Trying to write, asking for corrections - mostly on why I'm here

So, as I said elsewhere, I’m trying to write something down about why I’m learning Welsh and so on and so forth. Like the comments on the thread on whether or not it’s OK to use SSiW to learn to read/write, I’d view this as complementary to the immense amount of progress I feel I’ve made by doing things properly, so to speak; but it’ll also make me seek out specific vocabulary that I want (like ieithoedd lleiafrifol - ‘minority languages’) and try to use the structures and grammar I’ve learnt to string together more than a few sentences at a time.

I’m aware of the thing about not posting loads of Welsh-only text so as not to put new learners off, so I will add translations – also useful in case what I’ve written in Welsh is complete gobbledygook, too! But I would add that I was a more-or-less complete beginner only a couple of months ago, so I hope it won’t be too off-putting anyway.

Right: I would be grateful for any comments on the following. If it’s a horrible, incomprehensible mess, please only tell me the worst mistakes – but if it’s largely right, please do tell me anything.

Dw i 'di bod yn dysgu Cymraeg efo SSiW am ddau mis, a dw i isio trio ysgrifennu rhywbeth rwan am pwy ydw i ac am pam dw i isio dysgu Cymraeg. Dw i’n meddwl bod 'na dau reswm pam dw i isio trio ysgrifennu: y cyntaf, er mwyn dysgu mwy trwy trio; a’r llall, er mwyn ffeindio’r geiriau y bydda i angen taswn i isio medru esbonio pam! (Dau neu tri wythnos yn ôl, es i i’r caffi fan 'ma yn Rhydychen i sgwrsio efo ddysgwyr eraill, a do’n i ddim medru esbonio pam dw i’n dysgu Cymraeg – falle dylwn i 'di paratoi yn well ar gyfer y sgwrs…)

Falle hyn ydy’r peth cyntaf sydd dw i angen dweud: Sais dw i, dw i’n byw yn Lloegr, dw i wastad wedi byw yn Lloegr, a does gen i ddim cysylltiad efo’r Cymru. Mae fy rhieni yn Saesneg (er bod maen nhw’n byw yn Ffrainc), mae fy mhartner yn Saesneg (wel, hanner Brasilaidd), a mae ein plant yn siarad Saesneg (ond mae’r fengaf yn gwybod sut i ddweud “Dw i’n hoffi coffi”, a mae ei chwaer yn gwybod sut i ddweud “Dw i’n licio coffi”, rwan!). (Maen y ddau yn rhy ifanc i yfed coffi…)

Felly, pam dysgu Cymraeg, a sut wnes i ffeindio SSiW?

I’ve been learning Welsh with SSiW for two months, and I want to try to write something now about who I am and why I want to learn Welsh. I think there are two reasons why I want to try to write: firstly, in order to learn by trying; and secondly, in order to find vocabulary that I will need if I were to want to be able to explain why! (Two or three weeks ago I went to an Oxford SSiW learners’ meetup in the Jericho Café and was unable to explain why I’m learning Welsh – perhaps I should have prepared better for that conversation…)

Maybe the first thing I need to say is this: I’m English, I live in England, I’ve always lived in England, and I have no connections with Wales. My parents are English (although they live in France), my partner is English (well, half Brazilian), and our children speak English (but the youngest knows how to say “Dw i’n hoffi coffi”, and his sisater knows how to say “Dw i’n licio coffi”, now!). (They’re both too young to drink coffee.)

So – why learn Welsh, and how did I come across SSiW?

More in due course, if I’m not being a pain…

I tried exchanging emails in Welsh as I also find writing very useful when studying but never got any repllies, if you fancy having a ‘pen pal’ I’d be happy to correspond :blush: - Alice


It all made sense to me - I’d pick up on:

  • not needing the ‘sydd’ in ‘y peth cyntaf dw i angen’

  • efo Cymru rather than efo’r Cymru - unless you want to say Cymry (the people) in which case efo’r Cymry would be fine

  • ‘er bod nhw’n byw yn Ffrainc’



Diolch o galon!

  • ‘sydd’: I get confused with all the different ways of doing subordinate clauses – it’s fine in the patterns we’ve done in Challenges, but when you come to try to apply it in new contexts there’s quite an array of options! O’n i’n sgwrsio efo dad fy mhartner sy’n … semi-retired professor of corpus linguistics (I give up!) about sentences like Wnest ti darllen y llyfr oeddan ni’n siarad amdana fo (sp?) where the two clauses just seem to be added together with no need to join them as such, and then I started to say about something else, and he’s all like “Hang on, I thought you said Welsh didn’t do subordination,” and I’m like, “It’s complicated…” :smile:

  • efo Cymru: I think I had it right at first, and stuck the 'r in at the last minute. I think I’m doing the thing of over-generalizing rules learnt from other foreign languages – I suddenly wanted Wales to be like la France :rueful face:

  • er bod maen nhw :even more rueful face: (Why isn’t there an emoticon for that??). I had ‘ond’. I thought I should be able to do ‘although’. Google Translate said ‘er bod’. I didn’t think. Hmph!

1 Like

Really good written piece considering you’ve not started long ago :slight_smile:

Tiny little thing - two (dau/dwy) causes a soft mutation (in going to caveat in case there’s an exception) almost all the time :slight_smile:

Therefore, “dau fis”. (Really not major, just a small thing that you could easily get away without using in speech).

Daliwch ati


Diolch yn fawr! And I was so pleased with myself (well, ish) for putting ddau mis instead of dau.

1 Like

OK: There are lots of reasons why I want to learn Welsh. (Mae na lawer o resymau.)

Reswm 1: Dw i wastad wedi isio ei dysgu hi. Pan o’n i’n plant, oedden ni arfer mynd i Ffrainc ar gwyliau, ac wrth gwrs wnes i ddysgu tipyn bach o Ffrangeg yn chwarae efo blant Ffrangeg: mae fy rhieni yn cofio fy nghropian yn ardd ein ffrindiau a dweud “moi escargot, moi escargot” pan o’n i’n bedwar. Oedden ni arfer mynd i Gymru hefyd – i Solfa pan o’n i’n babi, a wedyn i Ffestiniog a Porthmadog etc. (mae fy nhad yn licio trenau), ac i’r Penrhyn Llŷn – a welais i lawer o enwau a geiriau di-saesneg, ond dw i ddim yn cofio clywed unrhywun yn siarad Cymraeg. (Medra i gofio bod fy mam yn mynd ar goll yn darllen mapiau, ac yn rhoi bai i’r genedlaetholwyr am troi’r arwyddbyst o gwmpas.) Ond o’n i isio dysgu yr iaith hon y o’n i wedi gweld beth bynnag. Felly, prynais i lyfrau bach efo’r ddraig goch ar y cloriau, a theitlau fel “Welsh in a Week”, ac wrth gwrs wnes i ddim dysgu llawer…

OK, I’m a lot more unsure about one or two bits of this – it strikes me that “they remember me crawling” is crying out for a translation that uses a verb-noun and pronoun, but I’ll be pleasantly surprised if I’m even close… That’s supposed to be, roughly:

Reason #1: I’ve always wanted to learn it. When I was a child, we used to go to France on holiday, and I naturally learnt a bit of French, playing with French children: my parents remember me crawling around in our friends’ garden saying “moi escargot, moi escargot” when I was four. We also used to go to Wales – to Solva when I was a baby, and later to Ffestiniog, Portmadog etc. (my father likes trains), and to the Llŷn Peninsula – and I saw all these non-English names and words, but I don’t remember hearing anyone speak Welsh. (I can remember my mother getting lost when map-reading, and blaming the Welsh nationalists for turning the signs round.) But I wanted to learn this language that I’d seen, anyway. So I bought little books with the red dragon on their covers, and titles like “Learn Welsh in a Week”, and of course I didn’t learn very much…

Fedra i ddim addo… what’s the Welsh for scintillating? – Ah, never mind: that might be a nice/helpful idea. I can always try to scintillate.

Mae fy rhieni yn cofio fi’n cropian (or ‘yn fy nghofio fi’) yng ngardd ein ffrindiau. :slight_smile:

1 Like

“Welsh NAtionalists for turning the signs”
Surely they just painted them green? That’s how it was in our area!
(Yn sicr maent wedi peintio werdd?)

“Pan o’n i’n plentyn…”

I’d also say “efo’r plant ffrangig” - with the French children. I may be wrong though :smile:

I think there were instances of English-only signs getting turned to point the wrong way – but certainly not as many as my mum used to claim! (The fact that the excuse continued to get used even in Berkshire and Oxfordshire may have been a bit of a giveaway…)

1 Like

Diolch yn fawr :slight_smile:

I really, seriously am going to have to see if I can find a facepalm emoji :frowning:

Ffrangig rather than Ffrangeg, like Cymreig/Cymraeg, then? And lower case? – I’ll trust you on the article, too, unless a native speaker comes and contradicts you – I didn’t mean specific French children, and I wouldn’t have a ‘the’ in English, but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything.

And I guess I should have had “a Phorthmadog”, too, shouldn’t I?

Ho hum. :wry face:

All of these wretched subordinate clauses, and Course 3 Lesson 4 – which I’ve just listened to about three times because of all the new-to-me vocabulary, as well as the short forms (and that’s the first lesson I’ve repeated since Level 1 Challenge 3, I think) – is full of them! Well, I didn’t think I’d got that one right, but I’m embarrassed about yng gardd. Still, onwards & upwards… :slight_smile:

1 Like

No, sorry, should be upper case.

With the aspirate mutation after “a” depends on how “correct” you want to be.

It’s often not used in speech. “Bws a tacsi” more than “bws a thacsi” (paraphrasing Gareth King).

(You also get it after efo and gyda but again, often not used).

As I’m always, always telling my kids - mistakes are a sign that you’re pushing yourself, and that’s something you should be proud of, not embarrassed about… :slight_smile:

1 Like

I’m not normally a fan of Memrise-style mnemonic tricks - which is odd, since I am generally a fan of bad multi-lingual puns. (I’m afraid I have to claim responsibility for “Hail, Cesair” under my Twitter handle, and I keep misreading diolch o galon as a liquid equivalent of “thanks a bunch”…) But anyway: I now have a mental image of someone fighting a duel in their back garden, complete with rapiers & musketeer costume. I fear yng gardd will now forever make me think “En garde!” - but at least I should get the mutation right :slight_smile:
ETA: The misreading of diolch o galon might just have something to do with the rewards we keep being promised at the end of Challenges, of course…


Rheswm 2: Mae gen i ddiddordeb ar ieithoedd lleiafrifol. Pan oedden ni’n mynd i Ffrainc, bron wastad aethon ni i Dde Ffrainc, i Languedoc, ond o’n i’n arfer meddwl tybed pam do’n i ddim clywed y Langue d’Oc yn Languedoc. (Yn union fel yn y Gymraeg, doedd dim gair am “yes” yn Lladin, a phan wnaeth yr iethoedd Romáwns datblygu geirau gwahanol amdani, gaethon nhw eu henwau oddi wrthyn nhw: yr iaith d’oïl – modern oui – yng ngogledd Ffrainc, yr iaith d’oc yn y de, ac yr ieithoedd de si yn Sbaen ac yn yr Eidal.) Felly, yn union fel o’n i ‘di wneud yng Nghymru, prynais i llyfr bach “L’Occitan lèu-lèu e plan” (Yr Ocsitaneg yn gyflym ac yn dda), efo’r gwahaniaeth, bod Ocsitaneg yn fwy agos at Ffrangeg na Saesneg a Chymraeg: mae’r gramadeg Ocsitaneg a Ffrangeg yn debyg, ac oes llawer o eirau sy’n cyfateb yn y deu ieithoedd (a dw i ddim yn meddwl jyst caval, cheval, ceffyl a pont, pont, pont :slight_smile:): felly, y tro hwn, wnes i ddysgu rhywbeth mewn gwirionedd. Yn nes ymlaen wnes i brynu gramadeg ocsitaneg, a phan ddes i ag hi adre, roedd yn syndod cas ddarganfod bod y llyfr holl yn ocsitaneg; wedyn, roedd yn syndod braf ddarganfod bo’ fi’n medru ei ddeall o beth bynnag!

(To be continued…)

Reason 2: I’m interested in minority languages. When we used to go to France, we almost always went to the South of France, to the Languedoc [I’m not at all sure about switching from *oedden ni mynd* to *aethon ni* here, given that Welsh is more consistent about tense in some ways than English I suspect I should have stuck with *oedden ni*, but I thought I’d give it a go and see if I got shot down…] but I used to wonder why I didn’t hear the Langue d’Oc in Languedoc. (Just as in Welsh, there was no word for ‘yes’ in Latin, and when the Romance languages developed different words for it they were named after them: the langue d’oïl in northern France, the langue d’oc in the South, and the languages of ‘si’ in Spain and Italy. So, just as I had done in Wales, I bought a little book called “Occitan quickly and well”, with the difference that Occitan is closer to French than English and Welsh are: the grammar of Occitan and French are similar [should gramadeg be plural? if so, debyg too?] and there are many words which correspond in the two languages (and I don’t just mean ceffyl and pont) [I know *jyst* gets borrowed, but I’m not sure whether it’s used like this – so I thought I’d give it a whirl. Otherwise, something with *dim* and *dim ond*?]: so this time I did actually learn something. Later on I bought an Occitan grammar, and when I got it home [ag hi for gramadeg or ag o for llyfr?] it was a nasty surprise [syrpreis or syndod?] to find that the book was all written in Occitan; then it was a pleasant surprise to find that I could understand it anyway!

ETA: Looking over this, I can see I’ve got completely confused as to whether to use articles with the names of languages or not. Hmph.

1 Like

Ganrifoedd yn ôl oedd yr Ocsitaneg yn iaith bwysig o ddiwylliant Ewropeaidd: oedd iaith y trwbadwriaid, a chyfansoddodd beirdd a breninoedd (megis Rhisiart I) caneuon yn Ocsitaneg. Er hynny, yn dilyn gorchfygiad Ocsitania ar ôl y croesgad yn erbyn yr Albigensiaid, naeth yr Ocsitaneg dechrau dirywio yn araf i fynd iaith werinol. Yn y bedwaredd ganrif ar bymtheg oedd mwy na hanner boblogaeth Hérault yn siarad Ocsitaneg, ond efo chyflwyniad addysg gynradd yn Ffrangeg, rhad ac am ddim ac yn orfodol, aeth yn iaith eilradd. Doedd rhieni ddim isio trosglwyddo’r iaith i’w blant: cafodd yr hogia eu annog i beidio â siarad hi, ac yr hogannod – a oedd yn medru priodi rhywun sydd oedd dim gwerinwr os oedden nhw yn siarad Frangeg yn dda – a doedd ddim yn cael ei siarad hi.

Centuries ago, Occitan was an important language of European culture. It was the language of the troubadours, and poets and kings (such as Richard the Lionheart) composed songs in Occitan. However, following the conquest of Occitania after the Albigensian Crusade, Occitan began to decline slowly to become a peasant language. In the nineteenth century more than half the population of the Hérault spoke Occitan, but with the introduction of free compulsory primary schooling in French it became a second-class language. Parents didn’t pass the language on to their children: boys were discouraged from speaking it, and girls – who could marry someone who wasn’t a peasant if they spoke good French – were forbidden to speak it.

ETA: Rhieni dim and doedd dim, I guess.

Just a couple of things… without guarantee. (Maybe someone will confirm.)

diddordeb mewn ieithoedd lleiafrifol
gaethon nhw eu henwi ar eu ôl nhw.
ac mae llawer o eiriau
yr holl lyfr

Edit: I wonder if ‘y llyfr cyfan’ or would sound better than ‘yr holl lyfr’. I think that may be used more for plurals - ‘yr holl bobl’ etc.