Anyone read Mabinogi?

I’m thinking of buying the book Pedair Cainc y Mabinogi, and was wondering at what reading level it would be at. Mynediad, Sylfaen Canolradd or advanced. Your views, if anyone has read it would be appreciated.
It’s on sale at Amazon for £6.78.


Hi @RobMorgan,
The book is written for quite young children and it has plenty of pictures. I don’t find it easy to say which level it would be because it was not written for adult learners. The language is simple, but some of the words and expressions may not be taught in lessons, though they may be familiar to children whose first language is Welsh. I would guess that Sylfaen might be the closest match.

Here is a short sample.
“Roedd y twysog Manawydan yn teimlo’n unig a digalon. Roedd newydd gladdu pen ei frawd Bendigeidfran yn y Gwynfryn yn Llundain, ac yn crwydro strydoedd y ddinas yng nghwmni’i ffrind Pryderi.”

Naturally it gives a shortened version of the stories.

I’m not sure if that helps. I tend to buy a lot of books and many of them are way beyond me at the moment, but I keep them in hope that I will be able to read them some day.


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Do these help?

Thank you both. Very helpful replies.

Hi Rob, I’ve just been reading this book. It’s not very complex grammatically but the vocab is beyond me a lot of the time. (For context, I’ve done all 3 levels 2x through and speak weekly for about an hour, often with folks who are much more experienced speakers than I am.) However, that said it’s been an easy read with a dictionary, and I almost never don’t understand completely once I’ve looked up the unknown vocab words. It’s actually quite satisfying how I’ve been able to fully comprehend with just quick vocab lookups, as opposed to some of the more “stretch” options I’ve tried that have left me feeling overwhelmed with everything I just don’t understand even with a good dictionary by my side.

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Thanks Brennan. Much appreciate your reply. I have bought the book but havn’t got around to reading it yet as I’m still reading another book…

I’m pretty sure that using a dictionary to understand English is easier than to understand Welsh because of the ever present mutations. I’m not sure how long it took me to realise that the reason I couldn’t find the word I wanted because of them. And the other reason they’re difficult to use is because of idioms, which are, of course, beautiful, but do not translate word for word.

I hope you have fun with it when you get to it! I sort of knew the stories already but this is my first time trying them in Welsh.

Yeah, I didn’t start to find a dictionary all that helpful until I already had a solid understanding of mutations and could make some good guesses about the original form. Google Translate can often help with that, but of course it has some major limitations. When I read things at a more adult reading level, idioms and dialogue written in dialect are the biggest stumbling blocks for me.

If you use an electronic dictionary you may well find that they’ll deal with the mutations for you. I mostly use the GPC (Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru), which has an app for Android and iOS - free, I think - like this:

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