Quite right to have road signs in Gaelic

The Oban Times - - Letters -

Sir, In The Oban Times of De­cem­ber 22, you in­cluded a let­ter query­ing the value of bilin­gual road signs.

I would sug­gest that for the vast ma­jor­ity of places in the High­lands (and in­deed for a good num­ber of places else­where in Scot­land) such signs are not re­ally bilin­gual at all, since th­ese places only have Gaelic names.

The Gaelic names are real words, usu­ally de­scrib­ing phys­i­cal fea­tures of the places, while the English ver­sion is a mean­ing­less jumble of let­ters, pro­vid­ing no more than a pho­netic guide to the ap­prox­i­mate pro­nun­ci­a­tion of the real names.

I have no idea what reg­u­la­tions gov­ern the size and con­tent of road signs, but it would be lu­di­crous not to have the cor­rect names as the pri­or­ity.

It is hard to be­lieve that tourists can cope with sig­nage in dif­fer­ent lan­guages else­where in the world, but be­come hope­lessly con­fused when faced with a sign in Gaelic, es­pe­cially when it comes with a con­ve­nient pro­nun­ci­a­tion guide which they can use as the place name. D MacKen­zie, 5 Glas­drum Grove, Fort Wil­liam.

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