What am I hearing?

This was a really useful thread on the old site, and it helped me a lot, especially when I was at the earlier stages of the course, so I thought I’d start one here as well. Particularly useful for those of us who listen to Radio Cymru quite a lot.

For those new to the course the basic idea is simple - when you hear a word you don’t understand, simply write it in here - however you think it might be spelt - and hopefully someone will be able to tell you what you were hearing.

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Good call…:slight_smile:

This thread comes just in time! I have two words I need help with.

‘blwyn’ or ‘blwun’, pronounced ‘blew-een’
Context is ‘ysgol blwun gweithio’.

‘tadwr’ pronounced ‘ta-DOOR’ with ‘oo’ as in ‘moo’
Context is ‘tadwr oedd’n achos i’

Thanks in advance…

Could you give us any more context than that? Neither of them is standing out for me at the moment…:slight_smile:

Let’s see…
For the first, here’s a bit more of the sentence:
‘Yn cyd fynd gyda ni yn yr ysgol (blŵun) gweithio, yn dathlu dau canmlwyddiant…’

For the second, here’s a bit more:
‘Fe wnaeth e gwaith ymchwil a colera…(tadŵr) oedden achosi colera’

They are both from the same Beti a’i Phobol episode…she’s speaking with an epidemiologist.

Does that help?

Got a couple of long shots for you here, which I’d need to hear the clip to be more sure about - but you might just be looking at:

‘gyda ni yn yr ysgol [ble wi’n] gweithio’…


‘…[something] ta dŵr oedd yn achosi…’ (something or water was causing…)

But as I say, without hearing it they’re long shots!

I’ve got the clip…well, it’s actually the entire mp3 but the clips occur at the beginning…right here:

EDIT: I don’t think it’s [ble wi’n] gweithio…unless [ble wi’n] is pronounced [blue-een]…is it?

Also please forgive my spelling…the second should be:

'Fe wnaeth ei gwaith ymchwil am colera…(tadŵr) oedden achosi colera

Yup, the first one is definitely ‘ble wi’n’…:slight_smile:

The second is ‘taw dŵr’ - ‘taw dŵr oedd yn achosi colera yn hytrach na beth oedd yn cael ei gredu ar y pryd, taw miasma neu awyr drwg…’ - that it was water that caused cholera rather than what was believed at the time, that it was miasma or bad air…

Southern Vocab lesson 1:
Around 18:30, Iestyn is introducing chwerch and gives a couple of sample sentences: Dw i’n moyn chwerch, mae isie chwerch _____ and I can’t make out that word. It doesn’t hinder my progress in the lesson of course, but I’m wondering what the rest of the sentence is.

I think Iestyn is saying mae eisiau chwech arna i, Carole.

Thanks Bontddu. That isn’t something that we’ve covered yet. What does the arna i bit mean?

I believe that the sentence literally translates something like “I have a need on me for six” - which would usually be translated as “I need sx.” The arna i bit is the “on me” part. It is a southern construction (and I do northern) so I could be a little bit off.

There is something I have been hearing a lot on BBC Radio Cymru that has me quite puzzled. I don;t know whether it is just a word or words that I haven’t encountered yet, or someone’s name, or just what. It sounds phonetically like “eck dai”. Anyone have a notion that might help me out with it? Diolch. Nid wyf ond fesen.

Sounds like the letter C and the number 2, so C2, Morgan.



That is the Welsh pronunciation of the show name “C2” - ec dau

Ahah. Stu, Sionned, dioch yr fawr.


Sionned is right - arna i is basically a personal form of the preposition “ar”. Welsh does this a lot, and you may have already come across it with the “amdana fi / amdanat ti” construction. What is happening here is the preposition “am” is being personalised. In the case or arna i, it is “ar” being personalised, or “on” in English. The construction (I believe) is a very old Celtic way of phrasing - so you’re saying “mae eisiau bwyd arna i”, or literally, “there is a need of food on me”, or “I’m hungry”, essentially. Again, corrections from more advanced Welsh speakers welcome! Don’t be worried if this sounds complex - if you learn it all by ear, you will notice a simplicity in the way it works, and you’ll remember it easily.



Oh I wish I had come on here earlier - I could actually have answered that question of Morgan’s!

Rob, thanks a lot for the explanation - I love these unusual phrasings. Is there a difference in meaning between saying mae isie rhywbeth arna i and mae isie i fi rhywbeth?

Thanks also Sionned :slight_smile:

That one is above my paygrade, Carole - I don’t want to tell you the wrong thing, sorry. My feeling is that you could say mae angen rhywbeth arna i and dw i angen rhywbeth and they would both have the same meaning, but not sure about mae eisiau i fi rhywbeth, hence my hesitation.

Carole - the difference is that mae isie i fi (rhywbeth) is used where the rhywbeth is a verb - i.e. only when you’re saying that you need to do something (rather than that you need a thing). If that makes any sense.

So you could say mae isie i fi siarad (I need to speak), but not for example mae isie i fi brechdan - if you wanted to say “I need a sandwich” you’d say mae isie brechdan arna i.

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