Thursday, 15 January 2015

"Aber-Daron" ? You must be Jo-King!

An article in today's Daily Telegraph reports on a bid to add hyphens to many Welsh place names in order to aid pronunciation by those unfamiliar with the language.

"Villagers dash hopes of a helpful hyphen to tackle Welsh tongue-twisters"

"The proposals involved adding hyphens to 11 villages in Ceredigion, Mid Wales: Abermad (Aber-mad); Brynteg (Bryn-teg); Cnwch Coch (Cnwch-Coch); Drefach (Dre-fach); Felinfach (Felin-fach); Felinwynt (Felin-wynt); Ffynnon Oer (Ffynnon-Oer); Gorsgoch (Gors-goch); Penparc (Pen-parc); Tremain (Tre-main) and Tyngrug-Isaf (Tyn-Grug-Isaf)."

The proposals have not met with widespread approval, as people are understandably attached to the current village place names which have been used for years.

To suggest that place names that have evolved through time should be stripped back down to their original language components is to misunderstand how those components were themselves formed by evolution. We could, however, have a lot of fun with English Placenames. Man-Chester? Birm-ing-ham? Needless to say, you can be confident that you will not need to visit us in "Aber-daron" by way of "Caer-nar-Fon" and "Llan-ael-Hearn"!

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