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Welsh gone wrong: Council accidentally translates Skewen street as ‘Highlands of Scotland’

24 Sep 2021 2 minutes Read
Skewen or Scotland? Skewen by Aled Roberts (CC BY-SA 2.0). Scotland by Eusebius (Guillaume Piolle) (CC BY 3.0).

A Senedd Member has written to Neath Port Talbot Council after the English street name ‘The Highlands’ to ‘The Highlands of Scotland’ in Welsh.

The new sign on the road in Skewen, Neath which has now been taken down said ‘Ucheldiroedd yr Alban’ rather than ‘Yr Ucheldiroedd’ which would have been a direct translation of ‘The Highlands’.

The council said: “The sign was quickly taken down for correction after the translation error was noticed.

“The translation was carried out by translators who work regularly for the council. They have apologised for the error.”

Sioned Williams, Senedd member for South Wales West region, said she had written to the council.

The error was first spotted by University of Brighton Media Studies lecturer Iestyn George who took to Twitter to point out the error.

Remarkable signage work by Neath Port Talbot Council,” he said, adding that it was “Skewen not Scotland”.

The mistake drew comment on social media, with Ifan Gwyn Davies noting that “As typos go, this is a pretty big one.”

Others suggested Google Translate might have been used, but when checked by Nation.Cymru both Google and Microsoft’s machine translation service offered the correct translation.

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Keith Parry
Keith Parry
29 days ago

Hope they keep it “Highlands of Scotland”. Splendid name for street. They should change the English.

Hannergylch
Hannergylch
29 days ago
Reply to  Keith Parry

… Gàidhealtachd na h-Alba !

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
29 days ago

They’re too lazy to ask a Welsh speaking colleague somewhere in the building, so they take the easy option and do a google fail.

Owain Morgan
Owain Morgan
29 days ago
Reply to  Wrexhamian

In most cases street signs are made by English companies. I once saw a sign in Merthyr Tydfil say Church Street Y Reglwys 🙄😒

Gavin Lure
Gavin Lure
29 days ago
Reply to  Owain Morgan

Complete rubbish.

Of all the pathetic things to blame on the English.

The text on those signs is solely the responsibility of someone in Wales.

Ann
Ann
29 days ago
Reply to  Wrexhamian

As it states in the article both Google and Microsoft translate are correct. But! The Modern Welsh Dictionary (OUP) gives highland as ucheldir pl. ucheldiroedd then the Highlands as Ucheldiroedd yr Alban! So they did actually look it up but didn’t understand the context!

Pink lady
Pink lady
28 days ago
Reply to  Wrexhamian

Too lazy to read the whole article?

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
28 days ago
Reply to  Pink lady

No.

They could have had a correct translation easily, and straight away, if they’d asked someone. It’s obvious to everyone that they mistakenly relied on a translation off the internet.

Huw Davies
Huw Davies
28 days ago

I wonder how they’d have translated The Welsh Highland Railway?
Seriously though, does anyone use proof readers these days? It dosn’t loook loke it ti me.

Cai Wogan Jones
Cai Wogan Jones
28 days ago

Ucheldiroedd Ethiopaidd would have been more exotic. Come on Neath Port Talbot Council: where is your sense of adventure and romance?

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