North south question

So, I was born in cardigan to an English family. We lived there till I was 6. Small village dual language school, picked up some South Welsh. Then moved to Germany for 5 years then England. Thought I’d forgotten adult fell in love with Dolgellau and Machynlleth have started learning North Welsh ready for the day we get to retire there. On level 1 with the where are you from, I kept getting it “wrong”. Having just finished arans sex book (!) I realised no, not wrong , just the south Welsh popping up from the dark recesses of my mind! Now onto milk - having same problem, lleath keeps popping up instead of llefrith! Does that matter? I’m assuming it’s ok to mix n and s?


@vickyandrew, the short version is “don’t beat yourself up about it”
The difference in North vs South are there, but they aren’t huge at any rate.
Go with whatever you are comfortable with, you will be understood. :slight_smile:


Just learn Welsh and then adopt words/dialect of the area in which you eventually live.
In Germany did you worry about the type of German or in England the type of English?

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Sadly in Germany on a RAF camp and not taught German! :confused:

I live in Aberystwyth, which is right on that imaginary invisible line between the two. (In fact if I had to pick an exact spot where North starts and South ends, for some reason I’ll go with the Cafe Cletwr mini-services on the A487!!)

But in all seriousness, in parts like these - the language gets mixed up a lot. You also get a lot of people displacement as well. I know loads of what I would call “Hardcore Gogs” who moved down to Cardiff with their work and brought their llefrith with them :smiley:

I’ve started using efo instead of gyda because everyone I knew in Aber was doing the same, but I’m true to the death about “llaaaaaaaath”


I think the north/south border is pretty flexible, and even varies word by word. Most people say llaeth in Machynlleth - llefrith doesn’t start until Dinas Mawddwy! :slight_smile:


This is a terrific sign - suggests that you’re starting to access the language you picked up at school, which is a huge bonus - so no, it doesn’t matter at all… :slight_smile:

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Well you won’t be the only one! Watch R&R they are nearly all at it! I used to fret about my horrible mix of classes in south and picked up bits from holidays in Gwynedd, but here in SSiW, I have realised that nobody really worries. i had a friend from the north who dismissed all de Cymtraeg as ‘not proper Welsh’, but he was pulling legs a lot of the time and trying to turn me into a Gog!

That seems about right. The llaeth/llefrith border also runs through Dolgellau. :slight_smile: You’ll hear both here. Also my feeling it’s not just a straight N/S divide but that that there’s a diagonal slant to the border. I spent a few years learning with a course based in Ruthin and the locals say “dod” not “dwad”, which is what the Bangor North Wales courses teach as “northern”. So some “southern” forms are found further north on the eastern side of the country.

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Close. A few years ago, S4C with the help of pupils at (the then) Machynlleth High School measured it to Talybont.


I cant believe that no-one has put up the Milk dialect site map yet. All the different word variations depending upon location. I think it included Vodka for Anglesey and Keith for the Marches :smile:


What do you put on your cornflakes?


For an estimated guess (and with Wales being what… 200 miles long) to come within a couple of miles is pretty good guess work from me. :slight_smile:

Were they any more specific? I really want to know if they mean Talybont - the Lolfa building, Talybont - Y Llew Du? :smiley:

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ooh-er… 50 Shades of Treigladau


Apparently on one table in the public bar they end every statement with “sti?” and on the other side of the room it’s “timo?”


Just to echo what everybody else has said, it’s not a problem. I live not that far from Machynlleth and round here it seems to be Northern-ish (though as others have said, it’s not that defined). I’ve stuck stubbornly with the Southern Welsh that I opted to learn and, other than a few raised eyebrows (and then only out of interest) when I’ve used the sa i / so fe etc construction, it doesn’t seem to matter.

Without my permission, though, the more I talk to people, and especially now that I’m in a local class, the more my brain has started to adopt northern constructions, and I find myself popping out phrases like ‘mae gen i’ and ‘dw i angen’ when I have a perfectly suitable Southern way of speaking that I was quite happy using, thank you very much! Just go with what your brain comes up with, and you’ll probably find that whether it’s north or south, people will understand it and probably not care very much, and that over time, you’ll adapt into whatever way of speaking fits your surroundings and makes you comfortable.

(And just as a side note, it’s ‘llaeth’ all the way for me!)


As someone who used to live in Tre’r Ddôl, I’ll buy that happily… :slight_smile:


Have you been to the new building yet?

If not, you’ve probably got a big surprise next time you go past…

The statue of Aran outside, do you mean?



Nope, it’s been years since I stopped at the Clettwr… must go back to take the dog for a walk up the back there some time…