It still sounds very American to me. I think I’m still young. Maybe not quite in my youth.
I’m still using weirles for radio.
When I was young we spoke of going to ‘the flicks’, and I see that Welsh duly uses ‘fflics’ in the same way - presumably just as colloquial, possibly just as obsolete, and as in English usable only in the plural: you couldn’t speak of ‘seeing a flick’.
I spent some time nannying in the States and to this day I still use movies instead of films, but I do like ‘fflics’ very much as an alternative, although for me it only works in the plural form.
As a child we use to use ‘picjwrs’ for going to the cinema. Sadly now my children have infused ‘cinema’ into my vocabulary.
By the way if you want to change channel it’s the rimôt that you need.
People still talk about ‘footage’ when referring to short ‘clips’ of digital video. ‘Footage’, of course, refers to literal several-feet-long lengths of cellulose film!
‘Pictures’ comes, of course from ‘moving pictures’: Where one culture has abbreviated in one direction, the other has moved in the opposite. (Similar to the way that Welsh and English describe using a ‘smoothing iron’ very differently)
Wow, I completely forgot we used to “go to the pictures” too.
I’m often asked to source ffwtej archif for our productions - a term which even includes things like clips from last week’s news or a brand new YT video!
The answer is … What ever is said by many people in your community is whats accepted as normal
English borrowings accepted in some southern towns are not heard ever in some northern areas
And vice versa
Sbens from spencer = cupboard under the stairs in NE Wales.
Carets - Carrots … heard in Carmarthenshire but not in my NE area (well anymore).
danjerus - (dangerous) Ive never heard in my northern area but you do in parts of South
Where I am in NE Wales, using ‘crap’ the English way may cause misunderstanding … because it jars with ‘crap’ (smattering) - crap o eira … But I have heard Caernarfon and the coast way speckling a lot of their words with English.
Certain valleys and areas near me are called “they speak pure/chapel Welsh over there”. Tanat and Ceiriog valleys are considered purer to my area…unsure why.
Some rural inland northerners near me (I used to be based near Llyn Brenig) will tell me certain English borrowings are “oh thats coast Welsh now”…“thats Cofi welsh” haha…said in a jovial enough way though.
A lot of English has come into the language for some obvious reasons…not unique and seen throughout global history
English language is just next door geographically and tied to a huge empire - its was and is therefore vastly stronger in cultural power a.k.a soft power.
** Turn on your TV and count the number of Welsh language channels to English ones**
A lack of Welsh institutions until very recently has also meant older phraseology and vocabulary has disappeared much quicker than baseline loss seen in all languages over time.
The movement of the influential wealthy Welsh towards English only speaking since the 1600s has also had an effect on the speech of Welsh.
The old phrase…a language is a dialect with an army…has a grain of truth to it
I think it is; I don’t think I’ve heard anyone say it since moving here. I just thought the loanword feels like it fits in nicely, as in nest ti wylio’r mŵfi 'na?
Just chucking some comments in here because I have spent a fair amount of time recently in Cardiff University Library reading up on linguistic research. (Disclaimer: I studied language planning and policy for my masters; this did include a certain amount of sociolinguistics, so while I’m not an expert I think I’m far enough up the Dunning-Kruger curve not to be malu-ing too much cachu )
The use of words, phrases or even sentences of one language in another is called “code-switching”, and is a phenomenon that is pretty much universal among bilingual populations. The choice of which word/phrase creeps in is often unconscious (e.g. I will say to my family “do you fancy a panad?” and I don’t really think about it - that’s just what we call it in my house - or sometimes I won’t even realise I’ve used a word from the “other” language). It’s sometimes conscious ("If I say “frwchnedd” here he’s going to think I’m a right prat, so I’m going to stick with “banana”). A lot of it is to do with (in)formality, and what in Welsh would be called “cywair”. Young people, especially, associate Welsh with school and so use English words to make them sound less “swotty”. But if a young person says “Dwi’n mynd i gwcio heno” it’s not that they don’t know the word “coginio” or even that they’re being lazy - they’re trying to use a more informal tone.
Is it a threat to the language? Will it lead to creolization? The key, apparently, lies in the “matrix language”. In other words, if the sentence is in Welsh with English words chucked in, and/or if the English words are being fitted into Welsh grammatical structures (e.g. “gwcio” in the example above - Welsh verb ending, mutated where appropriate) then all that will happen is that the Welsh will acquire some new words in addition to the original ones (that’s how we got “licio” as well as “hoffi”). One caveat, though: this holds while the number of Welsh speakers maintains a healthy level; once numbers get below a certain level all bets are off.
So the message is: speak Welsh and do everything to get people around you speaking Welsh, even if some of the words you use come from English. If we acquire some new words along the way, happy days! But if people think that their Welsh isn’t good enough because they don’t know the word “darbwyllo” and say “perswadio” instead, and so don’t apply for Welsh-essential jobs or don’t speak the language to people around them, then we’re in trouble.
And just one other plea from me… Everyone needs to find the language use that’s right for them. For me, that’s a little more formal (because that’s the way I roll and sometimes that’s necessary for my work). But please don’t start judging others for their language use (especially those who have spoken Welsh all their lives) - I’ve heard learners do that, and not only is it offensive it has the effect of turning some people off from speaking to learners, which does nothing to help us all build up our cohesive Welsh-speaking communities.
tl;dr: Don’t worry about it
Can I this more than once? It’s well-informed, passionately and clearly argued, and tallies with how I feel (Context: I left my Dysgu Cymraeg class partly over an argument about this area, with another learner being very sniffy about my using licio despite thousands of native speakers doing the same for several hundred years. I felt very cross and sad about it all – ar fin dagrau, i fod yn onest – so I really, really like this post.)
Thanks, Richard. I’m sorry you had that experience - I understand exactly what you mean, having been in a similar position myself pretty recently. To me, that shows that you’ve taken Cymraeg into your heart and not just your head.