I'm the Hen Ferchetan. This is my take on the world through the eyes of Wales. While mostly about Welsh politics (that most famous of dour topics!) I try to scatter some humour around, but I doubt anyone but me will find it funny! Have a read, and if it bores you then feel free to never come back!

Thursday, 10 July 2008

But Officer, the Sign Told Me To!

This is a sign, a number of which have been placed around Swansea. The translation of it is, technically speaking, totally correct. Check a dictionary and you will find that:

Zone = Parth
Tow = Halio
Away = Ymaith

Even the grammar is correct, with the word for Zone placed before the "Tow Away".

This sign though is a perfect example of why translations should be done by people who can speak both languages, not by an English speaker with a dictionary. Because to any Welsh speaking reader, this sign does not say "Tow Away Zone".

It says "Wank Away Zone".


Anonymous said...

So what is the correct translation of "Tow Away Zone"?

Hen Ferchetan said...

Hmmm....as I said "Parth Halio Ymaith" does technically say Tow Away Zone but in it's modern use has a much dirtier meaning.

A more appropriate version would probably be Parth Cipio Ceir or Parth Towio Ymaith.

It just shows the problem with thinking word for word translation is good enough.

Phil said...

"Towio" makes me wince - but maybe that's better than keeping 'halio' and borrowing 'wancio'... I guess the language has been absorbing odd bits of vocabulary for quite a while now - I remember being surprised how much Welsh vocabulary I found in Latin lessons (e.g. 'fenestra').

Neil Jones said...

These execrable signs are still there. However elsewhere in the city I notice another sign newer sign on part of the new "bendy-bus" route which is conveying the same concept. The verb used for tow is "llusgo".