Mutations - for learners

I am on level 2 of SSIW and have been conversing with 2 people one a native welsh speaker and one with A level and beyond Welsh. I must admit I have been ignoring mutations and only using them if it ‘sounds right’ ; the native Welsh speaker does the same but for a native speaker this will I believe work out - it may also be the SSIW way ? ; the A level speaker did a harrumph to the ‘sounds right’ method - she gave the following way of remembering soft mutations
Please Take Care
Big Dangerous Gorillas
Llamas Monkeys and Rhinos
I also found in the addictive Routledge - Gareth King - Modern Welsh - A Comprehensive Grammar that for soft mutations - it may be able to identify a few simple cases where they are used e.g. Prepositions, and after a subject in a sentence ( not after pronouns such as fe as some dictionaries say ) .I must admit aspirate and nasal mutations are a bridge too far at present - although if anyone can point out simple rules for a simple learner then please say so ?

Has anyone else found a good way of remembering mutations and how to use them - in a simple way that can be used in conversation?

Happy New Year to All,
John Lever

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Hi John,
I would go with the opinion of your native speaker friend!

Mutations are an integral part of Welsh, but particularly in spoken Welsh, they are often flexible. As someone who did a Welsh language degree, I recognise the harrumphing (one tutor in particular used to do a lot of that with a red pen on my work!) - but academic Welsh can be a very different beast to colloquial Welsh, and so unless you are going to be doing exams in Welsh, mutations really don’t have to cause you a lot of stress.

There are many methods people use to remember the mutations, but to be honest they will tend to fall into place naturally - as you said, the “sounds right” method. Also, it tends to slow or interrupt the flow of conversation if you pause to try and remember the rules (and becomes discouraging if you can’t remember at the time you need it!).

Having said that, the aspirate and nasal ones are actually easier because they don’t happen as frequently - have a look at page 18 of that marvellous book you mention :wink:


My page here might help.

You can definitely come again, Siaron. :wink:

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