James Pantefedwyn Foundation

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Rhianwen Williams

After graduating from Cardiff University with a First Class BA degree in Welsh and History in 2021, I decided to continue my studies there with a MA Welsh and Celtic Studies course at the School of Welsh. The selection of modules offered on the undergraduate degree course was extremely varied - my favourites were the modules on Linguistic Planning and Language Policy, Sociolinguistics, and Professional Translation - and I was keen to continue these modules at postgraduate level.

The nature of the MA Welsh and Celtic Studies course is very flexible. I completed a core module which provided an introduction and analysis of the key features within contemporary scholarship, and continued the sociolinguistic route for the specialist modules, which included modules on the social history of the Welsh language, linguistic regeneration, linguistic planning and language policy, social and psychological factors that can affect attitudes and use of language, and the geographical variation of the Welsh language.

I decided to focus my thesis on the field of translation, and examine the past, present, and future of Cymdeithas Cyfieithwyr Cymru (the Association of Welsh Translators and Interpreters) and ask what are the challenges facing translation and translators in Wales today and what is the role of the Association in trying to overcome these challenges. The process of researching the subject, collecting the quantitative and qualitative data, and writing the essay itself was extremely interesting and I hope it will shed further light on these challenges in Wales and beyond.

During my postgraduate studies, I had the opportunity of working with Cardiff University's Translation Unit. I learnt so much from this experience, and this would not have been possible if it were not for the financial support of the Foundation which enabled me to study at the University for another year. I have now submitted my dissertation and look forward to starting as a full-time translator with Rhondda Cynon Taff County Borough Council.

It was a great privilege to receive a grant from the James Pantyfedwen Foundation and I cannot thank them enough for their generosity. The pandemic was an uncertain period for everyone, but receiving this grant was a tremendous boost in the face of such uncertainty. Thank you very much!