Literatures, Languages & Cultures

Staff and students come together to celebrate the Día de Rosalía de Castro

We showcase an ambitious project to read the pioneering author’s work in 21 different languages.

Poetry lovers from across the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures (LLC) have come together to celebrate the Día de Rosalía de Castro.


Born in 1837 in Santiago de Compostela, Rosalía de Castro is now considered to be the pioneering author of Galician literature. Her debut collection of poems, ‘Cantares Gallegos’, was the first literary text written entirely in the Galician language when published in 1863.

Each year on her birthday, 24th February, the Association of Galician Writers (AELG) celebrates Rosalía de Castro through a range of cultural activities, involving communities both within, and outside, Galicia. This year, colleagues in Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies have organised a reading of the poet’s work in 21 languages by staff and students across LLC.

An amazing array of languages, from Gaelic to Tamil, Malay to Luxembourgish

Stills from the film
The film features 21 different languages

“The idea for the video was to celebrate the Día de Rosalía de Castro by capturing the range of different languages taught and spoken at LLC ”, explains Dr María Alonso Alonso, an Invited Scholar in Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies.

“We put out a call for students and staff to read an extract from Castro’s poem, ‘Campanas de Bastabales’ (The Bells of Bastabales), on film. This was produced in collaboration with Edinburgh College of Art (ECA), thanks to the kind assistance of Noelia López Arosa, a Galician MA student in Design and Digital Media.”

“Those who responded were given a stanza from the poem, which featured in Castro’s first collection and has gone on to become one of her most famous. The poem was provided in both Galician and in English for readers to translate it into their mother tongue."

“We were amazed by the response, with readers in languages as diverse as Gaelic, Tamil, Malay and Luxembourgish translating and reading for us on film, as well as colleagues reciting in Basque, Catalan, Spanish, Portuguese and Galician itself."

Are you interested in studying languages at LLC?

All our undergraduate language programmes include a year abroad, either studying or working. From Arabic to Swedish, there’s a wide range of languages to choose from.

Find out more about undergraduate study at LLC

Related links

Find out about Galician Interdisciplinary Studies, a one-day symposium at LLC on 8th March