Dysgu Cymraeg gyda Shakespeare

Menter i ddefnyddio'r Iaith Saesneg o Shakespeare fel modd o helpu dirnadaeth o'r Iaith Gymraeg.
An initiative to utilise the English Language of Shakespeare as a means to aid an understanding of the Welsh Language.

"Wele y ffenestr fy nghalon ... fy llygad"
"Behold the window of my heart ... mine eye"
Shakespeare, Loves' Labours Lost

Mae'r fenter hon yn ymwneud grŵp Facebook
This initiative relates to Facebook Group
Dysgu Cymraeg gyda Shakespeare

Pam Shakespeare? ... Why Shakespeare? If one were to ask anyone anywhere globally who is, or was, the foremost exponent of the English Language then what would the reply be? A good guess would be, whether we ask of the ubiquitous person in the street or an Oxbridge professer ... well, we all know who.

This leads to the question of how come does someone writing five-hundred years ago leave the rest of us on the proverbial starting-blocks? And that just doesn't apply to anyone who has lived since then but presumably the infinity of all those who have yet to be more than a twinkle of an eye.

Somewhere along the line, in a very real sense, Mankind's mental powers peaked then in one person's mind. A high-water mark which since then no-one has come close to. That is if we remember we are considering the English Language ... perhaps elsewhere?

So we have a resource of infinite complexity to work with ...

"Deffro, annwyl galon, deffro! Rwyt ti wedi cysgu'n dda; ddeffro!"
"Awake, dear heart, awake! Thou hast slept well; awake! "
Shakespeare, The Tempest

Do you get it? Looking at the original English one thinks one hasn't a clue how to translate it into Welsh. Yet with the magic of the Internet, and we're talking about utilising freely available machine translators such as Google Translate, Microsoft Translator, Yandex Translate and Online Translator we can quickly arrive at a translation which has a ring of sense about it. And, remember, we're translating Shakepeare! So how about:

"lleidr yr haul, ac ag atyniad mawr ei amddifadu y mr helaeth"
"the sun's a thief, and with his great attraction robs the vast sea"
Shakespeare, Timon of Athens

We could ask what went wrong but then evolution can be not only progressive but regressive. For instance, in more recent times, there were the Lunar landings. If one considers those to be a high-water mark in human evolution then, clearly, things have gone backwards, retarded, since then.

"y lleuad y dwyn dwli, a'r tn gwelw ei bod hi am ysbeidiau rhag yr haul"
"the moon's an arrant thief, and her pale fire she snatches from the sun"
Shakespeare, Timon of Athens

A circle of life: interaction of Sun, Moon and Earth.

"Rydym yn fath stwff wrth i freuddwydion gael eu gwneud ar, ac mae ein bywyd fawr o dalgrynnu chysgu"
"We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep"
Shakespeare, The Tempest

But Newton was developing ideas of Gravity some century later.

"Ni allaf ddweud beth i'w feddwl amdano ... mae'n ddiderfyn o feddwl anfeidrol"
"Cannot tell what to think of it ... it is past the infinite of thought"
Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing

But we've gone nuclear.

"Mae amser yn teithio mewn cyflymder amrywiol gwahanol bobl"
"Time travels in divers paces with divers persons"
Shakespeare, As You Like It

And that includes our appreciation of the stars in the night sky.

"O, gwae fi, wedi gweld yr hyn a welais, gweler beth a welaf!"
"O, woe is me, to have seen what I have seen, see what I see!"
Shakespeare, Hamlet

Afterall there isn't much romance in a nuclear reaction.

"Wele y ffenestr fy nghalon ... fy llygad"
"Behold the window of my heart ... mine eye"
Shakespeare, Loves' Labours Lost

So what we know is that Shakespeare was writing at a time which we consider to be less scientifically advanced than our own.

"Yr wyf wedi cael breuddwyd, heibio'r ffraethineb dyn i ddweud ... beth oedd fy mreuddwyd"
"I have had a dream, past the wit of man to say ... what my dream was"
Shakespeare, A Midsummer's Night Dream

Now language is a natural phenomena, it is how we people communicate.

"Mae gan y ddaear swigod, fel y mae'r dŵr, ac mae'r rhain ohonynt"
"The earth hath bubbles, as the water has, and these are of them"
Shakespeare, Macbeth

But in this pre-electric era day-to-day life could be, without the flick of a switch, much more complex.

"Ar hyn o bryd rwy'n sefyll fel un ar graig wedi ei amgylchynu ag anialwch mr"
"For now I stand as one upon a rock environed with a wilderness of sea ..."
Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus

Everyday tasks would have required greater mental effort, more complex thought processes, greater powers of concentration.

"Ond, rhag ofn y bydd fy hun yn euog i hunan yn anghywir, byddaf yn stopio fy nghlustiau yn erbyn cn y mr-forwyn"
"But, lest myself be guilty to self-wrong, I'll stop mine ears against the mermaid's song"
Shakespeare, The Comedy of Errors

One would be more aware of the vagaries and dangers of climate.

"Stormydd yn garedig a thonnau halen yn ffres mewn cariad ..."
"Tempests are kind and salt waves fresh in love ..."
Shakespeare, What You Will

Closer to Nature.

"Fel pan fydd yr haul euraidd yn salwi'r bore, ac, ar l iddo orffen y mr gyda ei trawstiau ..."
"As when the golden sun salutes the morn, and, having gilt the ocean with his beams ..."
Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus

"Neu gorwedd i lawr yn noeth yn Rhagfyr eira drwy feddwl ar wres gwych yr haf?"
"Or wallow naked in December snow by thinking on fantastic summer's heat?"
Shakespeare, Richard II

"Dyma'r awyr; dyna'r haul gogoneddus ..."
"This is the air; that is the glorious sun ..." Shakespeare, What You Will

Society's inequalities would be self-evident.

"Felly dylai'r dosbarthiad dadwneud gormod, a pob dyn yn cael digon"
"So distribution should undo excess, and each man have enough"
Shakespeare, King Lear

"Er mwyn i chi ysgwyd y swm dros ben iddynt, ac yn dangos y nefoedd yn fwy cyfiawn"
"That thou mayst shake the superflux to them, and show the heavens more just"
Shakespeare, King Lear

So in the abstract politics doesn't seem to have changed much ... a never changing underlying theme of humanity.

"Dyma ddiwedd fy siwrnai ... a marc dŵr uchel fy mywyda"
"Here is my journey's end ... and very sea-mark of my utmost sail"
Shakespeare, Othello


Publisher's Notes: (i) Hyperlink to English Language texts of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare
(ii) Hyperlink to unabridged English Language audio recordings of Shakespeare at LibriVox
(iii) Dysgu Cymraeg gyda Shakespeare is Tenby Publishers' contribution to the Welsh Assembly's declared aim of promoting awareness and understanding of the Welsh Language amongst the predominately English Language speaking population of Wales with a long-term goal of bilingualism.


Design, construction and maintenance of this website by