Aer Lingus needs to brush up on its Irish-language skills

Sound Off: Sheelagh Coyle came across two examples of ungrammatical Irish on a flight

Sheelagh Coyle suggested the announcer tell his employer of the errors

Sheelagh Coyle suggested the announcer tell his employer of the errors

 

We were all seated, strapped in, ready for a flight from Dublin Airport to a European city with Aer Lingus recently. A male announcer addressed us. “Tá súil agam go raibh turas maith agaibh,” he says. If you’ve forgotten the Irish you learned in school, this translates as “I hope you had a good flight”. And all of us only about to take off.

So during the flight I asked one of the staff if I could speak to the person who made the announcement when he was free. I had written down what he had said and told him what he should have said, which was, “Tá súil agam go mbeidh turas maith agaibh” – I hope you have a good journey. I wondered had he read out the wrong notice and was that notice he had read for when we had landed. He said he had forgotten all the Irish he learned in school and the notice he read out was on a card, which he had received from his employers. He accepted that there may have been errors in his announcement. I suggested he tell his employer of the errors. But he said he wouldn’t dream of bringing it to their notice.

Then a few hours later, when we landed, another incorrect announcement followed. “Go raibh maith agat, a chairde,” a woman announced, which means thank you (singular) friends. There were a lot of us on the flight, so she should have read out, “Go raibh maith agaibh, a chairde”.

Both the Luas and Iarnród Éireann have perfect Irish announcements on their trams and trains, so why does Aer Lingus feature these grammatically incorrect announcements?

Do you have something you’d like to Sound Off about? Email 300 words to magazine@irishtimes.com with Sound Off in the subject line

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