'Friends of the Dictionary' Launch

Posted on 5 June 2017
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On Saturday, 17 June, Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru (the Dictionary of the Welsh Language) will launch its ‘Friends of the Dictionary’ scheme for all who appreciate the Dictionary and wish to see it continue and flourish in the future.

The launch will take place in the Drwm, at the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth at 2pm, and will consist of an afternoon of entertaining talks, light refreshment, and the opportunity to visit the Dictionary offices. The event is free and all are welcome.

Speaking at the event will the society’s President, the distinguished Prifardd, author, dramatist, and publisher, Myrddin ap Dafydd, along with other guest speakers. There will also be an opportunity to meet some of the Dictionary staff and to learn more about this important resource and its role in Welsh life and culture.

The Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru is the only standard historical dictionary of Welsh. It is broadly comparable in method and scope to the Oxford English Dictionary. It presents the vocabulary of the Welsh language from the earliest Old Welsh texts to the everyday language of today. It notes the date of the earliest occurrence of every word with examples throughout the centuries, often noting how the meaning of the word has changed. In the online version the user can see a word’s derivation, a Welsh definition and English synonyms as well as historical examples. It is also possible to search for English meanings.

A reading programme for the Dictionary was established in 1921 as the first research project of the University of Wales Board of Celtic Studies. Almost two million citation slips were collected which would serve as the basis for the Dictionary. Editorial work began in 1948 and in 1967 the first volume of the Dictionary (a–ffysur) appeared. The last of the four volumes (s–Zwinglïaidd) was published in 2002 and since then the editorial team, working in the Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies in Aberystwyth, have been re-editing the Dictionary and have published twelve sections of the Second Edition (a–brig).

The Dictionary has been online since June 2014 and in February 2016 it became available as an app for mobile phones and tablets.

The chief aim of the Friends is to introduce the Dictionary to as wide an audience as possible here in Wales as well as to publicise and promote its use to a global audience. 

Speaking about the scheme Andrew Hawke, the Managing Editor, said:

“Over the course of nearly a century, the Dictionary has had many friends, benefactors, and supporters, as well as numerous volunteer readers who have supplied much of the evidence cited in the Dictionary and proofreaders who have ensured its accuracy. It is a delight to be able to bring our supporters together in the National Library and our offices to show our appreciation of their support. We hope our Friends will introduce many others to the joys of the Dictionary and help to sustain it in the future.”

For more information about the Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru and the ‘Friends of the Dictionary’, including information on how to join, please visit the Dictionary’s website:  www.welsh-dictionary.ac.uk/friends-of-the-dictionary/

Alternatively, you can contact the staff by email: cyfeilliongeiriadur.ac.uk, or telephone 01970 639094.

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