What to learn north or south?

Hi just a quick question and probably no right answer. I live in mid wales and I started to learn the north wales course but speaking to my young nephew he doesn’t understand some words i.e. Milk. I started again on the South Wales course but again there are some words that are different to what he is learning in school. Does anyone know what would be best to learn for mid wales?

Thank you.


I’d say there is a mixture in your area as you are between the two major dialects. And maybe the teacher is from a different region too, or maybe following a textbook.
I’d find a few native speakers in your area and find out from them if their Welsh is closer to North or South. Like do they say “gen i” or “gyda fi” etc.

Personally I would say have a listen to lesson 1 of both North and South and see which voices you prefer then as you talk more and more to people in your area you can adjust what you say to match what you hear. But like you said … there is no right answer.

Enjoy whichever you choose. :wink:

I don’t live in Wales, so I chose for other reasons, but my observations are that I hear more northern Welsh in songs and TV documentaries, but more southern Welsh in dramas. As this is pretty much my only contact with Welsh (apart from occasional trips back to see family) I’m making sure I know both major dialects so I can understand whatever I tune into, because as Jon’s new thread on dialects shows, there are many differences really, and you can be caught off-guard if you’ve learnt purely northern and suddenly someone from Newport starts talking, especially at speed. The good news is that the more you watch you will just come across more of all the dialects and eventually they just become “one language”.

You ask about Mid Wales - this is where my family live, and I have spoken Welsh with locals there and I can tell you they understood me but they weren’t northern speakers. They used southern constructions and southern pronunciation for the majority. This is (very) rural Ceredigion. North starts when you get past Machynlleth, in my experience.

Thanks for your help all. I think I will start on the north and dip in and out the south for now.

Thanks again.

Bontddu: This is (very) rural Ceredigion. North starts when you get past Machynlleth, in my experience.

Living in South Ceredigion, I’d go along with this. South of Aberystwyth people speak southern Welsh I would say. In Tregaron, they speak “De” at the speed of light. :slight_smile:

The northern and southern courses aren’t very well named, to be honest.

The northern dialect we teach is not “The Northern Dialect”, but rather the dialect of Aran and Catrin, who happen to live in the north. Go a few miles down the road to Bangor or Caernarfon, and they speak differently. Go further, Wrecsam, or Dolgellau, and they speak differently again.

The southern dialect we treach is - guess what? - my dialect, and once again, go a few miles down the road and people will use slightly different words.

But, don’t worry! The differences are over stated. There’s a few words and a few patterns that vary, but, of course, they are the most common words and phrases. But. whichever course you follow, understanding people on the other course is just a case of spending a few hours conversing and saying “What?” a number of times (Pardon? if you’re abit more polite!), But you will already undersatnd the patterns, it will just be baisc words and phrases that confuse, and these are easily learnt.

With your nephew, I would make a game of it. There will be differences between what we teach and what he’s learning, make a point of “Speaking like Uncle” or “Speaking like nephew” or "spot Uncle’s words on Cyw (Welsh kids TV) etc. That way, you’ll both learn flexibility, and both hae fun with the language and with each other. That’s win win win in my book!

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Great advice thank you!