Peter Black Says that Welsh Language Campaigner is "Not right in the Head"

Before Mr Black sends his libel lawyers after me I hasten to say that

1 Peter Black has NEVER made such a claim


2 If he goes ahead with his support of Google Translate to translate the Cofnod (the official proceedings of the Assembly) he wouldn't have a legal leg to stand on, because Google Translate undoubtedly translates a recent comment made by him as accusing a language campaigner of being Not right in the Head (nad yw'n ddim yn iawn pen).

Not right in the head, especially in the south Wales dialect, suggests severe brain damage He hasn't been right in the head since the pit ceiling come down on him.

Wrongheaded, however is a much more benign term that just means contrary to sound judgment

The difference between the two terms is a subtlety that only a human translator can differentiate at the moment, and Google failed to spot the difference!

If Peter and friends decide to go down the Google route to translate the Cofnod I can guarantee that myself and others will pick up these nuances of translation and use them with glee come the next Assembly Election!

Do users of the English language in the Assembly really want to risk giving those of us who can spot the nuances our field day, by insisting on a machine generated bilingual record?


  1. Warning, open man hole! >> Rhybudd, twll dyn agored! :-D

  2. I don't intend to defend Peter Black, Alwyn. In fact quite the opposite, as people can read here. But the Assembly Commission is not proposing to use Google Translate as the final translated version of the Cofnod. What they are proposing is here. They are saying that whatever Google produces needs to proof-read and quality assured.

    But I think this is all a red herring. For me it is simply a matter of good housekeeping whether a professional translator can do the job more efficiently by starting from scratch or by using Google Translate to produce a rough version first. What matters is the end result, not the steps taken to get there.

    The problem is that the Assembly Commission—of with Peter was and is still a member—seems to be using cost to determine whether an English to Welsh translation should be produced, rather than adhering to the principle that it is right to produce it, whatever it costs.

    As it happens, the Assembly Commission has only today published a consultation document on a new Bill it wants to see enacted. Details here. I haven't read it yet, and I dread to think what will be in it since the Assembly Commission seems to be determined to flout the commitments in the Assembly's Welsh Language Scheme and might be trying to legislate its way to treating itself differently from other public bodies in Wales. That would be a huge mistake.