“True to Nature’ : the use of English in Welsh novels by Rebecca Roberts

Lecture in Welsh with silultaneous translation into English

Daniel Owen put English words and phrases into the mouths of some of his characters. Thomas Bartley’s ‘twbi shwar’ and Wil Bryan’s ‘true to nature’ are very familiar to readers of his novels. The use of English in Welsh language novels is a very interesting and contemporary topic and who better to discuss it than Rebecca Roberts, the popular local author.

From a very young age Rebecca knew that she wanted to be a novelist. Since graduating from Bangor University with a BA(hons) in English and Creative Writing Rebecca has worked as a teacher, Welsh development officer, humanist celebrant and translator. She lives in Prestatyn, with her husband and children. Her first YA novel, #Helynt, won a 2021 Tir na n-Og Award and a 2021 Book of the Year Award. Her English novel for adults Eat.Sleep.Rage.Repeat., set in a fictional town in North East Wales, is a dark and gritty story of violence, anger, forgiveness and redemption that follows a young Welsh teacher who finds herself falsely accused of a crime. This year, Rebecca has published two contrasting Welsh novels: Y Defodau, based on her experiences as a celebrant and Curiad Gwag, a novel set in Mold about Sophie Shaw, the recently appointed tour manager to Welsh heavy rock group, Konquest.