How To Say Something Simple Like '' Hi I'm Justin''

My wife Eirwen is a native Welsh speaker from Llanfairtalhaian in North Wales. I have just been proudly showing off my newfound prowess at introducing myself after following the Vocabulary drills at the end of the first course.

Justin ydy fy enw i (remember I only know how to talk / not spell!)

Eirwen burst my bubble and says that is like saying ‘Justin is my name’’ in English. It’s grammatically correct but we would never actually say it like that. Introducing myself, I would probably just say ‘’ Hi - I’m Justin’’.

Eirwen says that in Welsh she would say ‘‘hello - Eirwen ydw i’’

Can anyone shed more light on this for a confused novice!!

You’ll find that pretty much anything you learn how to say will be capable of being shortened by a first language speaker - in time, all the various ways in which you can shorten stuff will become easy and familiar to you just by hearing them often enough - to begin with, most of the time using the slightly longer form helps a learner to get more of a handle on more different parts of the language.

For example, in this instance, when you say ‘Justin ydy fy enw i’ (which I’d say is more like ‘My name is Justin’ in English - perfectly normal, just a bit longer than 'I’m Justin) you’re getting a nice taster of the possessive construction, as well as the [something][is][something] construction (which is a bit more wide-ranging than the [I][am][something] structure.

So, don’t feel worried about saying ‘Justin ydy fy enw i’, but if you want to contract it to ‘Justin ydw i’ with your wife (who probably won’t need you to say it very often anyway…;-)) then go for it :sunny:

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And to all my French friends who reply to my ‘‘je m’appelle Justin’’ with ‘‘Hello and my name’s Pierre’’ - I still love you and quite understand that the cultural inclination to be obstructive (with each other when we foreigners are not around!!) and your secret longing to learn and practice English combine together beautifully when you realize that I want you to reply to me in French. What better than to reply in English.

I used to reply with. Je suis Gallois et je ne comprend pas d’Anglais. However, I have a secret weapon - I live on the Italian/French border. The Italian’s cultural trait is to be incredibly friendly and helpful. So when I am in an Italian border town and notice I am a foreigner they think I am actually from France and when I open up with Buongiorno, they reply with Bonjour.

So you see whenever I want to practice speaking French all I have to do is go to an Italian border town and start speaking Italian!!!

I actually love my French and Italian friends equally and to be sure they also have views on English/Welsh traits and eccentricities


Well in English, there are times when we want to say “my name is …”, rather than “I’m …”. It depends on the circumstances and the level of formality etc, so I suppose it’s similar in Welsh.

What I still haven’t quite got my head around is why it’s “ydy” and not “mae” (for this and some other situations (statements, rather than questions).

Is it all to do with “focus”?

Eirwen, my wife, still counters with:

Yes - but we don’t tend to say ‘‘Justin is my name’’

though I agree we do say ‘‘My name is Justin’’

I also get very confused about when to use and interpret mae and/or ydy.

I think a special mini-lesson on this would be very helpful

The focus is on Justin, so a slightly different construction is used. That is a totally Welsh way of thinking and saying things. Reminds me of Yoda from Star Wars…
You will pick up on when it occurs in the lessons. And you’ll cease to worry about it!
In the meantime, kindly look at this watch, as it slowly swings back and forth… :wink:


Well, as for what is most natural sounding I would definitely suggest listening to your first-language wife (for more than one reason). But please keep in mind that that bonus lesson six is really just a fun diversion. SSiW is not the “memorize this phrase” kind of course. Before long you’ll have enough Welsh in your head to be able to listen to other people speak and you’ll know for yourself what sounds natural and what doesn’t.

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