"Well, there is only one piece of advice I can give you," said the wisest of wise men. "The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon."



('The Alchemist' Paulo Coelho)




Thursday, November 20, 2008

Siarad Cymraig?

I'm all for keeping ancient languages and cultures alive but I did think this was perhaps taking things a little too far. Welsh has been used officially for the first time at an EU meeting, when Welsh Culture Minister, Alun Ffred Jones spoke in Welsh to the Council of Ministers.
Several thoughts immediately occurred to me:
I would be extremely surprised if there are any Welsh speakers who do not also speak English.
I would also be extremely surprised if any non-Welsh people present at the Council speak Welsh.
In that case, why should it be necessary for anyone to speak in Welsh at this meeting?
Apparently, £841 million is spent annually on translation costs generally so who is footing the bill for this latest undertaking?
Silly me, I should have guessed:
"The extra costs of translation are being borne by the Welsh Assembly Government."
Translated into plain English, that means us - i.e. taxpayers in Wales.


10 comments:

  1. It's time to emigrate - back to England - a land flowing with milk and honey and in spite of our difficulties we do have the world's most wonderful and most important language. If you need a sponsor to guarantee your suitability for renewed English citizenship I shall be most happy to oblige...for a small fee of fifty guineas.

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  2. 50 guineas eh? Cheap at the price, YP. And will you also provide me with a house, free healthcare and lots of benefits? ;)

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  3. Nod-wink... plenty of benefits... Myffanwy!

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  4. He was just making a point, I suppose, and the expense of the taxpayer. *Sigh*

    Actually, I'm all for keeping ancient languages alive, whether Gaelic, Welsh, Manx or whatever. Personally though, I wouldn't have been insisting on doing so in that setting.

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  5. So am I, Jay, but, like you, I can't see the point of doing it there.

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  6. we are talking about politicians here so does a load of bollocks sound any different in welsh to any other language? is a translation reallt necessary?

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  7. Good point, Arthur. (I must ask Keith if he knows what 'bollocks' is in Welsh!)

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  8. Does the phrase 'I'm very needy..' mean anything to you ?

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  9. And your point is? Could we have a name, please, anonymous?

    ReplyDelete

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