Lost in Translation

The results of the Beaufort Survey for BYIG were published today. Quite a wait, seeing that the survey was conducted in November last year, but fascinating reading which I'll discuss in more detail in another post. However one thing I noticed was a marked difference between the Welsh and English versions of the same story on the BBC website.

     Yr iaith 'mor bwysig â'r amgylchedd'
     Language rated above green issues

I understand that the Welsh version came out first thing this morning and the English followed later. But I happened to read the English version first and, as someone who cares passionately about both Welsh and the environment, it seemed rather like asking whether my left leg was more important to me than my right leg.

Anyway, I checked the BYIG website, and the full survey is available to download here. The actual wording of the question was:

To what extent do you agree or disagree with - Protecting the Welsh language is as important as protecting the environment in Wales?

Agree strongly ... 27%
Agree ... 28%
Neither agree nor disagree ... 15%
Disagree ... 17%
Disagree strongly ... 9%


In other words a net agreement of 29% (i.e. 55% minus 26%)

So where did the writer of the English version get the headline from? I can only assume that s/he took the mor in "mor bwysig â'r amgylchedd" to mean more important than the enviroment rather than as important as the environment.

I always knew you didn't need to be able to speak Welsh to get a job at the BBC ... but I reckon this proves it.

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