Faulty business names, etc. in Irish – how damaging are these to the language?

Fáilte (Welcome) Forums General Discussion (Irish and English) Faulty business names, etc. in Irish – how damaging are these to the language?

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  • #36585
    Héilics Órbhuí
    Participant

    I’ve started noticing this disturbing phenomenon of businesses choosing Irish Gaelic phrases or terms and getting them wrong. When I see this I feel really discouraged – it seems even worse to me than a bad tattoo. I also feel like the language is being hurt because of it, but I don’t know if that’s actually the case. What do you think? When Irish is used incorrectly in business titles or elsewhere, does this hurt the language, or is it just something that makes people who actually speak it grit their teeth?

    #44173
    Wee_Falorie_Man
    Participant

    To me, it shows that the business lacks any real respect or appreciation for the language. Businesses like that apparently think that the Irish language is merely a prop that is to be used without any regard for the language itself or the people who actually speak it.

    Of course, the same can be said of the people who want an Irish tattoo because they claim to be proud of their heritage. Rather than showing their alleged pride by taking the time and effort to try to learn the language, once they’ve got their tattoo translation they leave the forum and you never hear from them again. I personally think it’s a waste of time to give translations to people who have no interest at all in learning the language.

    #44174
    Héilics Órbhuí
    Participant

    I totally agree. I actually e-mailed a company recently when I saw their web site (where they actually advertise in the banner what their company name supposedly means in Irish Gaelic) because it’s incorrect. They sent me a message back saying it was the general meaning conveyed by the words. I couldn’t believe that someone wouldn’t have, before naming their company, at least consulted someone who understood basic Irish grammar, because that person would have assuredly told them their grammar was wrong (I hate to single out specific companies, but this one had a name “___ eolas”, which should of course be “eolais”). And apparently it’s enough to pick a couple Irish words you like the meaning of and jam them together without regard for basic grammar rules. I saw another business that took the word “shona” as the first word in the name of their restaurant, obviously unaware that you don’t just lenite words when you feel like it or probably even what lenition is in the first place.

    I’m trying to think of another example of a language that gets abused this much in this way and the only analogy I can think of is the “Engrish” you see used in Japan and certain other countries, however the difference there is that there are no shortage of actual fluent English speakers in the world that can either laugh off these aberrations or correct them. Irish doesn’t have the same luxury. The idea of living in a world where most of the Irish “speakers” were not even attempting to have an understanding of the language is one that offends me in the worst way. I feel like people who carelessly choose words and phrases for tattoos and, even worse, businesses are committing a horrible form of language pollution. Maybe this is an exaggeration and the damage they do is minimal, but it seems like the endangered status of the language makes these offenses more significant.

    #44175
    Labhrás
    Participant

    Do you have real examples?

    #44176
    Héilics Órbhuí
    Participant

    You mean.. more real examples?

    #44178
    Labhrás
    Participant

    You mean.. more real examples?

    Yes, real complete examples 😉

    #44180
    Héilics Órbhuí
    Participant

    Ok, well, I hate to slander businesses by name on here, and it didn’t seem necessary to make my point, but the first one is “éiriú Eolas” and the other is “Shona Grill”. The former actually advertises on their site what their name means in Irish, whereas the second one I have heard through word of mouth is supposed to be from the Irish word for “happy” (obviously “sona” is what they actually were going for).

    #44181
    Labhrás
    Participant

    Well, “Shona Grill” rather reminds me of an African (Zimbabwean) grill 🙂
    I’d expect antilope steaks to be served there.

    #44182
    Héilics Órbhuí
    Participant

    😉 Yup, that would make more sense

    #44183
    Onuvanja
    Participant

    Interesting topic. I think I wouldn’t be as worried about this particular phenomenon. I mean, the fact that those companies opted for an Irish name seems to indicate that they thought this might give their business a leg up. In other words, they considered that Irish carries some added value, which is a positive thing in itself. Of course, the fact that they got the grammar wrong takes away some of the credibility. At the end of the day, you would rather trust a business that can handle the genitive case or is diligent enough to ask for expert advice than one that can’t.

    #44184
    Hugo
    Participant

    Then there’s the deliberately bad, state-sponsored, mother and father of them all: Aer Lingus.

    #44185
    Insect Overlord
    Participant

    Then there’s the deliberately bad, state-sponsored, mother and father of them all: Aer Lingus.

    What’s the origin of that name?

    #44188
    Labhrás
    Participant

    Then there’s the deliberately bad, state-sponsored, mother and father of them all: Aer Lingus.

    What’s the origin of that name?

    Aer( )loingeas = Air fleet

    #44189
    Héilics Órbhuí
    Participant

    🙁 Makes me sad.

    #44191
    Héilics Órbhuí
    Participant

    Incidentally, just to give a little more insight into the mindset of someone who would do this, this is the most recent reply I got from the company in question:

    “It’s a concept, an idea, not a language lesson. Éiriú means “rising” Eolas means “knowledge”. So translated directly it means “Rising Knowledge” it therefore conveys the idea of an uprising or ‘growth of knowledge’.”

    I’m kinda curious what you all think of this. It seems like an obvious cop-out to me. As I conveyed in my subsequent reply, if it’s not a “language lesson” as he puts it, then why does he make a point of advertising (incorrectly) what the phrase supposedly means on the main page of his site? Furthermore, it seems obvious that it wasn’t the original intention, as if you really wanted to “convey” something, you’d express it correctly, i.e. I doubt the “i” in “eolais” was omitted intentionally, since all it does it make the idea being conveyed more flawed.

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