Rhaid/eisiau ayyb

Hello. May I have some help please?
I lived in Powys for many years before moving to Cowbridge and recently starting the southern SSIW course. I seem to have been a Learner for many years and although I could understand a fair amount I was finding it difficult to think quickly enough to have much confidence in speaking so this course is great.
I am finding a bit of a problem though with the north/ south differences in using rhaid/eisiau/moyn/gorfod/chwant - I seem to get them wrong every time!
Diolch yn fawr

S’mae Anne?

When you say you are using these words “wrong” what exactly do you mean? Are you just getting blank looks in return or do others understand what you are saying? Do they correct you? If you could give some examples that would be great, but first and foremost, relax! Do you recognise you got it “wrong” and have a “Doh!” moment! If so, celebrate! Mistakes like that are a great way of learning, as is having as many conversations with Welsh speakers as possible.

Anyway, post back soon, there are lots of people on the forum ready to help or advise or reassure you.



1 Like

Thanks Stu
Main problem is responding to Iestyn in time with the correct version. I used to use rhaid when meaning ‘need’ and eisiau when meaning 'like or want to do something ’ but eisiau in south is more like need or want with rhaid being must but then gorfod comes into it too and then chwant as well…
I don’t mind making mistakes - I just want to stop making the same ones!!
Diolch eto

Shwmae Anne,
Going to confuse you a little…
“Eisiau” in the south is usually used to express a need for something - eg, “mae eisiau i fi ddysgu Cymraeg” is “there is a need for me to learn Welsh”.
In the north, “eisiau” (or “isio”) is used to say that you want something - eg "Dw i eisiau dysgu Cymraeg = “I want to learn Welsh”.
As you will know from the southern lessons, the word used to say “to want” is “moyn”. So, in the north, if they need something, it’s “Dw i angen…”.
As for “Rhaid”, in the south, it is used when there is something that ‘must’ be done - eg “Mae rhaid i fi ddysgu Cymraeg” is generally “I must learn Welsh”. I’m pretty sure this is the same in the north, but I shall wait for a gog to come on and confirm that!
I hope I haven’t confused you too much! :confused:

Edit: to add that “gorfod” meaning to “have to”, or be “forced to” do something, and “chwant” meaning to desire, crave or even to lust for something! In general, all these words are just more ways to express yourself outside of stock phrases, so whichever ones you use will never be misunderstood once you’re using the right words with their intended meanings! But like Stu said earlier, even if you do get them muddled up, don’t worry! Embrace the mistakes and move on. Eventually everything will fall into its rightful place. :smiley:


I think its really important not to overthink things and get hung up on on this Anne. It sounds to me like you are producing Welsh from the English prompts, just that sometimes what you say does not quite match what Cat and Iestyn then say. No big deal! You produced Welsh! Give it time, and you will get things “right” most of the time, it just needs practice. Certainly its not worth fretting about, just relax and enjoy your Welsh, safe in the knowledge thst the SSiW method will work for you. The intervals built into the lessons will make sure you get practice using the various structures. Do you get the opportunity to speak with other learners or first language speakers at all?




Exactly!! I am a pedantic old fogey who speaks a bit of this and a bit of that. I refuse to change my pronunciation to fit with the southern course or my vocabulary to fit with the north!! I learned bits in both! To be fair, living in Scotland, I don’t actually speak to real people who might not understand,

Some good advice here - diolch to everyone for their encouragement!

Well done Anne for getting to grips with the course, and for obviously doing it as it’s meant to be done - the “panic” of getting the Welsh out before we start speaking over you will work wonders for the speed, and thus ease, of your conversations in Welsh.

As for subtle differences? Well, if I said to you in English “I need to go to work now” instead of “I have to go to work now”, or “I need a cup of tea” instead of “I want a cup of tea”, you probably wouldn’t even notice the subtle differences. There are some places where they might sound a tiny bit more uncomfortable, but certinly not enough to really affect the understanding of a conversation. In other words, you know what you’re saying, and in a real conversation you will make far worse “mistakes” and get away with them, so really don;t worry about these.

I think you may be especially getting mixed bexcause you are used to eisau = want and angen = need. Guess what? Loads of other people will agree with you, so mixing eisiau and moyn isn;t even a mistake, you’re just talking more than one dialect at once. Lots of us do that as well!

So, it sounds to me like you are doing absolutely fine, and that you’re only “problem” is that you speak more Welsh than you’re supposed to be able to at this level in the course. Does that sound like a bad thing to you?

In other words - keep doing exactly what you’re doing, except for the “worrying” bit - it seems to be working just fine for you. Da iawn ti!


Hello. Thank you all very much indeed for the advice. I will try and relax more about it. So far I am really enjoying the course and about to start on course 3…
I do have opportunities to speak Welsh. I had joined Cwrs Uwch here but it now takes 4years so It’s good to do SSIW as well. A group of us have weekly Bore Coffi sessions but my main motivation is to be able to speak fluently to my 2grandchildren to support my son who speaks to them in Welsh whilst my daughter in law speaks Cantonese to them and they have English in the nursery (they live in London). It will be interesting to see how they manage tri lingually in future!
Thanks again for the advice.You are all so encouraging!


Re: the north/south differences. I live in Cardiff, and I have followed the southern course. But my partner is from the north and I speak mostly with her, with my in-laws and with our Welsh-speaking friends here (many of whom are from the north also).

So I tend to say ‘dw i eisiau’ when I want something and ‘dw i angen’ when I need something, as that’s what gets used around me mostly. No one has ever misunderstood what I mean, nor thought me odd (I think!) They just think I speak a bit like a Gog. And sometimes I’ll say ‘dw i’n moyn’ when I want something and 'mae’n eisiau ‘da fi’ when I need something - it really depends on what comes out. But it’s all Cymraeg :smile:

(Actually, I think I’ve had more blank looks for saying ‘dw i’n moyn’ up north than ‘dw i eisiau’ down here…)



“Moyn” is a dialecty thing, not used universally and exclusively by everyone in the whole of “South Wales” to mean “want”, (but then that’s true for all the “North/South” splits), and the “standard” meaning of “eisiau” will be understood throughout the whole of Wales (including down 'ere :wink: )