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Comedian Tudur Owen accuses Ordnance Survey of collaborating in ‘replacing’ Welsh place names

29 Jan 2022 3 minutes Read
Tudur Owen and the Ordnance Survey map

The comedian Tudur Owen has accused Ordnance Survey of collaborating in “deleting and replacing” Welsh place names.

The BAFTA-winning actor and presenter hit out at the British mapping agency for its response to criticism after a Welsh place name was changed to “Hakuna Matata” on one of its maps.

The farm in Gorslas formerly known as Banc Cornicyll is now registered under the phrase which roughly translates to “there are no troubles” in Swahili. It was popularised by the 1994 Disney movie The Lion King.

The change has sparked a furious response on social media, and has led to calls for legislation to protect Welsh place names.

In response to the outrage, Ordnance Survey said: “Thanks for your tweet. Ordnance Survey’s remit is to capture the names of buildings and places that are currently in use. We can confirm that this name has been inputted in accordance with our Names Place policy which can be found here.

Tudur Owen replied: “Sobering to know that If an individual adheres to their ‘names policy’ @OrdnanceSurvey will not only sanction, but will collaborate in deleting and replacing our place names. You are literally wiping our language, history and culture off the map. Yma o hyd?”

Map. List of Historic Place Names

The name Hakuna Matata at the address seems to have been in use since at least 2004, as Companies House lists a number of companies registered at the address.

‘Name change alert’

Rachael Garside, who spotted the name change, said: “*Name change alert* The farm in Gorslas formerly known as Banc Cornicyll is now registered as ‘Hakuna Matata’. Sut bod hyn yn bosib? How is this allowed? We need legislation to protect Welsh place names. NAWR.”

Plaid Cymru councillor Ann Hopcyn said: “Apart from historic names. Many Welsh farm names reflect their context and are an unbroken link with our forefmothers and -fathers. As with folk songs, they provide a living connection with the people who preceded us.”

Russell Elliot said: “When I moved to Wales, I changed the name of the house I bought, it was an old estate farmhouse after which the road had been named. I changed the name from Tanrhiw Farmhouse to Tŷ Fferm Tanrhiw!”

Jane Blank said: “Death by a thousand cuts. A language dies one word at a time, one conservation at a time.”

Glyn Morris said: “It’s pretty galling/insulting in that Hakuna Matata which was popularised in the Lion King is a Swahili word meaning ‘no troubles, or no worries’.

Social media expert Owen Williams said: “Today was going to be a good day. And then I read this and now I’m absolutely furious.”


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Andrew
Andrew
3 months ago

Every place named in the native British tongue is a living breathing fossil that describes who lived there, what battle was fought there, what ancient fort, holy place, Saint or chieftain, prince, princes, or holy man founded it’s existence. The ordinance people have been air brushing and deleting native place names quietly for many decades and you can see proof of this by comparing an old map with the most recent one. CADW do not even know of, or recognise many sites, preferring instead to focus on Roman and Norman foreign history. Many ancient stone’s cairns mounds etc have been… Read more »

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
3 months ago
Reply to  Andrew

After writing that you deserve a pint…

Cai Wogan Jones
Cai Wogan Jones
3 months ago

I disagree. Primary responsibility rests, sadly, with our own government, who stand in the way of legislation to protect historic placenames. It is not the role of the OS to protect our heritage and culture. That is the role of our government.

Last edited 3 months ago by Cai Wogan Jones
Rhosddu
Rhosddu
3 months ago

Here’s another recent example of an entitled BritNat colonialist like yourself maquerading as the victim. I didn’t want you to feel alone.

https://ansionnachfionn.com/2015/11/30/in-wales-they-speak-welsh-so-get-over-it/

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
3 months ago
Reply to  Rhosddu

If you ask many an English refugee why have you moved to Wales the top answer is to get away from my new neighbours…thanks for the link.

Last edited 3 months ago by Mab Meirion
Mandi A
Mandi A
3 months ago
Reply to  Rhosddu

Very interesting link thanks but I think we are being subjected to clickbait once again. Lot of made up profiles on this site to get us going.

Gaynor
Gaynor
3 months ago

Poor Popsie, obviously a bit mixed up today

Gareth C
Gareth C
3 months ago

Read Brian Freil’s play ‘Translations’ which deals with Anglicisation of Irish place names in the 19th century and the conflict between local culture and the ‘Empire’

Grayham Jones
3 months ago

It’s time for a new wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 we
In wales have got to stop being controlled by the English government kick all English party’s out of wales that’s the Tories Labour and all Brexit party’s start fighting for your children and grandchildren future in wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 get the people in your town’s out voting for new wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

ROBERT HOPKINS
ROBERT HOPKINS
3 months ago
Reply to  Grayham Jones

@Grayham Jones, where is Wales? What is Wales?
In our tongue the name of our country is Cymru, and in the English polyglottal tongue it the name of our country is Cambria.

GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
3 months ago

We need legislation against people from an occupying country changing our place names because they are too thick to learn.

GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
3 months ago

We need to change all our names back to their original language. Swaziland got rid of their colonialist name and changed it back to Eswatini and few years ago. So if they can do it along with so many other countries and place names, then so can we. Who gives a toss about giving tourists an easy time if it attacks our language and culture?

Monica Kendall
Monica Kendall
3 months ago

I think it’s hyfryd to have a Swahili place name in Wales – but OS should have alongside it the Welsh name – that is vital not just for historians but for the identity of Wales. I must read the guidelines that OS abides by because they are flawed and should be challenged.

Rhian Jones
3 months ago
Reply to  Monica Kendall

But are they using Swahili because of a deep cultural connection or have they appropriated it for financial gain?

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
3 months ago
Reply to  Monica Kendall

I have a Swahili/English dictionary but I’ve never seen a Welsh/Swahili dictionary…

Crwtyn Cemais
Crwtyn Cemais
3 months ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Ai ‘meddylfryd gwladychwr gwyn’ yw wir gyfieithiad ‘Hakuna Matata’, tybed…? ~ I was just wondering if the true translation of ‘Hakuna Matata’ is ‘White Settler’s mindset’ … ?

arthur owen
3 months ago

Of course Russell Elliot should just have restored the name Tanrhiw,I imagine that would have been the original name.

Mawkernewek
3 months ago

I know there are a number of house names of “Llamedos” about, however I don’t know if any of them have actually got represented on a map.
There was a lady in Penryn, Cornwall who named her house “Dun-Facebookin'” though I don’t believe it is an official name, and it doesn’t appear on the council mapping service as such. Apparently though she went back on Facebook after this though.

Mochyn 69
Mochyn 69
3 months ago

Enw ty go iawn yn Swydd Dorset ‘ Far Corfe’!

.

GarethW
GarethW
3 months ago
Reply to  Mochyn 69

gwneud i mi chwerthin !!

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
3 months ago

Hakuna Matata seems to be the trade name of the company, with the address originally as Hakuna Matata, Banc Cornicyll…
Banc Cornicyll was dropped suddenly, and they are now using their trade name as a place name. Totally disrespectful.

Richard
Richard
3 months ago

The history of map makers & cartographers across the Celtic and colony acquisition lands is one that reflects early empire building at its worst. From the days of John Speed through to the early surveys of the 16th to 19 century sees areas like Cornwall, Isle of Man 🇮🇲 and Scotland decimated by local survey agents attempting to map the names in communities by asking the local Anglo squires and their parish appointment clergy for their guesses and interpretstions of traditional oral usage. In Wales where Welsh was in daily use in most rural areas plus Welsh speaking parts of… Read more »

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
3 months ago

I find it’s a form of Welsh baiting. To innocently claim an error or oversight but it’s done deliberately to antagonise. It them saying. We have to power and you can’t do anything to stop us. The same mindset did similar centuries ago. Take islands around Wales. All named with Norse names by Norman scribes even though native names were used by us. Ynys Mon was changed to Anglesey for example.in the North and similar elsewhere in the South and throughout Wales with Skomer, Skokholm , Caldey etc… Saying that. Wales itself is a given name by the English that’s… Read more »

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