Tiny questions with quick answers - continuing thread

Oh my word. Have the Heddlu Iaith actually started court proceedings now?

I’m doomed.


We’ll bail you out! :slight_smile:


Just say you’re a friend of mine. :wink:

On second thoughts…don’t! :confused:


I kept all my doubts aside until the end of level 1. Some of them dissolved in the process, but some stuck. And even though I had planned a full weekend break I can’t stop thinking about them so I have to start with questions! :joy:

What is the difference between dweud, ddweud and dweud wrth?
(Maybe it’s not so clear in English as well to me, cause in Italian they’re both translated with the same word)

I hear that words like mynd and menyw changing sometimes into a v sound, and I have the impression that gofyn becomes ofyn. Is there some sort of rule about it?

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This letter-change at the beginning of words is called “mutation” (treiglad in cymraeg) and it’s a wide grammatical field, and yes, there are rules of when and how to mutate. What you noticed in mynd and menyw are both examples of the “soft mutation”, which is by far the most common mutation, and I can only tell you which letters change to which, but I won’t try to list any rules here, because a) that would be too long and b) I don’t even know all the rules myself.
The most important thing is to notice that these things happen, and as you become more exposed you will develop a “feeling” of when and how to mutate, and if you get it wrong, don’t worry, you will still be understood.
Now here is the list of letter changes in the soft mutation:
p -> b, m -> f, b -> f, c -> g, t -> d, d -> dd, ll -> l, rh -> r, and as you noticed, g just drops completely.

For more information I can refer you to this web-page: https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Welsh/Mutations, or the book “Modern Welsh Dictionary” by @garethrking which gives a short overview.

With what I wrote above you can now see that ddweud is just the soft-mutated form of dweud, so they are in essence the same word.

Now dweud wrth in english is “to tell”, which is the action of saying something to a specific person, but like you said, italian only knows dire for both actions, so this is also one of the things that you will pick up naturally as you go along, but again, it’s not the end of the world if you “get it wrong” from time to time.

And: Llongyfarchiadau mawr iawn am gwpla lefel 1! (Congratulations on finishing level 1!) :slight_smile:


About the dweud wrth, I feel like the way you say it is actually closer to Italian than English. English has its own word for “tell” but Welsh, like Italian, doesn’t. You use “dire” (“dweud”) for both, with a small addition to change the meaning slightly. So,

Dweud wrtha i - Dire a me
Dweud wrthat ti - Dire a te

Of course in Italian you’d generally use some more natural sounding “mi dice”, “dimmi” and “ti dico” etc, but (at least to my ears) those still sound correct (“dì a Marco che non vengo stasera!”). And you can think of the “mi” and “ti” at the beginning as having the same role as the “wrtha i” and “wrthat ti” in changing the meaning :slight_smile:


Diolch @Hendrik. :slightly_smiling_face: And @Novem

If we were talking I would also add “very much” but I stopped looking at vocabulary lists after the first 4 or 5 challenges for now so I don’t know how to write it.
(It was shocking and confusing to see how the words I had apparently just pronunced look in written form! Holy cow!)

It is all much clearer now.

By the way there’s one more thing that’s really obscure and it’s pure luck when I get them right: relatives! (Like my brother, your mother, sister, father etc) I didn’t worry so much because I’m pretty sure everybody would understand also the wrong form…but they seem to completely change every time. Is there such thing as possessive pronouns in Welsh?

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The reason why they seem to change is because they do :slight_smile: – the possessive pronouns in Welsh all cause (different) mutations. The family members mum, dad, brother and sister without mutations are mam, tad, brawd, chwaer.
The possessive “your” in Welsh is dy, and it causes the soft mutation (and afterwards the personal pronoun is “echoed”), so your mum is dy fam di (and just to make things interesting, this “echoed” personal pronoun is occasionally dropped.)
The possessive “my” is fy and it causes nasal mutation. The letter m isn’t changed in this mutation, so my mum is fy mam i, but t changes to nh, and b changes to m, so
my dad = fy nhad i
my brother = fy mrawd i
Although in spoken language, in such “tell-tale” mutations, the possessive pronoun is often dropped altogether:
Ges i amser da gyda 'nhad a 'mrawd yn y dafarn neithiwr. I had a good time with my dad and my brother in the pub last night.


Right, Thinking about it this way, I agree that skipping English completely in this case makes it all even easier. :wink:


Just saw a sign in a shop, which I’m guessing is using literary Welsh?

“Elynir Lladron” - “Thieves will be prosecuted”.

I’ve been trawling around to find out what verb form this is and the closest modified verb I can find is for “Gwneud” in the form “Gwnelir”, which said that this was the literary form for the impersonal present/future tense of Gwneud.

Is Elynir the literary present/future tense of Elyn (to chase or prosecute)?

If so, would “Bydd Lladron yn elyn” or “Lladron fydd yn elyn” be alterantives?

Is elyn a widely recognised word? or would cosbi for punish be more normal?

This seems to back up what you’re saying about it being a impersonal present/future form of erlyn (though I have absolutely no idea how accurate the site is at all) http://www.verbix.com/webverbix/go.php?T1=erlyn&Submit=Go&D1=29&H1=129

I think “Bydd Lladron yn elyn” would be closer to “Thieves will be prosecuting”, but “Caiff lladron eu elyn” might work?


Yes, elynir the impersonal present/future tense of elyn (to prosecute). This form is used in formal situations - you’ll often hear it used in news reporting. A more ‘informal’ way of saying ‘Theives will be prosecuted’ is “Bydd lladron yn cael eu elyn” - which is probably considered a bit long for official signs.


Ah that looks better :smiley:


Diolch both (@siaronjames). My error there in not using cael, is quite typical for me. We’re always told that we’ll be understood no matter what, but sometimes I’m probably being understood for saying something very different to what I intend - might explain the glazed looks I get sometimes.


It’s erlyn, not elyn - so it should read

Erlynir lladron

for which the non-literary equivalent would be

Bydd lladron yn cael eu herlyn


Caiff lladron eu herlyn


diolch - i won’t be getting a job as a translator anytime soon.

PS is there rule for those magic “h” s. They always seem to break up vowels, particularly commom after eu from what i can make out.

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It wasn’t you that got it wrong, @Toffidil - it was the people who wrote the sign!

The possessive adjectives

ei her
ein our
eu their

all add h- to a following vowel.



yes, I like that approach - perhaps they should be prosecuted.

also thatnks for the “h” lesson - quite a simple rule by the looks of it.


Yes it is. :slight_smile:

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'mynd rhagddi / rhagddo ’ … does this mean something like “ongoing”?