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Welsh language train announcements ‘incomprehensible’ says Telegraph assistant editor

22 Jan 2022 2 minute read
A GWR train at Cardiff Central station. Phot by Dai Lygad is licensed under CC BY 2.0

A Telegraph assistant editor has taken aim at the “incomprehensible” Welsh language announcements he hears when travelling on the train into Wales.

Christopher Howse was responding to a review by England’s Transport Secretary Grant Shapps with the aim of axing announcements in stations and trains deemed “repetitive and unnecessary”.

Howse noted that Wales, where transport is a devolved matter, was not covered by the “bonfire of the banalities” announced in England so would still have to listen to “lovely” Welsh language announcements.

“It is a relief to enter Welsh rail-space and hear pointless announcements in the ancient and incomprehensible language of that land,” Christopher Howse said.

He added: “I bet they make terrorists who have done their Welsh homework think twice before committing some atrocity.”

But he also criticised the pointless verbosity of many of the English language train announcements.

“Why can’t all rail announcements be in proper English like ‘Mind the gap’?” he asked. “Do the people who come up with them go to a special language school to learn Officialese by the immersive method?”

Announcements that are due to be scrapped in England include instructions to passengers to have their ticket ready when leaving the station, as well as public address calls to keep the volume down in designated quiet carriages.

Grant Shapps said: “Train passengers are all too often plagued by an endless torrent of repeated and unnecessary announcements.

“That’s why I’m calling for a bonfire of the banalities to bring down the number of announcements passengers are forced to sit through and make their journey that little bit more peaceful.”

Some announcements will remain however such as “See it. Say it. Sorted”, reported to be one of the more irritating announcements but one that played a key safety role.


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Syr Wynff ap Concor Y Boss
Syr Wynff ap Concor Y Boss
8 months ago

And some wonder why there is often ‘friction’ between us Welsh and the English

Grayham Jones
8 months ago

There no Friction just close all borders with England

Dave
Dave
8 months ago
Reply to  Grayham Jones

Have you considered learning to speak Englich!!!!…….LOL

H Jos
H Jos
8 months ago
Reply to  Grayham Jones

Well said, Mary, arbennig. A da iawn am beidio priflythrennu ‘welch’ yn wahanol i’r ieithoedd eraill.

defaid
defaid
8 months ago
Reply to  Grayham Jones

Well marie, that was about as illiterate and ill-educated a comment as I’ve ever read.

Well done.

wncomunco
wncomunco
8 months ago

There is not a tension in England as a valleys boy living in England the tension is from Wales.

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
8 months ago

Simples, innit? Don’t come.

Richy
Richy
8 months ago
Reply to  Kerry Davies

Someone’s had their head buried in the Sun newspaper for a few years. We depend on the UK Government that is £2.4 trillion in debt? Many smaller countries the size of Wales are doing very well thank you. In fact one you can hop on a ferry from fishguard to. Wales’ potential is being held back by a Westminster that is no longer relevant to the people of Wales. By the way I wouldnt ‘believe you’ if your words had been carved into a stone tablet on Mount Sinai.

Quornby
Quornby
8 months ago
Reply to  Kerry Davies

Groveller.

GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
8 months ago

Can anything that fat n***e wrote be classed as hatespeech?

Rhosddu
Rhosddu
8 months ago

What an fatuous remark that plants a racial slur in a pile of utter drivel.

GarethW
GarethW
8 months ago

Another pointless editor making pointless statements – yawn yawn

Erisian
Erisian
8 months ago

Any language you do not understand, especially one who’s roots shares little in common with yours is by nature incomprehensible. That does not make them pointless, unlike every comment from the Telegraph about anywhere other than the Home counties.

GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
8 months ago

Treating our language like its the foreign one when only 13% of the English language originated in England. Where are our journalists hitting back and slagging England off? Who the hell are they to criticise a language that is older than their god damn country?

GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
8 months ago
Reply to  GW Atkinson

The Anglo Saxons didn’t speak English and they weren’t a country.

Arwyn
8 months ago

“That land”? Britain mate. Britain.

Ignoramus. Anwybodus.

Cymro Cymraeg
Cymro Cymraeg
8 months ago

Tories evidently don’t understand the needs of blind and partially sighted people who depend upon audio cues. Disgraceful inconcidorate bunch of Etonion clueless fascists.

Phil Davies
Phil Davies
8 months ago

Surely they should start teaching the British tongue in English schools.

Tomos Gwyn Williams
Tomos Gwyn Williams
8 months ago

Would you also suggest that passengers not speak Welsh after crossing the border?

Paul
Paul
8 months ago

Dont think he said that. What he said was turn off the announcements when entering England. Pretty sure that’s what he meant. You can carry on talking to your mates n Russian if you like.

hdavies15
hdavies15
8 months ago

…..just like Welsh people should only speak English down the pub just in case a Sais pops in and gets offended.

Grayham Jones
8 months ago

Welsh is the first language in wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

Marc
Marc
8 months ago

I had the exact same problem in Belgrade, didn’t have a clue what they were saying, all the announcements were in Serbian!

hdavies15
hdavies15
8 months ago
Reply to  Marc

That’s why Blair was so keen to bomb the place !

Alayne Perrott
Alayne Perrott
8 months ago

As a learner, I enjoy listening to the Welsh announcements. Always very clear and enable you to get to the right platform/place in good time.

Quornby
Quornby
8 months ago

Is Schapps the donkey who carefully places his red box in view of the camera when doing a TV interview? Yes I thought so….. What a (pointless) plonker.

Last edited 8 months ago by Quornby
Paul
Paul
8 months ago

Someone complaining that a language they cannot speak is incomprehensible to them. While failing to acknowledge that is a feature of all languages.

Pauline Evans
Pauline Evans
8 months ago

Why? They don’t turn the English ones off in Wales do they, so why turn the Welsh ones off in England? Welsh passengers travelling into England don’t suddenly become English when they cross the border.

I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
8 months ago

Interferes with his Lah De Dah droning on the mobile?

GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
8 months ago

How many languages does he speak then?

defaid
defaid
8 months ago
Reply to  GW Atkinson

One more than Mary.

Twm Teth
8 months ago

Well mary it’s only 22 years since the last century and the use of the Welsh language is still on the increase, long may it continue, we are not living in the past but looking to a positive future of our language. I believe that any contribution to erode a language is an effort to destroy a country’s history and it’s heritage. You say you were born in Wales that’s makes you welsh aren’t you proud of your country of birth and want it to prosper as a bilingual country? Or are you in the words of Grayham a little… Read more »

Twm Teth
8 months ago
Reply to  Twm Teth

My post is a reply to Mary’s first post.which seems to have been erased for some reason.

defaid
defaid
8 months ago
Reply to  Twm Teth

Mary is almost certainly not Welsh and quite probably not a Mary either. The argument that speaking Welsh is a hindrance to education or career is a distinctive perception of the ill-educated stratum in England, which spans social classes. It’s not one I’ve ever encountered in Wales or even among Welsh ex-pats. Here, everyone, including monoglots, takes for granted that Welsh speakers are bilingual. Across the border, almost the entire population is monolingual (recent arrivals excepted of course). That is the perspective on which they build their prejudice. “Speaks Welsh” means “doesn’t speak English” and is thus a disadvantage. That… Read more »

Robert Griffiths
Robert Griffiths
8 months ago

The ‘I don’t understand languages I don’t understand’ genre of anti-Welsh language idiocy. Absolute mental

Liam Griffiths
Liam Griffiths
8 months ago

This article is lazy rabble-rousing and plays fast and loose with context just to get people wound up. He wasn’t criticising the Welsh language at all.

Annest
Annest
8 months ago
Reply to  Liam Griffiths

totally agree, just goes to show ready people from both sides of argument are far too ready to misinterpret information for their own agendas. Disinformation.

Rhosddu
Rhosddu
8 months ago
Reply to  Liam Griffiths

Yes, but what kind of a moron calls a language that they don’t speak “incomprehensible”? It’s perfectly comprehensible to some.

Julie Jones
Julie Jones
8 months ago

It was the broadcaster David Dimbleby who, several years back, popularised the notion that Welsh is “the incomprehensible tongue”, but certainly, in the eyes of the Daily Telegraph, and its Tory supporters, it is Wales itself which is “pointless”.

mike
mike
8 months ago

It is one of the great skills of we English only speakers : blotting out Welsh. We don’t hear it, we don’t see it. A marvellous natural skill.

Twm Teth
8 months ago
Reply to  mike

I agree with you 100% it takes great skill to be that ignorant no other nation does it better.

Annest
Annest
8 months ago

In fairness, he is positive about how devolved administrations have better grip on Rail Announcements than England, and find listening to “lovely” Welsh “a relief” despite being “incomprehensible”. Mae’r cyhoeddiadau yn ffordd o wych o wrando am dreigladau “o Gaergybi” “i Benybont ar Ogwr” , “a Phenarth” yn galw yng Nghaerffili”…..

Joe Mangan
8 months ago

Is there any greater ignorance than contempt for my neighbour’s culture? The higher the monkey climbs the more he shows his arse.

Finn Thomas
Finn Thomas
8 months ago

Don’t like it get out of Dodge smarty pants England loves you.

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