Urdd Gobaith Cymru is the largest national youth organisation in Wales, with over 4 million people involved to date. They support the young people of Wales to make positive contributions to their local communities through the language of Welsh. As well as hosting large-scale events such as the Urdd Eisteddfod and operating residential activity camps across the country offering educational stays, family holidays and more.
This year (2022), the Urdd is celebrating its 100th anniversary. To bring one of the major projects planned to celebrate this milestone to life, they teamed up with translation experts, Wolfestone.
We spoke with Lydia Jones, Project Manager of the centenary project, to find out more about this exciting project and her experience with Wolfestone…
A growing partnership
Urdd is one of our many returning clients. They decided to use our translation services again on this project, based on their positive previous experiences. Urdd’s commitment to the Welsh language combined with Wolfestone’s headquarter presence in South Wales has made for a lasting business relationship. Meanwhile, both organisations continue to look to the global stage to share their message. Lydia told us of their ambitions with this latest project and Wolfestone’s capabilities to translate 220+ languages made for the perfect fit. Excitingly, and as Lydia pointed out:
“This will be the biggest project to date” for the partnership.
The collaborative project
Wolfestone had the joy of translating Urdd’s annual Peace and Goodwill Message from the Youth of Wales, to the Youth of the World. The message is written in a poem format and has a different subject matter each year. This makes for a unique translation project, considering the contextual delivery of a written poem and ensuring the message is localised and true to the original writing. Speaking on the topics covered in Urdd’s annual message, Lydia mentioned some of the topics that the Peace and Goodwill message has explored in the past 100 years; including world wars, pandemics, knife crime, and equality for women and girls. Urdd wants to address important challenges people are facing and elevate the voices of young generations who care and commit to helping.
This year's Peace and Goodwill message is addressing the climate emergency. Another topic that’s important internationally. But, as well as the subject matter, what made this year's message different, is the goal to translate it into more languages and reach more people than ever before...
“We have always had the message translated from very early on”
With the centenary, Urdd had set their biggest target yet. To translate the Peace and Goodwill message into 100 languages and reach 100 countries. To achieve this goal Urdd enlisted the help of Wolfestone.
“We want the message to be seen and heard”
The Peace and Goodwill message has been translated into a variety of languages including Gujarati, Japanese, Polish, Romanian and so many more. With the goal to reach a bigger audience, Gujarati, for example, is spoken by over 46 million people - making this year’s Peace and Goodwill message the most read yet! As well as this, speciality languages like Hebrew were used to reach more people in some of the worlds religious communities.
This year, Urdd has gone a step further, also translating their social media posts. Creating an even further reach of this crucial message. You can find the translated message available on Urdd’s website and across their social media.
Processes that delivered
To keep the core meaning of the message consistent throughout all languages, Wolfestone put together a briefing document explaining the nuances and objectives of both the project and the written material itself. Lydia spoke on being given the chance to add additional background information from the Urdd team themselves, ensuring their message is understood by the translators working on the project. They wanted to avoid being to corporate or political, meanwhile ensuring localisation was well considered and the message was appropriate for all 100 countries on the distribution list.
Contextualising the importance of going global with the message, Lydia talked about Urdd receiving messages from Germany, Russia, Ukraine, and many more in times of crisis and war, highlighting just how significant the Peace and Goodwill message meant to them. It’s thanks to Urdd’s work, combined with the power of translation, that this has been possible for 100 years.
Wolfestone – The perfect partner
Urdd has been partnering with Wolfestone for years, and the partnership has grown in trust. Lydia noted that Wolfestone were able to take care of all the languages and the tailored briefing process which was an important aspect of the project for the team at Urdd.
“Wolfestone saved us a lot of time.”