Warning: Road Sign Out To Lunch!

Last week in The Bulletin, I read that the European Union had formally recognised Welsh as a minority language. According to the article, about 21% of Welsh nationals can speak the language. And, according to a recent BBC report, all official road signs in Wales have to be bilingual. That makes sense. So I would not be surprised if I saw a sign like this in Wales…

…but that’s only because I don’t speak Welsh! According to the BBC report, what the Welsh text actually says is: “I am not in the office at the moment. Please send any work to be translated.”

Whoops! That reminds of my Urdu “conversation piece”.

Verification. Ignore it at your peril.

1 comment:

Brian Barker said...

The Welsh language is not alone in fighting for its linguistic rights. Certainly the promulgation of English as the world's "lingua franca" is unethical and linguistically undemocratic. I add that I am a native English speaker!

Unethical because communication should be for all and not only for an educational or political elite. English is used, at an international level, in this way, now.

Undemocratic because minority languages are under attack worldwide due to the encroachment of majority ethnic languages. Even Mandarin Chinese is attempting to dominate as well, although not yet in Europe! The long-term solution must be found and a non-national language, which would place all ethnic languages on an equal footing is long overdue.

An interesting video can be seen at http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=_YHALnLV9XU

The argument for Esperanto can be seen at http://www.lernu.net