Happy Birthday William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 30’

‘Sonnet 30’

23 April 2015

Two members of staff at Aberystwyth University, Dewi Huw Owen, Research Officer at the Mercator Institute, and Adam Wilson, New Media Developer at the University’s Marketing Department, have been working hard during the past few weeks preparing a short film to celebrate William Shakespeare’s birthday, which falls on the 23rd of April.

In the film, ‘Sonnet 30’, one of Shakespeare’s most famous poems, is performed by a multi-lingual cast.

The performance begins and ends with a reading of lines from the Welsh translation of the poem, by Hynek Janoušek, a native of Prague who is currently an MA student at the Department of Welsh, Aberystwyth University.

This translation is also to be seen in full along with the original English text in the fideo’s subtitles.

The other lines of the poem are read by speakers from all over the world in many different languages, from Spanish to Breton, Basque to Finnish, Czech to Anglo-Saxon, and many more besides.

“The work is intended as a celebration of the richness of the world’s literary traditions, of Shakespeare’s enduring influence on the cultures of the world, and of the elegant variety of the languages of man,” said Dewi Huw Owen, from Aberystwyth University’s Mercator Institute.

Almost all of the reciters in the video have been, at some point, either students or staff at Aberystwyth University in general, and the Mercator Institute in particular.

The film is part of the output of Blog Cronfa Cyfieithiadau’r Gymraeg [The Blog of the Library of Welsh Translations], a weekly blog that Huw keeps to complement his work with the Mercator Institute and Aberystwyth University’s Project, funded by the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol, to create a descriptive online catalogue of translations into Welsh in the Arts, the Humanities and the Social Sciences.

Since October 2014, Huw has published blogs about translations of poems, songs, films, novels, plays, new media, fine art, factual material, legal documents, and much, much more.

These can all be read, and the latest weekly blogs can be found, by clicking on https://cyfieithiadau.wordpress.com/.

The online catalogue itself, which contains almost 800 works from around 40 different languages, can be viewed at https://www.porth.ac.uk/cyfieithiadau/.

The film was launched this morning (Thursday), so click here to visit the blog to enjoy the fruits of Adam, Huw and their friends’ labours, and to join them in wishing William Shakespeare a happy, multi-lingual birthday.

And remember, as the blog’s motto says, “Bob dydd Iau, bydd #cyfieithiadau!”

Mercator Institute for Media, Languages and Culture

Mercator Institute for Media, Languages and Culture (formerly Mercator - Media) was established in 1988 as a direct result of the European Parliament recommendation that EC Member State Governments and the European Commission take positive action to recognize regional and minority languages. From its very beginning, the mission of the Institute was to gather, store, analyse and distribute information on regional and minority languages within the European Union as part of the Network of specialist research centres.

Today, the Mercator Institute is based at the Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies, ILLCA, Aberystwyth University, Wales. It hosts a number of projects specialising in languages, creative and literary translation, media, publishing and culture, with much of the activity based around a wide network of institutions, universities, companies, agencies, associations and individuals across Europe and increasingly in other parts of the world. Minority languages are central to the Mercator Institute's vision, and most of its projects have a specific focus on these languages and their contexts.