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article imageSherlock turns Welsh: 'Elfennol, fy annwyl Watson'

By Mathew Wace Peck     Sep 24, 2013 in World
Welshpool - The first-ever Welsh-language translation of a Sherlock Holmes novel has proved a massive success, with its print run selling out.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Speckled Band has been translated into Welsh by the Deerstalkers of Welshpool, a Wales-based Sherlock Holmes society.
Y Cylch Brith, to give the book its Welsh title, was translated from its original English by Eurwyn Pierce Jones, who took approximately five months to complete the task.
The idea was that of Roy Upton-Holder, who, as founder of the Deerstalkers of Welshpool, had been wanting to publish a Welsh-language version of the book for quite some time.
“It was something I was thinking about for years,” Upton-Holder told the Shropshire Star, “but it was finding a good translator. You must have somebody with real experience.”
The project cost £1,400, towards which donations were received from enthusiasts in the United States.
The Shropshire Star reports that, due to its initial success, the group “intends to ask the Welsh government for money towards the publishing costs, seeing the translations as a novel way of keeping the language alive.”
Upton-Holder, now 83, founded his Sherlock Holmes’ society in 2001, which has in the region of 20 members. It is one of over 400 currently in operation around the world.
Sherlock Holmes holds the record as the most-filmed fictional character in the world. He has been played by many actors including, on television, Rupert Everett and Jeremy Brett, and on film, Basil Rathbone, Peter Cushing and Robert Downey Jr.
Currently, there are two modern-version TV series of the Victorian-set original: first, the BBC’s Sherlock, which stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Holmes and Martin Freeman as Dr John Watson and was created by Doctor Who ’s Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss; and second, CBS’s Elementary, which stars Jonny Lee Miller as Holmes and Lucy Liu as Dr Joan Watson.
Earlier this month, it was announced that Sir Ian McKellen would be playing the amateur detective in a new movie, A Slight Trick of the Mind, to be directed by Bill Condon.
More information about the Sherlock Holmes’ Welsh-language books can be found on the Deerstalkers of Welshpool Sherlock Holmes Society website.
“Elementary, my dear Watson!” Or, as they sat in Welsh, “Elfennol, fy annwyl Watson!”
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