I am making up sentences on my own… among other things… and I had a few questions
- Is there a Welsh construction for as though I and instead of?
- Also, along similar lines, is there a general rule for constructions like the Above? I know mor fian a phosib, I was wondering if there were general rules for similar phrases…like instead of or rather than
Diolch in advance for any help!
1 - I’d go for ‘as though I’ -> ‘fel taswn i’n’ and ‘instead of’ -> ‘yn lle’ or ‘yn hytrach na’.
2 - I can’t even begin to think how you’d group ‘as though I’ and ‘instead of’ as being similar constructions in English!..
For me, one of the breakthrough moments on bootcamp was when I stopped trying to say things in Welsh the way I would have said them in English, but started to use the Welsh I knew to get the same ideas across. So, I would not know the Welsh for “instead of” but I do know the Welsh for “because I would rather”, for example. Now it depends on what exactly you are trying to get across, but I definitely recommend simplifying what you are trying to say, almost use childish language, rather than attempting to translate the English you would have used as a native speaker. I probably not expalining what I mean very well here, but I hope that you get at least an idea of what I mean!
“because I would rather” wouldn’t really work in, say “I’d use butter instead of margarine.” Then I would use “yn lle”, I don’t know whether that’s correct but it’s what I use.
S’mae Geraint, hope you are well!
That was just an illustration of what I was generally talking about, using a sentence that was in my head at the time, not a like for like replacement in every circumstance. It does not invalidate what I was saying (I hope)…
“Instead of flying, I am going to drive” => “I am not going to fly, because I would rather drive”
I just changed the words to convey the same meaning I was trying to express in the first sentence, with the second. Maybe this is something that just works for me
If I wanted to say “I’d use butter instead of margarine”, then one way of interpreting that sentence is that I’m expressing a preference for butter over margarine for a particular recipe, so I could say “I’d use butter, not margarine”. Here I’m using “not” in place of “instead of”, which probably doesn’t work all the time, but it does in this sentence. The principle being to use what you know, which as far as I can remember, is exactly what we did on Bootcamp, rather than getting hung up on direct translation from English, which often does not work anyway. Once you have learned “instead”, then great, you can use it, but I was trying to pass on a nugget of advise that was helpful to me in keeping the conversation flowing and keeping it in Welsh.
Stu: I stopped trying to say things in Welsh the way I would have said them in English, [and] started to use the Welsh I knew to get the same ideas across.
That’s exactly it, isn’t it Stu. I’m beginning to realise myself that the times when I tie myself in knots are the times when I’m trying to specifically translate from English to Welsh rather than just begin in Welsh. Really glad to hear your bootcamp experience was a good one.
Yup, Stu is right on the money here - the less you think ‘I must translate this English sentence into Welsh’, and the more you think ‘the idea I want to communicate is’, the easier everything will get…
You often hear people talk about the importance of ‘not translating’ - and we regularly hear learners worrying about ‘translating’ when they’re listening to the listening sessions - but realising that you can say in English what you just heard in Welsh is fine. The real problem with ‘translation’ is the idea that you should form a full English sentence before you try to communicate in Welsh - it’s inevitable at first, but the less you can do of it, the better, precisely because it avoids this kind of tangle…
Jon: Really glad to hear your bootcamp experience was a good one…
S’mae Jon! Bootcamp was life-changing as far as my Welsh is concerned, just the most wonderful experience. It’s a real shame how that “bootcamp feeling” fades over the months, but I’m hoping to get a bit back at the Eisteddfod.
I do grasp what is being explained in the helpful responses, but when I have my weekly ffrinDiaith session it is difficult to rephrase what I want to say with the Welsh that I do know on the fly.
I use phrases like as though I or either or when I speak in English. If there’s a way to say something with a similar meaning in Welsh I’d really like to learn it…if that makes sense…
It is tricky, but it will get easier - I promise…
And if you’re doing a weekly ffrinDiaith, you’ll find that’s the best single way forward - it will keep on nudging you into adding key parts of your own personal way of phrasing things, as has happened with this, and that will get you to being able to express yourself well faster than anything else I’m aware of…