Did anyone see “The Really Welsh Quiz 2015” yesterday evening?
There was a question about an AM getting a missive replying to a query, I think about a UFO. Question: “In what language was the reply?” Answer, “Was it Klingon?”
“Yes!” We were shown the Klingon and told it meant, I paraphrase. “The Minister has received your question and will answer in due course.”
“Unfortunately,” added Chris Corcoran, the presenter, “The AM had only done GCSE Klignon, so could only ask the way to the pool and say he liked coffee!”
Everyone roared with laughter, the audience, all the contestants, and me!! There was no doubt that the comment reflected everyone’s idea of the value of a GCSE in any language!!
Compare that with the 60+ comments above on the value of SSiW!!!
Did anyone see “The Really Welsh Quiz 2015” yesterday evening?
Forgive me, but what is GCSE? I only found “General Certificate of Secondary Education”, is that what you mean?
Well, that’s what they were calling it when they ditched O’levels… it may have changed… it’s what kids take at about 15 or 16 in a number of subjects before specialising in 3, 4 or 5 in their final two years of Secondary School. It’s the highest level most non-linguists reach!!!
Oh, I see! Is it that bad, I mean the school education in foreign/second language? Here, it’s terrible. All children have to get private tutors if they want to do foreign languages at university later.
Patchy, I’d say. I was lucky enough to have excellent school tuition 30 years ago or so. But generally the British education system is terrible at turning out speakers of any language other than English (excepting those schools that teach in that other language, whether Welsh, Gaelic or Other).
I always say that the very best English I met was spoken by a friend who was first language Cymraeg!! In fact his English was so correct, some people did not understand it!!! e.g. flammable means ‘able to burn’ and ‘inflammable’ should mean ‘not able to burn’ but most English people said. ‘inflammable’ when they meant it would go up at the slightest spark and didn’t know what ‘flammable’ meant!!
People on the forum have said that my O’levels were OK as a basis for going to France and talking to people, but that I should realise this is not true for GCSEs. I don’t know why they got so much worse!!!
Inflammable is actually one of those interesting words that means both of two opposite things - both ‘burnable’ and ‘not burnable’. See also ‘cleave’. There are a few others as well, but I can’t think of them off the top of my head.
Raze, raise. A building can be raised, a city an be razed to the ground.
This site is amazing - for more than a half century I have believed flammable and inflammable to be opposites - which they are. However, I would have bet the house against the proposition that they were also the same. You may have saved me a fortune.
I was talking to a guy from the South just before New Year, and he told me that I speak in a very natural Southern way (he meant the choice of words, of course, not my fluency, which is non-existent, but I haven’t been doing any lessons recently, because I’m very tired). He also said that I use lots of words that are specifically used in the South and are not taught to learners normally.
So for anyone who’s really interested in moving to Wales or is a resident of Wales already, I believe, SSiW must be the first choice, because it really teaches the living language that will make you sound like a native speaker, not an alien!
Extremely commendable but it falls just short of your qualifying for a first-class North Wales passport - although it does qualify for a visitor’s Visa!
Having done both ssiw and local courses in classes it has been my experience that local classes do, nowadays, teach local ways of speaking and local vocabulary- sometimes to the point of obsession, where I think in the class (but do not say ) “that is a local word, it’s true, but not everyone uses it exclusively, as you seem to be implying!”
From what people say, it does seem to have been the other way round some time ago- but nowadays the classes I have been in at least definitely go out of their way to teach the way some or most local Welsh speakers say things. With a good teacher, my advice is they are well worth going to. You are, of course, guaranteed a good teacher with SSiW! (But the more sources the better, of course.)
Oh, I didn’t know that:) Not having any experience at all in attending Welsh classes, I merely retold what my speaking partner told me, or, as we say in Russian, “I’m selling it for the same price I got it for” (за что купил, за то и продаю - an idiom for you, @JustinandEirwen )
And for the rest of us, I hope! That’s a great idiom!
The courses themselves seem to be written to emphasis local usage, but people’s experience of courses can be different, depending on the teachers they end up with, of course! I certainly had ups and downs in that, but the great majority of teachers I had were good or very good. Which it is why it is good to be able to reccomend the SSiW course where you are guaranteed to have a good teacher!
This is great:) It’s wonderful that Welsh has dialects that are alive. We haven’t had this in Russian since the Revolution brought the compulsory education for all adults, which was brought by teachers from Moscow and St Petersburg mainly.
Ouch! Yes, I can imagine that happening!
Talking of teachers from outside the area, our last lesson before Christmas was taken by an excellent teacher from the north who was saying that she had had to change the way she taught Welsh when she moved down here to the a South- one of the things she stressed was the way the teaching down 'ere concentrated on the use of declined verbs rather than the use of “gwneud”, so there does seem to be an emphasis on making sure teachers fall into good habits of teaching in the area they are in! Which, as you say, is great!
So it’s true that flective forms of verbs are more used in the South, in spoken language? I noticed that the guy I talk to, the one from the South, would always use the flective forms, rather than “nes i + verb”.
It’s very similar to the way Italian language varies from North to South - in the North we used usually the compound “passato prossimo” (auxiliary to have or to be + participle) while in the South they would rather use the passato remoto (flective, with endings of the verb changing).
Same in Italy!
Though in truth passato prossimo and passato remoto are slightly different - the compound form refers to the “immediate past” and the “passato remoto” to the historical events, but in the North passato prossimo is used for past events with almost no distinction. So the Southerners are more correct.
Ah, as in proximate and remote, yes? Yes, in Welsh it’s simply an alternative way of saying the same thing rather than the slightly more complicated situation you describe in Italy. Though it also the case here that the Southerners are more correct (Or at least closer to the literary form, which isn’t the same thing, of course!)
The reason why I’m learning the flective Welsh forms now:) I need to read much more than to speak the language and you can’t get away with wnes i when reading books - the flective forms are everywhere! But I don’t complain, they look a bit more beautiful and “compact”