"Welsh first" bilingual signs in South Wales

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Re: "Welsh first" bilingual signs in South Wales

Post by Chris Bertram » Thu Sep 16, 2021 11:46

I don't think it's particularly controversial to observe that English is taught and understood across the world, while Welsh is not.
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Re: "Welsh first" bilingual signs in South Wales

Post by ajuk » Thu Sep 16, 2021 11:51

I think there's a good chance that there are more Polish people in Wales that can read Polish but not English well than there are Welsh speakers who can't read English well.

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Re: "Welsh first" bilingual signs in South Wales

Post by Steven » Thu Sep 16, 2021 12:03

ajuk wrote:
Thu Sep 16, 2021 11:51
I think there's a good chance that there are more Polish people in Wales that can read Polish but not English well than there are Welsh speakers who can't read English well.
Unfortuanately for this round of English cultural imperialism, Welsh is an official language of Wales with protections in law. Attempting to compare it to another language is false equivalence.

However, this does remind me of certain groups of people complaining that, say, NHS leaflets and posters sometimes carry several non-English languages such as Urdu, Punjabi or Polish.
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Re: "Welsh first" bilingual signs in South Wales

Post by Chris Bertram » Thu Sep 16, 2021 12:06

Steven wrote:
Thu Sep 16, 2021 12:03
ajuk wrote:
Thu Sep 16, 2021 11:51
I think there's a good chance that there are more Polish people in Wales that can read Polish but not English well than there are Welsh speakers who can't read English well.
Unfortuanately for this round of English cultural imperialism, Welsh is an official language of Wales with protections in law. Attempting to compare it to another language is false equivalence.
From the POV of a Bulgarian truck driver, that has limited relevance.
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Re: "Welsh first" bilingual signs in South Wales

Post by Steven » Thu Sep 16, 2021 12:08

Chris Bertram wrote:
Thu Sep 16, 2021 12:06
Steven wrote:
Thu Sep 16, 2021 12:03
ajuk wrote:
Thu Sep 16, 2021 11:51
I think there's a good chance that there are more Polish people in Wales that can read Polish but not English well than there are Welsh speakers who can't read English well.
Unfortuanately for this round of English cultural imperialism, Welsh is an official language of Wales with protections in law. Attempting to compare it to another language is false equivalence.
From the POV of a Bulgarian truck driver, that has limited relevance.
From the POV of a Welsh one, it has every relevance.

And it's the national language(s) of the location of the country that signage appears in, so the theoretical Bulgarian truck driver is completely irrelevant, as they probably don't speak any of Romanian, Serbo-Croat, Czech, German, French, Flemish or Dutch, at least some of which they would have encountered before entering Wales. It is pure English exceptionalism to bring up such nonsense.
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Re: "Welsh first" bilingual signs in South Wales

Post by exiled » Thu Sep 16, 2021 12:32

Steven wrote:
Thu Sep 16, 2021 12:08
From the POV of a Welsh one, it has every relevance.

And it's the national language(s) of the location of the country that signage appears in, so the theoretical Bulgarian truck driver is completely irrelevant, as they probably don't speak any of Romanian, Serbo-Croat, Czech, German, French, Flemish or Dutch, at least some of which they would have encountered before entering Wales. It is pure English exceptionalism to bring up such nonsense.
Said Bulgarian driver will also likely have passed through Hungary, with Hungarian being the only language on the signs and not related to most of the other languages of Europe.

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Re: "Welsh first" bilingual signs in South Wales

Post by Osthagen » Thu Sep 16, 2021 12:44

Steven wrote:
Thu Sep 16, 2021 12:03
Unfortuanately for this round of English cultural imperialism, Welsh is an official language of Wales with protections in law. Attempting to compare it to another language is false equivalence.

However, this does remind me of certain groups of people complaining that, say, NHS leaflets and posters sometimes carry several non-English languages such as Urdu, Punjabi or Polish.
Myself, I have no reservations about Welsh appearing on roadsigns, in view of the legal situation regarding Welsh and English in Wales. What would be helpful, however, is if Welsh and English were distinguished from each other in font as a means to make signs appear less confusing.

In no way does this compromise the co-official status of Welsh. The Republic of Ireland puts Irish Gaelic text in italics on roadsigns, and the status of that language in the ROI is identical to Welsh in Wales.
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Re: "Welsh first" bilingual signs in South Wales

Post by Chris Bertram » Thu Sep 16, 2021 13:04

Osthagen wrote:
Thu Sep 16, 2021 12:44
Steven wrote:
Thu Sep 16, 2021 12:03
Unfortuanately for this round of English cultural imperialism, Welsh is an official language of Wales with protections in law. Attempting to compare it to another language is false equivalence.

However, this does remind me of certain groups of people complaining that, say, NHS leaflets and posters sometimes carry several non-English languages such as Urdu, Punjabi or Polish.
Myself, I have no reservations about Welsh appearing on roadsigns, in view of the legal situation regarding Welsh and English in Wales. What would be helpful, however, is if Welsh and English were distinguished from each other in font as a means to make signs appear less confusing.

In no way does this compromise the co-official status of Welsh. The Republic of Ireland puts Irish Gaelic text in italics on roadsigns, and the status of that language in the ROI is identical to Welsh in Wales.
It's a solution that has been suggested many times, but seems not to be acceptable to all interests. But if we accept that road signage should be based on utility first and foremost, then the areas where English is the predominant language ought to have that on the signs first. It's a political decision, not a practical one to do the opposite.
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Re: "Welsh first" bilingual signs in South Wales

Post by Enceladus » Thu Sep 16, 2021 13:30

I am delighted to hear that “Welsh first” bilingual road signage will become the standard policy for Wales. The Welsh are very proud of their language - and rightly so.

In fact, given 1,000 years of oppression, colonisation and integration with England, and the obvious Anglicisation of much of Wales, it is fantastic that the Welsh language not only survives, but thrives in parts of Wales as a living language. I also believe that there has been a revival over the past 30 years of Welsh beyond its stronghold of North Wales.

Here in Ireland, a century of trying to wind the clock back 250 years and make Irish the daily language has failed utterly, and even the Irish speaking Gaeltacht areas in the West are shrinking to the extent that there will be little to no daily Irish spoken by 2050 is saddening. That said, education of Irish children through the Gaelscoileanna is thriving.

Personally, I hated Irish as a kid in school (it’s compulsory all the way to Leaving Cert) and the way it was taught (the God awful book “Peig” comes to mind) but I am still very proud of our heritage, culture and native language. I know languages evolve and die, but in the face of the ubiquitous English it is nice to have our own language survive.

I agree with Owain that it would be very confusing for certain signage to be in Welsh, but place names should be fine - and I also prefer the Scottish policy of a different colour but similar font for Scottish Gaelic and English. I never much liked the italicised Irish Gaelic on our post 1989 road signs.

Prior to 1989, the Irish language was in a slightly smaller font but the same style as English. You can still see it in a couple of very old surviving 1970s and 1980s Worboys style National Primary route signs.

Seems like a few English here - and perhaps some very Anglicised Welsh too - are being rather put out at this policy direction. :twisted: :)
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Re: "Welsh first" bilingual signs in South Wales

Post by Steven » Thu Sep 16, 2021 14:12

Chris Bertram wrote:
Thu Sep 16, 2021 13:04
It's a solution that has been suggested many times, but seems not to be acceptable to all interests. But if we accept that road signage should be based on utility first and foremost, then the areas where English is the predominant language ought to have that on the signs first. It's a political decision, not a practical one to do the opposite.
Actually, that's a political decision to work that way with local Highway Authorities making political decisions for themselves, plus the Welsh Government (on Trunk Roads) potentially making a different decision on their network.

The practical decision is consistency of approach across Wales, which is exactly the situation we have today.
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Re: "Welsh first" bilingual signs in South Wales

Post by bothar » Thu Sep 16, 2021 14:41

Chris Bertram wrote:
Thu Sep 16, 2021 13:04
It's a solution that has been suggested many times, but seems not to be acceptable to all interests. But if we accept that road signage should be based on utility first and foremost, then the areas where English is the predominant language ought to have that on the signs first. It's a political decision, not a practical one to do the opposite.
Signs are not for people in an area, who know where they are going, There is no utility in having to know what is the main language in an area to know in which order a sign appears. Use a standard order everywhere.
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Re: "Welsh first" bilingual signs in South Wales

Post by Chris Bertram » Thu Sep 16, 2021 18:15

bothar wrote:
Thu Sep 16, 2021 14:41
Chris Bertram wrote:
Thu Sep 16, 2021 13:04
It's a solution that has been suggested many times, but seems not to be acceptable to all interests. But if we accept that road signage should be based on utility first and foremost, then the areas where English is the predominant language ought to have that on the signs first. It's a political decision, not a practical one to do the opposite.
Signs are not for people in an area, who know where they are going, There is no utility in having to know what is the main language in an area to know in which order a sign appears. Use a standard order everywhere.
Well, I could point out what the language of most non-locals is likely to be, but that would probably be the "wrong" answer for a lot of people on this thread.
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Re: "Welsh first" bilingual signs in South Wales

Post by Chris Bertram » Thu Sep 16, 2021 18:17

Steven wrote:
Thu Sep 16, 2021 14:12
Chris Bertram wrote:
Thu Sep 16, 2021 13:04
It's a solution that has been suggested many times, but seems not to be acceptable to all interests. But if we accept that road signage should be based on utility first and foremost, then the areas where English is the predominant language ought to have that on the signs first. It's a political decision, not a practical one to do the opposite.
Actually, that's a political decision to work that way with local Highway Authorities making political decisions for themselves, plus the Welsh Government (on Trunk Roads) potentially making a different decision on their network.

The practical decision is consistency of approach across Wales, which is exactly the situation we have today.
It's a political decision to put the language of the minority first. That is all.
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Re: "Welsh first" bilingual signs in South Wales

Post by exiled » Thu Sep 16, 2021 19:04

Chris Bertram wrote:
Thu Sep 16, 2021 18:17
Steven wrote:
Thu Sep 16, 2021 14:12
Chris Bertram wrote:
Thu Sep 16, 2021 13:04
It's a solution that has been suggested many times, but seems not to be acceptable to all interests. But if we accept that road signage should be based on utility first and foremost, then the areas where English is the predominant language ought to have that on the signs first. It's a political decision, not a practical one to do the opposite.
Actually, that's a political decision to work that way with local Highway Authorities making political decisions for themselves, plus the Welsh Government (on Trunk Roads) potentially making a different decision on their network.

The practical decision is consistency of approach across Wales, which is exactly the situation we have today.
It's a political decision to put the language of the minority first. That is all.
It is a political decision to put either language first. Bilingual signs need need to be equal, clear, and consistent to work at their best. The order needs to be consistent across the whole bilingual territory, in this case Wales. Putting Welsh first reflects that this is Wales and not say Yorkshire, Kent, or Narnia.

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Re: "Welsh first" bilingual signs in South Wales

Post by bothar » Thu Sep 16, 2021 19:06

Chris Bertram wrote:
Thu Sep 16, 2021 18:15
Well, I could point out what the language of most non-locals is likely to be, but that would probably be the "wrong" answer for a lot of people on this thread.
Non locals should not have undue influence on the sign. There are no signs for Florence or Parigi in the vicinity of those places.
Chris Bertram wrote:
Thu Sep 16, 2021 18:15

It's a political decision to put the language of the minority first. That is all.
And rightly so. However, it makes little difference if it is consistent.
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Re: "Welsh first" bilingual signs in South Wales

Post by Chris Bertram » Thu Sep 16, 2021 20:48

bothar wrote:
Thu Sep 16, 2021 19:06
Chris Bertram wrote:
Thu Sep 16, 2021 18:15
Well, I could point out what the language of most non-locals is likely to be, but that would probably be the "wrong" answer for a lot of people on this thread.
Non locals should not have undue influence on the sign. There are no signs for Florence or Parigi in the vicinity of those places.
Hang on, you said that signs are not for people in an area. I'm confused now ..
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Re: "Welsh first" bilingual signs in South Wales

Post by exiled » Thu Sep 16, 2021 21:10

Enceladus wrote:
Thu Sep 16, 2021 13:30
Here in Ireland, a century of trying to wind the clock back 250 years and make Irish the daily language has failed utterly, and even the Irish speaking Gaeltacht areas in the West are shrinking to the extent that there will be little to no daily Irish spoken by 2050 is saddening. That said, education of Irish children through the Gaelscoileanna is thriving.

Personally, I hated Irish as a kid in school (it’s compulsory all the way to Leaving Cert) and the way it was taught (the God awful book “Peig” comes to mind) but I am still very proud of our heritage, culture and native language. I know languages evolve and die, but in the face of the ubiquitous English it is nice to have our own language survive.
One thing I read was some one commented the problem Irish has is it is treated as the fine china of the Irish state, used for special occasions, rather than giving it chances to be used naturally.

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Re: "Welsh first" bilingual signs in South Wales

Post by ajuk » Fri Sep 17, 2021 13:45

Steven wrote:
Thu Sep 16, 2021 12:03
ajuk wrote:
Thu Sep 16, 2021 11:51
I think there's a good chance that there are more Polish people in Wales that can read Polish but not English well than there are Welsh speakers who can't read English well.
Unfortuanately for this round of English cultural imperialism, Welsh is an official language of Wales with protections in law. Attempting to compare it to another language is false equivalence.

However, this does remind me of certain groups of people complaining that, say, NHS leaflets and posters sometimes carry several non-English languages such as Urdu, Punjabi or Polish.
There seems to be a lot of appeal to motive arguments here.
I'm telling you straight.I would like everyone to take notice that I just think that road signs need to need convey a message and be as readable to the most number of people in the simplest way possible, that's why I feel that the Welsh translations are unnecessary.
It's got nothing to do with being anti-Welsh or even anti-Welsh language, hence my comment on retaining Place names and some other signs such as "welcome to".
Now you know that because I've told you everyone is aware that is the case. Sorry for anyif this disappointments you.

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Re: "Welsh first" bilingual signs in South Wales

Post by Bryn666 » Fri Sep 17, 2021 13:50

ajuk wrote:
Fri Sep 17, 2021 13:45
Steven wrote:
Thu Sep 16, 2021 12:03
ajuk wrote:
Thu Sep 16, 2021 11:51
I think there's a good chance that there are more Polish people in Wales that can read Polish but not English well than there are Welsh speakers who can't read English well.
Unfortuanately for this round of English cultural imperialism, Welsh is an official language of Wales with protections in law. Attempting to compare it to another language is false equivalence.

However, this does remind me of certain groups of people complaining that, say, NHS leaflets and posters sometimes carry several non-English languages such as Urdu, Punjabi or Polish.
There seems to be a lot of appeal to motive arguments here.
I'm telling you straight. I just think that road signs need to need convey a message and be as readable to the most number of people in the simplest way possible, that's why I feel that the Welsh translations are unnecessary.
It's got nothing to do with being anti-Welsh or even anti-Welsh language, hence my comment on retaining Place names and some other signs such as "welcome to".
Now you know that because I've told you that is the case. Sorry if this disappoints you.
Maybe if you drove slower you'd have driving more slowly would give more time to read the signs.
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Re: "Welsh first" bilingual signs in South Wales

Post by RichardA35 » Fri Sep 17, 2021 14:22

OK Folks this thread is now unlocked.

Please read the edits to the posts above and absorb the change in language to make the points less confrontational without losing the meaning.

Please think about amending the style of any posts when about to be made to reflect similar non-personal or confrontational terms.

An outbreak of metrication has also been dealt with by splitting the posts off and merging with a long-standing topic

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