New learner here, from the United States. I’ve just started Course 1 (Southern) around the beginning of May. I’m not Welsh by background, not do I know anyone who is Welsh, but I have been interested in Wales and the Welsh language for a long time. So I decided to just give this a go… The first few lessons have gone pretty well; I’m quite excited by how much I’ve learned already, and I’m having a great deal of fun! But now I have some questions about the last section of Lesson 4. I know I am probably getting ahead of myself here, but I’m trying to understand the patterns of what is being said so I can come up with the correct responses.
So we are learning yn dda, yn barod, yn hapus. Whenever we say “well”, it is “yn dda”, just like that, no messing around with the yn. But when we say ready or happy, we aren’t saying yn barod or yn hapus. I’m sure this is something grammatical which we aren’t supposed to worry about yet, but I am feeling a bit lost.
I think what I am hearing is that if there is no verb following, we just say barod or hapus (without the yn); for example: Are you ready? - Wyt ti’n barod? I am happy. - Dwi’n hapus.
But if there is a verb following, there is no yn before, but an “ee” sound after; for example:
Are you ready to speak? - Wyt ti’n barod “ee” siarad?
I am happy to say something. - Dwi’n hapus “ee” ddweud rhwybeth.
Am I on the right track? And what is the spelling of the word that is the “ee” sound?
Also, this gets more complicated when we are saying “it”. I can’t figure out what I am hearing. For example, You are not ready to buy it. - Ti ddim yn barod ei brynu e. Is there another word in there - the “ee” sound - in addition to the ei, or is it a different word/sound/combination?
Please excuse all errors, I’ve never tried to write in Welsh before! Thanks in advance for any help!
Hi Anna, and Croeso/Welcome to the forum.
The 'n is a contraction of yn. There are multiple uses for the word yn. Since yn is already there the yn for yn barod, etc is dropped.
The ee sound is i meaning to. It works similar to English in this context. The SSiW mantra is “Don’t worry about it”. Just do the lessons and it will become natural when to use it.
The i and ei tend to get run together into one sound. You may hear both sometimes but is probably so short it’s tough to notice.
Thank you so much for your welcome and your detailed reply! That helps me a lot.
Yes, I know, I’m a bit of a perfectionist and I have to keep telling myself this…
Thanks again for the help, it’s much appreciated!
Ah, ja … two of us then just that I’m (can bet on that) harder then you. I really practically mentally beat myself and it just doesn’t want to get out of my “habit”.
Suffering iawn so don’t do this to yourself. If you can, barry that “SSiW mantra in mind”. I’m too lost already to do so.
Most of us here have done the same. But, but, but what’s the rule? It takes a while to adjust. Aran runs around waving shiny objects in front of our eyes and muttering “Trust me… trust me…”
Nice to “meet” you, Tatjana! Yes, I am all too good at beating myself up mentally. I know, Craig, I should give myself more time to adjust.
I redid Lesson 4 this afternoon, and kept repeating the mantra in my head when I got mad at myself for forgetting what I was supposed to say by the time I got to the second half of the long sentences, when I mixed up verbs (I have the worst time with cysgu!) and every time I forgot to put “gallu” in the sentence. Yes, I know Iestyn says all this is totally normal. The funny thing is, when I tell myself not to worry, I’m starting to hear it in my head in Iestyn’s voice
Waving shiny objects…love it! Despite the frustrations, I am having so much fun doing this!
O boy … you sound like I’d find other half of myself @AnnaC being frustrated over the same things, forgetting the same things, …
You’re only at Lesson 4 so you have plenty of time to get this “SSiW mantra” in your head before you get really frustrated upon long sentences and stuff. I’m tryng to do so being at Lesson 15 on Course 2 but it’s gettng worse. I’m glad you can have fun so you keep it so. I bet when you’ll be through so much material as I am you’ll speak WAY BETTER Cymraeg then I ever will so keep going.
And, yes, I’m pleased to meet you too.
Sounds like your following the “learning Welsh curve” perfectly, AnnaC! Sorry about the telepathic messages - I can’t help myself…!
For everyone feeling frustration about how they can;t seem to get X right - it’s a side effect of learning at speed. If you learn slowly (say, taking 5 years before your willing to speak, because you’re making sure you know stuff before learning anything new), then you won’t suffer the frustration of constantly getting stuff confused, or forgetting it altogether on a regular basis. Unfortunately, you will suffer different frustrations. So, recognise that frustration is part of achieving “The Goal” - speaking Welsh, and is actually a sign of your progress. Every mistake, every missing “gallu” (I’d love to know why that word is so often missed!), every brain freeze, every time you’re nasty to my wife because she woan;t wait for you to finish, is a step towards becoming a relaxed and natural Welsh speaker.
In other word, at the end of a lesson, count your frustrations, and celebrate every one of them. At the same time, compare them with how much you’ve learnt, and especially, think about the frustrations of earlier lessons that are now faded (not all of them - some take longer than others!) and you can doubly celebrate.
Unfortuantely, I can’t promise to raise a glass to you all, because I would spend my life “relaxed” as the proverbial newt, but I encourage you to review how much you’ve learnt at regular intervals, to put your current frustrations into context!
A big to you all
Post script: (Strangely, when you start witing star, the forum offers you custard. That would be a rather different message!)
Thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement! And I’m NEVER nasty to Cat! I don’t swear at the tutors, I only get mad at myself. I shall add “celebrate my frustrations” to my mantra collection. And it’s true, I can celebrate frustrations that have faded - I struggled with “Wyt t’in” for a while, and now it pops out appropriately almost all the time.
I understand what you are saying about learning at speed. This is where I am trying to find my balance right now - how much to keep repeating and when to move on. I can do at least 80% of Lesson 4 correctly without the pause button, for the short sentences. Although occasionally I do spit out a lovely, perfectly correct Welsh sentence which has nothing whatever to do with what you have asked me to say. It’s the long sentences that I can’t do remotely up to speed. By the time my brain has processed “what tense? - which verb? - Am I softening? - which conjunction? - oh, wait, what was the second part of the sentence? - okay, which tense? - which verb? - oh, no, I need gallu” , I’ve gotten out about two words before Cat begins speaking. (Or I simply panic and freeze.) And then half the time I listen to her and can’t remember if that’s what I said or not! But I’m not worrying. (See, mantra right there.) Right now I need to pause so that I can at least have the confidence that I CAN do it right, even if it’s very slow. But if I wait until I can do those fast enough, it will take 5 years to move on to the next lesson! So today I shall start Lesson 5, and see how it goes…
Thanks again, Iestyn, for your helpful response!
P.S. I just reread this, and I want to make it clear that I’m not actually saying all that “which tense” stuff in my head in words, it’s just what my brain is trying to do…
That sounds like a great way to be - burn your way through, with the occasional pause for breath, and to check that you have something right. No point hanging around, because your just delaying the inevitable day when you will speak a lot of Welsh comfortably. That sounds good, doesn’t it - you might like to read it again! (Hey, add it to the mantra, which is probably getting a bit long by now already!)
The mad thing is, we are taught to learn slowly and carefully in schools and colleges, because for knowledge, that is probably the best way to learn. But we try to learn speaking a language the same way. If you want knowledge of a language (you know, grammar, rules, exactly correct ways to say this and that) then you need to take your time (and a different course!), but if you want to be able to express yourself in a language, fast and messy is how you are going to speak (that’s how we all speak any language that we are comfortable with), so you might as well learn it fast and messy as well!
Glad you’re enjoying your frustrations, and getting some of them behind you as well!
Thanks for the feedback, Iestyn!
I like “no point hanging around” and “might as well be fast and messy”. They’ve been added to my list.
Thanks for the custard . Time for me to go practice getting my tongue around “llaeth”…