BBC presenter apologises for ‘mangling’ Welsh place names

Nick Robinson. Picture by Tom Page (CC BY-SA 2.0)

A BBC presenter has apologised after “mangling” Welsh place-names when discussing the new coronavirus lockdowns.

Nick Robinson, the current presenter of the Today programme on Radio 4, was discussing the lockdown in Rhondda Cynon Taf.

“I’m going to have nightmares about this.,” he said on Twitter in response to criticism. “Many apologies for mangling Welsh pronunciation this morning. Must try harder on BBC Radio 4.”

According to John Dalton, the presenter’s pronunciation was closer to “Ronda Kinin Tarf”.

Dr. Wendy Dosset responded that “The mispronunciation of Rhondda Cynon Taf by Nick Robinson on the Today programme is disappointingly unsurprising, and indicative of the lack of importance assigned to poorer Welsh communities in the national discourse.”

 

‘Not bothered’

A listener, Gareth Davies, had asked how he would cope if there was a lockdown in “Maenclochogg or Mynachlogddu or perhaps Machynlleth or even Llanfairpwll?”

User Neil Asher added: “Not wishing to be overly critical, but this has always been a problem with the BBC – presenters get difficult foreign names and pronunciation correct but can’t be bothered to do a little research for matter closer to home. It’s never been Ronda!”

Another user, Phyl Brake, told Nick Robinson not to worry as there were many BBC Wales presenters who did not seem to have mastered Welsh place names.

“Sometimes I think they’ve been told to deliberately mispronounce Welsh place names,” he said. “Only yesterday on the BBC I heard Abbuh Vale and Runder Conan Taff.”

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