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Senedd Member criticises book company tweet saying Pembrokeshire town ‘was’ known by Welsh name

29 Aug 2021 2 minutes Read
Dinbych y Pysgod. Photo by Beata Mitręga on Unsplash

A Senedd Member has criticised a tweet by a book company that said that the town called Tenby in English ‘was’ called Dinbych y Pysgod.

The Wales Coastal Path UK account, which is run by Northern Eye Books, a Cheshire-based publisher of walking guides, received a barrage of criticism for the message on social media.

“Did you know? The colourful seaside town of Tenby in Pembrokeshire was originally called ‘Dinbych y Pysgod’ in Welsh. This translates to ‘Little Town of Fish’!” the account said.

Plaid Cymru’s Mabon ap Gwynfor compared the tweet to the Islwyn Ffowc Elis’s 1957 novel, Wythnos yng Nghymru Fydd (A Week in Future Wales), which visits a 2033 in which the language has died off.

“Is this a tweet out of the sequel to Wythnos yng Nghymru Fydd?” he asked. “Wythnos yng Nghymru Fydd 2049 or something like that.”

The tweet received over a hundred negative comments, with comedian and Radio Cymru host Tudur Owen responding: “Stop willing our extinction and edit or delete this shite.”

BBC Wales Today presenter Jennifer Jones said: “Please amend this tweet. It still is called Dinbych Y Pysgod in Welsh.”

Meilyr Morgan said: “The name in Welsh IS (not ‘was’) ‘Dinbych-y-pysgod’. With hyphens. Also it means little ‘fort/stronghold’ not town. I know you’re only the official coast path account, so you can’t be expected to get basic things right but, you know.”

Ifan Llewelyn Jones asked: “Is it a policy of yours to wipe us out of history as Welsh people in areas which you want to flog to tourists?”

Despite the barrage, however, the tweet remained up 24 hours later.

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Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
1 month ago

Typical colonialist attitude borne out of ignorance of anything other than English. With independence we can stop this sort of sh*t once and for all.

Llewelyn
Llewelyn
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve Duggan

I fail to see how independence would stop it? Im not condoning the text, being Welsh myself, but how would independence stop a tweet or publication saying what it wants in a different jurisdiction? Wales would have no more power than it does now to stop an offensive opinion, than England would in Wales under independence. Do you think independence would grant you authority about what someone writes in another country? I suppose you could ban the book in Wales but that then doesn’t make Wales a free country. So please tell me how independence would stop an an offensive… Read more »

arthur owen
1 month ago
Reply to  Llewelyn

Don’t you realise that independence would lead to universal happiness and no one saying anything the likes of Steve Duggan would disapprove of.

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
1 month ago
Reply to  arthur owen

Awe is that a promise Arthur? 😀

Elvey MacDonald
Elvey MacDonald
1 month ago
Reply to  Llewelyn

Independence did just that in the case of african countries. We now call them – and their towns, cities, etc. – by their proper names. Why would that not work for Cymru and our place names?

hdavies15
hdavies15
1 month ago

It might have done just that in Africa mainly because the colonial powers didn’t care too much about what they left behind as long as they had continuity in their commercial power over the newly “liberated” states. Here in Wales too many places like Tenby, Abbasock, Poolhelly, have a high density of full time or part time Anglo residents who can’t be bothered with things like proper place names. This is a problem akin to a “re conquest” where the colonialist experience is being repeated with a different modus operandi. That problem will remain until its front line advocates are… Read more »

defaid
defaid
1 month ago

The road signs for Dinbych y Pysgod probably also direct non-Welsh speakers to Tenby. Consequently GPS, satnav, UK national maps and guidebooks all do the same. Although it wouldn’t help with Mount Snowdon the highest etc or with Bala Lake, and certainly won’t do a thing for my special dislike, Lake Australia (which does really look like a charging bwch from the top of Tryfan), replacing the patronising bilingual road signs with correctly spelt signs solely in the local language might encourage our neighbours to use Aberdyfi, Abermaw, Casnewydd, Caerdydd, Eryri and Dinbych y Pysgod. After all, they can do… Read more »

Llewelyn
Llewelyn
1 month ago
Reply to  defaid

I would also add that only North walian Welsh should be shown on signs in supermarkets

Enough of being directed to Llaith instead of llefrith. Exit signs should say Allan not Mas.

Poini not becso.

Gogledd cymru am byth!!!

Cymraeg gogledd ar Bob peth Gogledd!!

defaid
defaid
1 month ago
Reply to  Llewelyn

I’m chuckling here. I’ll go along with that, simply because my parents came from opposite ends of the country and mother must have taught me to speak.

It’s llaeth by the way, at least on father’s side. Llaith means damp. There’s a tiny collection of houses not far from me that’s called Llaithddu. It’s usually pronounced Laethdee in a broad Radnor manner, suggesting that even the locals think it means dairy.

Last edited 1 month ago by defaid
Llewelyn
Llewelyn
1 month ago
Reply to  defaid

Yes, I know-autocorrect!! Grrr.

Vaughan
Vaughan
1 month ago
Reply to  Llewelyn

I have never seen ‘Mâs’ used on a sign.
Although I am from South Wales it’s not what I would expect either.
‘Allan’ is the standard form.

defaid
defaid
1 month ago

If anyone fancies setting the record straight elsewhere, the same mistake is made in their instagram account, @wales_coast_path.

Be polite, that might bring more success.

defaid
defaid
1 month ago
Reply to  defaid

The post is gone from instagram. It looks as though they took heed of the requests.

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
1 month ago

This error reveals a profound level of ignorance about the very subject they have written about.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago

A lovely photograph…

Cai Wogan Jones
Cai Wogan Jones
1 month ago

This account is apparently operated by a Tony Bowerman. Tony was commissioned by the Welsh Government (Natural Resources Wales) to create a series of Official Guides to the Wales Coast Path. Apparently, no one in Wales was considered up to the job.

Welsh_Sion
Welsh_Sion
1 month ago

 Apparently, no one in Wales was considered up to the job.

___________

Of course there wasn’t. Like the Scots, pace Johann Lamont, “We’re not genetically programmed to make these sorts of decisions for ourselves.”

Far more qualified to tell us natives what’s what are these bwanas, sipping their G & T’s on colonial verandas.

Last edited 1 month ago by Welsh_Sion
Welsh_Sion
Welsh_Sion
1 month ago

Could we ask the publishers what the English name for Dinbych-y-pysgod is?

I was under the impression that place names in -by were Scandinavian, an element retained in many places in the eastern parts of Englaland and modern day Norway, Sweden and Denmark.

Last edited 1 month ago by Welsh_Sion
Medwyn
Medwyn
1 month ago
Reply to  Welsh_Sion

The ‘by’ in Tenby is not ‘Sandinavian’. It is the equivalent of ‘igh’ in Denbigh (Dinbych) after ‘gh’ had ceased to be pronounced in English like the Welsh ‘ch’

Erisian
Erisian
1 month ago

Time to take back the original names of everything. Villages, Towns, rivers lakes, hills the lot. Oh … and definitely the House Names.

Llyn expat
Llyn expat
1 month ago

Doesn’t he have more important things to comment on as MS for Dwyfor Meirionydd? For example, there is a lake near Bala, in his constituency, that the BBC has, in an English language website article, referred to by an English language name. That was just the other day!

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