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North Wales MS raises issue with recent UK Govt Welsh language blunders

05 May 2023 3 minute read
Inset: Llyr Gruffydd MS

A north Wales MS has raised issue with the Minister for the Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles in the Senedd following two high profile translation blunders by the UK Government.

Llyr Gruffydd, of Plaid Cymru said these kinds of mistakes send a “very unfortunate message in terms of the status of the Welsh language.”

One error by the Westminster administration, which came to light recently, was widely circulated on social media after being spotted on an official webpage about the oath of allegiance carried out during citizenship ceremonies.

In English, the oath begins: “I (name) swear by Almighty God.” The Welsh translation says: “Byddaf i (enw) yn rhegi i Dduw Omnipotent.”

However, the Welsh translation should use the word tyngu instead of rhegi. The difference between the words is that rhegi means to use a curse word, whilst tyngu means to swear allegiance.

The page was last updated in July 2022.

This came just over a week after the UK Government made a Welsh language mistake in its Emergency Text Alert.

The alert system is intended to warn the public about life-threatening situations such as floods and wildfires.

In the Welsh language version of the test siren, the word for “safe” was translated to “yn Vogel” rather than “yn ddiogel”.

The word “Vogel”, which means “bird” in German and Dutch, has no meaning in Welsh, and the letter “v” is no longer included in the modern day Welsh alphabet.

The correct translation would be “yn ddiogel”, which means “safe”.

Llyr Gruffydd MS said: “Everyone sees examples, some more unfortunate than others, of mistranslations or spelling errors from time to time.

“They can be amusing at first sight, but of course they do send a very unfortunate message in terms of the status of the Welsh language, when we see these examples being tolerated far too often.

“We saw the UK Government’s text message test claiming that they were going to keep us ‘vogel’ rather than ‘ddiogel’, safe.

“We also saw the UK Government’s website encouraging us to ‘rhegi i Dduw omnipotent’, rather than to swear an oath.

“But I’m not just pointing the finger at the UK Government; there are unfortunate examples across the public sector.

“Will you as a Government, therefore, write to public sector bodies in Wales just to encourage them and to remind them of their responsibilities in this regard, and to convey the same message to the UK Government too?”

Jeremy Miles MS replied: “I’m very happy to do that. Perhaps if there was less emphasis on complaining about renaming Bannau Brycheiniog, and more emphasis on accuracy, we might all be happier.”

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11 months ago

It all comes down to a serious lack of respect. Anything will do. Good enough…….but not good enough.

Ernie The Smallholder
Ernie The Smallholder
11 months ago

Another reason why must control all our laws, police, armed forces, economy, internal & foreign affairs and taxation.

This cannot go on where we are prevented from running our own country.

11 months ago

We are too self defeating of a people to demand we are treated the same as everyone else. Afterall, our job is to help Afghanistan and Ukraine right? Not Wales!

11 months ago

You or anyone else lose me when you declare them “Mistakes”. They aren’t!!! They are done in order to take the…insert (——) what is acceptable to people’s sensibilities.

11 months ago
Reply to  Riki

This what you get when electing to rely on A.I, or in this case artificial dumbness ! If they were scribbling in Russian a whole cohort of wonks would be scrutinising before releasing such garbage.

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