Thursday, 7 February 2019

"Senedd Cymru" is already a compromise do we need an English translation?

I have often thought that when considering what we should call our Welsh Legislature we should have asked some Welsh Historian if there was an old word from our past that we could use in the same manner as the Irish used Dáil Éireann i

The name Dáil Éireann is taken from the Irish language but is the official title of the body in both English and Irish, including both language versions of the Irish constitution. Since the Dáil was first established in 1919, it has also been described variously as a "National Assembly", a "Chamber of Deputies" and a "House of Representatives".
dáil means an assembly or parliament, so a literal translation of Dáil Éireann is "Assembly of Ireland". Article 15 of Ireland's constitution describes the body as "a House of Representatives to be called Dáil Éireann" (Teach Ionadóirí ar a dtugtar Dáil Éireann).
In common usage, the word Dáil is accompanied by the definite article, but Dáil Éireann is not. So one speaks of "the Dáil" but not "the Dáil Éireann".
In fact The National Assembly for Wales  actual has a title  Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru and I wonder if we should have promoted  Cynulliad over the years to the extent that it could have come into common usage and we would not be even asking the question of renaming our legislator.

The English comedian Bill BaileyUsed to joke  about the Welsh assembly 
Right. Good morning. Later this morning we'll look at financial restructuring in the Rhondda, but first we've got a nice policeman here who's going to give a little talk on road safety.
Of course plenty of nations use the term Assembly including France use Assembly  (Assemblée nationale; )  to describe usually the lower) house  

So why not Cynulliad if we wished to emphasise a new era of devolution ? I suppose if we  were to see a Bicameral legislature  after Independence then Cynulliad could be used to describe the whole legislature in the same way.

The Oireachtas  sometimes referred to as Oireachtas Éireann, is the legislature of Ireland

 The Oireachtas consists of:
  • The President of Ireland
  • The two houses of the Oireachtas (Irish: Tithe an Oireachtais):
    • Dáil Éireann (lower house)
    • Seanad Éireann (upper house)

 A law renaming the assembly the Senedd will include an English explanation of the word's meaning, the institution's presiding officer has said.

The BBC reports that.
BBC Wales understands some AMs were unhappy with Elin Jones's plan to give the institution a Welsh-only name.
Ms Jones, who is in charge of assembly day-to-day business, said most AMs backed Senedd name, meaning parliament.
Welsh language campaigners accused her of "opening the door on giving the institution a de facto bilingual name".
However the Conservatives said a "fully bilingual name" was what they wanted, and the assembly should become "Senedd Cymru/ Welsh Parliament".
 A bill to rename the institution and cut the voting age to 16 in assembly elections is expected in the next couple of weeks.Last November Ms Jones told AMs she had decided the assembly would be given the "monolingual name 'Senedd' and that members will be referred to as 'Aelodau'r Senedd/Members of the Senedd'".
Some assembly members, including most Conservatives, were opposed to the decision, BBC Wales has been told. One said the plan had been "watered down".
An assembly source said there had been a "compromise".
In an interview with BBC's Sunday Politics Wales programme, Ms Jones said the name Senedd "seems to me to have the greatest support" among AMs.
"Of course, we are a Welsh parliament, we are a Senedd now, and we do need to call ourselves that," she said.
"Formally this institution will be called the Senedd, if the members agree to that legislation.
"The legislation itself will describe the Senedd as the Welsh parliament.
"Members, people in Wales, people outside of Wales who don't speak Welsh will of course be able to use the terms Senedd and hopefully that will become more familiar to more people.
"But of course it needs to be described as the Welsh parliament because that is of more immediate understanding to those people who don't speak Welsh.
"But over time the formal name will establish itself."Formally we hope to be known as the Senedd once the legislation is passed,"
Asked why the English description was being included, she said:

"I don't want people to feel unfamiliar with what this institution does just because we've given it a Welsh-only name."
But Osian Rhys, chair of Welsh language campaign group Cymdeithas yr Iaith, said Ms Jones appeared to be "opening the door on giving the institution a de facto bilingual name".
"Senedd is a name that the general public understands and supports, which is already used widely by Welsh speakers and non-Welsh speakers alike," he said.
"We call on Elin Jones to ensure that an English description does not appear in the legislation, thereby ensuring that the Senedd will have one name and brand that we can all use."
But the Tory leader in Cardiff Bay, Paul Davies, said his party "supports a fully bilingual name for the assembly" and "we believe that it should be renamed Senedd Cymru/Welsh Parliament".
"We are adamant as a group that, in the interests of full transparency, we should adhere to the original agreement made by all parties - in making the name understandable for both Welsh and English speakers."
You could argue that Cynulliad could have caused consternation in areas like the BBC where new casters  who seem to have norproblem with the pronunciation of a Croatian tennis player, but struggle over the name Geraint.

Recently UK Prime Minister Theresa  May even mispronounced Plaid Cymru  for god's sake.
Paul Davies knows full well (as does (Elin Jones)  that the media in particular will be using Welsh Parliament  rather than Senedd Cymru or even more important just the Senedd.

How anybody can have a problem in pronouncing "Senedd" is beyond me ? Indeed I would argue that that itself is already a compromise.

No comments: