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Petition launched to scrap non-Welsh place names

20 Apr 2023 3 minute read
The petition is calling for non-Welsh places names to be scrapped

A petition which was launched to scrap non-Welsh names for Welsh places has been picking up steam following the move to ditch the English version of Brecon Beacons National Park in favour of the original name – Bannau Brycheiniog.

The petition – which has been set up by Mihangel ap Rhisiart via Change.Org – was started in December 2022 and went fairly unnoticed, beginning with only a modest target of 200 signatures.

Since the move to ditch the English version of Brecon Beacons which even saw Downing Street enter the row, the petition has started slowing catching on and the target was been altered to 1000 signatures.

After hitting the new target, the petition was changed to an official Senedd petition so it would stand a chance of being debated.

Mihangel, who is a researcher at Cardiff University, said that the petition is in the “spirit of respect for Wales as its own nation” and explained that scrapping non-Welsh place names would acknowledge “cultural oppression historically inflicted on Wales”.

He said: “I had already created the petition and I think only got 50 or so signatures but obviously now am getting a bit more interest. I started the petition because I don’t think places in Wales should need two names.

“I do think there is an issue of colonialism, no matter how many centuries it might be since Wales was conquered and then subsequently made legally part of England.

“However, even without this the Welsh place names have existed for a lot longer than the English versions and there is no justification in saying that it is forcing the Welsh language on people because there is no need to be able to understand the meaning of the place names in order to simply say them.

“We don’t think it wrong to expect people to use names like Worcester and Loughborough even then there is no way of knowing from the spelling how they should be pronounced, and I certainly have no idea what they actually mean.

“At least with Welsh there are clear rules of pronunciation which mean the manner of pronouncing Abertawe or Rhydaman is easily known even without an understanding of what they mean.”

“Native culture”

The petition has been a cause for debate on social media with some commentators stating not enough of the population in Wales can speak Welsh to warrant altering place names.

Signatories of the petition had the opposite opinion with one saying there’s “nothing wrong with English people learning a little Welsh to get by”.

Mihangel writes: “This request takes inspiration from such places as Uluru, formally known as Ayers Rock, Toronto, formally known as York and now Eryri and Bannau Brycheiniog, formally known as Snowdonia and Brecon Beacons.”

UK Government ministers and Welsh Conservatives have been leading the backlash against the decision to rename the the Brecon Beacons which has been criticised as a symbolic attempt to look “trendy”.

The park’s management claimed the association with a wood-burning, carbon-emitting blazing beacon was “not a good look” and was the reason behind dropping the English version in favour of its ancient Welsh counterpart.

Downing Street said it expected people to carry on using the Brecon Beacons name and actions “rather than nomenclature” were the key to tackling climate change.


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Cawr
Cawr
10 months ago

YES PLS

Iago Prydderch
Iago Prydderch
10 months ago

There is no reason to have any English placenames in Wales. If people can cope with names such as Llangollen, Machynlleth, Dolgellau, Llanelli, Llanfair p.g., Llangurig, Caernarfon, and Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant without translations they shouldn’t have problems with any other Welsh name.

Windy
Windy
10 months ago

Let’s not stop at place names let’s say goodbye to street names such as foxes hollow and badgers bottom and make builders obligated to use welsh names for their developments and street names, come on local authorities get your heads out of the sand.

Llyn Expat
Llyn Expat
10 months ago

Why stop at place names? Surely it is oppressive for us in England’s first and last colony to have to use the oppressive English spelling of “Mark” in reference to our First Minister’s given name.

Cawr
Cawr
10 months ago
Reply to  Llyn Expat

Marc looks better anyway

Marc
Marc
10 months ago
Reply to  Cawr

Couldn’t agree more

Lib Dem YesCymru infiltrator
Lib Dem YesCymru infiltrator
10 months ago

Cymru is far too rich as a nation to ignore how Norman French (and Flemish) shaped us. How about we instead film a Welsh sheep dog with a red rosette picking 1 of 2 balls in a bucket to choose Merthyr Tudful or Merthyr Tydfil as the name henceforth?

Karl
Karl
10 months ago

Get the union flag out of your bottom, tory light lib dems, typical.

Drywbach
Drywbach
10 months ago

Lib Dim.

NOT Grayham Jones
NOT Grayham Jones
10 months ago

yes lets change everything to Welsh after all only 83% of the population do NOT speak Welsh but what does that matter to the 17% superior Welshmen and Women amongst us.

Karl
Karl
10 months ago

Oh so stupid a comment. I can’t speak Cymraeg, but I can read and learn place names in many languages. Same as I have done in Poland, Italy, France and much more. Your lack of morality and our culture is your own issue, not a language barrier.

Drywbach
Drywbach
10 months ago

Excuse me, your inferiority complex is showing.

Richard Thomas
Richard Thomas
10 months ago

These kind of things achieve nothing but give the media a good stick to bash the Welsh language with. Place names are just abstract, if people want to use a particular name over another they will do. Blaenau Gwent is full of Welsh place names without English equivalent; Brynmawr, Nant y Glo, Abertillery and others, the day to use and understanding of Welsh is negligible (when speaking to a friend of mine from Brynmawr recently she berated me for how I pronounced Abercynon, telling me I should have pronounced it “Aber-sign-on”). Prestatyn is just a transliteration from English, as is… Read more »

Gary H
Gary H
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard Thomas

Rockfield is in fact Llanoronwy. Some creeps couldn’t live with a bilingual sign so got toadying Welsh Lang Commissioner to claim it was antiquarian – but I still use the name. We need to boot people like this back over the border where they can enjoy being reactionary tory lapdogs.

Rhys
Rhys
10 months ago

Dwi’n siarad Cymraeg ac wastad wedi cefnogi ymdrechion i hybu’r iaith, ond mae’r ddeiseb hon yn wirion, ac yn hollol anfuddiol i’r ymdrechion hwnnw.

Am ffordd i dieithrio llwyth o bobl di-Gymraeg.

Peter
Peter
10 months ago

The British Isles has so many place names derived from a great many languages, Latin, Nordic, French for example as well as English and Welsh, it would be a shame if we lost that heritage just to cleanse the country of anything non Welsh.

Karl
Karl
10 months ago

Good, other countries don’t translate, why should we. Our heritage needs to be put back in its rightful place. Reverse the crimes of the past and let’s us be who we really are.

David Davies
David Davies
10 months ago
Reply to  Karl

What crimes?
Please can you set out the specifics?

Karl
Karl
10 months ago
Reply to  David Davies

Banning of of language , rape of our natural resources, while no actual union position. No symbolism on the Engish crown or fake union flag. It’s pretty obvious unless you are a lapdog. Cymru is hated and treated like a slave. Wales itself as a name is a slure. just like the term Welch ,and such. Educate yourself or get on your knees and take it,

Gary H
Gary H
10 months ago
Reply to  David Davies

Er… just invading us, belittling us for centuries and not allowing our kids to speak Welsh in school until huge swathes of the country lost the language.

Karl
Karl
10 months ago

Just deport you over the Severn, that’s cheaper

Drywbach
Drywbach
10 months ago

First the place names, then the streets and house names. Can’t pronounce it? Just ask or, even better, learn the Welsh alphabet because, unlike English, Welsh is phonetic.

Mr Williams
Mr Williams
10 months ago

Hwyl fawr ‘Rhos on Sea!’

Y boi Ifans o Felindre
Y boi Ifans o Felindre
10 months ago

Don’t they just hate the fact that *Cymraeg”, a derivation of the Brythonic language spoken on this Island of Britannia for much longer than this Germanic “Saesneg “. If only the Romans had not left eh! There would be no ingirluund as they would have stayed in Germania. Ymlaen Cymru fach!

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