Hi all. Quick question. I keep seeing ‘taswn’ written as ‘tasen’. Actually… Faswn and fasen as well. Is it just an optional variant? Thanks.

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Mmmm… dunno if this is creeping into common usage… I’d use ‘tasen’ for ‘ni’… maybe it’s a bit of a southernism? @Iestyn?

When being completely correct, I’d expect:

taswn i
taset ti
tasai fe
tasai hi
tasen ni
tasech chi
tasen nhw

The problem I think comes from the fact that only probably the most “hardened” ear could tell the difference between a “taswn” and a “tasen”. So in informal and text based communication, you may see one being used “incorrectly” so to speak.

When I started, I was guilty of just writing “Byddwn” for all of the “…will” lots, regardless of whether it was they, we etc.

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Thanks. The reason I ask is that in Level 2. Challenge 17, we have ‘tasen i’n ti/sen i’n ti’ for ‘If I were you.’

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My computer is still showing the Gogledd version, which is

“if I were you - taswn i chdi / swn i chdi”

However, you are correct in that the southern version of the vocab is showing

“if I were you - tasen i’n ti / sen i’n ti”

I’m not sure if this is a typo, or something else :slight_smile:

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Thanks Nicky. I hope it is a typo… Then I can cease being confused! :thinking:

No, it’s not a typo, it’s a dialect thing.

I definitely mention it in a lesson, but it may very well be in the old courses, rather than the new levels, that tasen i and tasen ni sound identical in southern Welsh - presumably that’s why northerners / grammar rules make the difference in the first person, but natural southern usage keep the “e” the whole way through.

The same goes for bydden i . Northerners would use buaswn or baswn i, and official grammars say baswn or byddwn, but southerners naturally say bydden i (and bydden ni)

To my ear, byddwn i sounds like byddwn ni = we will, rather than bydden i = I would.

On the other hand, context makes it almost impossible to misunderstand these subtle little details in speech, plus if you stick to the “grammatically correct” version, the only real potential to cause a difficulty is when you hear me say something different in the lesson, and start to doubt yourself. Don’t - it really is almost irrelevant until you start writing, and even then, I’ve seen far worse “mistakes” in writing, by teachers at the local school, so really really don;t sweat it!

The fact that Aran doesn;t know whether it’s a typo or not also means that he has never noticed that I say it differently. That’s a clue. Use what you want, and your Welsh speaking friend will hear what they expect!


Thanks Iestyn. A very comprehensive answer. :blush:

can i ask if you would also use pe bawn i, pe bai etc I don’t really have a feel for different speakers usage here - it doesn’t seem to happen often enough for me to work out people’s preferences etc

The more I read these sort of answers the more I am so grateful I discovered SSIW. Attempting to learn via the more traditional route meant I spent too much time trying (often successfully) to satisfy the requirements of the PC grammar brigade. So now I can relax with saying what I hear even if the spelling is incorrect.


Hear, hear and well said. :grinning:

While I understand to some extent why some people are rather pedantic about grammar (and I have been known to have a pedantic streak in English myself), I find it incredibly unhelpful in language learning circles. All you ever succeed in doing is making learners feel self conscious and afraid to practice. SSIW is so great with that - the mantra of don’t worry, just use the language is so important and I think it can be taken for granted that I wouldn’t be anywhere near confident enough to talk to strangers in Welsh on the street if I’d encountered the pedant brigade early on!


This could be happening … as Byddwn i - I would … Is pronounced as Bydden i … in areas south of say Aberystwyth.

Felly / Therefore…this could be transfer to Taswn i … as well?

A theory… no more than that :wink:

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Yes I would use pe bawn i, but now you have asked, I’m not sure when, and I am questioning whether I really would.

I shall try and catch myself using it…


diolch yn fawr

Incidentally, if you search the main web for Taswn, you will come up with a nice selection of SSiW and BBC catchphrase entries on Os v Taswn v Pe bawn i. :sunglasses: