Welsh roadsign carries email automated reply

By Mark O’Neill
Contributing Writer, [GAS]

A council in Wales wanted to put up a bilingual road sign saying “No entry for heavy goods vehicles” so they contacted their translation service to translate the text into Welsh. They emailed them the English text to be translated and then promptly got back an email with “Nid wyf yn y swyddfa ar hyn o bryd. Anfonwch unrhyw waith i’w gyfieithu.”

They had it printed onto the road sign right away.

“Nid wyf yn y swyddfa ar hyn o bryd. Anfonwch unrhyw waith i’w gyfieithu,” however, is Welsh for: “I am not in the office at the moment. Please send any work to be translated.”

Amused local residents phoned up the council and told them the precise meaning of what the sign said. Apparently the sign has now been taken down.

[Via guardian.co.uk]

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6 Responses to Welsh roadsign carries email automated reply

  1. If even basic understanding of Welsh is so rare amongst the staff of a Welsh council office that they need to use external translators AND they don’t know enough Welsh to at least be suspicious that it may not be accurate, then they should just admit its a monolingual English speaking nation.

    I am pretty sure that if the same happened in Ireland with Irish, or in New Zealand with Maori (just a couple of random examples) there would have been at least enough knowledge of those languages to at least have suspected that the translation was not correct, enough to justify a policy of dual language signage anyway.

  2. If even basic understanding of Welsh is so rare amongst the staff of a Welsh council office that they need to use external translators AND they don't know enough Welsh to at least be suspicious that it may not be accurate, then they should just admit its a monolingual English speaking nation.

    I am pretty sure that if the same happened in Ireland with Irish, or in New Zealand with Maori (just a couple of random examples) there would have been at least enough knowledge of those languages to at least have suspected that the translation was not correct, enough to justify a policy of dual language signage anyway.

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