Tag Archives: spelling

A long-lost newspaper cutting

Talking of things from the past unexpectedly surfacing: here’s a newspaper cutting which I saved in 1985. (Good grief, that’s 25 years ago! Ahem . . . ) I mislaid it for a while, and then was delighted to find it again a few months ago.

It dates from my time living in Bangor, North Wales, and is a letter to the local free newspaper. There was an election coming up. Bilingual leaflets were produced by the parties, in English and Welsh. Well sort of. Here is one resident’s reaction to what came through the letterbox:

Newspaper cutting in deliberately misspelt English, complaining about poor Welsh translations

From the free Bangor newspaper, c. 1984

By the way, some of the spellings in the above make more sense if you’re familiar with the basics of Welsh pronunciation and with the Gwynedd local accent: for example, ffrynt in the first sentence is an almost perfect representation in Welsh spelling of how the English word front would be pronounced locally.

Now the question in my mind is: how bad are the translations in today’s election campaigns? Have they improved at all? My hope is that they have, but I wouldn’t be too surprised to hear that they haven’t.

Anyone know?