Irish Language craziness (part 73)
2 August, 2011
Not long ago, plans to provide Dubliners with real-time signage indicating when buses were due had to be put on ice after complaints were made to An Coimisinéir Teanga …. This particular quango was set up to enforce Eamon O’Cuiv’s Official Languages Act, which stipulated that public signage and documentation must be in Gaelic as well as the spoken language of the country, English. Gaelic must appear first of course. As a result, crank complaints from Irish language careerists and hobbyists must now be taken seriously, and bus-using Dubliners must stand at stops in ignorance of when their transport will arrive. The system, planned 10 years ago, would have used existing GPS data to inform those long-suffering customers of just how late their buses were running.
The Evening Herald reported on this here, under the headline “Gaeilgeoir protests delay new bus signs”.
It would take somebody like Jonathan Swift to deal properly with this madness. The blog author is surely right in calling for ” a complete repeal of the wasteful Official Languages Act, at a time when we can scarcely afford such an extravagance of Official Ireland nonsense”. I discussed this in December 2009 here.
While we are on the subject, I saw A.A.Gill in the Sunday Times of 31st July, writing about Pobol y Cwm, a Welsh-language soap opera:
I watched with incomprehension, which is how 99.9% of the world would see it. The point of Welsh-language telly is not that it brings entertainment to a minority who wouldn’t otherwise get any, but that it excludes a monoglot majority.
Sounds like TG4?