Hi, i come from a welsh speaking family on my mothers side, but was brought up speaking English. The ssiw course so far is bothering me, as some of the words are totally different to what my family use, I am finding myself rejecting the words, i want to use the words that my grandmother and those before her used, its quite important to me. Should i just replace words? I have a problem as some words i may not know are different. My families dialect is North Pembrokeshire, thanks

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Helo Anna!
Which ssiw course are you using, north or south? Can you give us a few examples of what ssiw is using and what your natural choice be?
But at any rate, there’s no harm in using patterns and words you are used to, you will be understood either way – for example if you say Dw i isio instead of Dw i’n moyn or vice versa.


Hi Anna,

Croeso i’r fforwm!

Don’t worry about replacing words, I did that (learnt with the Northern Course but live in Cardiff), it’ll actually help you in the long run because, although your family will speak the North Pembs dialect, it is quite a specific dialect so knowing the other words will be very important.

My experience of North Pembs is that they say Wes in place of Oes, for example. However, it’s not that different in the large part to what Iestyn teaches.

However, please don’t let yourself get bothered by the course. It would be a very specific course that taught North Pembs. Enjoy the fact that when the word is different to your family’s you will know both options.

Last thing, if you get the chance you would love Bootcamp in Tresaith!! The course of the week is right along the border with where your family came from. You’ll hear loads of Pembs spoken :smile:

Pob hwyl with your journey! You’ll have great fun. Keep popping back to the forum, I’d love to hear how you’re getting on. I also love the dialect you want to learn so would love to hear what you learn :slight_smile:

Nadolig llawen :slight_smile:


Hi Anna.
If you aren’t already on the Southern Challenges, and haven’t got too far, I’d change to them. No real need to repeat. If you still have a few different words, and you are sure that they are still current, you can use your own words or just learn the ones in the challenges out of interest.

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Hi thanks for your replys. Yes im definately on the southern course and only on lesson one!
It was “i cant” that i struggled with (ffidre i ddim) as my family say “dw’i ddim yn gallu” and we also say Eisiau for need and want and it ends with an “i” sound not an “o”…
My aunty said we are “mongrels” and carmarthenshire speak proper welsh, but i like what i heard as a child even if its not pure i suppose!
Thanks again…

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Thanks, yes my mum confirmed they use “wes” all the time…

I would keep all the words used in your area because local dialects are very important. There is a great danger that they will be lost if everyone tries to use identical words and phrases. I wish I could use the Gwenhwyseg dialect which was once very important in Monmouthshire and other parts of SE Wales.


These are just two different ways of saying the same thing and I don’t think they’re even a N/S thing. Based on previous courses in North Wales I still tend to say, “dw i ddim yn gallu” or shorted to “dw i’m yn gallu”, but “fedra i ddim” or even “fedra i’m” are just alternatives. It’s like in English saying, “I can’t”, “I cannot”, “I am unable to”, “I’m not able to”. There are always many variations and as long as you learn one and recognise the others when you hear or read them, it’s fine.


Just double check you are on the Southern course. Looking at the vocabulary list Iestyn teaches “alla i ddim”, “fedra i ddim” is a Northern construct.

My singing teacher is from Preseli (North Pembs) and she uses “moyn” for want and “eisiau” for need. Even within a dialect there are differences. Again, try not to get frustrated by those differences. After all, you are looking for a very specific type of Welsh.

As for Sir Gâr speaking “proper Welsh”, I’d put money on every corner of Wales laying claim to that title. Welsh is Welsh not matter which word you use. Using my singing teacher again, we understand each other fine and we use different phrases. You’ll only nail down what you want to speak by speaking the language.

SSiW teaches a structure to learn the language it doesn’t aim to teach a comprehensive overview of all Welsh words.


Yup, key issue here - ‘fedra i ddim’ is from the northern course - scroll down to the bottom of a lesson page and see if you can see an option ‘Switch to South region’ - you should only have to click it once… :slight_smile:


The number of times you start to speak to people and they say (often in English! :angry: ) “You don’t want to speak to me - we don’t speak proper Welsh around here. You need to go to [always somewhere around twenty miles distant - wherever you might be in Wales].” :laughing:


Haha, yes! This is very true too!

Popeth ydy’r Gymraeg go iawn! (Everything is real Welsh)

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I think that the English language, due to its dominance, has gradually had standardisation forced upon it, to the detriment of all.
As an outsider, I think it is marvellous that Welsh still has so many regional dialects. Long may it continue!


I beg to disagree Anthony. Many people I know here in Sir Gar seems to think that ‘proper Welsh’ is somewhere else. And sadly some seem to think this means that is disqualifies them them from speaking to a learner for fear of ‘contaminating’ them with their ‘Wenglish’, or ‘poor Welsh’, or ‘what we said at home, not what we learned at school’ Welsh. So sad.

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Hi all, thats very interesting about a lot of Welsh speakers all over Wales-feeling they dont speak true welsh…i think it all sounds pretty authentic to me!
Anyway-i must apologise, i dont know how it happened, but my app had gone onto northern! No wonder it sounded so different to me snd my mum said it was northern. So apologies for the mistake-hopefully i will do better on the southern lesson 1!
Thanks again all…


That’s great, Anna. Definitely no apology needed, just great that you’ve found the Southern material. Also, you’ll be able to chat to Northerners when the opportunity arises :slight_smile:

Its also great that you have started this thread, so that you or any of us can come back with any other questions. Best wishes for your learning adventure.


Yes, I would. i found it easier to stick with words you already know, it gets easier after a while. And while doing so you learn to understand another dialect/ way of saying the same thing.
if you can get immersion in a dialect, that’s great, but most of in Wales using SSiW end up with a cobbled together mixture of all sorts of things.


Just a thought:
Is it a Welsh w in wes - Sort of a long diphthong ooes? Possibly a slight Norman influence? If so, I like it.

Slightly off topic, but it turns out that if I don’t watch myself, I have a slightly Swedish way of saying halo/hallo (Hallå), even though I’ve never been to Scandinavia. @Baruch: one for you regarding surviving ancient dialects.

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I’d describe it as “West” without the t.

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Yes. It’s a w with a real consonant feel about it.