(Newbie) Level 1 lesson1/2 South Wales Welsh help!

I’m new to learning Welsh although I know the odd phrase from working in a primary school. The problem is things I thought I knew are apparently different, for example;
“eisiau” I always believed (and we teach at school) means to want? Only the challenge says it means “to need” and “moyn” is to want?
Also I’m really confused with what the difference is between the meaning of “duade” and the meaning of “siarad” ?

Please bear with me! Haha! My poor brain! I’m forever pausing it and saying each sentence in parts, then when I try to say the whole sentence I forget what it was! Oh dear!

Diolch for reading!


dweud is “say” or “tell”, and siarad is “speak” or “talk”.

So, for example, the difference between “He said that he is happy / He told me that he is happy” and “He spoke to me” or “You speak Welsh very well”.


Dweud is to say, while siarad is to speak.

Eisiau and moyn don’t really translate quite so directly to English as to be need and want respectively; as such, some places will use eisiau for need while other places use it for want, with angen being a stronger word for it and moyn being a less strong word. The Welsh commonly taught as a second language in school is a mix of several local dialects, the result being two standardised forms of Welsh that hardly anybody actually speaks. The Welsh you’re learning here is the local dialect where Iestyn grew up.


Welcome to the Forum @xxnicola1987xx

Dweud means to tell, or to say.

Siarad means to speak.

Iestyn, the lovely man you listen to on the challenges probably says, Don’t worry about it. We all do, at the beginning, but we all learn not to worry about it. Want and need are pretty flexible words in English. ( I want to go to the loo, I need to go to the loo), and very few languages map directly one word onto another word in all circumstances.

And the headache? Goes with the territory. A paracetamol or two, and come back for more tomorrow.

And by the way, Iestyn probably also says you don’t have to understand everything before going on to the next challenge. That’s true as well.


Helo @xxnicola1987xx Croeso, Welcome to the Forum! I totally feel for you! I learned before you were thought of, I expect, but what I learned was in the south, then in the Bangor area, then from a northerner in the south!
When I found SSiW, I ended up popping to and fro between North and South!
Then, having become distracted for too long by chatting on here, plumped for @aran instead of @Iestyn and worked through the Challenges from end of December until now, with big slow down lately! If you are in the south, I’d tend to stick with that, but look at the list of Meetings and try to find a local group to meet and chat to, to get truly local input! Good luck! Keep at it! (Lwc dda! Dal ati) Everyone here will help all we can!


Welcome to the forum, Nicola, and good luck with the course! :slight_smile:


Shw mae, Nicola? And welcome to the forum.

It sounds like you’re doing well to me!

You’ve got to the first of many confusions, and are getting past them: that is the main (posibly the only?) part of learning anything new, and especially a language. So that’s two big ticks already.

I won’t answer your specific questions, as everyone else hsa beat me to that (I blame being on holiday!) but I wanted to welcome you, and to point out a pretty important feature of the SSiW course:

What you are learning is not some mythical “southern dialect”, but quite specifically “MY southern dialect”. There are lots of people in south Wales who speak like me, and lots (probably more) who don’t. What you have learnt is very likely to me more “standard” than my daiect, and equally valid, so don;t feel that you have learnt anything wrong - you are just already a bit more flexible than a completely fresh learner.

It sounds like you’ve found that little bits of unexpected Welsh slip to the surface from time to time - this is a great thing to happen, even (especially!) when it’s slightly different to what you’re learning with us, because it means that you already have two ways of saying some things. That may seem a bit confusing to start with, but it will help you immensely when you start hearing other Welsh speakers talk, because your experience is already greater than just the course material. That’s a pretty handy bonus for you.

I hope you’ve arleady found that there are plenty of people on this forum who are willing to help you over the obstacles that you will find in your way as you learn. Remember that most of the advice that you get here will be from people who have already come across the same confusions and obstacles as you are finding, so their advice is the very best kind. I hope that quite soon, you’ll be in their position for some newer learner - helping others is a great way of helping yourself to understand stuff, and think about stuff that you may nto have considered before. As a native speaker myself, I’ve learnt loads from people on this forum, so it really is a treasure trove of advice and information.

And don;t worry about not remembering full sentences. That’s something taht will develop as you get usedf to the course. You seem to be comping well enough with it at the moment, so just keep doing what you’re doing - it certainly seems to be working for you.


Dweud and siarad - I used to get them muddled up all the time (still do sometimes)!

Well done for coming to the forum to ask questions :smile:


Things I confuse when learning another language: words that have meanings that are in the same ballpark, like think and believe, talk, speak and say, listen and hear (I told a French bloke in Faro that I’d been listening to his conversation rather than that I’d heard something he’d said. Oops!)

Also things that sound similar - I am constantly telling French speakers that I will listen for them rather than waiting for them, and vice versa.

Words which are aspects of the same word in the language that I learnt them in (you’ll probably get the two “know” words mixed in Welsh on a regular basis, and I often hear people using the wrong “have”)…

These are all just things that happen when you learn a new language. They are part of the process, and each one can be “the problem” that makes you give up if you let it, and then a few months down the line, there’s a different “the problem” and you are only vaguely aware that the other was a problem at all.

The trick is to enjoy the process and just accept that stuff won;t always work straight away. If you can do that, with a new language, or any other new skill, then you will be very successful very quickly!


Now I wonder what some typical mistakes are for first-language Welsh speakers in English!

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I think ‘teach’ and ‘learn’ is a tricky one, because of course they’re the same word in Welsh; the same with ‘lend’ and ‘borrow’.


My classic one was my brain coming out with either ‘fy nghwaith’ (my work) or ‘fy ddraig’ (my dragon) rather than ‘fy ngwraig’ (my wife). I think she’s pleased I’ve got over that one now…


Given that some people use “learn” when they mean “teach” in English anyway (same with “lend” when they mean “borrow”), that’s not a huge surprise.


…and don’t even get me started on ‘imply’ and ‘infer’…


As @sarapeacock says, my fiancée will “lend” things from someone else. Instead of borrow.

Also, I mentioned in another post the use of “leave” instead of “let” in Merthyr


I have to concentrate to use talk and speak correctly (usually opting for talk when not concentrating), and will sometimes pause before “know” to really check that there isn’t a specific know for the one that I want to use.

I know the older Welsh speakers around here (south Ceredigion), and when I was growing up around the Rhymney area really struggled with “I verb” versus “I am verb…ing”.

“I am wanting those sweets and that newspaper please”.

And there’s a wealth of second-language-confusion in south Wales valleys English!

But generally, we are so conditioned by hearing English around us all the time that mostly we use fairly natural English by instinct. Sound familiar?


Diolch Iestyn!
Ive now progressed to challenge 4, I’m already a huge fan of SSiW and the forum is brilliant!
Im still baffled and amused to be able to translate ( to an extent) stock school phrases and find they actually make no sense.
For example… “Beth syn bod?” meaning what is wrong
Now from the challenges up until now I could translate this to 'What … that"

Im trying not to think to much about things! I find i start a new challenge and feel totally overwhelmed but I’ve kept going and it seems to be working well!


Diolch pawb! (school phrase… could be wrong haha!)

Im new to forum too so I hope I’ve been replying correctly!

But honestly thank you all, such a friendly place to be! I love telling people I’m learning Welsh!


You absolutely are, and it’s lovely to see you getting the hang of it… :slight_smile:


Bod in Welsh is the verb “to be”, so “beth sy’n bod” comes closest to “what is being”.

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