PSi Lexicon

character

character
cymeriad

One of the main difficulties associated with many of the terms available for describing performance in Welsh is that, in most cases, they are nowhere near as flexible as their English equivalents.  The most obvious example of this is the word performance itself, which, even though it derives directly from the English, is far more concrete (and thus limited in its application) than the English term, if we accept Elin Diamonds definition of performance as denoting a doing and a thing done.

However, cymeriad is an exception to this rule.  It is more flexible than its English counterpart.  That word, character, derives from the Greek for an engraved mark, and has been (after Dryden in 1664) extended by metaphor to refer to an individuals defining features, especially those treated as such by the author of a fiction.  On the other hand, cymeriad, according to Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru [The University of Wales Dictionary], refers to the act of taking or receiving, which immediately gives the word a dual aspect, since taking and receiving are fundamentally different acts; more importantly, however, it is a definition which places the term neatly on the threshold, neither entirely a thing nor an act.  The fact that cymeriad is rooted in the verb cymryd [to take] means that the physical act of grasping, of possessing or wresting some object or another, is a crucial part of its meaning; and yet cymeriad is a thing which is also already finished how else could one appreciate that the act of wresting has been completed and has been formed into character at all?

If we dig deeper into the etymology of the word, we find that its second syllable derives from an old Brythonic word or stem -ber-, indicating a load.  In that sense, character, for a Welsh audience, may be understood as the act of jointly bearing a load.

Author and translator: Roger Owen

 

cymeriad
character

Un or prif anawsterau syn gysylltiedig âr termau a ddefnyddir wrth drafod perfformio yn y Gymraeg ywr ffaith nad ydynt hanner mor amwys âr rhan fwyaf o dermau Seisnig.  Yr enghraifft amlycaf o hyn ywr gair perfformio ei hun, sydd er ei fod yn amlwg yn fenthyciad or Saesneg yn fwy diriaethol a thipyn yn fwy cyfyng nar term