Many individuals and organisations in Wales are working to encourage more use of the Welsh language in daily life, whether through speaking, listening, reading or writing. Much written material is available in Welsh, for example: in newspapers and magazines, and on-line. Welsh speakers are making increased use of social media. There is now a great opportunity to produce and distribute written material of all kinds in the Welsh language.
Welsh, as with many other languages, can be used in its own right as an art form. We see this from the outstanding work of Welsh novelists, poets and song writers. However, this course focusses on the more basic function of Welsh as a means of communicating information. To do this effectively, the language used should be clear and easily understood by the reader.
Direct word-for-word translation from English into Welsh may not be straightforward for several reasons:A practical approach for translating more complex texts from English into Welsh is to use the technique of translanguaging, introduced by Dr Cen Williams at Bangor University:
The objective of translanguaging is to obtain the overall meaning from the original English text, which may then be noted as a series of bullet points or as elements of a mind-map diagram. The original text is then put to one side, and a new Welsh text is constructed from the collection of key points. This allows more natural Welsh language patterns and familiar vocabulary to be used.
The original purpose of translanguaging was to provide a methodology for translating cumbersome and complex official documents in English into clear and easily understandable Welsh.
In each of the exercises below, a text in English is translated into Welsh. In order to avoid vocabulary and grammar which might confuse Welsh readers, we use the strategy of translanguaging. Key points are noted in a mind map diagram, translated into Welsh, and then linked to produce a final document. A suitable software application for this purpose, FreeMind, can be downloaded free of charge from the on-line Microsoft Store.
As an example, we will produce a Welsh language version of the following short article on tourism in Wales:
Key points from the text are displayed in the mind map diagram and translated into Welsh. The web page will display these key points, listed in a suitable order to produce an article:
cyfleoedd i ymweld â'r byd natur
arfordir a chlogwyni
llawer o lwybrau troed
poblogaidd gydag ymwelwyr o Loegr
ynysoedd oddi ar yr arfordir
ymweld ar deithiau cwch
The key points can then be edited and linked into sentences to produce the final article in simple Welsh:
After completing your article in Welsh, there are two useful checks which can be carried out: