Welsh for families course

Hi, I went to my first lesson on Friday of this course. This is my first formal Welsh class and I’m already confused. The course book says it’s for south Wales uses eisiau for want then has a note at bottom of page saying in South Wales moyn is often used which I’m more familiar with, so where does eisiau come from? Also annoyingly I left the class and left behind the ability to pronounce eisiau which is making practicing difficult can anyone help?


S’mae Theresa?

I’m studying Northern Welsh, but I can help you with the pronunciation of eisiau. In the North, this word is often written as isio. The letters si together are very often pronounced like the English “sh”, so we say both eisiau and isho as “ish-o”. The vowels are short, so “ish” is like the end of the word English and the “o” is like the first letter of the word orange.

Regarding the first part of your question, in the South, moyn is generally used for “to want” and eisiau for “to need”. In the North, isio is “to want” and angen is "to need*. Of course, there are regional variations and overlaps, but these distinctions are what I have picked up from the SSiW courses.

Hope that helps, and please keep us informed of how you are getting along with Welsh for Families.



1 Like

Hello Theresa!

“Eisiau” is a word heard and used throughout Wales for to need or to want, with various subtleties of meaning throughout, and “moyn” is a dialect alternative for “to want”. “Eisiau” is also the “standard” word, as it were, so it’s good that you now know it!

In the South, which is presumably where you are? You will probably (possibly!) hear it pronounced, if you want it in English spelling, “ishe”. That is, “ISH - eh”.

1 Like

I seem to have heard eisiau pronounced all sorts of ways including “ish-o”, “ish-e”, “aye-shy”, “eesh-a”, “eesh-o”, ayy, so I really get the impression that it’s nearly impossible to pronounce it incorrectly.


This has probably been discussed before, but even in English, there can be a certain amount of overlap between the meanings of “want” and “need”.

e.g. if you think of the expression “tried and found wanting”. Found lacking really, or “needed” something extra, as it were, to be complete.

Or, a deprived person may be described as being “in want” of something (maybe they wanted it, but they also probably needed it, e.g. warmth, shelter).

So it would not be all that surprising if there were some overlap in the Welsh equivalent, especially considering dialect / regional variations.

I have also had problems with eisiau/moyn between SSIW and classes. In class the tutor says we can use moyn for want instead of eisiau but that eisiau is not recognised as ‘to need’.
My other problem is how eisiau is used - I got used to the SSIW way ‘mae eisiau…’ but in class it is ‘dwi eisiau’.
It confuses me even more than normal :frowning:

S’mae Jenny?

Don’t worry about this, you can use either dw i isio or Mae isio i mi, and be understood no problems. Just use whichever comes to mind first!



In the southern course, “isie” is used for need but it is a different construction. It uses “Mae isie i fi” for “I need”.

Thanks Stu - that is good to know. Invariably it is the SSIW way that appears first because that is what I have practiced so many times!
Can I just ask another related question please? - What does ‘tisie …’ (?spelling ?ti isie said very quickly) mean? Is it do you wast/need? I keep hearing mums saying this to their wee ones.

Heia Jenny,

Maybe its a very shortened version of be ti isho? - What do you want? Wait for confirmstion of this though!



I don’t think confirmation is needed for “ti eisiau” (ie, “ti isie”) going to “t[i]'isie/tisie” or however you want to spell it!
“Ti eisiau” = you want/need
“ti eisiau?” = [do] you want/need?
“Ti isie?” = do you want/need?
“Ti’sie?” = do you want/need?
I think you are right there!

[as Craigf says, there are a lot of subtleties to how “eisiau” is used, including how it is used in different ways, but as mikeellwood says they are quite close in meaning anyway, so in conversation it really works out ok, as you just understand it from the context- as works with most words in any language!]

1 Like

Just to stick my oar in again while we’re on about contractions … In proper Jacko Welsh I’ve heard a lot of people saying “m’isio” (meesh-o) to mean “I don’t want to”, (or more accurately the Chirk version “d’wanna”). And similarly “m’wbod” for “dunno”.


Diolch pawb