Confused with wording

I live in the north and the i would in welsh aran say’s is byddani but here in the blaenau area no one uses it or understands it here they say fysani and i am not sure which road to go down as i mainly speak welsh here in blaenau and why do they differ from the teaching on the courses… Like for instance everthing aran says pobeth but yet again here they use pob dim its does confuse me as i am trying to stick with aran’s structures but i seem to be saying those 2 words the blaenau way than the challenges does it matter … Advise please

One possible answer might be “because Aran’s not from Blaenau” :wink: but really the most accurate answer is, because there’s quite a bit of superficial variation in the forms you’ll hear from place to place in Wales (or indeed within the same place). The course has to decide on a particular variant in each case, but everyone will understand other variants even if they don’t use them themselves, and usually none of them are more “correct” than the others. (I reckon pob dim is quite a bit less formal-sounding than popeth, but both are totally fine in everyday conversation!)

The advice, as always, is “don’t worry about it”. :slight_smile: And the secondary advice is, as long as you recognise what these things mean when you hear them, it doesn’t really matter which you use, as you’ll be understood anyway. Just use whatever comes to your mind first; if a particular thing is common in your area, you’ll hear it a lot and might well start using it naturally, which is fine. And if, while you’re doing the lessons, you use fyswn i but Aran/Catrin come back with fyddwn i, that’s fine too! :slight_smile:


I thought the theoretical answer was that “pob dim” was meant to be a bit more emphatic (i.e. “absolutely everything!” or something like that). Of course, the reality on the ground might not be quite like that. (I actually hear it (on S4C that is) as “bob dim” usually, but what I hear (or think I hear) is probably not a very good general guide).

I don’t want to fall into the trap of saying something that the anti-Welsh language brigade would say to deride the language, but when it comes to the “you will always be understood” sort of thing then I think that there may be some exceptions, albeit very rare and very few.

I know the general answer here is you will always be understood and I get that and in 95% of cases that is probably true, but there are Welsh speakers out there who may have had no Welsh medium education, do not watch S4C or listen to Radio Cymru or have never mixed with people from distant parts of Wales. I have a friend from Creunant in the Neath Valley and he had a lot of trouble talking to someone else in Work who went to a Welsh school in Cardiff and they gave up and talked to each other in English. Now that is a line touted by the anti-Welsh language brigade and that’s not the reason I’m saying it.

This is a person who went to an English medium school and speaks only Welsh at home and with Welsh speaking friends and relatives, but didn’t realise that there was a Radio Cymru until I mentioned that I had been listening to it.

He told me a story where his parents, who are in their seventies had found it very difficult when they went on a trip to Caernarfon and Snowdon and no-one could understand them in a cafe. My mother went to a wedding in North Wales and she was amazed that they say Gwair and Glaswellt in reverse in North Wales for grass and hay and is still in shock about it I think, because she still tells me about it. I wonder if there are a small number of people around the Blaenau area or remote areas around Wales like that, but I suspect it is a very very small number of people these days. Having said that I can’t imagine fyswn and fyddwn causing any problems.


Welsh is dialectical. People won’t automatically and understand each and every word, won’t have always come across each and every variation of the language - but they do, in my experience, understand the language - understand enough!
I’ve certainly met many people from Welsh schools whose Welsh is very rusty, and, though they, quite rightly, regard themselves as Welsh speakers, would be happier speaking English to people from a different area, especially in a work situation (or even someone else from their area in such a situation!)

So in my experience, for what that’s worth, it’s generally every word no, sentences yes in terms of confident speakers understanding each other.


I can’t quite understand why people (and I don’t mean people on here!) make such a fuss about the differences in dialect - we accept it in English without a murmur. I remember when I went to live in the north-east of England from Oxfordshire: I was working in a cafe when a woman asked me for “a tin of pop for the bairn” and I honestly didn’t know what she meant. Or when I was given instructions to “turn left at the bank” and was confused as there weren’t any buildings around, let alone ones with a cashpoint. But I quickly worked out from the context what was meant, added words to my vocabulary (tin=can, pop=fizzy drink, bairn=small child of indiscriminate age and sex, bank=slope or hill) and moved on. I would sometimes use those words in my own conversation if people were having trouble understanding me, but usually we got on just fine.

One need only imagine the confusion of a Bristolian and Glaswegian trying to understand each other - but they don’t have another language to fall back on, so I bet they manage in the end.


I think it might be quite normal and nothing to hide from or be surprised by. I was once on a train in Switzerland with two people from Finland, one from Denmark and another from Germany. All of them had gone to Universities in England and Scotland and we spent a lot of the ride talking about how difficult they found it trying to understand different dialects in English - yet they had got very used to the dialects where they were studying - Newcastle, Liverpool, Strathclyde etc. I have had similar discussions on German dialects and regions of France, with language students that I used to live with who spent time in Germany and France - particularly Germany, where someone told me they had become fluent in a local dialect and didn’t speak much else in the year that she was there. I spent time in Seville and had plenty of discussions on spanish - the dialect there is quite different to the Castilian in Madrid.

For an English speaker today with the wider acceptance of regional accents and dialects in very recent times and more general portrayals on TV and Radio, then dialects have become more and more familiar, but I remember watching “Hamburger Hill” in the 1980s, a film about the vietnam war and I had to turn it off, because I simply couldn’t understand a word.

So I would find it very unusual if this wasn’t something that people learning Welsh would want to understand - it is a natural topic for learners to discuss.

What has clouded this potentially lovely topic of dialects, which I love is the sinister sort of people out there who say that Welsh people in different areas don’t understand each other and switch to English to be understood - which is poppycock, except for a minute amount of examples like the work example I mentioned above where someone, who I regard as a Welsh speaker, but had used fairly posh Welsh at school, with English the language of the home - had become very rusty in the ten years since leaving school. In that case as Owain pointed out to me, it probably was the work environment that played a big part as well - I don’t think actual understanding was ever an issue, more ease of conversation.


I have mentioned elsewhere my learning of ‘Yorkshire as spoken by stable lads in York’ and subsequent need to translate quite ordinary things to my mother in shops! I have mentioned that my mother and hers had terrible trouble with the first movies because they had never heard an American accent of any kind, much less, say - Georgia, Massachusetts and Iowa!
I remember going to a match at Stradey Park, Llanelli and sitting next to a lovely guy who looked as if he had come from Hong Kong or Shanghai or…??? He spoke lovely Cymraeg and his accent in English was totally Llanelli!
WW2 educated a lot of people, movies more, modern communications are a huge leap forward! We are all learning all our lives!


No, it doesn’t matter at all - use whatever comes to mind first, and in the long run if you’re using your Welsh in Blaenau most of the time, you’ll naturally end up using what other people use there… :slight_smile:

I’m very fond of ‘fysan’ - picked it up from someone in the office many years ago - and ‘pob dim’ is far wider than just Blaenau - it was really a throw of the coin whether to go with popeth or pob dim for the course, and I’m sure I use pob dim much more often myself.

But the key thing here is that instead of worrying about the differences, you should just realise what a huge, huge advantage you have to be living in such a strongly Welsh speaking area - keep on pushing at it, and you’ll end up a very, very natural speaker because of all the opportunities you’ll get to practise… :slight_smile: :slight_smile:


Heh! Speaking as a native of Cumbria, I honestly never knew that other people in the UK didn’t use “tin” or “bank” in these contexts - they’re totally natural words for me. :slight_smile:

Having lived in Yorkshire, London, Scotland and a certain gwlad hyfryd, i find it very hard to keep up with what is said where! But I also, now, often need translations from one friend’s doric and the local accent of others - oh, and some mid-Argyll idioms too! Honestely, nobody ever stops learning, unless, I suppose you never move and nobody new even arrives, which is pretty unlikely now! :smile:

Gorwedd…to lie, to lay down, to rest. To lie ie, falsehood, would be celwydd.

I don’t think there is a verb to lie in Welsh. I think you have to tell a lie (dweud celwydd), which is an interesting difference between the languages in itself. :slight_smile:


or “'u rhaffo nhw” even. Making good use of my recently bought copy of “Blas yr Iaith Cwmderi”, that cost more than your £1.

I think that you will find that celwydd is a verb, not being pedantic "wrth gwrs":slight_smile::slight_smile:

Don’t understand the context of “roping them” beth yw hyn.

An expression - rhaffo (Rhaffu) celwydd, but the celwydd is lost usually and ends up with the expression being like this.

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Diolch yn fawr😇

Un cwestiwn, Pam yr hen ddyn fflin? Why the sorry old man?

Nope, I’m afraid I don’t think you will! Bruce says that you will occasionally hear ‘celwydda’, though, but I never have - Rob is right that ‘verb+celwydd’ is the pattern in Welsh…:slight_smile: