Translation, Translation, Translation

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If you enjoy theatre and languages you may, like me, get excited when you’re asked to be involved with the Theatre Festival for European Minority Languages. Saying that, as you may expect, dealing with translating minority languages can be a bit tricky.

Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru was invited to take a 15 minute performance to the festival in Bautzen, Germany. Pridd, a one man production by Aled Jones Williams (performed originally by the company in 2013) was the perfect choice and this was the perfect opportunity to use Sibrwd to open up the performance to an European audience at the festival and have further feedback to the app. The first stage, therefore, was to choose an extract from the play and make it ‘Sibrwd friendly’ (a creative synopsis). This involved a Welsh/ English speaker creating a synopsis in English. Then (and here comes the tricky part), we needed to find someone who could translate the English in to German and finally someone to translate the German into Sorbian (a minority language from eastern Germany). And then of course, actors to record the voice overs.

Pridd is rooted in Wales, and generally would be best understood by Welsh audiences – not to mention the fact that it also jumps from Welsh to English within a scene – we therefore needed to find people who understood the Welsh context of the play and convey this to an European audience. This was extremely tricky and we tried all but giving up. But, as often happens in minority cultures, you mention such a dilemma to a colleague and all it takes is a phone call to find someone who knows someone who speaks Welsh, English, German and Sorbian!

The next step then is to record the synopses, rehearse the piece and fly off to the festival in Germany to show the world what Sibrwd can do!