When I was a kid, I loved Ripley’s Believe It Or Not. I devoured every one of the paperback books and couldn’t wait for the weekly Sunday comic strip version of Ripley’s.
The only thing I knew about Wales — literally the only thing — is that the Welsh have their own language. I learned that from a Ripley’s Believe It Or Not comic. The brain’s a funny thing — I have no idea why I remember the two following Ripley items, but I do:
“Ed Ek has the shortest name in the United States” and “The longest place name in the world is a town in Wales named Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.”
We’re in Cardiff, Wales today and, oddly enough, a local weatherman made news around the world when he announced that the town was a relatively balmy 70 degrees farenheit yesterday.
The English translation of the 58-letter Welsh name is “St. Mary’s Church in the hollow of the white hazel near the rapid whirlpool of Llantysilio of the red cave.”
Just for fun, and to demonstrate how different the Welsh language really is, I used Google Translate to translate a common phrase into Welsh.
In English it was, “Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country.”
In Welsh, it reads, “Nawr yw’r amser i bob dyn da i ddod i chymorth eu gwlad.”
That’s a real language? It looks like random letters throw together for an eye chart. It’s no wonder we’ve been lost ever since we got to town. Good luck reading the street signs.