Inspired by the imminent Shwmaethon event, I’d like to know what the appropriate response to “Sh’mae” is. I usually answer with “iawn diolch” or something similar, in the belief that “Sh’mae” is an actual question like “sut wyt ti”. But is it, or should the natural response just be “Sh’mae”?
I hear plenty of both, so I think you’re appropriate whichever way you fall off that log…
I always treat it as the equivalent of Hello, but I have had some people respond with “Dw i’n iawn, diolch” (i.e. treating it as How are you?). Maybe I should use Helo instead.
Diolch - clearly we think alike (as I discovered in Tresaith ), but I’m going to follow Aran’s advice and continue reponding with “iawn” or “dim rhy ddrwg” etc
If you’re a fan of Meic Stevens, the answer to “shwmae, shwmae” has got to be “iawn, ie, ie”
Or ‘WYT TI’N SBIO ARNA I??!’
Tegwen and I aren’t the only ones, then. Thank heavens for that.
To be honest, I’m never 100% sure what the appropriate equivalent response is in English half the time! I usually want to say “fine thanks, how are you?”, but often it’s just in passing, and the other person probably doesn’t hear the “how are you?” bit. so it must sound awfully egocentric. So next time, I’m tempted to just reply “how are you?” but to answer a question like that with another identical question just sounds odd to my literalist mind.
Although I believe that upper-class etiquette guides do in fact say this is correct, although they might be more likely to say
“How d’ye do?
How d’ye do?”
This is the second time today that listening to Radio Cymru has paid off… I would normally have never heard of this song or of Meic Stevens, but I just happened to hear the song in question on Aled Hughes’ show. The other bit of good fortune was hearing @Iestyn talking about his Shwmaeathon just before the news at 8!
I’m not an avid listener, I just tune in for 15 minutes or so on the occasional morning, so I was lucky to hear both of these things today!
Back to the point in question, I treat it much like the English greeting, “Alright?” where the correct response (around these parts at least) is, “Alright?”
Thanks everyone for your responses.