Friday, 3 January 2014

A Blog from beyond "The Graves"

Plans to adopt the Welsh place name Y Farteg for the Torfaen village of Varteg have been scrapped due to "overwhelming" public opposition.

Torfaen councillor Richard Clark, who made the decision, said he had listened to residents' views before making up his mind.

Some villagers feared the community would be ridiculed if it was forced to include Y Farteg on signs.

Stuart Evans at Welsh not British points out the absurdity of the argument against translating the name

Of course al it does is show the  dominance of English and how there is a reluctance amongst some to learn the Welsh pronunciation  correctly.

There has been a improvement in recent years but elements of the BBC still have problems with Welsh pronunciation . Only last as the tragedy of April Jones was unveiled to us some of the BBC finest were struggling over Machynllech
Of course coming from Beddau or more rightly Y Beddau which translates as The Graves, I do not live in the most exotic  named place in Wales.

But even then, there's contrast I and the rest of the village pronounce it as Bayther and have been admonished by Welsh Speakers over this. who believe it ab Anglicization.

However I have been told by some one who knows that Bayther is old Glamorgan Welsh and perfectly correct.

And may of us wil say they come from "The Beddau" rather than just Beddau.

Indeed throughout Wales there are places where the locals pronounce their village or town name in the Welsh Dialect of that area and there is nothing wrong with that.  the locals in the Pembroke town of Newport who use the Welsh Trefdraeth prounce it very diffrently from the rest of us because they are using Penbrokeshire Welsh.

We do need to make it clear how to pronounce our local villages in both languages . There some pretty peculiar places in England whose name derive back to the local dialec rather than received pronunciation.

But maybe the residents of Y Farteg are lucky as I used to have French girl friend who used to breal out in hysterics when seeing the abbreviation of Shropshire as Salop "Salope" is better translated as "slut" than as "bitch". Bitch can better be translated as "chienne".

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Three cheers for local pronounciations, it all adds to the nation's vitality. As for Farteg - maybe we should get back to using a V in Welsh - why not?