Would anyone, by any chance, know how to say “by any chance” yn y Gymraeg? I find myself reaching for that expression (rather unsuccessfully, so far) quite a lot when writing emails where I’m enquiring about things. The translator says “ar unrhyw gyfle”, but I’m unsure whether this should be trusted (almost too good to be true?).
ar siawns would be one way of saying “by any chance”
Depending on the rest of the sentence, it can be useful to use digwydd e.g. “Do you know the way to Bangor by any chance?” could be rephrased as “Do you happen to know the way to Bangor?” - Wyt ti’n digwydd gwybod y ffordd i Fangor?
Can you sometimes rephrase it like that? It sounds nice and ‘Welsh’
Diolch yn fawr @Deborah-SSi, that really fits the bill, actually.
As an inquisitive reader of nearly everything I came across this. All my questions to you shall now begin with this expression. Diolch yn fawr.
A quick side note … Welsh tends to be much more direct than English I have found learning over the years… so while it is useful knowing polite niceties, I have never had people get as bothered if you miss them unlike English.
Noswaith dda pawb,
So, I’m trying to figure out how to say “to vacuum clean” without using the horrible and (in my opinion) problematic word “hwfro”.
Just to give a bit of context, I would never use “to hoover” in English as it’s a brand name - as a general rule, I don’t use brand names to refer to everyday items. Call me pedantic (I probably am!) but this is important to me.
So, the term I’ve come across for a vacuum cleaner is “sugnwr llwch” - I’m aware that it might be a bit dated, but that doesn’t bother me too much. How would you use this expression in a sentence to say something along the lines of “I was vacuum-cleaning”?
In French, you would say “J’étais en train de passer l’aspirateur” (as in, I was passing the vacuum cleaner, quite literally!), which is quite funny.
Any ideas or suggestions welcome. Please don’t lapidate me for being such a pedant, I can’t help it!
Diolch yn fawr.
You could use fac for vacuum cleaner and facio for vacuuming, so “I was vacuuming the carpet” would be “ro’n i’n facio’r carped”.
I can totally understand that instinct, but in terms of what’s out there in the language at the moment, you’d be making up your own term. Siaron’s “fac” sounds good, if you want another borrowing from English, but I can’t find evidence in the Corpws Cenedlaethol of anyone using it. You could go with something “peiriant sugno carped”, but again - don’t think anyone else uses that!
But hey! You could start something new here!
I was just reminded of pretty much the only line I actually remember from “Are you being served?” - Captain Peacock comes in to find the chap from the stockroom still vacuuming, when the department is just about to open to the public, and asks what he thinks he’s doing. “I’m ‘ooverin’ up the dust, aren’t I? 'Course, if Goblin 'ad got there first, I’d’ve been Goblin up the dust.”
Oh, they don’t make them like that any more!!
If it’s any consolation, the German term is also the equivqlent of “sucking dust”, ie Staubsauger (n. m.), the verb is staubsaugen.
(As Siaron said - “facio” is another term used and it is in the dictionary)
Sugno llwch being outdated? Maybe it is? Its funny how anything Welsh sounding… gets labelled as “outdated” in the Welsh language
If you literally translated the English ‘vacuum cleaning’ it would be “Gwacter-glanhau” or something… Maybe it is English which has the weird phraseology here!?
Most people say “hwfro” …many younger people probably do not know its from the brand ‘Hoover’ …that’s half of language evolution for you lol
I have heard Sugnwr llwch in speech in Mid Wales when a porter at work used it!..so I assume perfectly fine in academic or technical speak…even in general talk, no one who is good at Welsh is going to think you just making up words to be difficult!
Sugnwr/Sugnydd llwch … as welsh as you gonna get…happy to be corrected
Side note: Talking about llwch… I remember the word “blwch llwch” (ash tray) being used with pride even in English convos in West Wales…suppose it is a fun rhyming sound!?
Thank you all for your very useful suggestions.
@brynle I appreciated your insights, thank you. So, how would you use “sugnwr llwch” in a sentence? It seems quite rare, in everyday talk at least, to mention a vacuum cleaner without referring to it being used. Is there a verb that could go with the noun in order to describe the action of vacuuming?
Failing this, I’ll go with “facio” - by the way, I’m glad to hear it’s a dictionary-standard word.
Well, I think you could say “Dw i wedi sugno llwch y carped ddoe”, but then some people may think you literally went down on the carpet and sucked the dust out of it… turning the word order would indicate the figurative sense, but “Dw i wedi llwch-sugno’r carped ddoe” sounds clunky.
But as Cymraeg has an own word for the noun “vacuum” (gwactod), and cleaning is glanhau (which most people in the north shorten to llnau anyway) I propose the neologism gwacllnau for the action:
“Dw i wedi gwacllnau’r carped ddoe”
I feel like my language use here has gone full circle. When I was little in New Zealand, my mum, originally from Lancashire, used to say she was “hoovering” but none of my friends’ mothers said that - they were “vacuuming” or a phrase to do with “Electrolux” which I can’t remember now. So I got used to “vacuuming”, then came to live in Wales and lo and behold “hwfro” came back into my vocabulary!
I love this! My mom (in Missouri, US) always said “vacuuming” so, since I’ve not really lived anywhere else, that’s what I say as well.
I can prove hwfro is a real thing … Heini Gruffudd (spelling?) is a fan!
Of the word or the task, I wonder?