"The arms that you wield now are not such as your forefathers wielded; but they are infinitely more effective, and infinitely more irresistable" ~ Cymru Fydd leaflet, 1890

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Lost in translation

I was sent a link to a Click on Wales article recently, specifically to look at the last few paragraphs. The article focused on the lack of ambition in Silk II when it came to energy. The report calls for Wales to have powers up to 350MW. Which is seven times more than we currently have but still means that nuclear power plants and giant gas power stations that Wales doesn't need can still be dumped here in Wales.

The part that I was drawn to though was this section where it refers to Wales being a net energy exporter. This isn't news to anyone but the way it is written makes it so obvious as to the colonial arrangement and the sham powers on offer.

First two paragraphs from here. The rest is from Silk II
Regular readers will know by now that I like to look at the story within the story and one aspect I found intriguing about the article was that it used a translation from the Welsh language version of Silk II but it never stated why it used a Welsh language translation. Surely it would have been easier just to use the English language version, unless of course the English language version was different. I needed to check, so I checked both the English and Welsh versions of the Silk Commission website, specifically the Part II reports in each language. The section we want is 8.2.13. I haven't linked directly to the .pdf's in case someone clicks them by accident but both are easy to find on the pages linked above.

The English language version
8.2.13 However, full devolution would not satisfy our principle of effectiveness. It would present security of supply issues: Wales is currently a net exporter of electricity, and a Wales-focussed energy strategy may not meet the needs of the wider United Kingdom. In practical terms, there would also be substantial inefficiencies in the Welsh Government establishing capacity to make very complex, but very rare, consenting decisions – particularly on nuclear consents.

Mae fersiwn Gymraeg gyda geiriau bonws
8.2.13 Serch hynny, ni fyddai datganoli llawn yn gyson â’n hegwyddor effeithiolrwydd. Byddai’n codi problemau o ran diogelwch y cyflenwad. Ar hyn o bryd, mae Cymru’n allforiwr trydan net, ac efallai na fyddai strategaeth ynni sy’n canolbwyntio ar Gymru yn diwallu anghenion y Deyrnas Unedig ehangach, a Lloegr yn benodol. O safbwynt ymarferol, petai Llywodraeth Cymru yn sefydlu’r gallu i wneud penderfyniadau cymhleth, ond prin iawn, ym maes caniatáu prosiectau - yn enwedig yng nghyswllt caniatáu prosiectau niwclear - byddai hynny’n aneffeithlon iawn.

You don't have to be able to speak much Welsh at all to be able to see a huge difference in the context of the section simply by including the words a Lloegr yn benedol. Most people should know the word for England is Lloegr. So why does the Welsh language version feature this bonus content and the English language version doesn't? Surely we either have someone adding words in one language or taking them away in another. The fact remains that this tiny little addition (or subtraction) makes a massive difference to the overall impact of the statement.

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