Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Nid wyf yn y swyddfa ar hyn o bryd

Wonderful story in the Times yesterday about an English/Welsh Traffic sign. The Taffy's insist that all road signs are produced in English and Welsh so when they needed a sign for “No entry for heavy goods vehicles. Residential site only.” the lads at the Council dutifully sent the wording off to be translated and received, by return e-mail the following message "Nid wyf yn y swyddfa ar hyn o bryd. Anfonwch unrhyw waith l'w gyfieithu”. The sign was manufactured and erected and that was the end of the matter.

Unfortunately it wasn't quite the end. “Nid wyf yn y swyddfa ar hyn o bryd. Anfonwch unrhyw waith l'w gyfieithu” actually means “I am not in the office at the moment. Please send any work to be translated.” it was the translator's automated out of the office message, in Welsh of course.

Obviously nobody in the traffic department that commissioned the sign spoke any Welsh, nor did anybody, at any stage of the proofing, manufacturing and erection process. They can't use the excuse that the sign was made by ignorant English people, because there are at least three Welsh firms that make road signs and I cannot believe that a Welsh council would send work out of the principality. Basically, nobody gave a damn, including the workmen who put it up.