Support our Nation today - please donate here

Kafka’s Metamorphosis translated into Welsh for learners

26 Jun 2024 3 minute read
Metamorffosis, Franz Kafka

One hundred years after the author’s death, a literary classic written in German, by a Czech-Jewish author has become a hit with learners of Welsh, thanks to a project by Bangor University staff.

Staff from the German Section at the School Arts, Culture & Language, at Bangor University instigated a project to translate and adapt German-language writer Franz Kafka’s ‘Metamorphosis into an easy-reader for learners of Welsh.

“Ideal” for learners

Dr. Sarah Pogoda, Senior Lecturer in German Studies said: “Kafka’s ‘Metamorphosis’ is often studied in modules for learners of German, and it is a core reading in most German schools.

“Although the work is known for its quirky story line (the main character wakes up to find that they have turned into a terrible bug!) it’s a short piece with lots of repeated vocabulary and verb tense patterns, ideal for language learners.

“My colleague, German tutor Lana Feldmann (now at University of Bristol) and I had just started learning Welsh here with the University’s Welsh Language Training programme and thought ‘Metamorphosis’ could also be turned into a useful resource for learning Welsh.”

Lana Feldmann added: “Sarah and I worked closely with Huw Jones, the Welsh translator, as part of the project team.

“We gave lots of thought how the design of the book might best help the language learner. Left hand pages have vocab and grammar explanations to help guide the learner through each paragraph of the main text opposite.

“It is really handy and does not disrupt the reading flow.”


Published in 2020, ‘Metamorffosis’ has since sold about 500 copies and has been used by Welsh tutor Jenny Pye at the University’s Canolfan Bedwyr, as part of her sessions for intermediate and advanced level learners.

Jenny said: “Metamorffosis is an amazing story and it’s been really good to read with Welsh learners.  Its very useful to include language patterns and vocab on the opposite page and this helps a lot to follow the story.

There are questions available on each chapter, and this gives the opportunity to learners to talk about the story in Welsh in their sessions.”

Metamorffosis, Franz Kafka

The translation of Kafka’s work is also a welcome contribution to diversity in Welsh language publishing.

Well known works of world literature were often translated into Welsh in the past, however few have appeared in the last few decades – the most notable recent addition being Tolkien’s classic, The Hobbit.

100 years after Franz Kafka’s death his legacy is being considered and analysed across the academic and literary world.

Nathan Abrams Professor of Film Studies, recently contributed to the Conversation’s ‘Kafka 100’ – read here:

Matamorffosis is distributed by: Books Council of Wales and is available from all good bookshops and online at  or an eBook version is available at £6 from

Support our Nation today

For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Our Supporters

All information provided to Nation.Cymru will be handled sensitively and within the boundaries of the Data Protection Act 2018.