated into English. Aberdyfi/Aberdovey, Conwy/Conway, Tywyn/Towyn, Rhiwabon/Ruabon all immediately spring to mind.
     
  16. Gwenllian2001

    Gwenllian2001 Member

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    Neither is any amount of 'world class' English language rhetoric emanating from the Welsh Government going to change things for the better. Quite what the Welsh language has to do with the current debacle ( a bit of French there, in case anyone is offended) is beyond me. The Minister responsible for the present debacle (French again) is not a Welsh speaker as far as I know. If you don't like the Welsh language just say so, don't use it as a reason to despair of the present cock up. It has nothing to do with language but all to do with incompetence.
     
  17. mmh

    mmh Member

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    Can you give some examples? There've been a few examples given already of transliteration between the English and Welsh alphabets. For example, Wrexham -> Wrecsam. I'll give you that "Wrecsam" is very questionable - it's almost unpronouncable if you tried to as if it was actually Welsh. Keeping to railway towns in North Wales, Flint station's "Fflint" or "Y Fflint" signs aren't going to be defended by anyone. Going further though, Conway and Carnarvon were English transliterations of Welsh names. It works both ways.

    This isn't restricted to Wales, many placenames in English in Scotland are transliterations from Gaelic.

    Lets not mention Cologne or Munich, I guess.
     
  18. mmh

    mmh Member

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    Exactly, anyone who thinks language is relevant to what train services Wales needs will hopefully defenistrate themelves through their nearest ffenestr, fenetre or fenster. Four languages, the words all have the same same (I think) Latin root.
     
  19. Del1977

    Del1977 Member

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    The preoccupation with Welsh signage is indicative of a wider mindset informing policy decisions.

    An obvious example being the Holyhead to Cardiff Premier Service.
     
  20. krus_aragon

    krus_aragon Established Member

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    I put off weighing-in on this debate yesterday, but I've decided to do so today.

    The differences in orthography (what letters you use to represent a sound) between English and Welsh mean that you will often end up with different spellings for a placename which sounds identical in both languages. This has happened in both directions (Carnarvon was derived from the Welsh, Fflint from the English) and sometimes more than once (current belief is that Caerdydd came from the English Cardiff, which came from the presumed Welsh Caerdaf).

    Policy for employing Cambricisations of non-Welsh place names in the world is anything but fixed: see this page for a listing of what three bodies (and Wikipedia) call the countries of the world. Sometimes the foreign name is adopted exactly, sometimes transliterated, sometimes translated.

    Some placenames outside Wales (e.g. Liverpool, Manchester, Germany) have Welsh names that are commonly used today (Lerpwl, Manceinion, Yr Almaen) that were not used at all in 19th century newspapers: they'd insert the English name in italics. Others have Welsh names that date back to antiquity (London/Llundain). It should be remembered that this was at a time when all formal education was through the medium of English: the only Welsh-medium education was within the Sunday School movement, where you'd only expect to learn about the geography of places named in the Bible.

    In those same Welsh newspapers, Wrexham would have been referred to as Gwrecsam: it's not a modern revision (as for example Port Madocks -> Portmadoc -> Porthmadog). Both names apparently derive from Wristlesham, the name used about 900 years ago.

    Both translations and transliterations can cause consternation among locals: Transliterations of Sully and Varteg have suffered from pushback in South Wales, as did a literal translation of Valley on Anglesey to Y Dyffryn. In the latter case, residents preferred the transliteration Y Fali instead. (Y Farteg wasn't as well received!) The origin of the name Valley isn't universally agreed upon, but I understand it to be based on the Irish Baile/Bally when navvies were camped there building the Chester and Holyhead Railway.

    See? I managed to steer the thread back toward railways in the end!
     
  21. Gareth Marston

    Gareth Marston Established Member

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    This is more of a public sector tail wagging the dog scenario. Public sector bodies have lots of reasons to send their staff to Cardiff and its a priority for them, the vast majority of ordinary people who live in North Wales don't have week in week out reasons to do it. However the pubic sector is better set up to lobby Welsh Government than the general public. So the whole thing gets skewed with over provision of direct services to a minor destinations which then puts off the bulk of people from using rail as the trains don't go where they want. The ultimate expression being the Welsh Governments aspiration for an hourly service from Cardiff to Holyhead.

    From 2002 until March 2016 I worked for the public sector journeys to Cardiff probably numbered well over hundred in that period. I have gone to Cardiff once since then....
     
  22. WelshBluebird

    WelshBluebird Established Member

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    But all place names are made up, regardless of which language they are in!
     
  23. Bwlch y Groes

    Bwlch y Groes Member

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    If Wrecsam being adapted from Wrexham is not acceptable, then surely Cardiff being adapted from Caerdydd isn't either - Cardiff only came about as a name because English people can't pronounce Welsh ae and dd ;)
     
  24. Gareth Marston

    Gareth Marston Established Member

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    I have no problem with the Welsh Language however I do have deep concerns that the current political class in Wales are blurring the lines between celebration/promotion of the language and imposition of it. A you know the Welsh economy as a whole has stagnated for 20 years and Education where Wales was once well placed in the UK has gone backwards. Local Authorities struggling with budgets, falling standards and recruiting quality staff are increasingly being distracted by the requirement to have Welsh Language schools in English speaking areas and anecdotally these schools seem to get priority over funding for others. Furthermore all new Deputy's and Heads are now required to be Welsh speaking effectively blocking career progression for anyone who isn't. Only recruiting into the top jobs from 15 to 20 percent of your population is a recipe for disaster unsurprisingly any quality younger English only speaking teachers are leaving or not even bothering to work in Wales.

    What we certainly don't need in Wales is the general incompetence on rail being compounded by some form of unnecessary counterproductive Welsh Language imposition.
     
  25. algytaylor

    algytaylor Member

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    Was just about to make the same point :)

    Nothing at all wrong with renaming places with English names, in Welsh. Wrexham is a perfect example of why you should do that, since you can't actually write the English form in Welsh (there not being an "X" in the Welsh alphabet). What ya meant to do, write "dw i'n bwy yn wre ham"?
     
  26. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    There aren't accented characters in English, but when writing a German or French place name that has an accent and no English version it is correct to write the accent anyway (unless, in German, you prefer to use the alternative of ae/oe/ue/ss). I've always taken the view that you shouldn't translate a name. And the partially translated "Bayern Munich" has always struck me as utterly bizarre, FWIW.
     
    Last edited: 17 May 2018 at 12:33
  27. 36270k

    36270k Member

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    A couple of decades ago when doing a project at Cardiff for bi-lingual timetables and posters , no one could agree what the welsh for Bristol Parkway was .
     
  28. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    One advantage of German is that there's a substitute form for all the accented/special characters. "Muenchen" is a perfectly valid form even in German if you can't do a U-umlaut for whatever reason.

    Translating English place names in that manner is in my view just confusing and silly. There is not a single person in Wales who doesn't know where "Manchester" is, but there are plenty of tourists who will be very confused by "Manceinon" or whatever it is, perhaps thinking it's a different place with the train portion-worked, made worse by the fact that ATW seem to be totally incapable of properly representing portion working (i.e. using the standard "place 1 &" "& place 2") on their station PIS.
     
  29. mmh

    mmh Member

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    It's not a massive leap from that argument to "There's not a single person in Wales who doesn't know where Cardiff is, take all those Caerdydd signs down, and while you're at it they all understand Slow too, so just paint that on the roads. What a waste of money!".

    Really, people who don't speak Welsh get confused by seeing a word they've not seen before? I don't think people are that stupid, they will just think either "oh, that's in Welsh, I'll wait for the English to appear" or assume Manceinion is some Welsh town they've never heard of.

    As examples, the departure boards at Llandudno, Llandudno Junction and Bangor (at least) alternate between a list of departures in Welsh and the list in English. No-one gets very confused. At Euston, Holyhead trains are displayed as going to "Holyhead Caergybi" (as if Caergybi was a station suffix like Victoria), it causes no problems at all.
     
  30. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    It's a *massive* leap, because Cardiff is in Wales and Manchester is not.
     

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