Minister for Welsh Language and Lifelong Learning Eluned Morgan recently visited the offices of Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru in Aberystwyth.
As the only standard historical dictionary of the Welsh language, the Geiriadur is the definitive record of Welsh vocabulary and therefore forms the basis for other dictionaries, thesauruses, terminology lists and reference works.
Work on compiling the dictionary began in 1921, and it is updated several times a year based on evidence of popular use of words. The dictionary, which is now published as an online only version, has received public funding since 1921 and the Welsh Government stepped in in 2015 when funding from other sources ceased.
New words can take years to enter the dictionary to ensure that they are established and aren’t just a short-term fad. Words currently under consideration for inclusion in the future include hunlun (selfie), OMB (O Mam Bach, corresponding to OMG), trendio (trending) and aildrydar (retweet).
The role the dictionary will play in the future of Welsh language linguistic infrastructure, and how this can contribute to achieving the aims of Cymraeg 2050, will be discussed at a seminar of experts in the fields of lexicography, terminology, language corpora and the translation profession at the National Eisteddfod.
The Minister said:
“My visit to Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru was very informative. I was particularly interested in hearing about how it is recording the language as it adapts and evolves, which will ensure its longevity.
“As one of the most important works in the Welsh language, it is very pleasing to see that Welsh Government funding is playing a vital role in its future and therefore the future of the language.”
Arwel Ellis Owen, Chair of the Board of Directors at the Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies said:
“We welcome the Welsh Government’s support as it ensures the dictionary’s future and acknowledges the work the dictionary does to record and expand the use of Welsh.”
Professor Medwin Hughes, Vice Chancellor of the University of Wales, Trinity St David and Vice Chancellor of the University of Wales said:
"It is a pleasure to be a part of the Welsh Government’s work to promote the Welsh language. The university supports the aim of creating a bilingual Wales and developing the corpus of the language.”