UKC

OPINION: Should We All Be Saying Yr Wyddfa?

New Topic
Please Register as a New User in order to reply to this topic.

Last week's news widely reported the announcement that the Welsh names Eryri (Snowdonia) and Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) will now be favoured by Snowdonia National Park Authority. This sparked an interesting discussion in the forums. However, we were left with unanswered questions. We've put these to the National Park, and an expert in Welsh hill names.

Read more


Taking its cue from the Snowdonia National Park Authority (Awdurdod Parc Cenedlaethol Eryri), should UKHillwalking and UKClimbing now be referring to Eryri (Snowdonia) and Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon)?

Yes
257 votes | 0%
No
235 votes | 0%
Login to vote
2
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

How is it pronounced?

In reply to deacondeacon:

I believe it's "Ur Wuthvah" with a rolled "r" and a stress on the "vah". I heard a native Welsh speaker pronounce it that way.

2
In reply to deacondeacon:

From the article... my best approximation: urr-with-vah (roll the r)

 deepsoup 13:48 Thu
In reply to deacondeacon:

> How is it pronounced?

youtube.com/watch?v=EFKe1Ijyyfs&

youtube.com/watch?v=ojQtkeItDgM&

Post edited at 13:52
 Jimbo C 13:49 Thu
In reply to deacondeacon:

Eryri, according to a Welsh speaker I know is pronounced Er-uh-ree, with rolled 'r's.

I've heard it said before with the first syllable lengthened and emphasised.

In reply to deepsoup:

Let's face it, that's unpronounceable.

Am in favour of the new names though, adds (even more) mystique to the region.

32
 DaveHK 14:58 Thu
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

Yes. Now move along.

Post edited at 14:58
25
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

Should probably just call it "the snowdons " , while we are at it the Peak could just be now know as "the p....     

Actually, never mind 

 Vin Knowles 15:53 Thu
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

The earliest evidence for both forms that I've come across is in the Historia  Brittonum, attributed to Nennius, in which there is a reference to "in montibus Hereri, id est Snaudun anglice" ("in the mountains of Hereri, that is Snaudun in English").  The text is generally believed to date to the 9th C CE, although I'm not sure when the earliest surviving manuscript dates to. Given the historicity of both names, I think there's a good argument for using both, while giving priority to the Welsh form.

In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

I am in favour of the Welsh names being given the most prominence and of not using recently introduced English names. However I think care is needed when insisting that long-standing English versions should eventually be phased out completely when there is a long history of English usage (are we to phase out Swansea and Mold as well?). There are many precedents for the English language developing its own versions of the names of prominent/important places in areas that speak a different language. I suppose the implication is that the use of an English name is a form of colonialism that could cause local resentment but in many respects the existence of an English name is a complement that highlights the importance of the place even in a region that speaks another language (e.g. we have English versions for many major foreign cities such as Torino, Roma, Milano, Napoli. Koln, Munchen, Athena). Admittedly in the above examples the English versions are all related to the original, unlike Snowdon and Yr Wyddfa, but it is, perhaps, telling in this respect that the major peaks in the Carneddau and Glyderau don't have English names as they are much less well known. The existence of the English name is a marker of the significance of the peak.

I have to concede, however, that a major benefit of using only Yr Wyddfa would be that the press is unlikely to adopt "Mount Yr Wyddfa"! 

Post edited at 15:58
1
In reply to harold walmsley:

"Moel Yr Wyddfa"?

1
 magma 16:10 Thu
In reply to harold walmsley:

why doesn't wales reintroduce eagles as well as the old name for them?

4
 Fat Bumbly2 16:35 Thu
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

No on the grounds that Yr Wyddfa is a single summit in an otherwise nameless multi topped hill.  Need a collective name,.   Otherwise sympathetic.  

Because of the meaning I was not convinced by Myrddin.

2
In reply to climber34neil:

Don't forget The Brecons 🙄

 Iain Thow 17:06 Thu
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

A yes/no choice doesn't work for me.

Yr Wyddfa refers to the main summit and Snowdon is an extremely old and well established name for the massif, so I would go with that distinction.

Snowdonia National Park covers a much bigger area than just Eryri, which  originally referred just to the northern hills, the southern half being Meirionydd, so I would still use both names.

Post edited at 17:07
In reply to Iain Thow:

> Yr Wyddfa refers to the main summit and Snowdon is an extremely old and well established name for the massif, so I would go with that distinction.

What distinction? If you are saying Snowdon and Yr Wyddfa refer to different things then it sounds as though we have been using Snowdon wrongly and we should have been using Yr Wyddfa anyway? 

> Snowdonia National Park covers a much bigger area than just Eryri, which  originally referred just to the northern hills, the southern half being Meirionydd, so I would still use both names.

By the same token Snowdonia National Park covers a much bigger area than just Eryri. However, if you want to be make the distinction Parc Cenedlaethol Eryri covers exactly the same area as Snowdonia National Park!

Post edited at 17:34
4
 Howard J 17:37 Thu
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

I think this is more complex and nuanced than a simple yes/no poll can address.

I broadly support the principle underlying this, but the reality is that English speakers will continue to use English names when conversing in English. "Snowdon" is widely known and understood by people who have never been to Wales and no intentions of doing so, and I very much doubt that knowledge of the Welsh names will reach them.  It is therefore welcome news that the NP intends, at least for the time being, to continue to use the English alongside the Welsh (which the original announcement suggested would not be the case).

Myrddin asks how would a Welsh speaker address an English name? He suggests they would try to use an appropriate name in an appropriate context - I'm not quite clear what he means by this, but he then goes on to suggest that it means that English speakers should use the Welsh name. I'm not sure that follows - I would expect a Welsh speaker when speaking Welsh to use the Welsh name where there is one (Llundain or Lerpwl for example). By the same logic then an English speaker will expect to use English words when speaking English.

As a parallel example, my Italian friend uses "Venice" and "Rome" when speaking English, even to another friend who is a native Italian speaker.  When speaking in Italian they of course use the Italian names.

For myself, I have long been aware of the Welsh names and even have a rough idea how to pronounce them. I support the use of Welsh, and once even tried to learn it but the mutations defeated me. However as an English speaker conversing in English I will continue to use the English names. I will continue to speak of Cardiff and Swansea for that matter.  I try to use "Carneddau" rather than "Carnedds" because that is an incorrect pluralisation of a Welsh name, although I am sometimes guilty of saying "Glyders". I refuse to call Llyn Bochlwyd "Australia Lake". 

So far as UKC is concerned I believe it should continue to use the English names alongside the Welsh but should not aim to phase out the English words.  Not only would this lead to confusion, it would make internet searches much more difficult.

 Misha 20:09 Thu
In reply to deepsoup:

That’s interesting. There were several slightly different pronunciations of Yr Wyddfa. Not sure if that’s due to regional accents or because the pronunciation is genuinely fluid. As long as you remember that dd is pronounced as th in the and f is pronounced as v, you won’t be too far off.

It does seem a bit odd that Snowdon is commonly used, whereas all other Welsh mountains and crags are known by their proper names. This is of course a reflection of Yr Wyddfa’s popularity.

It would be good if guidebooks provided pronunciation guidance for all crags and mountains, as well as what the names mean. Some guide books provide this some of the time, others not at all. Albeit sometimes a name which sounds quite mysterious / romantic / cool / whatever turns out to mean something pretty mundane.

As for Snowdonia / Eryri, I don’t think climbers use this term all that much (perhaps hill walkers do). Most people I know would refer to North Wales instead, as the climbing area stretches far wider than the NP. 

3
 Howard J 20:45 Thu
In reply to Misha:

> It does seem a bit odd that Snowdon is commonly used, whereas all other Welsh mountains and crags are known by their proper names.

The thing is, Snowdon is the 'proper' name if you're speaking English. As the article states, it was first recorded nearly 200 years before the Welsh name was. This is not to say that it is older, but it has a very long pedigree and is arguably just as valid a name as Yr Wyddfa, although I wouldn't expect a Welsh speaker to agree.

I fully support using both names alongside each other, but it is wishful thinking by the NP to believe they can overturn more than 900 years of usage. Encouraging visitors to use the Welsh names is to be applauded, but to most English speakers they will still be "Snowdon" and "Snowdonia" whatever the NP says, and removing these completely will only lead to confusion.

4
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

Is this like the French insisting that everyone calls their capital "Paree", or the Germans wanting us all to call Munich "Munchen"? If I'm speaking to a Welsh person then I'd use Yr Wyddfa/Eryi but ordinarily I will stick to Snowdon & Snowdonia. It's all about context as someone has pointed out higher up the thread.

In reply to Frank the Husky:

What is the Welsh for Horseshoe? would “Yr Wyddfa Horseshoe” be acceptable?

2
 Myfyr Tomos 21:49 Thu
In reply to kevin stephens:

In Welsh, The Snowdon Horseshoe is always known as Pedol yr Wyddfa. 

1
 Misha 22:19 Thu
In reply to Howard J:

Agree re confusion given established use in English but there is no way that Yr Wyddfa came after Snowdon. It may have been recorded later but there is zero chance that the highest mountain in the area did not have a local name well before the first English speaking visitor arrived.

It’s a bit of a storm in a teacup really. People can use whatever name they want and as others have said this partly depends on context. It’s not a bad idea for the NP to try to influence common usage and over time they might succeed and that’s no bad thing. I will probably continue to use Snowdon, just out of force of habit.

Snowdonia though just sounds like a naff made up name. North Wales is much better.

Incidentally, I think Ynys Mon is much better than Anglesey. Scimitar Ridge is a better description than Esgair Maen Gwyn but both sound good. Cwm Cneifion rather than Nameless Cwm. Ysgolion Duon rather than Black Ladders. The last two have caught on in recent years. Don’t suppose many people use Clogwyn D’ur Arddu, just because it’s a bit of a mouthful, though given the nature of the climbing it would be more apt than the rather cuddly sounding Cloggy!

Post edited at 22:39
3
 Delyth 22:23 Thu
In reply to deacondeacon:

With - va

 

 Howard J 22:57 Thu
In reply to Misha:

> Agree re confusion given established use in English but there is no way that Yr Wyddfa came after Snowdon

Agreed, and I wasn't trying to suggest that it did, only that the English name has been in use for centuries and is arguably just as correct, at least when the English language is being used.

> Snowdonia though just sounds like a naff made up name.

Perhaps, but that too goes back to at least the 13th Century - "terram Snaudoniae"

2
 Misha 23:13 Thu
In reply to Howard J:

I wonder what Snaudon would have been in Latin…

 Misha 23:16 Thu
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

You have to be careful with local place names though. A search for Cairngorm (Am Monadh Ruadh, of course) Gaelic place names throws up this gem:

Devil’s Point — The original Gaelic name is ‘Bod an Deamhain’ (approximately poten DJON), which means ‘penis of the demon’. Victorian sensibilities called for something more conservative, hence the new name.

 Webster 23:36 Thu
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

No.

its UK climbing/hillwalking not Welsh hillwalking/climbing and the predominant language in the UK is English.

plus, its been Snowdon for a 1000 years, perhps longer. as an anglophone welshman it will always be Snowdon to me.

15
 Holdtickler 23:54 Thu
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

How did we end up with Pen y Ghent and Craig y Longridge? Are we keeping those names then too or should we Englefy them out of spite.

Yes I know Englefy isn't a word but I liked the sound of it, so there...

1
7
In reply to deacondeacon:

Google it

Yr Wddfa as  Errr-with-va ... is close enough 

Eryri said like Errrr-uh-ree ... will do

Bet-oos uh coe-ed .... would be understood 

Mount Snowdon, betsee coid, ehree etc: less so

In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

When does prioritising one form of a couple of names constitute: trying to rid the place of any trace of English? There's a lot of proverbial knickers in twists going on over something very minor 

Post edited at 07:41
7
In reply to CantClimbTom:

> There's a lot of proverbial knickers in twists going on over something very minor 

Yep. Completely agree. Also wish SNPA would do something useful for once or just **** off coming up with daft initiatives and unworkable "plans". They need a total reset/replacement.

2
 Andy Moles 08:25 Fri
In reply to Misha:

> As for Snowdonia / Eryri, I don’t think climbers use this term all that much (perhaps hill walkers do). Most people I know would refer to North Wales instead, as the climbing area stretches far wider than the NP. 

Gogledd Cymru to you mate.

2
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

> And now they want notionally to rid the place of any hint of English because, well, when has there been a better time to unnecessarily foment a bit more prejudice and division between the visitors and the locals

Or maybe an organisation in Wales in a predominantly Welsh speaking area wants to use the native language for prominent landmarks as is done in every other country in the world.
I’m trying to think of other countries that have to temper their use of their local language and names out of deference to a neighbouring country, possibly Catalunya is similar? What is it in the English that makes them so terrified of other cultures that their reaction, when exposed to one, is to try to suppress rather than embrace. Why, when you travel, do you see difference as a negative rather than a positive?

> Just a reminder that Englishness is enemy,

You’re actively making yourself the enemy by trying to suppress a Welsh organisation rebranding because you don’t like the language of Wales and you find it tricky to pronounce.

Post edited at 10:04
17
 Rampart 10:43 Fri
In reply to Tyler:

>  I’m trying to think of other countries that have to temper their use of their local language and names out of deference to a neighbouring country

Tibet? Possibly in some of the former Soviet states?

In reply to Tyler:

> Or maybe an organisation in Wales in a predominantly Welsh speaking area wants to use the native language for prominent landmarks as is done in every other country in the world.

They already can do. 

> I’m trying to think of other countries that have to temper their use of their local language and names out of deference to a neighbouring country,

They already don't have to.

> What is it in the English that makes them so terrified of other cultures that their reaction, when exposed to one, is to try to suppress rather than embrace.

Nobody but SNPA is 'suppressing' anything. They're the ones removing the alternative, and best known, names. Bilingual is fine for everything else in Wales.

> Why, when you travel, do you see difference as a negative rather than a positive?

I don't. You've made this up.

>  you don’t like the language of Wales

Don't I? This is news to me.

> and you find it tricky to pronounce.

Do I? I don't recall ever meeting you, never mind trying and failing to say Eryri in your presence.

The name of a mountain doesn't bother me. The nationality of the organisation doesn't bother me. The ineffectuality and pointlessness of it does. There's so much they could be doing, yet they're pissing around with this. I haven't been this disappointed in an outdoor organisation since Climb Britain.

Post edited at 10:50
3
 StuPoo2 11:08 Fri
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

What a complicated topic ...

Generally speaking:  I think objects whose names are historically "settled" should remain settled irrespective of who the current custodian of an object is. Flip side of this statement is that I don't think custody of an object gives a custodian any special naming rights to alter historically relevant objects whose names are historically settled.  

For most historically relevant objects that is likely to mean that the local name, spelling and pronunciation of an object in any country should have primacy ... as long as said local naming is not being weaponized. 

Example:  If the locals have called an object something for 1000 years ... then I see no good reason why any other culture, dominant or not, should arrive and rename it something else.  That being said ... I don't have any particular problem with other cultures creating their own spellings for objections in their own language - which can require variations from the original if they if they lack the same/similar sounds in their alphabet to phonetically recreate the object local name 100%.    This is an exception - not the rule.

On the specific case of this massive:  It's complicated because after 1000 years of history this object has more than 1 legitimate name.  If we were to wind the clock back 1000 years .. we might want to ask some questions:

  1. Was there a settled welsh language name for this massive?  
  2. Was the welsh name widely used by the welsh 1000 years ago?  Could I ask anyone in Wales 1000 years ago what the name was of the highest mountain in Wales?  Not going to be easy to answer - how many mountains in all of the UK had names that we were widely known by population in a similar way to how they are today?  (No google earth 1000 years ago!)
  3. Did the English language speakers ignore the Welsh name?  Was it simply colonialism at play or was a settled welsh name for this massive not easy to come by?  Did different people living in wales call it by different names?  Did the massive have a name that was used in the general population outside of cartographers? 

When we wind the clock forward 1000 yrs again to present day the facts on the ground are that this object has more than legitimate 1 name.  

The question that then begs is "does the current custodian of the object have any greater right than anyone else to impose their preferred name upon the object?"  Not easy to answer.  The land we know today as Wales has also historically been in the possession of the Celtics, the Roman's, the Norman's and the English to name but a few. Do historical custodians of objects have a say in a current objects name?  

Does current custody of an object give you the right to change it?  And if custody of that object were to change in the future - does that give future custodians the right to change it again to their preferred name?  To whom does this historically relevant object actually belong?  Can you own a massive?  Does majority rule mean you get rename a historically relevant object?  Does devolution give you a right to advance your own naming preferences?  

The divisive powers of language:  For millennia language has been used to divide us.  Imagine a country with a feverishly nationalist governing party (my country - Scotland).  In order to create nationalism you need to create "other", you need to create "inside/outside groups", you need to create "us and them", you need to create "difference", you might even need to create "boogie men and saviors".  Why?  Because if you didn't .. you would have a homogenous culture and if you had a homogenous culture you couldn't advance your agenda for independence.  

Gaelic is on the Scottish police cars and on all our major road signs and yet the 2011 census tells us that only 87,000 people living in Scotland can speak it.  Is it the best use of publics funds to spend money advancing a language that only 0.01% of the population can speak?  Or is their another reason why they do it?

If I were inclined to aspire to split the United Kingdom into its constituent parts .. amongst other things I would advance policies of language and culture to ensure that I could create different, other, in/out groups within the population.  I would advance my own currency, my own laws, my own health service, my own education agenda, my own taxation, my own transport.  

5
In reply to Tyler:

Puzzled by your comment's 5 down votes.

My Dad is a speaker but I'm English with only a vague grasp of Welsh. So even as an Englishman I'm baffled as why using Welsh in Wales seems controversial to some people 

Post edited at 11:15
4
 fred99 11:24 Fri
In reply to Tyler:

> Or maybe an organisation in Wales in a predominantly Welsh speaking area wants to use the native language ...

Maybe they should try and come up with a proper Welsh word for ambulance. Using ambulans just indicates (at least to me) that welsh as a language is decidedly limited.

7
In reply to CantClimbTom:

> So even as an Englishman I'm baffled as why using Welsh in Wales seems controversial to some people 

I don't think it is. They currently use both and I've not seen anyone complain about that. The controversy is about the planned change, which is removing the English*. Just seems like a passive aggressive jab at the neighbours. Nobody has gone round and painted out the "Anglesey" on all the roadsigns to Ynys Môn...

*- if you can call 'snaw doun' or 'snau dun' or whatever else it derives from English

Post edited at 11:34
In reply to fred99:

> Maybe they should try and come up with a proper Welsh word for ambulance. Using ambulans just indicates (at least to me) that welsh as a language is decidedly limited.

https://nitter.net/nocontextbrits/status/1455624304142471169

Post edited at 11:31
In reply to fred99:

Well you'll need to stop using Welsh derived words in English in return, like penguin or cam and that river Avon in Bristol definitely needs renaming

 Webster 12:41 Fri
In reply to CantClimbTom:

> My Dad is a speaker but I'm English with only a vague grasp of Welsh. So even as an Englishman I'm baffled as why using Welsh in Wales seems controversial to some people 

its not...

the question was "should WE all be using the welsh names?"

No.

this is UK Climbing and hillwalking. the predominant language of the UK is English. And unlike many other instances, calling it Snowdon is not colonialism at play. the anglo saxon name is at least as old, if not older than the celtic Briton name for the mountain. This is just unpleasant nationalism on the part of the national park authority.

11
 timjones 12:50 Fri
In reply to Tony the Blade:

No, no, NO........

It's the Breacons

 peppermill 12:52 Fri
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

I wonder what the Welsh speakers and other locals would prefer, Snowdon, or the Welsh name with absolutely butchered pronunciation by visitors that will grate at every mention ;p

Malaig/Mallaig springs to mind here!

 timjones 13:00 Fri
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

> Yeah, full of great ideas aren't they. When they do something that actually makes a positive difference to the park, let me know.

 

How about simply visiting their website if you really want to know!

https://snowdonia.gov.wales/protect/conservation-work/

2
 fred99 13:14 Fri
In reply to CantClimbTom:

> Well you'll need to stop using Welsh derived words in English in return, like penguin or cam and that river Avon in Bristol definitely needs renaming

What about Loch Avon in the Cairngorms ?

Are you honestly saying Avon is specifically Welsh ?

Some Scots might question that.

Now Afon is a different matter, or is that just another word that has been "welshified" - and poorly at that.

5
 deepsoup 13:38 Fri
In reply to peppermill:

> .. or the Welsh name with absolutely butchered pronunciation by visitors that will grate at every mention

I wonder how much the pisromunciation will register with the locals in Betsy Co-Ed.

 Rampart 13:59 Fri

For what it's worth, <i>Eryri</i> is quicker to type than <i>Snowdonia</i>...

 Richard J 13:59 Fri
In reply to fred99:

> Maybe they should try and come up with a proper Welsh word for ambulance. Using ambulans just indicates (at least to me) that welsh as a language is decidedly limited.

Good idea.  Maybe, while we're about it, we should come up with a proper English word for "ambulance" too, since ambulance is borrowed from French...

 Richard J 14:00 Fri
In reply to fred99:

> What about Loch Avon in the Cairngorms ?

> Are you honestly saying Avon is specifically Welsh ?

> Some Scots might question that.

> Now Afon is a different matter, or is that just another word that has been "welshified" - and poorly at that.

It's beyond question that "Avon" as a word for river derives from the Brittonic language that was spoken throughout most of Britain  before the arrival of the Anglo-Saxons, and this survives in the modern Welsh word for river, afon (soft f, as always in the way Welsh is written today).  Quite a few English place name elements, especially in the North and West, derive from Brittonic and thus look similar to their modern Welsh versions (e.g. Chevin = Cefn).  

As far as Scotland is concerned, the early medieval kingdom of Strathclyde was certainly Brittonic speaking, so lots of place names in southwest Scotland will look very similar to Welsh counterparts. There's less agreement about what kind of language Pictish was, though some think that was Brittonic too.

In reply to Richard J:

> Good idea.  Maybe, while we're about it, we should come up with a proper English word for "ambulance" too, since ambulance is borrowed from French...

Yeah and I'll bet there's no Welsh word for entrepreneur!

2
In reply to fred99:

Well I was being very tongue in cheek as I believe your ambiwlans comment was too

Also you can argue cam came from Cornish rather than Welsh. But I didn't want to make a rather than a more tedious comment such as ambulance is Latin derived (or was it French, or was it...?) and not "English" (whatever that is) and how languages import words.. blah blah.  As a more serious point I'd rather sensible adoption of words was used (like ambiwlans) and not comical attempts like Académie Française insisting that people there use e.g. mot-dièse instead of hashtag. I don't think Yr Wyddfa falls into that category or is remotely equivalent as it is already well used, marked on OS maps etc, not some recent invention/popularisation.

I don't think this is widespread opposition to historic Anglo Saxon derived names, but if it was... they should rename Cnicht (a lovely hill!) 

Post edited at 14:35
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

That 'Welsh hill with a diesel engine at the top'...

 compost 15:45 Fri
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

Linguistics aside, the cynical part of me suspects that this is deliberately timed to keep the national park in the news now the tourist season is ending!

It's their mountain - they can call it what they like. If they ask us to call it Yr Wyddfa, everyone that refers to it should use that name.

If I change my name to Dave or Priscilla I would expect people who know me and know about the name change to use the new name.

7
In reply to compost:

> It's their mountain - they can call it what they like. If they ask us to call it Yr Wyddfa, everyone that refers to it should use that name.

It's not though, is it. The "They" is the committee of the SNPA, who definitely don't own the mountain. Their recent actions show they can barely claim to represent the interests of those who care about it. So they can whistle. They're the last people who should get a say.

4
 jwi 18:35 Fri
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

It is two names, I am sure you can learn them.

1
 mondite 19:01 Fri
In reply to compost:

> It's their mountain - they can call it what they like. If they ask us to call it Yr Wyddfa, everyone that refers to it should use that name.

Aside from we dont call France République française or Germany Deutschland.

 GerM 19:15 Fri
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

It is my understanding that according to section 61 of the Environment Act 1995 acting as an amendment to the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949 one of the purposes of a National Park is:

(a)of conserving and enhancing the natural beauty, wildlife and CULTURAL HERITAGE of the areas specified in the next following subsection; and

(b)of PROMOTING OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE UNDERSTANDING and enjoyment of the special qualities of those areas by the public.

The Welsh language is a crucial part of Eryri's cultural heratige in and of itself, as a conduit to the vast majority of the area's culture and history as well as a vital part of its contemporary cultural life, and so it is part of the National Park's duty to protect it.

The issue with place names is a wider one, but protecting these is part of protecting the area's cultural heritage, as well as preserving the links, sometimes ancient, between the land, it's history, geography, people and mythology.

The problem with the National Park's use of English names is threefold, firstly whilst any English name is used the Welsh names are sidelined and largely ignored, whilst the Park markets itself using English names it puts a barrier between itself and the Welsh language culture that it has a duty to protect, but also if the Park is to protect Welsh place names in any context it needs to be seen to be doing this at every level including in the names it uses for itself.

Fortunately the names Snowdon and Snowdonia are in such widespread use in the wider world there is no risk to them, which makes it possible for the National Park to use only Welsh names, safe in the knowledge that there is no risk of losing these exonyms of great antiquity. If you have any doubt of this a quick Google, search on any social media for the hashtags #snowdon or #snowdonia (compare if you want with #wyddfa #yrwyddfa or #eryri), or simply an attempt to find the met office's weather forecast for 'Yr Wyddfa' should put your mind at ease.

Post edited at 19:26
1
 Paulo60 19:20 Fri
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

If we're seriously committed to recovering from our colonial past, then it's hardly a question whether we should use a place's real name, regardless of how widespread the use of the word Snowden has become, regardless of the linguistic ability of the individual. Time for common sense to kick in, unless we don't agree with using Uluru instead of Ayer's Rock, for example.

12
 Mihangel 19:22 Fri
In reply to fred99:

Mynadd…….!

In reply to Paulo60:

If you are going to bring the colonial past into it, could we get rid of all the French?

 Misha 22:19 Fri
In reply to Andy Moles:

Will try to remember that, not least to confuse people 😉

Anyone care to explain when Cymru becomes Gymru? I believe it’s related to the last letter (consonant?) in the previous word.

Post edited at 22:33
 Misha 22:26 Fri
In reply to fred99:

> Maybe they should try and come up with a proper Welsh word for ambulance. Using ambulans just indicates (at least to me) that welsh as a language is decidedly limited.

If you were to remove from English all the words derived from Latin, French and German, there wouldn’t be a lot of words left.

In reply to Misha:

> Will try to remember that, not least to confuse people 😉

> Anyone care to explain when Cymru becomes Gymru? I believe it’s related to the last letter (consonant?) in the previous word.

It's 'treiglo', or mutation in English. Think Glyder Fach VS Tryfan Bach ( Fach and Bach being the same word). It helps the words flow off the tongue more fluently rather than having any grammatical function.

Post edited at 23:05
In reply to Nicholas Livesey:

> It's 'treiglo', or mutation in English. Think Glyder Fach VS Tryfan Bach ( Fach and Bach being the same word). It helps the words flow off the tongue more fluently rather than having any grammatical function.

Interesting - I’ve always said Vack for Fach but Bach for Bach - is one of those closer to correct than the other?

In reply to Misha:

> If you were to remove from English all the words derived from Latin, French and German, there wouldn’t be a lot of words left.

German? Do you mean Anglo-Saxon, a germanic language?

3
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

Why not, Ayers Rock is now known as its original Aboriginal name, Uluru, Welsh names have been quietly eradicated by the English who can’t pronounce them, Diolch. 

4
In reply to Nicholas Livesey:

I think it’s to do with the gender of the noun (which seems far from obvious to me as a learner). So Glyder Fach - soft mutation of Bach as Glyder is feminine where Tryfan Bach, no mutation as Tryfan is masculine. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

 Darkinbad 10:35 Sat
In reply to Mark Kemball:

It's pretty simple really - https://en.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/Appendix:Welsh_mutations 🤣

In reply to Sirveyor_1958:

> Why not, Ayers Rock is now known as its original Aboriginal name, Uluru, Welsh names have been quietly eradicated by the English who can’t pronounce them, Diolch. 

I don’t see much evidence of this in the mountain names of North Wales, which the English are very happy to mangle in pronunciation.

2
 Howard J 15:29 Sat

> Fortunately the names Snowdon and Snowdonia are in such widespread use in the wider world there is no risk to them, which makes it possible for the National Park to use only Welsh names, safe in the knowledge that there is no risk of losing these exonyms of great antiquity. If you have any doubt of this a quick Google, search on any social media for the hashtags #snowdon or #snowdonia (compare if you want with #wyddfa #yrwyddfa or #eryri), or simply an attempt to find the met office's weather forecast for 'Yr Wyddfa' should put your mind at ease.

But that's the point. Most English speakers (which includes 70% of the Welsh population, and 25% of the population of Gwynedd) will continue to use the English names. Unless the NP can change how English speakers generally refer to the mountain and region then using the Welsh names alone will only confuse visitors.  I really don't think they will succeed in doing this, the English names are too well established and too well recognised, and outside the NP's own literature will continue to be widely used. 

Comparisons are made with Mt McKinley/Denali and Ayer's Rock/Uluru, but those were much more recent impositions, and (in the UK at least) were not really part of most people's consciousness and it is easier to change behavior.  However I am surely not the only one who has to google them to remind myself of the new names, and I keep confusing the latter with that woman from Star Trek.  Chomolungma/Sagamartha remains stubbornly "Everest" to nearly everyone.

I am all for the NP promoting the Welsh names and even giving them precedence, but I don't believe the time will come when they can be used and be immediately understood by most English speakers without the English names alongside them. And if that is the case, is this actually promoting the Welsh language and Welsh culture?

8
In reply to Howard J:

Do you mean people who speak English as a first language rather than English speakers? I'm pretty sure near to 100% of people adults in Gwynedd speak English.

Post edited at 17:59
 fred99 18:47 Sat
In reply to Misha:

> If you were to remove from English all the words derived from Latin, French and German, there wouldn’t be a lot of words left.

Don't I know it.

English has "acquired" words from virtually (or maybe actually ?) every language in the world, be they living or dead. Furthermore English did not develop purely in England - there was a BBC programme a long time ago which pointed out its' roots in NE England and Lowland Scotland up to Edinburgh. Furthermore, at the time which "Snowdon", or at least the earlier version pointed out further up this thread was first recorded, the main language of the common Englishman (and woman) would have been more likely Anglo-Saxon, whilst the upper classes would have used Latin and Norman French.

The whole thing is a joke, as the name "Snowdon" can't have been applied by "the English" originally, as an Englishman would have been likely to have had his throat cut if found wandering the region at the time in question.

1
 Misha 19:46 Sat
In reply to Pete Pozman:

Yes, Anglo-Saxon, which is a Germanic language. English is essentially a hybrid language - Anglo-Saxon, Roman, Celtic, Norse, Norman (old French) all mixed up in various quantities. This is not good or bad, it’s just the way it is. If anything, Welsh is an older and more independent language, thought inevitably words have been borrowed from English (as in many other languages these days). Again, that’s just the way it is. However, in view of this, I did think that the comment above about Welsh not having a distinct word for ambulance was a bit silly really.

The reality is that most European languages have common ancestry anyway. Some are more distinct, such as Hungarian, Estonian and Finnish. Linguistics is a fascinating subject.

 Misha 19:58 Sat
In reply to fred99:

The first recorded use of Snaudun in 1095 would coincide with the initial Norman conquest of Wales, which makes sense. (The Normans subsequently got kicked out.)

If you are suggesting that local Celtic speakers came up with Snaudun, that seems pretty unlikely.

 Misha 20:00 Sat
In reply to Sirveyor_1958:

I don’t think Welsh hill names have been eradicated, other than Snowdon. Of course the reason is that the average person living in England (or indeed South Wales) would struggle to come up with the names of any other Welsh mountains. 

 Misha 20:15 Sat
In reply to Howard J:

You’ve got to start somewhere. It will take time but I suspect in 20 years’ time Yr Wyddfa will be significantly more prevalent. The main blockers are the relatively difficult pronunciation and the fact that it doesn’t ‘look’ phonetic, for someone who is not familiar with Welsh at least at a very basic level.

Another good example is people (including climbers) pronouncing Llanberis as Lanberis or L-Lanberis. Admittedly, ll is not the easiest digraph to pronounce and I don’t claim to be able to pronounce it properly but people should at least be aware and try it…

We really need guidebooks to take up the challenge of educating climbers! Particularly for Scottish mountain and crag names…

1
 Roblincoln 01:59 Sun
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

It's good to use Welsh names but don't push it down people's throats all the time. Without English tourists. What would Wales have 

10
 crayefish 06:56 Sun
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

Every country has a different way of saying foreign names... even speaking as a Welshman I don't think the English should be forced to use the Welsh name.

Should we also be upset that the French call London Londres or Wales Pay de Galles?  I can only guess at what UK names are called in Asia...

Point is, if the Welsh want to use the Welsh name, then great.  But that doesn't mean that England or the rest of the world should change the words they use.

In reply to Alex Riley:

> Do you mean people who speak English as a first language rather than English speakers? I'm pretty sure near to 100% of people adults in Gwynedd speak English.

Up to a point but it depends what circles you move in. I'm English but I've spent most of the past few years working on-site on farms scattered across north Wales and I've run into a few situations where there's a language barrier. Yes, most people tend to speak English, but particularly with some of the older farmers there's some that aren't confident at all, particularly when it comes to understanding why their wind turbine isn't spinning. I've had people call someone or get their son over to provide translation. I also know a couple of people who speak English now but didn't really until they were adults. It varies a lot from place to place and community to community but there are definitely some pockets where people just don't use English very much at all, to the point where learning Welsh is practically useful rather than just a nice thing to do. Dw i'n trio dysgu Cymraeg!

Incidentally, is it just me that thinks its weird that no Welsh at all is taught in English schools? I grew up in Staffordshire, so not far at all, and yet until I lived in Wales I had no idea how prevalent and how important Welsh is. Its a living native language of the UK and and intrinsic part of the cultural history of Britain and yet many English people grow up with the idea that its some sort of dead language.

In reply to pancakeandchips:

It's only in relatively recent years that BBC, Dept of Education etc didn't just think that English is the only language but that to be spoken properly meant Oxford vowels.

In reply to pancakeandchips:

Re teaching Welsh in English Schools - totally agree, just a little bit, as party a U.K. civics/history course along with Gaelic. 
 

My School had a Welsh headmaster, and was in Wales, but did we get taught any Welsh? Not a jot.

In reply to pancakeandchips:

That's the reason I said near to 100%, I've definitely met a few people who would struggle to communicate complicated subjects bilingually. Also the reason I said adults is because lots of children in Gwynedd would speak no English until starting school.

Dw'in trio hefyd, dw'i angen ymarfer siarad!

 Howard J 09:42 Sun
In reply to Alex Riley:

> Do you mean people who speak English as a first language rather than English speakers? I'm pretty sure near to 100% of people adults in Gwynedd speak English.

Of course I mean non Welsh speakers. I could have been clearer, if less concise, but I thought it was obvious from the context.

 Howard J 10:11 Sun
In reply to Misha:

> You’ve got to start somewhere. It will take time but I suspect in 20 years’ time Yr Wyddfa will be significantly more prevalent.

I would certainly have no objection to that, indeed I would welcome it.  However whilst there might be more recognition of the Welsh names, particularly among those who visit Wales (or live there), I still think most English speakers will continue to use the English names.

If you google "Snowdonia National Park" and go to the NP website you are met with something talking about "Eryri", with no explanation. How is that helpful? However most visitor-facing sites still use both. "Visit Snowdonia", the official tourism website for the area, uses both in its banner but mainly English names on the English-language pages.

The Welsh Language Regulations provide that everyone has the right to be addressed in the language of their choice. Of course the assumption (quite correctly) is that Welsh needs to be protected from English, and that Welsh-speakers (who may not be entirely fluent in English) have the right to conduct their affairs in that language.  But surely it works the other way too, and if someone expresses a wish to be addressed in English then they should expect to see the English names. It would not surprise me to see a legal challenge. The NP has already acknowledged that in most of its formal documents it will have to continue to use both Welsh and English as this is a legal requirement.

The premise of the poll at the top of this thread is slightly misleading. It asks if UKC should follow the NP's lead in using the Welsh names with the English alongside.  That's an unequivocal yes from me. However the NP intends to phase out the use of English, and as its website shows is already starting to do so. I think that is a mistake, and not one which UKC should follow.

2

New Topic
Please Register as a New User in order to reply to this topic.
Loading Notifications...