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Russian scholar sheds new light on Old Welsh

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Llawlyfr Hen Gymraeg

Llawlyfr Hen Gymraeg

A new e-book by a Russian academic sheds new light on the early history of the Welsh language.

Llawlyfr Hen Gymraeg (‘Old Welsh Handbook’) by Dr Alexander Falileyev is the first comprehensive description of Old Welsh to appear in the Welsh language.

It is published by the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol and launched at Aberystwyth University today, Tuesday 1 March.

Old Welsh refers to the period between the ninth century and the early twelfth century in the history of the Welsh language.

Although books on Old Welsh are already available in English, French and Russian, there were no Welsh books until the publication of this e-book by the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol.

Llawlyfr Hen Gymraeg provides the first opportunity for Welsh speakers to learn about some of the earliest known examples of texts in their language.

Dr Alexander Falileyev, a native of St. Petersburg, Russia, is an expert on the Celtic languages.

He has published extensively on the place names and personal names of ancient European Celts, and on the language and literature of medieval Wales.

Llawlyfr Hen Gymraeg is an adaptation of an Old Welsh grammar by Alexander Falileyev published in Russian in 2002 and in French in 2008.

Dr Falileyev has adapted the text for a Welsh audience and has incorporated the latest research findings.

It contains detailed descriptions of known texts, with a full bibliography, chapters on phonology, grammar and syntax of the language, and a selection of edited texts with comprehensive notes and vocabulary.

This volume follows handbooks by Henry Lewis on Middle Breton and Middle Cornish and by Melville Richards on Old Irish published during the 1920s and 30s.

The latest volume is the first in a new series edited by Dr Simon Rodway from the Department of Welsh, Aberystwyth University.

Dr Rodway said: “Henry Lewis and Melville Richards’ short volumes are very useful handbooks: they attest to the fact that students were studying medieval Celtic languages through the medium of Welsh during the first decades of the last century. This is still true today, but students often have to turn to English resources if they want to benefit from the latest research in the field. The goal of this new series is to change that, and there’s no better place to start than with the pioneering work of Dr Falileyev on Old Welsh, essential reading for anyone interested in this exciting stage of our language.”

The book is available as a free e-book from the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol’s online resource library, https://llyfrgell.porth.ac.uk

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Penrhyn-coch Brownies compose song

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PENRHYN-COCH Brownies were congratulated for composing a new Welsh language song recently. The workshops were part of a program of Welsh language workshops organised by Cered – Menter Iaith Ceredigion.

Following a series of workshops with the young singer, Mari Mathias from Talgarreg, the girls decided to compose a song. ‘Yn yr Haf’ was recorded with the girls singing and Mari on the guitar. All the group members received a copy of the song on CD.

Rhodri Francis, Cered’s Development Officer said: “It has been a pleasure to work with the group and we congratulate members on their masterpiece. Thanks also to the leaders for their enthusiasm in securing opportunities for the members to socialise in Welsh outside of school hours.”

Cered’s main aim is to support, influence and develop the use of the Welsh language in Ceredigion through partnership and co-operation, to establish the best possible foundation for the development of the language in the society and community.

Wendy Reynolds, leader of the Brownies unit in Penrhyn-coch said: “The experience has been amazing for the girls and they’ve had a lot of fun doing activities through the medium of Welsh.”

Follow all the news about the wider work of Cered, through liking the Facebook page @ceredmenteriaith or follow on Twitter @MICered.

For more information on Cered, phone 01545 572350 or email cered@ceredigion.gov.uk.

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Theatre caravan coming to Aberystwyth

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THE SMALLEST cinema in a theatre caravan will be on the Promenade in Aberystwyth for three Saturdays this summer.

Staff from Ceredigion Museum, together with the Friends of Ceredigion Museum, will be hosting a series of free entertaining events in and around the theatre caravan on July 28, August 4, and August 11 between 12pm and 4pm.

Sarah Morton, the Events Organiser for Ceredigion Museum said, “We have a series of short local films from the National Film and Screen Archive which links to our summer exhibition relating to the seaside at the museum, in the old Coliseum Theatre. The two minute films show people on the beach and promenade in Aberystwyth as well as Y Borth. We will also have singing from the Showtime Singers to add to the entertainment.

“We will be situated in and near the bandstand and hope to be able to bring some of the traditions of a typical coastal break back to life.”

Besides the theatre caravan, there will be a Guess-the-Object held in the bandstand with museum staff to aid in identifying the mystery objects.

For more details about the caravan and the entertainment, contact Sarah Morton at Ceredigion Museum on 01970 633088

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Surprise presentation for retiring cook

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AFTER feeding hundreds of children in her role as cook at Ysgol Eglwyswrw for the past 40 years, Mrs Anona Williams is finally hanging up her apron. But there was a shock in store for Mrs Williams when she arrived at the school for one of her last days at work on Tuesday (Jul 17).

Cameras from the S4C magazine programme, Heno, were present to capture her receiving a special award from music conductor and presenter, Alwyn Humphreys.

She started at her post in 1978 and during that time has fed three generations including her own niece and nephew and great-niece and great-nephew.

Headteacher, Edryd Eynon, said Mrs Williams would be sadly missed.

“We will miss her delicious meals and her caring nature,” he said.

“She spoils all the children and is like a grandmother to them. Her contribution to the school is priceless.

“She ran the breakfast and the Cook It clubs and ensured all pupils had an exciting experiences working with food and preparing many delicious recipes.

“Every sports day she would prepare and donate coffee, tea and her famous scones and all the money she raised would be given to school funds. She did this for 40 years.

“Mrs Williams will be sadly missed at Ysgol Eglwyswrw not only for her delicious food – especially her pizza and coleslaw – but also for her caring and loving character. We wish her all the best for the future.”

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