Church of England refuses to allow foreign language on a gravestone, calling it a "political statement"

Margaret Keane was born in Westmeath, in the Republic of Ireland, and later moved to Coventry in the United Kingdom, where her and her husband raised six children. Throughout her life, Margaret remained active in the Gaelic Athletic Association, and after she passed away in 2018 at the age 73, her family wanted a gravestone that paid tribute to her proud Irish heritage.

Margaret belonged to the Church of England, and was to be buried at St. Giles Church in Exhall. But her family received some pushback when they proposed a plot with a Celtic cross, which the diocesan advisory committee denied for being too large. The committee suggested that the family simply add an inscription of a Celtic cross to the headstone.

The Keane family agreed to the compromise. But the Church of England pushed back again when they saw the planned inscription on the cross: "In ár gcroíthe go deo," which means, "In our hearts forever" in the Irish language. This didn't seem particularly radical, especially as there are already Welsh inscriptions in the same cemetery. But once again, the diocesan advisory committee denied the family's headstone proposal. "Given the passions and feelings connected with the use of Irish Gaelic," said a Church judge who is also a local government judge, "There is a sad risk that the phrase would be regarded as some form of slogan or that its inclusion without translation would of itself be seen as a political statement."

After yet another appeal, the judge agreed to allow the Irish words only if they're accompanied by an English translation. Read the rest

A US cop made an Irish "Blue Lives Matter" shirt that accidentally said "Black Lives Matter"

This is one of my personal favorite bits of Schadenfreude in the world.

This photo was taken by Karen Reshkin at the 2016 Milwaukee Irish Fest, and depicts a somewhat Irish-inspired riff on the standard Blue Lives Matter fascist fashion chic. Except no one explained to this idiot cop how translations work, especially when it comes to idioms.

A blogger named the Geeky Gaeilgeoir breaks this hilariously ironic failure with eloquent detail, and a much firmer grasp of the Irish language than I have. But essentially, this mean translated individual word of "Blue Lives Matter" without considering context or grammar. "Gorm" is indeed "blue." But "chónaí" means "lives" with a short "i," as in, "I live here." And "ábhar" means "matter," yes, but in the noun form — like a subject matter, or a material, as opposed to the verb of "mattering."

The syntax is all wrong, too. And that helps with the absurdity. Essentially, this shirt doesn't say anything.

But the real chef-kiss moment is with the word "Blue." "Gorm" is, technically, correct…in a certain context:

When color is used to describe a person in Irish, it typically refers to hair color. For example An bhean rua: The red-haired woman.

There are exceptions, of course: For example, Na fir bhuí (“The orange/yellow men”) is used to refer to members of the Orange Order because of the color of their sashes. But “blue/gorm” would not be used to refer to police officers as a group. That’s an American thing.

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The Irish language has the best weird translations of common animal names

There's a popular saying in the Gaeilgeoir, or Irish Speaker, community: "Is fearr linn Gaeilge briste, ná Béarla cliste," which basically means "Broken Irish is better than clever English."

I'm American, but I heard this refrain many times when I had the privilege of curating an Irish language Twitter account one week. I was nervous, as I've been learning the language as a casual hobby over the last few years. But the native speakers were remarkably encouraging—they were just happy to use the language at all, and to share its musicality with others. (I think the language is having a bit of a renaissance right now, as people in their 20s-40s feel a longing for a cultural connection that their Boomer parents neglected in their eagerness to assimilate).

This is all to say that: I can assure you that these Irish translations of common animal names are absolutely real. And while they're not broken Irish, they're still far more clever than anything our bastard mutt English tongue could ever come up with:

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Posted @withrepost • Thank you @gaeilge_vibes Is aoibhinn liom Gaeilge 💚🤣 #gaeilge #irish #vocabulary #languages #lol #irishblog #tgif #ireland #éire

A post shared by Emha na Réaltaí (@emasolasnarealtaiimochroi) on Nov 11, 2019 at 7:29am PST

This isn't like in English, where we giggle about "titmice" and "cocks" because of the unintended double entendre. "Cíoch" is actually breast. "Bod" is in fact a penis. These are pretty literal translations; no hidden suggestive meanings about it. Read the rest

Watch this Italian translator's hilarious expressions as she tries to make Trump sound normal

Having to listen to Trump's gibberish is one thing – you kind of learn to tune it out. But having to translate his nonsense into another language takes a skillset of great finesse. Take a look at this translator's bewildered expressions yesterday as she tried to put his mad drivel into coherent sentences during a talk between Trump and Italian President Sergio Mattarella.

Via Mashable Read the rest

Ankle scarves are only trending online, not on the streets

Nope, ankle scarves are not the latest thing to come out of Italy or Germany or wherever. I was skeptical when I came across this Country Living article that declared them a "trend," as the image is clearly Photoshopped. So, I started digging. First I went to its source, an Italian website called Lercio. Then I clicked to Lercio's source, a German site called Der Postillon and that's when I knew my suspicions were true. Ankle scarves are fake news parading around on English sites as a real trend.

And that's when I came across this article on Lifehacker. Its author, Nick Douglas, breaks it down for us:

That’s because there is no ankle scarf trend. I’m not saying that there’s really only one person who once wore tiny scarves on their ankles. I’m saying that the photo comes from this joke article on the German satire site Der Postillon.

See, Der Postillon published a joke article that teens in Berlin are wearing scarves around their ankles, to stay warm while wearing fashionably short pants. Then the Italian satire site Lercio syndicated that article. Lercio isn’t pretending to be real any more than Der Postillon is; the front page includes stories about a hermit hiding inside his mailbox, and the pope fighting over parking spots for the Popemobile.

When a blogger for the American site BestProducts.com—not a satire site—picked up the ankle scarf story, she either failed to notice that it was satire, or decided that it would make a better story if she didn’t mention that part.

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ASL interpreter baffles at briefing in Florida

In an emergency situation, it's important to get life-saving information out to the people. Deaf residents of Manatee County, Florida may not have received this message clearly, as a man with limited sign language skills was put in front of the camera to translate a televised briefing about Hurricane Irma.

To show just how embarrassingly bad the translation really was, YouTuber Jane Smith added captions to the briefing.

As an example, "We need you to be safe," became "Need be bear monster" to this under-qualified interpreter.

One YouTube commenter defended the man, writing:

ma'am he was not impersonating an interpreter. I personally know him and he is not an interpreter nor does he claim to be. His brother is Deaf. He works for the county as marine rescue. THE county are the ones who are to blame not this man. For the record his superiors asked him to, and he told them that he was not an interpreter and did not want to, but he was coerced into doing it anyways. Yes, it was a serious mistake, but please direct your outrage appropriately and don't just make assumptions about someone's motives without knowing anything about them please...

Poor guy, he really gave it his best shot.

(Holy Kaw!) Read the rest