Page 1 of 5


The Professional Translation Studies course: scholarship

Once again this year, Cymdeithas Cyfieithwyr Cymru will be offering a scholarship of up to £1,000 to a student or students who have secured a place to follow the Professional Translation Studies at Aberystwyth University. Priority will be given to those students studying for the Diploma or MA, be that full time or part time. Candidates for the scholarship will be expected to translate a test piece as part of the application process.

The closing date for applications is 5 September 2022.

Guidelines and the text to be translated can be found in the information document (available in Welsh only).


Ceredigion National Eisteddfod

The Hedley Gibbard Memorial Lecture

Cymdeithas Cyfieithwyr Cymru’s annual lecture will be held in Societies 1 at midday on Thursday, 4 August 2022.

Mary Jones has chosen ‘Yn y dechreuad ...’, which translates as in the beginning, as the title of her lecture. Mary was one of the first translators to work in the Welsh Office’s translation unit in the 60s under its head, Moc Rogers of Ffair-rhos. She will provide a picture of the early days of Welsh translation.

Cymdeithas Cyfieithwyr Cymru’s annual lecture has, since 2002, been held in memory of Hedley Gibbard (1936-2001) as a mark of appreciation of his pioneering work in developing English<>Welsh translation and interpreting.

Cymdeithas Cyfieithwyr Cymru will also be part of three other events at the Eisteddfod, each one on the the University of Wales Trinity Saint David stand.

  • On Wednesday afternoon at 3pm the Translation Challenge and international literary translation in contemporary Wales will be celebrated. First held in 2009, it has become an important literary translation competition. It will include an exhibition of some of the Translation Challenge Staffs presented to the winners of the Welsh language competition. Cymdeithas Cyfieithwyr Cymru has sponsored the Translation Challenge Staff since 2011 and in so doing has been privileged to acknowledge the craftmanship of Elis Gwyn who has carved this unique prize from a piece of wood from the Llanystumdwy area.
  • On Thursday morning at 11am, Manon Cadwaladr, the Chair of Cymdeithas Cyfieithwyr Cymru, and Ben Screen, author of Sylfeini Cyfieithu Testun, will be discussing this first ever introduction in Welsh to professional translation which was published by the University of Wales Press at the end of 2021.
  • And at 2pm on Thursday there will be an opportunity to congratulate Sioned Pugh, Ffion Parrington and Amy Mason, the winners of the prize given by Cymdeithas Cyfieithwyr Cymru to the most promising students studying the University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s Postgraduate Certificate in Interpreting. The event will also be an opportunity to promote this Postgraduate Certificate which was described by all three winners as an excellent experience.

Cymdeithas Cyfieithwyr Cymru will not have a stand on the Eisteddfod field.


UK’s Ukraine language support task force

Cymdeithas Cyfieithwyr Cymru has written to those organisations who established the UK’s Ukraine language support task force in response to the war in Ukraine to express its support for this initiative.

The 6 members of the task force are the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI), the Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIOL), the National Register for Public Service Interpreters (NRPSI), the Association of Translation Companies (ATC), the International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC UK & Ireland), and Charity Translators.

The practical support offered by the task force includes making Ukrainian-English templates for the most commonly needed documents for visa applications freely available, and assisting the UK’s Ukrainian communities by opening of channels of communication.

Charity Translators, a volunteer organisation working with the charity sector, has drawn up a list of available initiatives and resources to support those affected by the war in Ukraine. A volunteer with Charity Translators is Cari Bottois, a PhD researcher in the School of Modern Languages at Cardiff University.

Further information can be found on the websites of the partner organisations, and we refer you to the Ukrainian crisis page on the ITI website.


Elan benefits from scholarship

Elan Grug Carter from Minera near Wrexham has been awarded the scholarship offered by Cymdeithas Cyfieithwyr Cymru to one of the students on the Professional Translation Studies scheme at Aberystwyth University.

Elan is studying full time for an MA which she is evidently enjoying,

‘I’m really enjoying the translation course in Aber,’ she said. ‘I feel that I’ve learnt loads already and am looking forward to the rest of the course.'

A former pupil of Ysgol Morgan Llwyd Wrexham, Elan gained a BA degree in Welsh at Cardiff University earlier this year. She also undertakes translation work on a casual basis for HMCTS.

Elan’s desire to become a translator started in her teens when she was a waitress in a restaurant near Wrexham when she realised that a lot of Welsh speakers visited the restaurant. As a result, she decided to translate all the menus into Welsh in order to promote the use of the language and increase the confidence of the customers to speak Welsh. This gave her enormous pleasure and seeing the change in the approach of the customers gave her a great sense of pride.

This is the second year that the Association has offered a scholarship to assist a student at the start of their journey to becoming a professional translator. The scholarship is funded by the Association’s ‘Sbarduno’ Fund.


Annual Report 2020-21

The Annual Report 2020-21 shows that Cymdeithas Cyfieithwyr Cymru succeeded in continuing to respond to the needs of its members and undertook the daily task of administering, organising and managing the work of the Association despite the restrictions but at a lower level.

From the outset, emphasis was given to keeping in touch with members and providing them with as much relevant information as possible and on responding positively to the circumstances in which we lived. The challenges of remote interpreting was one of these. Despite it being a year of cancellations and postponements, of not holding events and of not being able to welcome new members, it was possible to arrange some activities. The short translation e-workshop proved popular.

Most reassuring was that Covid-19 appeared to have had no impact on members' loyalty to the Association and the number of members remained high.

Covid-19 had a varied impact of on the work of translators and interpreters, some lost work, but many were busy. Things changed dramatically for interpreters and their professionalism in adapting to new ways of working deserves high praise.

In acknowledging his appreciation of the members’ contribution throughout these uncertain times in his Chair’s message, Huw Tegid Roberts said that this demonstrated our members’ ability to respond to changing situations and to adapt their ways of working. He also emphasised how the important role of translators and interpreters in seeking to convey information both accurately and accessibly became increasingly apparent.

Cymdeithas Cyfieithwyr Cymru was part-funded by the Welsh Government in 2020-21, and we would like to place on record our thanks for this support.

Nia Ar Englynion

Nia celebrates 20 years!

In July 2020 Nia Wyn Jones, Cymdeithas Cyfieithwyr Cymru’s Systems Manager, celebrated a very significant milestone, that of twenty years of working for the Association. When Nia started in her post she was the only full-time member of staff, Megan Hughes Tomos was a part time Director at the time. As the Association grew, so she came to enjoy the company of others of us in the office!

As those who are familiar with the Association know only too well, Nia has played a crucial role in its development during this time. Not the least of her many duties is the administration of the examinations and interpreting tests, ensuring they happen smoothly and efficiently. And they do!

To mark the occasion Ifan Prys wrote a delightful chain of ‘englynion’ (a traditional Welsh short poem form written in ‘cynghanedd’, the strict metres). In his ‘englynion’, which we have not translated but can be seen on the Welsh side of this website, Ifan has skilfully woven together the buildings which have been home to the Association since 2000, namely Aethwy at Bangor University; Bryn Menai, our office in Upper Bangor from 2001 until September 2019; and the present office in Intec, Parc Menai on the outskirts of Bangor.

We are grateful to Tonnau, Pwllheli, for the calligraphy and the framing of the ‘englynion’.


Interpreting in Microsoft Teams

Cymdeithas Cyfieithwyr Cymru has written to Microsoft Teams (3 December 2020) urging them to move swiftly to a successful solution to the matter of providing interpreting as an integral component of Microsoft Teams.

Our letter emphasised that because it is not possible to provide interpreting in Teams Welsh speakers are being prevented from using their mother tongue in meetings. For interpreters, it has meant a serious loss of income in a year when the impact of Covid-19 on them financially has been brutal.


Mari Lisa

It is with great sadness that we heard of Mari Lisa’s sudden death.

Mari was one of the Directors of Cymdeithas Cyfieithwyr Cymru, an examination marker and a tutor, and one who contributed generously to the activities of the Association. As well as being a highly regarded translator, Mari was a novelist and poet. We will be the poorer for her passing.

As an Association, we extend our sincerest sympathy to Mari’s family in their sad loss.


Report on the activities of 2019-20

The Report on the activities of Cymdeithas Cyfieithwyr Cymru in 2019-20 shows that the Association continued to hold membership examinations and provided various professional development activities and opportunities, continued to work in partnership with the higher education sector, and continued to forge links and collaborated with public organisations and with other translation and interpreting associations for the good of the Association and to raise the profile of the Welsh translation and interpreting profession.

One again this year, it is a source of great pleasure that membership of the Association on 31 March 2020 was at a record high of 411 members.

In acknowledging his appreciation of the members’ contribution, Chair, Huw Tegid Roberts, in his Foreword looks forward confidently,

‘Whatever the future holds, I hope that all of us will be encouraged by the fact that we are members of an Association of over four hundred members, all of whom have a part to play in ensuring that the Welsh language continues to thrive as an integral part of the public, private, voluntary and leisure aspects of our nation. Thank you all for your contributions to the vital work of ensuring that the citizens of Wales in this Covid dominated period can continue to live and work through the medium of Welsh.’

Cymdeithas Cyfieithwyr Cymru is part-funded by the Welsh Government, and we would like to place on record our thanks for this support.


Her Gyfieithu 2020

Grug Muse is the winner of Her Gyfieithu 2020, the Translation Challenge into Welsh.

Grug Muse is a poet, editor and researcher. She is one of the founding members and editors of Y Stamp literary magazine. Her first volume of poetry, Ar Ddisberod, was published by Barddas in 2017, and her work has been published in several publications including O’r Pedwar Gwynt, Barddas, Poetry Wales. She is a recipient of a Literature Wales Writers Bursary in 2020. She is currently working on a PhD research project at Swansea University.

Grug wins a prize of £200, as well as the Her Gyfieithu Staff, sponsored by Cymdeithas Cyfieithwyr Cymru, which is awarded for the best Welsh translation.

In sponsoring the Her Gyfieithu Staff once again, it gives Cymdeithas Cyfieithwyr Cymru great pleasure to acknowledge the fine craftsmanship of Elis Gwyn who has carved this unique prize from a piece of wood found in the woodlands around Llanystumdwy.

This year’s challenge was to translate a series of short poems titled ‘Nahaufnahmen’ by Turkish poet, Zafer Şenocak, from German. Zafer Şenocak lives in Berlin, where he has become a leading voice in discussions on multiculturalism, national and cultural identity, and a mediator between Turkish and German culture.

Her Gyfieithu adjudicator, Mererid Hopwood, received 11 entries, and said that Grug’s entry was the translation that captured her imagination and was most successful in creating the feeling of a ‘poem’.

The competition is organized by Wales Literature Exchange, Wales PEN Cymru and Literature Across Frontiers in collaboration with University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Swansea University, Cymdeithas Cyfieithwyr Cymru, O’r Pedwar Gwynt, Poetry Wales and the Goethe-Institut.

The winner of Translation Challenge 2020 is Eleoma Bodammer.

A digital event will be held on 30 September, to coincide with International Translation Day, to celebrate Grug and Eleoma’s success.

The winning poems and the adjudications can be read on the Wales PEN Cymru website.

Page 1 of 5