I thought it would be nice for us to have a thread that is specifically for new learners who haven’t asked a question on the forum before…
And it’s worth remembering… there are no stupid questions… the act of asking is always an intelligent thing to do… and every person who is brave enough to ask a question in here helps dozens or hundreds of other people who would have liked to ask the same question (but were too shy)…
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Haven’t asked a question before?
Jump right in and let us try to help…
North or South dilemma
I’ve been learning Welsh one way or another for nearly twenty years. I live in NZ. Along the way I’ve needed to focus on more formal written Welsh (and 19th century at that) with the result that my reading, writing and speaking are now all wildly out of sync. I speak what could only be described as a mongrel mix of North and South Welsh - slightly more South than North but I’m originally from North Wales! So, for example, I use hoffi rather than licio, lle rather than ble, ddweud rather than ddeud, and eisiau rather than isio or moyn. I was just starting SSiW to bring my conversation up to speed before starting postgrad studies (history) at Aberystwyth for a few months of each year. I did the Canolradd course at Nant Gwrtheyrn in 2010 and have booked myself on that as a refresher in March. I don’t have any problem with that but my problem is which SSiW variant should I follow? Any and all advice appreciated!
This question is asked a lot on this forum. The answer is it doesn’t really matter and almost all learners end up speaking a mongrel collection of dialects anyway. If you listen to Welsh media which is excellent practice, you will hear enough of the ‘other’ dialect to learn the differences.
I did various courses in both dialects before finding SSiW and my Welsh has progressed rapidly since to where I say I am a Welsh speaker now and you can be too!
Maybe just listen to one challenge of Aran’s (Northern) and one of Iestyn’s (Southern) and see whose voice you find you prefer? Or even choose Northern if you live on the North Island and Southern if you live on the South Island, it really doesn’t matter. Maybe if you are originally from North Wales, maybe just maybe you may prefer to look more closely at how that dialect works?
Don’t dwell on this decision too long, just plunge right in and Say Something in Welsh!
I was going to say exactly the same thing as @Y_Ddraig_Las - have a listen to the intros, go with your immediate gut feeling, and then don’t worry about it…
And a very warm welcome to the forum, and well DONE for asking your first question…
@TanyaMcK, On the occasions when I’ve used my Welsh on visits to the country, I noticed that native Welsh-speakers don’t fit rigidly into the North-South dialect divide. If I am correct, there is a continuum of dialects all across the country; the Welsh dialects spoken in the south are different from those in the north, but the two dialects presented in SSiW are not meant to be descriptive of THE Northen and Southern Welsh Dialects. They are, rather, representative. And the differences between them are small anyway: it’s all a single, unified language.
(I speak as an outsider: I may not be entirely correct here!)
Hello. Esmé here from Canada. I was on here about 8 months ago but it doesn’t seem to recognize me now through the new course starting a week ago so I signed in again. How do I write something? or is it always to Reply? Is there a tutorial on finding your way around the Forum anywhere? It’s all a bit intimidating for me, though I suppose one day it will be very familiar to me eventually. Diolch.
What is the second panel on my right for while I’m writing this.?
Hey EsmBoone! The forum does take a bit of getting used to, if you get lost you can just click either the “Forum” button up top to go to the main forum page or click on one of the sub-sections underneath the topic title, eg. on this page underneath “Ask your FIRST question…” there’s “Welsh” and “General / Questions” (as well as the “home” icon at the very left). Clicking these will take you back to that forum page.
The section on the right is a preview of how your post will look. If you don’t add any formatting, it’ll look exactly the same as what you’ve typed, but if you add some formatting like
this you can see how it’ll show up (and also make sure your formatting is correct).
EDIT: Also, the reply button at the very bottom (next to Bookmark, Share, Flag, etc.) will reply to the topic as a whole. If you want to reply to a specific person, you can click the reply next to their name (that person will also get a notification that someone has replied to their post and make it more likely they’ll see what you’ve written).
If you want to quote someone, you can just highlight the portion of their post you want to quote and click on the “quote reply” button that pops up. eg:
It’s the preview panel!
Wow, awesomely helpful response, Ricardo - diolch yn fawr iawn!
Hi Esmé - and welcome back! Might you have used a different email address this time? You can always ask the site to send you a password reminder at www.saysomethingin.com/password
Diolch yn fawr iawn iawn Ricardo both for taking your time to respond and for such helpful words. I’ll play around with what you have suggested. (like the smiley face, now I see how it appears in the right-hand panel.) . Is there a way to save this information somewhere for easy reference? Ah I noticed the bookmark tag so that would probably answer my question there. LOL
Thank you Aran. I’m pretty sure I used this gmail account for everything. It did just let me come back in without having to write anything or create a password etc–I just clicked on the button and presto I was back, so I think it’s OK. I decided to just try everything techy at the outset to get used to the format so I can then get going on the actual language. LOL You’d have laughed at me sitting here yesterday talking to myself out loud yn y Gymraeg. But it was also a very helpful exercise. I’ll do it every day.
S’mae and maybe you will find this helpful: Really useful ‘How to’ stuff and other great posts
I would have been very PROUD of you!
There seems to be a number of ways to saying " Near". ger, agos and yn yml, Can you help? Diolch yn fawr iawn.
The way the tutor in my Welsh evening class taught us to say near. Was ar bwys.
Yes, there are a few ways, but the differences are so subtle I’d suggest you go with whichever one you think of first when it’s needed - they are all correct and you’ll be understood whichever you use. (It’s the same sort of thing as in English - near/close to/nearby/by/etc)
Yes, exactly as Sharon says - don’t worry about precision with this sort of complex thing, it’ll only slow you down - once you can get into enough conversations, and listen to enough spoken Welsh on radio and TV, you’ll develop a feel for which of these to use at any time - and in the meantime, you’ll be understood just fine whichever you use…
Many thanks for your answers to my question, very good advice and i will take it. :smile
What’s the difference between Beth and Be?
No difference, it’s just one of many shortened forms that you’ll come across. (The same happens in english, too, but you probably don’t notice it. The more exposure you get, the more comfortable you’ll get with the variations of spoken language.)
I thought you in Welsh was either chi or ti, so why chdi?