Mapping and Commissioning Academic Translations into Welsh

Mapping and Commissioning Academic Translations into Welsh

Mapping and Commissioning Academic Translations into Welsh

06 August 2014

Translation will be the main theme in Aberystwyth’s stall on the Eisteddfod field on Friday, as the Mercator Institute will lead a double event on the subject on behalf of the Institute of Literature, Language and Creative Arts.

Firstly, Ned Thomas and Dewi Huw Owen will present the fruits of their labours in the Project they have been undertaking for the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol to compile an online catalogue of translations into Welsh in the Arts, the Humanities and the Social Sciences. The catalogue is now available on Y Porth, the website of the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol, and it is filled with the initial collected items found during their research.

There are over 550 different items already included in the catalogue, and amongst them more than 30 languages are to be seen. The works collected are very varied. The catalogue contains Maniffesto’r Blaid Gomiwnyddol (Marx and Engels, trans. W.J. Rees), Y Wladwriaeth (Plato, trans. D. Emrys Evans), Gweledigaethau Dante, sef La Divina Commedia (Dante, trans. Daniel Rees), the three Hamlets of the Welsh language, works by Tolstoy, Turgenev, Chekhov and other great figures of Russian literature, and various Documents of International Law, to name but a few of them.

The detailed nature of the catalogue has already inspired many further projects, including a research paper by Dewi Huw Owen and Roger Owen, TFTS, ‘Tri Hamlet y Gymraeg’ [The Three Hamlets of the Welsh Language], that has been presented in Wales and in Paris. In addition, the catalogue was the starting point for a fantastic performance of Arzel Even’s (Jan Piette, once of Aberystwyth University) translation of Roparz Hemon’s Breton play, ‘Carnifal’ by students from Aberystwyth at the National Eisteddfod last year. Also, through the compiling of the catalogue, some translations of important theory texts have been digitised, namely the Be’ Ddywedodd ...? series, and these are now also available on Y Porth.

The methodologies of research, the nature of the texts, and the user-friendliness of the catalogue will all be discussed in the talk on Friday. The catalogue can be accessed by clicking on the following link:

Following on from the talk, a number of academics and translators will be invited to take part in a round table discussion on the topic of commissioning new translations into Welsh. Many aspects will be discussed, such as which academic fields, which thinkers, and which selections should next be translated into Welsh, in the light of the evidence of the catalogue, and the first-hand experience of these academics working in the field of Welsh teaching and scholarship. You are also invited to take part in this important discussion. Works by which great world thinkers, and which articles and publications, should be translated into Welsh? Who would you place on the top of the list of selections? Бахти́н, Barthes, Baudrillard, de Beauvoir, Bourdieu, Benjamin, Derrida, Said, Fanon, Foucault, Gramsci, or someone else entirely?

The talk and the discussion both promise to make for a lively and exciting event, so call by, everyone, at Aberystwyth University’s stall on Friday the 8th of August at 10:30am.