Well actually, I’m not 100% percent it picks up everything, so I would still be inclined to use the other method as well (and variations like “Welsh Edition”, etc).
Jennings and Derbyshire…I understand perfectly, er, old girl.
That’s how I recently finished a book. The first half or so I’d religiously looked up and noted every unknown word, but then just got fed up of that and ploughed on regardless, and I’m pretty sure I got the gist of it ok.
Thank you again, everyone! Just spent a day and a half browsing books on amazon and ylolfa. I found a very intriguing book with short stories that apparently has even a story by Anton Checkov in it, traslated into Cymraeg of course. I’m sure it’s not suitable for my level, but I’m just very interested in how it might sound… Has anyone ever read tried reading a book first in some other language, English for example, and then in Cymraeg? I know Harry Potter has been translated.
I think it’s a pretty good approach if one can find the appropriate books and translations. I haven’t actually had much luck in that department, although as you say, Harry/Harri Potter is available, and this is on my "go back to" pile (first time I tried it, it was beyond me, even with a translation sitting next to it - I think I’d manage ok now).
I’ve actually translated a whole (short) novel from Cymraeg to English using Google translate, and am now currently in the process (on and off…) of converting Google’s “gobblygook” into proper English. It’s a slow process, but interesting. I’m actually making a parallel text out of it, using some clever free software written by a Russian chap (may be of interest to you Stella!). I’d done this before with German||English, but this is my first venture with it in Cymraeg||English.
Oh, this is a wonderful job that you’re doing! What is the name of the novel that you’re translating? And what are your plans for when you finish it, are you going to put it online maybe? I have an ambition to translate some of my favourite pieces of Russian literature into Cymraeg one day… in a very very distant future:)
I also think that parallel texts is a very good idea for learners, especially at the beginners/elementary level. But as for Cymraeg, the only book I was able to find with parallel texts is “Ystraeon o hanes Cymru”, which I am (very slowly) reading now.
Unfortunately, I can’t do that as it is copyright, not in the public domain… It’s a modern novel called “Y Rhwyd” (“The Net”). It’s not great literature or anything. I chose it almost at random, but also because I knew it was modern colloquial Welsh, and not too long, and available on Kindle (I use Kindle for PC, then Calibre to convert to plain text, and then use Google translate on that, about 5000 characters at a time. When I’ve put all the translated bits together, I import it into Aglona reader, along with the original, and then the long-winded work begins. It’s interesting though). Also of course, I can’t vouch for the accuracy of the translation But as an exercise for oneself, I find it interesting and instructive. I’d encourage anyone who is into reading to have a go themselves.
It would be nice if one could easily find public domain material for this kind of exercise, but unfortunately, (e.g. at Project Gutenberg), but they are almost by definition quite old, and presumably in “literary Welsh”, which I am not particularly interested in getting into at the present time (maybe one day in the distant future).
I found some parallel texts in Welsh-English for sale online:
“Si Hei Lwli” - “Twilight Song” by Angharad Tomos
Y Lôn Wen" “The White Lane” by Kate Roberts.
Both published by Gomer (and marked “Trosiadau” “Translations”).
But when I bought them, I then decided I wasn’t ready for them, and they have remained on my “go back to” pile. I think I could probably manage them now, but they are not at the top of the pile. I think I can recognise elements of literary style in them (thanks to hints in Gareth King’s books), but they are not too difficult looking (now!).
What kind of a book is “Y rhwyd”? A detective story? I’m now writing a to-read list for the future.
This translation exercise will probably be very useful for any learner. I wonder if there are some short stories or maybe fairy tales out there. Just to try translating myself. Maybe fairy tales would even be a better choice, as they’re not likely to be in copyright. And I’ve always been fascinated by the Welsh folk lore.
I can’t find any fairy tales, but I found a site that has translated Bible stories for children into many languages. They have 60 stories in English. They have 24 of those translated to Welsh. They are a simple retelling of Bible stories that should be good for trying to translate yourself. Also since they have the stories in English and other languages you can check your translation. Here’s a link to the Welsh page if you’re interested:
Thank you so much, this is just perfect! It’s so very helpful to read stories which I’m familiar with - I can guess the meaning of some words from the context.
And, maybe, just in case there’s anyone who doesn’t know this book already and is interested, there’s a free online copy of "“Ystraeon o hanes Cymru”, with parallel texts in Cymraeg and English. (I checked, it’s out of copyright) The stories are relatively easy. Of course, this is literary Welsh, but maybe someone finds it of interest as well.
I thought it was going to be (or a crime thriller of some sort). As far as I’ve got with it so far (not as far as I should have …) it’s turning out to be about, er, S&M! When I finish, I’ll let you know how it turns out (well, not of course if it’s too risqué! )
I’m sure there must be, and I think I’ve even seen them online in the past, but on a recent quick search, could only find them in English versions.
I’ve recently been expanding my collection of Gareth King textbooks, and in several of them, he gives some very useful hints in interpreting literary or at least more formal Welsh. I must admit, I had been terrified at the thought of venturing in that direction, but he at least to some extent demystifies it. (e.g. “Welsh Reader”, “Colloquial Welsh”, and “Intermediate Welsh”). He doesn’t go into it in that great a depth, but I think gives you enough to dip your toe in the water, if you have only previously learned colloquial Welsh.
I have read Y Rhwyd - my tutor gave it to me, because she didn’t think it was suitable for anyone else in the class! Why me? I don’t think she had read more than the first chapter. I thought the Welsh was fine, but the story has quite a nasty twist in the tail - but I don’t want to spoil it for you. Let me know what you think.
I’m not totally surprised. Thanks for the warning Helen!
In a fit of misplaced enthusiasm, ages ago, I bought two books by Llwyd Owen because they were available in both English as well as Welsh. I read them in English, meaning to then go back and try reading the Welsh. Unfortunately, the subject matter was such that I just didn’t feel like reading them again (in either language). Too “gritty” (or something) by far. Choosing books at random can be risky! “Blodwen Jones” is much more my style, but there don’t seem to be enough books like that around.
That’s a good question, I’m not sure anything like this exists… As far as I know, medieval Welsh is quite similar to the modern language and therefore can be understood without a retelling in the modern Welsh. I’ve found this, though http://www.mit.edu/~dfm/canol/contents.html. It’s a guide to reading in the Middle Welsh, and is based on the text of the Mabinogi. Maybe it might interest someone.
I just literally came on here this minute to ask about using children books or media clips generally for learning welsh, simply because I was watching SC4 earlier today, and although I didnt understand much of most parts of the channel with the adults speaking (fast usually), I did understand much more of a childrens cartoon programme that came on involving a hippopotamus and a lion lol. It got me into that eureka moment hahah…it makes total sense to start off with childrens media including books, especially if (like me) you want to be able to read in a new language as well as speak with it…
This is my first post here, and have not read the context of this post, so forgive me if I have re-birthed an old or redundant post or simply restated the obvious.