S4C outside UK

Oh, why, what happened to it? The last episode I watched was the one with the shooting and it ended with a cliff-hanger, please tell me there are some episodes after this one!

That was the one which caused me to send my question!!! So, sorry, we’ll just have to hope they provide answers in a future series!!

I watched Rownd a Rownd last night, first without subtitles then with Welsh subtitles (well, half of it with Welsh subtitles, then I got distracted and a bit bored!)
Having steered clear of written Welsh, it was really odd to see words I thought were one word are, in fact, two and other wondrous happenings. It confirmed to me how much better off I’ve been trying to learn the language just by listening to it. I think it’s worked well for me for all sorts of reasons, but the single focus (audible) seem to be a huge strength of the process for me.

On a slightly different tack, having started with Pobl y Cwm, I think I’m understanding more of RaR because it’s Northern. When books are published in Welsh, are they North or South Welsh and who decides?

1 Like

There isn’t really (sorry!) any such thing as ‘north’ and ‘south’ Welsh - just a bunch of different dialects, the ones in the south tending to share more with each other than the ones in the north…

Most authors will either use a standardised literary form (if they’re writing fairly formally) or their own dialect (if they’re writing less formally).

But as we often say, the differences are pretty minor once you have the time to get your ear in with them - Iestyn and I have never so far needed to speak English to each other…:wink:

And if they are translated from another language, who does the translation.

Many Roald Dahl stories for children have been translated by Elin Meek, who happened to write the first Welsh text book, for southern speakers, that I was exposed to. Bliss, when it comes to reading Matida, etc.

Whoever translated the first Harry Potter story doesn’t come from this part of the world and it was more of a headache reading it. Much more Gog.


I assumed, from the North/South divide of the lessons, and from the occasional comment from the person I’ve started talking to (as in,“they say that in S. Wales but we say…”) that the differences were quite pronounced.

So, does google translate use a literary form of Welsh to translate - sometimes I test it with phrases I think I know and it comes out unexpectedly. I assumed it was S. Wales words.

What is Gog?
Sorry if I’m appearing very dim with all this. :confused:

Gog is short for Gogledd, which means North.

We can’t really say there is very little difference between N and S Welsh, else why do SSIW offer 2 versions. However, the difference isn’t enormous, as the bootcamps aren’t divided between the different styles of language.

Some people do say that they can’t understand the “other” Welsh, mostly Welsh people in fact. However it is generally, mostly, a matter of some vocabulary and not very much a matter of grammer.

A bigger problem is the number of mother language Welsh speakers who fully believe that they don’t speak “proper” Welsh (and thus aren’t the right people to speak to learners). It is far too often someone else, from another part of Wales.

The thing is, if we look at English, the Queen speaks one sort of English, Ken Livingstone another, Donald Trump a third. But it’s all English.

1 Like

I can! :blush:
But then, I can say a lot of things! Whether I am right or not is another matter! It’s not really “north Welsh” and “south Welsh” that is offered on SSiW, it’s more the Welsh spoken by Aran and the Welsh spoken by Iestyn, which as Aran says is a matter of many dialects (and, indeed, preferences of the individual) rather than “north” and “south”.

Most Welsh speakers I know certainly make comments about “Gogs” and “Hwntws”, and the Welsh they speak, but everyone I know from the South is able to speak with people from the north -and vice versa!

It’s one language. Spoken dialects, written dialects, written form, informal written, informal spoken, formal written, formal spoken- it’s all one mutually comprehensible language. It’s Welsh. :blush:

1 Like

Well try and stick with it for a bit, as it’s only 20 minutes twice a week (if you only watch each episode once), and it sounds like you are better off without the subtitles. The main reason to use the Welsh subtitles is if you really can’t hear what words are being said (e.g. if they are mumbling, or someone is using an extreme accent or some unusual slang or something, or as in my case, if you have hearing loss and tend to miss beginnings and endings of words).

You will soon notice northern SSiW-isms being used, and like you, I understand RaR better than Pobol y Cwm as I’m also a northern learner.

If you get hold of the “Blodwen Jones” books, they are mostly written with northern usages, although there are some southern-speaking characters. They are very colloquial though, and it’s sometimes hard to work out what word is intended when half of it seems to be missed out!

But other books in the “Nofelau Nawr” series are written in southern-style Welsh. But in the written colloquial language, the difference is not that big a deal, and the notes at the back explain some of the differences. The difference is much more significant (at least for the early learner) in the spoken language - and not the vocabulary or the structure, but the whole sound of it - accent, intonation, etc. At least this was my experience. The first time I heard a recording of Iestyn and Cat speaking, after having only heard Aran and Catrin for a long time, I could have sworn they were talking a different language! (Although by the time I got to Bootcamp (Tresaith), I could understand them…well, almost…well sometimes…well, with help… :slight_smile: )


Now I know why I actually never devided the language at all. it doesn’t matter (although I don’t know if rightfully or not) which word I say for one thing and would I sound properly in one environment (south or north) it’s all about speaking and being understood what matters to me. Surely if one day a miracle happens and I am about to appear up there on the green grassy mountains and fields of Cymru, people would look puzzled to me wherever I come but if they’d understand me, what the heck does it really matter is one word gog neu de.

If I describe my learning path from the beginning to the end then it goes something like this:

  • wonderring how the language sounds
  • listening to the language and trying to pick some things
  • way TOOOOOOO much of moaning, torturing myself and all the people here on this forum (which I know wasn’t rightful and was way painful to all, you and me - sorry for that).
  • finaaaaaaaaaaaallllllllllllllllllllllyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy starting to learn with less and less moaning
  • starting to speak with parthners (one could remember how I said it isn’t the thing for me and all sorts of blablabla in that matter…)
  • uplifting conversation with @aran which really pushed me to the hights of confidence (but not to the top yet at the time :slight_smile: )
  • more learning, more speaking, a bit less reading and slightly a bit more writing, challenging myself with all sorts of (silly) things from writing blog to measuring progress (way too) acurately
  • not minding if I say gog or de word anymore, I just wanted to speak whatever I can remember …
  • one more (much, much better) conversation with Aran (oh at least I felt it was better then previous one).
  • speaking (if even to myself), imagening dialogues in my head if neccessary just to maintain the word bank firmly held in my head …

Now here I am, not minding one speaks South or North. It was always one and only language to me - Cymraeg which I wanted to learn - and I believe this is how it would stay for the future. I just never could understand that one language is devided (it seamed to me quite officially) into two parts in its own country and that’s why I never really put the attention of which of the “parts” do I speak.

I am very aware that I’ll never sound as one of native Welsh speakers or those who are really fluent with the language so I don’t really strive to sound like one, but I’ll give my best to speak as clear and understandable I can. The accent would come if speaking a lot with native speakers and would not come if I’d not speak at all … the pure fact.

I can admit it’s a bit hard to understand some gog words as I’m learnig de but if I’ll be told several times what it means durign the conversation, I’d probably at least remember it next time.

Oh, and … that’s my point of view on the whole matter which of course, can be totally wrong though.


This, to me, is it. Imagine listening to English (or any first language) in a dialect or accent very different to your own (West country perhaps, or a Scottish accent speaking English [rather than Scots]) for the first time in your life.

With increased travel and radio and television, people are more familiar with differing ways of speaking than they were years ago, and I would say this seems to be true for Welsh as well.

Good for you! (You’ll find that most Welsh speakers mix and match the way Aran and Iestyn speak, with a large addition of how they speak as individuals!)

And yes, what you say there is right and important (in my view :blush:)


Just to bring this back to the original topic :wink: if people want to sign up to receive the monthly email from S4C they can do it here https://www.s4c.co.uk/en/s4c-newsletter/page/1627/s4c-newsletter/


Google depends on having bulk texts available to it so that it can run its frequency algorithms to try and catch meanings - I gather a significant amount of the texts used for Welsh come from the Assembly minutes, so I wouldn’t be at all surprised if there was a strong leaning towards very formal Welsh there… you certainly shouldn’t worry about being wrong just because Google doesn’t match you! :sunny:

1 Like

Putting in my fivepenny worth!
If you are born in Cymru in an area where pobl’n siarad Cymraeg, you learn Cymraeg. Later, if you watch S4C or listen to Radio Cymru, you notice some people using odd words like ‘licio’ instead of ‘hoffi’ or vise versa!! It probably doesn’t confuse you too much, not like the film “Kes” which many people complained they could not understand at all because the characters spoke a dialect of English. Like me meeting lads exercising horses on the Knavesmire in York and not understanding “Wha’dy they call thee?” I did catch on when it was repeated slowly!!
If you do not grow up speaking Cymraeg, someone teaches you. There may be teachers who do not mention gogledd and de, but I have never met one!! e.g. “I’m sorry, I come from North Wales. I’ll try to remember to teach you the South Walian version, but I may make a mistake!”
I only met one person who was not a teacher who mentioned the subject and he said, “Oh they are teaching you Welsh that isn’t really as good!” He proceeded to tell me what he said for whatever I had said!!! :smiley:
He really was an exception, an ambassador from Gogledd to Gower!! Mostly, I rather blame teachers for going on about difference!! Howsabout teaching licio and hoffi, eisia and mwyn and angen?, gyda and gen etc…???

1 Like

In my experience (for what that’s worth) those do tend to be taught.
Certainly “lico” and “hoffi”- lico seems to me more common in speech in South Wales than hoffi, and the most notable difference with the north is that it can be “lico” rather than “licio”! I think that this is a good example of the SSiW courses being based (very usefully and very effectively) on personal preferences, one person’s natural way of speaking, rather than “north” and “south”.
“Moyn” is certainly taught alongside “eisiau”- they live alongside each other where “moyn” is used as an alternative.
And though the local way of speaking is stressed in teaching, certainly “gen” is normally at least mentioned!

1 Like

Oh no! Even on the SSIW forum, there is the old ‘North-South’ division and yet again us poor Mid-Walians feel left out.

I notice that if I get stuff from http://mymemory.translated.net (which you very often get if you just google a phrase randomly), it seems to have come from the Welsh Assembly.

:slight_smile: Where are you from, if I may ask? i.e. what counts as mid-Walian? (geography was never my strong point!). However, Wales, when I look at it, seems to be a much bigger country than I used to think it was. Which perhaps means that it is a much more varied country than I used to think it was.

Thanks to SSiW, I now know it slightly better than I used to know it, but not as well as I should know it.

I hope to remedy this in the fullness of time! :smile:

I’m very sorry for going off-topic, but:

I want to live where people speak like that:) What’s this dialect, Yorkshire?

For me, Mid-Wales is Cardiganshire (Ceredigion), Breconshire, Radnorshire and Montgomeryshire (modern day Powys, everyone who lives here still uses the old county names!) and maybe a bit further where it’s not clearly North, South or West Wales… As I describe it to people outside Wales: The bit in the middle where there aren’t many people but lots of sheep.
I grew up around Builth Wells (Llanfair-ym-Muallt).
Point being that we neither identify as North or South, hence when I discovered the Ssiw app, I chose to study the Northern course, fairly randomly. But I do believe it really doesn’t matter,