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