Celebrating an international partnership on Europe Day

Darllen yn Gymraeg

On Europe Day, Wales Literature Exchange, Wales PEN Cymru and Literature Across Frontiers are celebrating a new collaboration with Goethe-Institut. 

The Goethe-Institut, which fosters cultural cooperation internationally and promotes knowledge of the German language are one of the organisations supporting Wales PEN Cymru’s annual translation competition, Her Gyfieithu (Translation Challenge).

The challenge this year is to translate a series of short poems by contemporary poet of Turkish descent who writes in German, Zafer Şenocak, from German into English or Welsh. The poems, and details on how to compete, can be found on Wales PEN Cymru website.

A spokesperson for Goethe-Institut London said: 

“The Goethe-Institut London is thrilled to be supporting the Welsh Translation Challenge 2020. This year’s award not only provides well-deserved recognition for literary translators, but acknowledges Germany’s diverse literary culture. We are particularly proud of this partnership with organisations that bring translated literature to new audiences of Welsh language speakers.”

Elin Haf Gruffydd Jones on behalf of the partnership said:

“This annual competition aims to stimulate and foster creative and literary translation. A core element of the Translation Challenge is reaching an understanding of a poem in one language and communicating it in another.

Each year we select a language for the Translation Challenge which has a specific relevance. Over the last three years, we have chosen languages that are not taught in schools in Wales – Catalan, Turkish and Polish – in order to encourage collaboration between speakers of those languages and translators in Wales. However, this year we decided to choose a language that is taught in the education system in Wales.

We were also keen to choose a poet who could represent Europe in its diversity. Zafer Şenocak is of Turkish descent and writes in German. 

We also believe that Germany is leading the way in investing in its creative sector, and its progressive policies to support refugees.

It’s more important than ever for us to continue collaborating with our friends across Europe, and therefore we are very pleased with this opportunity to collaborate with the Goethe-Institut.”

The deadline for entries is 22 May 2020, and the adjudicators this year are Mererid Hopwood (into Welsh) and Karen Leeder (into English). A prize of £200 will be presented to the winning entries in each language and they will be published on Poetry Wales and O’r Pedwar Gwynt literary magazines’ websites. The Bardic Staff, sponsored by Cymdeithas Cyfieithwyr Cymru, is awarded for the best Welsh language translation.

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, the Goethe-Institut, O’r Pedwar Gwynt and Poetry Wales.

Details on how to compete