I listen to Beti a’i Phobol as part of learning to speak Welsh and I’m finding myself running into words or phrases that sound very different, but turn out to have the same meaning as words or phrases I’ve already learnt. For example: ‘fe wnaeth y gwaith ymchwil am colera’ is almost the same as ‘wnaeth e’rwaith ymchwil am colera,’ but I didn’t realize it because I hadn’t heard the first pattern before.
Which brings me to my question: Is there a Welsh Grammar book that outlines the different patterns but doesn’t get bogged down in difficult to remember rules?
Note: I have two Christine Jones books, and I rented Modern Welsh for a bit, but they are difficult…for me at least
Are you in Wales? If you can, take a look at the first-level (Mynediad) coursebook for Welsh for Adults, which comes in Northern and Southern versions, and see if it’s what you want. It helped me a lot when I was middle of SSIW Course 2 or so, but it’s more aimed at getting the patterns ‘down’ than showing the range of variations in them.
I suspect all, Welsh Grammar books are difficult, because Welsh Grammar is difficult, which is why SSIW hardly focusses on it at all, or certainly doesn’t call it grammar!
However I do use Heini Gruffudd’s “Welsh Rules” as a fount of much wisdom. I don’t really have any others to compare with, and I certainly wouldn’t go for it as a beginner, but once you are at a certain level you can use it as a friend. I wouldn’t recommend beginning at the beginning and working through to the end, but if a question comes up about nouns, or prepositions, or verbs, etc, you should be able to find an answer there.
The problem is that there is always more than one answer and we as learners want the easy way with just one “right” answer!
Sadly I am not in Wales…though I’m plotting to get there. And I’ll take a look at Welsh Rules…I’m on Lesson 25 of Course 3, maybe it will help
Hmmm, in your example sentence, isn’t fe just the affirmative marker, equivalent to mi in the North? In which case, you are not seeing a new pattern at all here, just the fact that the affirmative marker is often omitted but the following soft mutation retained?
(fe / mi) wnaeth y gwaith ymchwil am colera - the reseach done on cholera (or something along those lines).
I’m relly not sure about my interpretation though!
I’m not sure if the affirmative pattern was covered in the Southern course. I was familiar with hearing ‘mae fe’n…’ but never ‘fe wnaeth…’
Here’s the full pattern Cyd:
Fe / Mi wnes i
Fe / Mi wnest ti
Fe / Mi wnaeth e(o) / hi
Fe / Mi wnaethon ni
Fe / Mi wnaethoch chi
Fe / Mi wnaethon nhw
The fe is not “him” here, of course, but a particle indicating that the following is an affirmative statement. It is often omitted, although the softening it causes is retained.
I have found that Beti is one of the programmes on Radio Cymry which I can actually understand some of too. She speaks very clearly and relatively simply and this also rubs off onto the guest. It’s a long time since you wrote this post, so did you find a good grammar which helped? I’d be interested to know how you’re getting on, having done all the new levels and just finished the old ones too. Diolch