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Dic Aberdaron

Dic Aberdaron

Dic’s image is as familiar as his talent for languages. He had all the qualities of a tramp. He had a thick beard, at times he would be barefoot and he was very often dirty. He would wear a bright blue Dragoon jacket with silver shoulder pieces, a hat made of hare fur, a ram’s horn around his neck and a small harp. He carried all of his possessions on his back, including his books and faithful cats who followed him.


He spent the rest of his life unemployed as a vagabond, learning new languages, translating books and working on short-lived literary projects.


The general consensus is that Dic could speak 14 languages, but it’s likely that he dabbled with many other languages, too.


Dic’s health deteriorated and he died on the 18th December 1843 at 63 years of age without a penny to his name other than the books in his ragged pockets.

Although he was an atheist, he was buried by a nobleman from the area in the cemetery of St Mary’s Church in St Asaph, Denbighshire. The poets Talhairn and Ellis Owen each wrote an englyn (a strict metre verse)  for the gravestone. 


In a community where the Welsh language is a central focus in our lives, Dic Aberdaron truly is an inspiration for us to see the value and pleasure that can be derived from each language.

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