about an Irish lady living in Australia who is often asked to “speak Irish”. She hasn’t a lot of Irish so she typically uses one phrase which is well-known to just about all children who went to school in Ireland and which may be one of the few sentences they can rattle off confidently and fluently, and she decided to get it tattooed on her arm: “An bhfuil cead agam dul go dtí an leithreas?” (más é do thoil é)
It made me wonder what the best-known Welsh phrase is among people who went to school in Wales as children. Something that people who claim to speak not a word of Welsh would be able to recognise and perhaps even produce themselves if prompted with the first word or three.
I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s also “Ga i fynd i’r tŷ bach (os gwelwch yn dda)?”
I would be amazed if it weren’t just “rydw i’n hoffi coffi”, given the simplicity and rhyming of the phrase, whereas asking to go to the toilet is a long/complicated enough phrase to pass some people’s memories.
But thinking of other phrases, for some reason, I knew “nos da” many years before I ever made any attempt to learn Welsh. Not sure where it came from, but I can only imagine some Welsh radio or TV presenter used to sneak it in from time to time. I also vaguely knew that “ar hyd y nos” meant “All Through The Night”, from the song, of course.
I was thinking about this today, and it occurred to me that Huw Thomas, a popular newscaster and presenter of current affairs programmes on national TV in the 1960s and maybe later, used to say it, from time to time. At least that is my foggy recollection.
(Interesting … I wasn’t aware of his political career).