Born in 1941, Wolfgang Schamoni grew up in the Ruhr district of Germany. After leaving school he first studied art at Düsseldorf Academy, later changing to Bonn University, specializing in Japanese studies. He has been active as professor of Japanese studies at Heidelberg University until 2006, with a particular focus on the literature of the 17th to the 20th century. Because of his interest in minority languages he began to learn Welsh in 1989. What was initially only a hobby developed later into a stronger commitment to the language and its literature. His "first love" in Welsh was Kate Roberts. In 2000 he published a selection of Kate Roberts's stories in German (with an enlarged edition in 2009). By now his interest in Welsh literature has expanded to include other authors of the 20th century (Alun Llywelyn-Williams among others) and 19th century (Daniel Owen). He will be welcomed to Wales in January 2014 as a Wales Literature Exchange translator in residence.