I’m working on course 1 lesson 2, and they are introducing a word for “it”. I can’t quite make out what they’re saying, to try to reproduce it. Is there a transcription somewhere? When I look “it” up in my dictionary app, the word it offers me is nothing like the one in the lesson, and I’m so new to learning this, that I’m not sure where to look for a lot of resources, yet.
Yes, but only guides, not real transcripts. Guides can offer you everything you need to know but you still have to listen the most. Good way of proofing when you think you did’t quite grasp what you’ve heard.
It’s important to point out here that how you will read it in your dictionary app doesn’t necessarily mean that it will sound as you will expect. There are quite a few letters in the Welsh alphabet that will either sound slightly different to the equivalent in English, or completely different to English. An example of such a letter which sounds completely different is the letter u, which instead of sounding like “uh” or in some cases “oo”, in Welsh it sounds like “ee”!
The word “it” in Welsh depends upon the gender of the subject you’re talking about. So it will either be “e” (Eh)(or “fe” (Veh)) for masculine words, or"hi" (Hee) for feminine words. In a sentence, “it is…” Usually starts with “mae” (Mai), so “Mae e’n dros yno”, or “It is over there” and “Mae hi’n braf iawn heddi’”, or “It is very fine today” in the feminine form (if you’re talking about the weather, it is usually referred to as feminine).
However, the words you use for “it” also means “he” and “she” respectively - meaning that in Welsh, there isn’t really no one word that only means “it”!
Of course, you will pick up all these wonderful quirks as you progress with the course. The course guides are there to help you associate words with what you are hearing, but are only there as a guide and shouldn’t be relied upon. Trusting in the method really is the best way to do this course, as described in the introduction audio (which should’ve been the very first file you listened to. If it wasn’t, and you went straight into lesson 1, I would recommend listening to this file before carrying on as there is important information to help you get the most out of this course).
I hope you enjoy the rest of the course, and do come back to the forum if you have any other questions, or need help with anything. There is a vast wealth of information already here, and where there isn’t, there is usually somebody around who will be happy to answer your questions.
Oh, sorry. I was so rude @ritsumei not saying my welcome.
So, Welcome to the forum and I’d do as @faithless78 says including that part of comming back to the forum when something doesn’t stick or when there are problems with something. Here are many people who wold be happy to help in deed.
I generally don’t try to say a thing unless I understand the letters involved… means a lot of not saying stuff, right now, lol, as I’m SUCH a beginner! I’m having a very hard time finding systematic phonics information for Welsh. In the mean time, I’m doing some with the Duo Lingo Welsh course that went live (in addition to SSIW) and loving it precisely because it does match sounds with written stuff, which I love. Print is a huge part of my personal learning style.
Just a word of warning about Duolingo, I’m using it too. The pronounciation is computer generated and isn’t always quite right, it is close enough and well done, but remember it isn’t perfect. Keep listening to Aran and Catrin or Iestyn and his lady, they will give you a much better idea of pronunciations, as well as S4C, Radio Cymru etc.
Agreed. This is the first thing I’ve noticed when started using it and since I own IVONA TTS voice Gwyneth (which voice Duolingo uses) I’ve recognized it immediately. Gwyneth is good, better then Geraint (another TTS (male) voice also which I own too) but it still has some difficulties with pronunciation. I actually am not qutie sure why they went for a TTS voice rather then live one though. Probably total financial issue or lack of voluntiers who would be happy to record things. So for pronuncing Aran and Catrin or Iestyn and Cat really are much better choice and I love all 4 voices, like them so much that I am tempted to switch inbetween versions from time to time …
To tell a story: before I found and started with SSiW I tried to do some audio on my own with IVONA TTS Cymraeg voices but eventually didn’t get too far so I’m happily surprised DuoLingo could use them in a fair good way. However I found out when comming on here our famous quartet is awesome!
Most Duolingo courses use TTS voices if there are TTS voices available for that language.
The biggest advantage is that any new sentences are automatically available for reading - for example, if the course maintainers fix a typo or a re-word a confusing sentence, the spoken version is available automatically, whereas with a real voice, you would have to get it recorded first.
Also, many courses have both slow and normal-speed versions of sentences, which can be done automatically if there is TTS, but if a real person does it, there will only be one speed.
Disadvantages of the TTS include, of course, that it doesn’t always pick the right pronunciation for words with more than one; that it sometimes does weird things with certain words; that sentence intonation may be off; and so on.
Yah … listen to Cymraeg “Bore da!” TTS Gyneth says it as if she would be angry on the whole world … In IVONA (S2G now as IVONA only creates voices but don’t offer reader anymore) the speach is adustable through the reader’s lexicon however if you’re not familiar with the pronunciation of one language there’s almost no hope you’d adjust it properly. Also adjustment is hard work because for adjusting the speach the reader still uses English pronunciation which is more or less phonetically unknown area to me. Well, you have to write the words in lexocon in a way they have to be spoken and sometimes it gets numerous of tries to get the right thing out.
Intonation is yet another story though. … but for the learning TTSs are quite OK. I’ve got even used to that Gwyneth’s angry “Bore da” now. - hehe