Council to replace Clane sign after complaint

Lost in translation

Henry Bauress henry@leinsterleader.ie

Reporter:

Henry Bauress henry@leinsterleader.ie

Council to replace Clane sign after complaint

This sign is supposed to translate as 'Residents access only' but means 'Residents access but'

An Irish language sign in Clane is to be changed as soon as possible following criticism from a member of the public.

Seanán Ó Coistín publicly raised the question of the spelling of the sign at Park View, Clane.

Mr Ó Coistín, who lives in Clane, complained about the bilingual signage in Park View housing estate.

“The sign in English is perfect and makes sense whereas the Irish version of the same sign makes no sense whatsoever.

“What probably happened was the sign makers put the words ‘Residents Access Only’ into Google Translate and it spewed out the utter nonsense ‘Cónaitheoirí rochtain ach’ which means ‘Residents access but’. The correct Irish wording should be ‘Cead Isteach do Chónaitheoirí Amháin’.

Mr O Coistín said Park View estate won a Pride of Place prize. “Surely incorrect signs have no place in a Pride of Place winning area," he said. 

Donnacha MacDiarmada, KCC Oifigeach Gaeilge, said: “Mr O Coistín is absolutely correct, the sign is incorrect. I have spoken to the area engineer and he has agreed to replace the sign. This will be done as soon as possible.”

Mr O Coistín said: “Unfortunately county Kildare has a very poor history when it comes to correct signs on the roads and other areas. Either road signs are absent, broken, twisted the wrong way or not bilingual which is how they are meant to be by law.”

He told the Leader that regarding other signs around county Kildare, there are many many signs that have problems. “There are some that are missing, broken, twisted the wrong way or in English only when they should be in Irish and English.”

Mr O Coistín said that unfortunately the Council “does not have the airgead (money) to repair them or erect new ones.”

Regarding translation, he said Google Translate is used all the time to translate signs and messages from English into Irish. “Google Translate is very inaccurate. It is only to provide the gist of information rather than a perfect translation. Only humans can properly translate.”