On the eve of International Translation Day, we are delighted to announce that Robin Farrar is the winner of Her Gyfieithu 2021.
Robin Farrar is a freelance language tutor who currently lives in Rambouillet near Paris. He was brought up in a bilingual home in Mynydd Llandygái near Bangor. He studied a degree in Mathematics, and also took a keen interest in environmental issues, before turning to languages. He was an active campaigner with Cymdeithas yr Iaith, with a period as Chairman and then Secretary of the movement. Having moved to France in 2018, the interest in languages continued, mainly as a teacher and a translator. Instead of following traditional lessons, he honed his French skills by living, working and various other activities, such as drama lessons, through the medium of the language. In addition to Welsh, English and French, he speaks some Polish and is learning Basque.
Robin receives a £200 cash prize donated by Swansea University and the Her Gyfieithu staff sponsored by Cymdeithas Cyfieithwyr Cymru.
The challenge this year was to translate a series of three poems by the poet Samira Negrouche from French to Welsh. Samira Negrouche is a Francophone Algerian poet and translator living in Algiers. She was raised in an Amazigh-speaking family and considers herself to have three mother tongues: Amazigh, Arabic and French. She trained as medical doctor but has dedicated herself exclusively to writing, translation and creative projects. A major voice in her country, her poetry is translated into over twenty languages.
In a strong competition, the adjudicator Siân Melangell Dafydd described the winner as “A careful translator, who has have ventured and found simple, thrilling phrases to allow Samira’s voice to travel to the Welsh language, and for the two voices to exist together.”
The winning translation and adjudication will be published on O’r Pedwar Gwynt literary magazine website.
A digital event will be held tonight (29 September) at 5.30pm to celebrate Robin’s success, and to mark the centenary of PEN International. Click here to register.
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.