I have finally come to the end of Challenge 12 on the New Course 1 (Southern).
I have gone over and over these Challenges not aiming for perfection but to get enough experience so that I could get my words in before Kat(Cat?) 80% of the time as recommended. It’s taken me 8 months to get this far and I consider I’ve done quite well. There is perhaps not a Welsh speaking man within a thousand miles of here in the jungle of Borneo! I don’t have email or regular access to the internet so that just compounds the difficulties.
I now find I can talk to myself and role-play an imaginary character with the phrases I have learnt. Actually I have a three pronged attack on the language. I have the 36 programmes of Now You’re Talking (just finished lesson 10) and a vocabulary of 350 words from the Learn Welsh website. Each approach compliments the other and provides variety.
From where I am now I do have some questions I am hoping SSiWers might be able to answer or empathise with. This is more for clarification rather than aiming for perfection. I’ll go through them in a chronological order of sorts based on the SSiW programme.
1 – Anybody know where I can find the lyrics to the intro tune to each lesson? If I have to purchase a CD it will have to be with a cheque with details as I don’t do online banking.
2 – For SSiW admin – On the optimistic side, how can I post a cheque to you for Level 2 ‘when’ I eventually reach that point?
3 – Is there a general rule for when words are softened as it appears not all words are softened?
1 – a and ac = and used depending upon vowel or not. Is ‘mae’ an exception?
1 – Stuck with ‘bod’. Sometimes I hear bo’fi and sometimes bofi’n. Not sure when to use which one. Both mean ‘that I’ but used when, I’m not sure.
4 – Sometimes Iestyn sounds like he’s saying ‘boy eisiau i fi’. Should I be hearing bod eisiau i fi at around 21:34?
1 – Accepting that ‘Mae rhaid i fi…’ = I must. I’m just curious why it’s not Dwi’n rhaid i fi!
2 – Often have to think quickly with ‘I’ve got……and I’ve got to…. sentences. Is this a regular hiccup?
3 – 26:44 ….that I must go . … bo rhaid i fi fynd. Should it be bod instead of bo? Bod certainly is confusing for me.
1 – I can not hear any difference so far between sounding r and rh. Something – rhybeth seems just like an r. Is it a subtle difference? And the ‘Now You’re Talking programmes seems to pronounce the town of Rhyl as Hill! No r at all. And December – rh seems hard. What am I hearing and how to proceed?
2 – Never got this one under the belt. ’23:00 Because learning Welsh is interesting’ achos mae dysgu Cymraeg yn ddiddorol. Why does ‘mae’ come into it?
1 – I can learn more. Gallu i ddysgu mwy. Why not ‘dwi’n gallu ddysgu mwy?
1 – Does ‘pan’ = When always soften. Eg Pan ddwedesti?
2 – Am I hearing ‘dwedesti ‘boti’ or boti’n newydd ddechrau?
1 – Any clues/rules as to masc/fem for it?
2 – 3:00 - Why does gallet ti… soften to allet ti when allet ti is already at the beginning of a sentence.
3 – 20:20 – Why yn ‘arafach’ not ‘mwyarafach’
1 – 9:10 Why ‘mae’n drwg da fi’ and not ‘dwi’n ddrwg da fi’? as there are sentences – ‘I’m sorry and I’m going’ using mae’n and dwi’n.
2 – To help you is – dy helpu di. So why ‘i’ inserted for I want to help you practice. Dwi’ moyn dy helpu di i ymarfer?
1 – O ble…. What does O mean? Word not introduced but seems part of the drill.
2 – ‘I want to help you understand’, and ‘I’d like to help you to understand’. Both sentences have ‘i’ in them. Why does the first have it when the word ‘to’ is absent?
3 – LL in Welsh has that hissing goose sound but when Iestyn pronounces England, it sounds like a single English L - Loegr. Am I hearning Loegr or should I hear Lloegr?
4 – When I try to speak normally, there is sometimes little difference between the ll sound and ch sound. Is this ok?
1 – Why ‘mae fe’ and mae fe’n for two sentences which contain he’s. He’s just started and He’s going.
2 – Big hold up here. y, yr, ma, ma’r. Not always sure I am hearing correctly or using the right one. And just when I think I’m there, bydda crop up. Not even sure how to explain where I am going wrong. Is this a usual difficulty?
3 – Sydd yn is generally ok. But why does yn come later with ‘sydd dal yn ymarfer’? Why not sydd yn dal ymarfer?
4 – And continuing from 3 above. Why is there no yn with ……sydd newydd ddechrau? Sydd yn newydd ddechrau.
5 – Mixed up with – dwi’ ddim yn…. and do’n I ddim yn… when to use one or the other.
1 - Order confusion – The old woman had better remember what she wants. Why does Well iddi’r (sorry spelling) hen fenyw…. I’ve got a feeling that the order of these sentences will get trickier as the course goes on.
2 – 24:31 What am I hearing ‘Mae’hin or mai’n?
Oh boy, what a lot of writing. It’s enough to bore most of you I suspect. But I’d really appreciate some support. A quick skim read and I can see that ‘some’ of what I’ve written is probably laughable and ‘when’ I get to the end of Challenge 25, I will probably not believe that I ever wrote this.
Diolch yn fawr.
PS In the process of learning my first Welsh song. Holia cwcw holia ci ci. Recollections of this tune from my distant youth. Anybody know where to locate a good recording of this folksong?
Finally, to tell you how hopeless I am on a computer. It’s taken me 20 minutes to locate how to send this email. Never able to remember the buttons to press – age!
I can’t help with the questions, but I’m really pleased that there is a Welsh learner in the forests of Borneo! I spent a summer in the jungle of Sulawesi, I wasn’t learning Welsh then, but I did manage to get the family I was staying with to say ‘Nos da’ though!
I see you found out how to start a new topic…
Can I also suggest that you ask your questions one or two at a time?! This is a fairly vertiginous mountain - I’ll try to do a few for you now, but I’ve got to go and pick the kids up soon - I’ll add more answers over the next few days…
1.1 - Mi wela i efo llygad bach fi rhywbeth yn dechrau efo chdi…
1.2 - We don’t have an existing process to accept payment by cheque. Maybe @iestyn will be able to comment on this…
1.3 - Nope, afraid not - there are plenty of different rules/reasons, but the easiest thing is to trust your ear (which develops as you work through the course).
2.1 - Yes, ‘ac mae’ is an exception.
3.1 - is this question about the ‘n’ at the end? That’s to do with whether or not you need ‘yn’ - so ‘bo fi angen’ vs ‘bo fi’n siarad’…
3.4 - Yes, it’s always ‘bod’ and never ‘boy’ - you’re probably just hearing the ‘d’ not being said.
4.1 - Just how the language works - like Spanish saying ‘I have hunger’ instead of ‘I am hungry’…
4.2 - yes, that often catches people.
4.3 - bod is bo and vice versa - it’s just like ‘do not know’ -> ‘don’t know’.
Okay, got to go now, more later…
It means literally : It is learning Welsh interesting. You have the same structure, when you say: Mae John yn barod,
John is ready , or literally: it is John ready.
You can say: "dw i’n gallu dysgu mwy. To say : “Galla i” is just another form.
The second. There is no “yn” before “newydd.”
It depends on which word is replaced by “it” If you make a statement about unspecific things or the weather, time you use “hi”. You will be understood, whether you use “hi” or “e”.
I don’t know the sentence, but maybe it is a question. When you say a question or a negative sentence, you mutate.
Slow is “araf”, “arafach” is slower. You could also say: “mwy araf” = more slow, but not “mwy arafach” this would be : more slower.
(11.5 I think):
“dwi’ ddim yn” is the present tense and means “I am not …”.
" do’n I ddim yn" is the continuous past tense and means “I was not …”
(usually known in traditional grammar books as the “imperfect tense”).
“O” means “from”, so “O ble…” means “from where …” (e.g. “from where do you come?” - slightly different word order from English).
10.3 Lloegr or Loegr. Haven’t listened to this recently, but Lloegr can soften to Loegr in some situations, so you are probably hearing “Loegr” correctly.
Sorry for the vertiginous mountain of questions. I didn’t expect you to do the lion’s share of responding. It’s open to all. But you certainly are quick off the mark and to the point. Just if you have time and are willing. Whatever happens, I will reach my goal - or summit this vertiginous mountain.
PS I already have a question from Challenge 13 but I’ll hold off for a while and try to work it out.
By raising this question I became aware of one thing: All of us who are using the new website layout (not forum, but website), are reduced of those beautiful intros and additional encouragement coming along with lessons. To remember what I’m talking about here’s screenshot:
As for the tune: I don’t know about lyrics but it might be cruising through the YouTube you could find the video with lyrics however as you see from the screenshot, the intro (which we with new leyout can’t see anymore if not switching back to old one) reads as follows:
Huge thanks to Lleuwen Steffan for giving us permission to use a track from her remarkable album ‘Tân’ as our intro/outro music. If you like it, we strongly recommend the album, which you can get for an utterly ridiculous bargain at just £4.99 at:
- and you can find out more about Lleuwen on her website: http://www.lleuwen.com/
And here she is with a slightly more up-tempo version in the Wrecsam Eisteddfod:
I hope this helps to answer this question but it might be you’ve already read all this and I’m inventing what’s already invented.
Oh, and for @aran: Any chance these features/intros we can see on old leyout would be implemented into new layout aswell in the future? Or were they meant to be totally dropped out?
Well, this is all what I’ll contribute to conquer the top of this mountain. For the language steps there are more expertised people on here then I am.
A few from me … cherry-picking. Apologies if I’m repeating anyone else.
Challenge 10, Q2&3: In colloquial English we say ‘I want to help you understand’, but if you were writing formally you’d probably put ‘I want to help you to understand’. This is what the ‘i’ is doing (bearing in mind, of course, that these pronouns are not going to map neatly from one language to another - there are plenty of times when the Welsh will use one where English doesn’t or vice versa, or something different).
Challenge 10, Q4: Of course it’s OK; it’ll come with practice.
Challenge 11, Q2: I think confusion is usual Don’t worry too much - it’ll sort itself out.
Challenge 11, Q5: Dw i ddim yn = I am not… (e.g. something I am doing right now) Don i ddim yn = I was not… (something I was doing last year)
Challenge 12, Q1: Word order is something peculiar to a language (and is part of its charm), but it does come with practice and use, I promise. Don’t worry too much about it
ETA: There’s hardly any actual practical Welsh in my response here, is there - it’s mostly “Chill, bro!”
Apologies - I hope there’s something useful there…
I want to thank all of you that responded to my ‘Personal Progress’ concerns.
I’ve now begun Challenge 13 this week. Confusion starting to creep in and progress is much slower these days (but still positive).
Already a couple of issues I am struggling with. sy’n nabod = who knows. So what I’ve learnt so far, why is ‘Who knows you’ not - sy’n nabod ti? But rather; sy’n nabod dy.
Then the two sentences at 12;44 and 12:59 - She wants to help your sister and She wants to ask your sister. One sentence throws in an ‘i’ whilst the other doesn’t. Why is this?
Mae hi’n moyn helpu dy chwaer dy. Mae hi’n moyn gofyn i dy chwaer dy.
Finally (for now) why two dy’s at all?
Diolch yn fawr.
- Some verbs have an additional preposition.
Gofyn i = to ask.
Some verbs don’t have the additional preposition we would expect from English.
Cyrraedd Lundain = to arrive in London
It’s quite a good idea, but also a pain, to learn the additional prepositions along with the verbs as you go along.
And to add injury to insult, the prepositions often conjugate if there isn’t a noun.
Mae hi’n gofyn i dy chwaer dy. She asks/ is asking your sister.
If “your sister” is replaced with “her”
Mae hi’n gofyn iddi hi.
Mae hi’n gofyn iddi.
- Formally there are lots of dy…dy forms.
Fy nghath i = My cat my
Dy gath dy = Your cat your
Ei gath e/o = His cat his
Ei chath hi = Her cat her
Ein cath ni = Our cat ours
Eich cath chi = Your cat yours
Eu cath eu = Their cat theirs.
And sometimes (often) the final bit of the word (possessive) drops off. Incidentally, this list also shows how the noun mutates depending on who is doing the owning.
I hope this is more helpful than confusing.
Just wondering if I’m glad I asked! On initial inspection your well written explanation appears Greek to me but given time I hope it will all iron itself all out.
Diolch yn fawr
Given time it will. Feel free to ignore it for the time being!
I’d just like to say a particularly large DIOLCH to Margaret, who has been giving some absolutely brilliant detailed answers - really great to see your excellent (and justified!) levels of confidence these days, Margaret - that first Bootcamp seems a long time ago now!
@aran Thanks Aran, Yes I’ve come a long way!
Just filled in the form for the Dysgwr y Flwyddyn, and to volunteer all week at the Eisteddfod. Now trying to find accommodation.
I have a strong feeling this is gonna be busy year for you! You’re brilliant, really! Good luck with “Dysgwr y Flwyddyn”! All the best!
Every year is busy for me Tatjana!
Well, I kind of meant “extra busy”
Finished listening to Challenge 13. I am okish until about 14 minutes through and then it’s a different ball game. I recon it will take me an age to get comfortable with this bag of tricks. Word order is really throwing me as are the length of the sentences and the tongue twisters which seem to be appearing more frequently. I will get through it eventually (end of March is my target). Toughest Challenge yet as Iestyn says at the end. Anybody agree with me and does life get any easier after Challenge 13?
Diolch yn fawr.
Gwych! Pob lwc i ti…
Does that imply that you feel you need to get 13 ‘right’ before you move on? Worth remembering that each individual session is only an exercise - you don’t have to master the exercise itself, you just have to take part in it - and then move on…
I forgot … Leven 1 I presume …
Do you know what? I agree with you completely! Challenge 13 made me quit level 1 two times before I was finally convinced to carry on and just push through. To be honest, now I only remember that it was tough but what was taught in it … honestly I don’t remember at all …
Life will eventually be a bit easier although I’m not sure if qutie soon. I remember 14 and 15 were a bit easier but still tough though. No matter what, don’t give up! You’ll do it till the end of March, believe me, might not be entirely (it’s never something entirely mastered in language learning I believe) but you’ll be just fine with all those “difficulties” you encountered just now. Try to take everything as lightly as possible and your life woudl be a bit easier (regarding learning of course).