Shwmae. Nothing to do with ssiW really, but I am writing a story set in Wales. and it has a place name in it beginning with D. Would the sign in Welsh read “Croeso i D…” or would there be a mutation of the D?
Many thanks if you dont mind assisting me with that!
I’ve changed this post to reflect a grammatical reason for what I said. This is that, saying please and thank you isn’t necessarily a mark of politeness, more of a social convention often. Some use it well, others, not so much. Anyway, if people are friendly and polite, I feel that it’s good to celebrate that.
That is one interpretation, but one would hope that there is only one driver in the car that happens to pass the sign at any particular time
In this case, ‘gyrra’ as an imperative would be impolite, but ‘gyrrwch’, as Rob said, is the polite form
Yes I can see why. I was just saying my own experiences, which of course are personal to me, in response to someone saying the sign was impolite due to not containing the word please. I was trying to point out that the word “please” can be misused and not be polite at all. Let’s strip back the reference to nationality and make it about grammar instead. I studied the use of please and thankyou in different languages as part of my linguistics degree course, and so my thoughts were along the lines that actually a language that uses please and thank you less than English does not mean those who use it are inherently less polite. There are lots of languages that use less of these “softeners” such as spanish or portuguese for example. But the softeners are quite able to be used as barbs when wanted making them rather a double edged sword. I’m sad that a comment that was meant to say I enjoy visiting Wales was misinterpreted, please rest assured it wasn’t meant to upset anyone either side of the border. I shall refrain from comparisons in future of such a nature, as they are by nature subjective… Thank you.
Yes, there are lots of interesting ways in which politeness markers vary - fascinating stuff - a lot of people I know who speak Spanish and French think that English speakers sound overly polite (to the point of insincerity!) because they use please so much…
I don’t think your comment has been misinterpreted - it’s clear that you’re a positive person sharing positive emotions - it’s just the nature of forums to include readers who don’t necessarily ‘get’ that straight away, as well as those who do… So we’ve learnt over the years to play this kind of thing particularly carefully…
Hi Frances, actually I understood the point you were making about the differing ways of expressing politeness in Welsh as opposed to the use of the word “please” in English. I was offended by your unpleasant comment about shop assistants of which I am one. I think it was unfair to single out one profession as being rude (just because, in your opinion, their polite “thank you” was insincere!) when the same could be said of many others. Believe me I could tell you some absolute horror stories about rude, arrogant and aggressive customers! We should all treat each other with politeness and respect.
Of course if you didn’t say “thank you” you’d be thought of as even ruder (more rude?) by plenty of other people! Incidentally, I can’t recall a single incident when I was last in France of not receiving a “Merci!” after a shop transaction, so I’m not sure this use of “please” and “thank you” is particularly unique to English. Not that my anecdotal evidence is much to go on.
I think you’re right Stephen. It is probably ingrained into all shop assistants the world over to say please and thank you during every transaction and I would certainly be in trouble if I didn’t. Even our self-service checkouts are programmed to say “thank you for shopping with us” but I don’t think they really mean it