Watch: BBC World Cup commentator criticised over ‘Welsh pronounciation’ joke during Wales v Iran match
A BBC commentator has been criticised after making a joke about the perceived difficulty of pronouncing Welsh names.
Steve Wilson was commenting during the first half of the Wales v Iran game when he made the joke.
Steve Wilson said: “Speaking to a Welsh colleague this week who was struggling a bit with the Iranian Pronounciations.
“But I thought – if you can pronounce Welsh names you’re half way there.
“Iranians are a breeze compared to some of the Welsh place names.”
Ahh, C’mon BBC. Please do better. pic.twitter.com/TlVpdn7wky
— Aled ap Dafydd (@AledapDafydd) November 25, 2022
Some of those following the match online didn’t take kindly to the joke.
Rob Palmizi said: “Steve WIlson is better than that. Why have the pop at Welsh place names? Just unnecessary.”
“BBC commentator with a bit of ‘joking’ about the difficult pronunciation of Welsh placenames in comparison to Iranian names,” Nathen Amin said.
“Wait until I tell you about Leicester, Southwark, Bicester, Magdelen and the rest, pal.”
“Tired old stereotypes as usual,” Jamie Nelmes said.
Thomas Prosser wondered whether he “had dreamed” the comment, while Ceri Davies suggested that Gabby Logan should “have a word with him”.
“So poor. Need to change the approach to talking about other languages,” he said.
Duncan Brodie said: “Not only that but he introduced the observation by poking fun at a Welsh colleague who’d been checking out the pronunciation of Iranian names. Isn’t that what professional broadcasters are supposed to do?”
The criticism however came after praise for the use Gary Linker had made of the Welsh language in his coverage of the Welsh team.
The Llywydd of the Welsh Parliament, Elin Jones, had praised him for “great Welsh” after he said “Mae’n dod adref” (it’s coming home) during the coverage.
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TBH our place names are hard to pronounce for neighbours who have never taken even the slightest interest in learning even the tiniest bit of the language of their “equal” partners in the “union”, to the degree that we need to provide a babyish English “alternative” for them. It is alittle hard to take from a “profession” in a nation who have been confidently mispronouncing non English names and places for the duration of broadcasting. Case in point. Kyiv in Ukraine is pronounced EXACTLY as it is written, but every single English broadcaster have taken to pronouncing it elongated and… Read more »
Ви справдіірозмовляєте українською?
Київ = kyyiv
Saeson yn iawn yma
Просто хороший слух і доступ до українця
In absolute fairness, under the Cyrillic alphabet and in most standardised pronunciations,
Київ would sound more kerr-eve therefore keeve.
And yet as I have mentioned I a) Have an ear for subtle inflections b) Double checked with my Ukranian colleague who speaks the living language and doesn’t so far as I am aware study textbooks on it. There is the possibility that it is a regional accent thing. But both Volodomyr Zelensky and Vitalii Klitchko also say Kyiv not Keeve. AND YET listening to a few YouTube vids of Ukranians saying it just now, I also heard ku-yiv and curiously kru-yiv (so correction sort of accepted). But absolutely no “keeve” despite what this week’s troll Levi claims the textbooks… Read more »
I see Levi’s gone then. Guess another will be along shortly. Perhaps there will be a bumper crop of BANTAA(TM) monkeys along on the run up to the football match
Given the context, the following is very cheeky, so please take it in good humour. What’s with the definite article (“Y”) at the start of your Highness’s illustrious title? Fluent Cymraeg speakers aren’t going to worry about it — they’ll recognise it as either an honest mistake or some grammatical subtlety. But for those of us who are trying to improve, it’s most discombobulating. We have to get used to Cymraeg’s preference for genitive constructions over adjectival constructions (the opposite bias to English), but Cymraeg doesn’t inflect the genitive case, (English’s apostrophe-“s”), so we tend to misidentify Cymraeg genitive constructions… Read more »
Some people need to get a life- Steve Wilson was actually complimenting the ability of his Welsh colleagues linguistic ability
Whatever Steve Wilson’s intentions, there’s a pearl of wisdom in his words. If you live in a bilingual nation, you’re all the more able to appreciate other languages when you travel abroad. Bilingualism is good for everyone.
And the idea that Farsi is easier to pronounce than Welsh? He’s guessing that Iranians use English pronunciation rules when they write their names in the Latin alphabet, but perhaps they don’t. Other Latin alphabet languages are available!
It’s just a joke. When a country can’t take a joke it’s a serious problem, some people need to lighten up.
A joke based around ignorance has no merit.
Indeed, a joke constantly told and designed to belittle children so they won’t want to use it. Long drawn effort to eradicate the Native language of the Britons.
I have no doubt that those Machiavellian aims were never the man’s intentions. 🤯
It isn’t ignorance. Welsh IS very difficult indeed to pronounce, especially for non-Welsh speakers.
That is not ignorance, it is FACT.
No offence was intended and no offence should be taken.
It’s really not. Plenty of foreign people have no problem with it. The vicar from Gogglebox (Kate Bottomley is it?) is currently learning Cymraeg and she’s doing REALLY well with it. It is only hard if you have never made even the slightest effort. This is the point
“Just a joke”. The excuse of the offensive, everywhere. “It’s just BANTAAAA!!”
It WAS just a joke, and a mild one at that.
Welsh IS a very difficult language.
It wasn’t offensive. It’s merely FACT.
Stating that the Welsh language or any other language for that matter is difficult shouldn’t be offensive.
Using FACT in caps lends no weight to your spurious argument. Plenty of English migrants to our land take lessons innCymraeg and have no problems with it. Welsh isn’t hard FACT. Many English are lazy FACT. We learned your language FACT. You can’t be rrsed to learn ours FACT. So you mock it instead FACT. You are bad neighbours FACT
You are WRONG. i. My caps DID lend weight, otherwise you wouldn’t make a big cheesecake about it. ii. There was nothing “spurious” about my contributions. They were not “off the cuff”, I was just contributing my opinion, politely and respectfully. The fact that you disagree with me doesn’t make my opinion disrespectful. iii. I was not aware I was participating in an “argument”, I thought it was a conversation, i.e. a polite and respectful exchange of views and opinions. iv. You claim that Welsh isn’t hard. That is both subjective and relative. Whether the Welsh language is hard depends… Read more »
Massive response for someone who doesn’t much care. I could respond, rebutting in depth every flaw in your argument, starting with your definition of polite. But that would have to be an even longer even more boring post. So I’ll settle for this little dig
Apart from you no-one else has mentioned what happened 500 years ago, and so what if people mention historical facts that happened years ago.Of course people who get offended by the mention of historical facts will always retort it happend years ago get over it.I sincerely hope that people won’t be telling people to get over the holocaust in 500 years time. As for the war with Germany in WW2 it’s about time that people realised that the majority of German’s did not support Hitler so nobody should demonise a Nation over a dictator with an evil ideology. The only… Read more »
You need a good peltan
BBC and ITV are treating us like a bit of candy, something sweet aside from the main course of “the nation”. Apart from Wilison’s comment about pronunciation, note the obsession with the singing of Y Wal Goch, especially our anthem, or “the song” as one BBC journalist called it. We will have a few days build up now with lots of references to ‘EnglandWales’, ‘home nations’, ‘British teams’ and the like. If we lose to, or draw with, England, or if/when we are eliminated expect lots of emphasis on ‘plucky Wales’, and ‘will Bale retire?’. The broadcasters’ scripts are already… Read more »
Yes. Slated and hated before the match.“BANTAAA!”(TM). Patronised if we lose. Edited out of their memory if we win
We are ever so OVER-SENSITIVE in Wales!
The Welsh language IS difficult to pronounce, especially for non-Welsh speakers. FACT.
We need to lighten-up a little.
If the joke were about English pronunciation which is at times also baffling to non-English speakers, no one would make it political or nationalistic.
It’s a TRUE observation and merely a bit of light-hearted banter!
You’re a Unionist then? Oblivious to the history of English attempts to end our language? Never heard of the treachery of the Blue Books? Haven’t noticed the daily tiny humiliations visited on the language every day by the English media and the current government? Not noticed the various bits of legislation designed to undermine speaking our language? The withdrawal of funding from Mordor to S4C?
You may happily allow your masters to humiliate you. I know some people are into that. I’m not. I don’t think you understand what banter means
Just as a footnote, I couldn’t give a monkey’s about the Union. 😎
Oh well if you use the sunglasses emoji it must be true.
Typical low level gob s***e from yet another twp commentator. It’s bad enough that the vast majority of Welsh place names have been renamed so that foreigners can pronounce them without putting up with this rubbish as well. All place names in Wales should only be identified by their original Welsh names. All reference to the Anglo conversion should be removed. Snowden is Yr Wyddfa at long last. Its true identity.
And you obviously should be whinging this in fluent cymraeg. Then all us monoglot welsh folk could ignore you [just teasing]. Because amazingly not everyone in Wales speaks fluent cymraeg – it really is a very hard language for some people. I know, I’ve tried. I’ve been here nearly 50 years. I’ve learned some Arabic and some Japanese while I’ve been here and they were both easier for me to learn than Welsh. So I’m a monoglot english speaker, my kids speak school welsh, and my grandson will have welsh medium education. Nobody is seriously trying to kill welsh any… Read more »