Northern vs Southern

Hello!

Sorry if there have already been lots of posts already about whether to do the Northern or Southern version, but I would really appreciate some advice. I am from Mid Wales and did a Mynediad course there and a few lessons of the SSIW Northern version, but recently moved to Cardiff and started a Canolradd evening class. I learnt Northern Welsh in the Mynediad course but now we are doing Southern Welsh in my evening class. I would like to start doing the SSIW lessons again but prefer the Northern version so I would like to continue with that, but I am not sure it would make sense. I am worried my Welsh will be a real mix of both of them and sound odd if I say things like baswn i and af i and then mi fydda i and mae o’n. What do you think?

Thank you! :smile:

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Hey, I wouldn’t worry too much. Pure logic says switch to Southern but, two of my best friends do Southern and I do Northern and we get by fine. I just use my Northern and they use their Southern and everybody is happy and understands each other.

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I use a mixture, and don’t really think about it. It doesn’t seem to matter when it comes to communicating. We had a stand-in tutor in my Welsh class on Friday who is a northerner, and she says she often uses southern phrases but in a northern accent. I wouldn’t worry about it :smile:

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That’s good to know! :smiley: I didn’t know whether I should try and stop saying the northern forms I have learnt so far and learn the southern ones, and I don’t want my progress to be hindered either. I just prefer the northern accent :wink:

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Seriously, with those examples, no-one would even notice :sunny:

And even if you did - say you had ‘Sai’n moyn mynd i fyny grisiau’, it wouldn’t matter at all - besides, once you get into the pattern of using your Welsh regularly, you’ll naturally gravitate towards the patterns you hear most often - so play it any which way you like, I’d say :sunny:

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I’m doing Southern course but by some coincidence (or not, who knows) until now I have spoken to only people who speak-learn Northern version. Interestingly enough (since my problems with learning appear to be somehow (too) notorious on this forum :slight_smile: ) I didn’t (and now even less) have any problems with this. Either I understood each and everyone or I didn’t and when speaking I don’t really bother too much which version word to use. Of course I’m more keen to Southern words since I’ve made all courses this way but I don’t bother with this anymore. My strategy right now is just to have a word to express myself and most of all to be understood what I’m trying to say. I also don’t worry too much anymore whether I sound strange or not and I’ve noticed one more thing during the conversations (might be @aran experienced this most in conversation with me) and this is I’m using German words for words like “on”, “about”, “of” etc but even more I’m using word “am” for just everything what needs to be connected together … catching myself doing this during the conversations I usually just blurt out the next word which (mostly) tends to be right and it might be no one even notices (except for trained ear as Aran’s is though) what I’m actually doing.

So, what my message here is (oh, I’m “talking” too much again): just go for what you think is right and proper. Occassions will teach you what to use and when/where in time …

I also decided, despite I’ve learnt all those shortenings of South, I won’t bother when I actually won’t use them. To be honest long, simplier forms are my friends for now and many of those I’ve spoken with (as that there really were so many - hehe) could confirm I rather go for long (and for me) more “confident” forms.

Mutations and such stuff? They will sit on the proper place in time aswell … If I remember them and am already saying things wrong I tend to correct myself or not, it depends but if I forget to use them … I (NOW FINALLY) carry on. So, go for what’s easier for you and you’ll do just fine I suppose/think.

Pob lwc!

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Another thing to point out; both courses here are based on regional dialects. You will hear a mix of both in more formal Welsh, and in fact in regular conversation. When I started learning, it was to talk to people in Pembrokeshire (definitely South Wales, even if the government calls everywhere north of Cardiff “Mid Wales”); where the people I spoke to used a lot of patterns from both. So honestly; my advice would be to not worry. The language is basically the same regardless; the differences lie (mostly) in vocabulary, and if you’re using the language regularly then your vocabulary will shift towards what you’re hearing. When I went to bootcamp, I believe Rambling John was the only person who had been using the Northern course (though I may be wrong), but there weren’t any real difficulties for us understanding him or him understanding us.

Either way, don’t worry about mutations or shortenings - use them if they come to mind easily; or don’t if the longer form comes to mind first. For mutations? Everybody misses them on occasion, and few people will ever notice. It’s like how people commonly miss consonant sounds from the ends of words in English; people tend to notice the overall content rather than the minute details, and tend to gloss over the differences as regional variations.

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Curiously I still can’t reliably & quickly pin down a speaker to “north” or “south” by the accent alone (and I’m pretty sure some people can). Funny, because I hear English accents right away in a few words usually.

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I think it depends on context. There was a series on TV set somewhere a lot north of Cardiff and they cast someone, I think the lass Eve, who was in Torchwood, and made it really clear she was supposed to be born and raised there. Her accent defintitely didn’t fit!! But that is an extreme example!
To @Moochi
As a mixed up speaker (forgetter) of north and south mixed up… it only matters when doing SSiW challenges and finding you just naturally don’t say that!! So, do the course you naturally fit with, north in your case! If you have actually found a community in the south that speaks Cymraeg, you will soon get fluent in the lacal version. If not, you’ll get fluent through SSiW!!

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My girlfriend went to Glantaf in Cardiff and her, her brother and sister, and all of their friends speak a real mix of both. It’s fun to test her. She says she speaks Southern, ask her how she’d say something and more often than not it’s a Northern reply. Her Mum is a Gogg and but has lived in Cardiff since the 80s so she speaks a mix too. I really don’t think it matters.

I’m learning from the Northern Level 1 and going to Sylfaen gwersi and I enjoy the mix. Sometimes I confuse people in the class but I’m not sure if that’s because I’ve said something Gogg or it just didn’t make sense haha.

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And that’s probably the most important comment in the thread… :thumbsup:

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Thank you to everyone for all of your replies! It is good to know examples of people who use a mix of both and that it won’t matter in the end :smile:

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I haven’t found a community yet apart from my Welsh class. I have yet to really speak Welsh outside of my class apart from a few odd words. I would not feel comfortable yet as I don’t feel like I have the bases of the language in place in order to have a conversation with someone!

Paid a becso. You will know when you are ready. Pob lwc.

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