Blog Archives

A Welsh New Year Wish

Cold is the man who can’t love, The old mountains of dear Wales, To him and his warmest friend, A cheerful holiday next year. Cold is the snow on Mount Snowdon, Even though it has a flannel blanket on it,

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Posted in Christmas, translation

Women in Translation Month: Menna Elfyn

“Why write? It is so much easier to say when I started to write. I fell in love with words, and wordsmiths such as Dylan Thomas… in the ‘fifties, when I was growing up, the Welsh language was still seen

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Posted in books, language, poetry

O bydded i’r hen iaith barhau: Patagonia 150

One of my earliest language-learning memories is of hot summer afternoons in the early years of high school, when even our unquenchably enthusiastic Welsh teacher would give up and just tell us stories. Of a land far far away, where children

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Posted in history, international, language, translation

Workers of the world unite: you have nothing to lose in translation

Billy Bragg had a 24-hour job at a moment’s notice. He was not going to get paid for his overtime. But he was on a mission. And he made the deadline. Hear him tell the story and sing his translation.

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Posted in international, translation

A language is a dialect with an army

Yesterday was St David’s Day, in self-imposed Finnish exile I’ll have to buy, not pick daffodils and sing the national anthem alone. It includes the immortal line: “O bydded i’r hen iaith barhau” (may the language endure for ever). Welsh

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Posted in language, translation

sounds British? Save our Sounds!

If, like me, you still regret getting rid of your lovingly created mix cassette tapes, complete with breath of radio 1 DJ at the end of each song, even though you haven’t had anything to play them on for years,

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Posted in language, translation

Dead poets translation society: “I was not there I don’t know”

How do you translate a dead poet? The November issue of Poetry magazine  is dedicated to translation, with translator’s notes on each poem. I made a beeline for languages I know – and found they shared a problem. The poet

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Posted in history, poetry, translation
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