WJEC Welsh for Adults exams

Just thought I would bring this to the attention of the forum if anyone were to be interested:

Obviously, you do not need to sit an exam to speak/learn a language but for those who are goal orientated (I definitely am - blame my medical school education!) it might be something to work towards, gain a qualification alongside your language learning which may be helpful for jobs in the future, etc.

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It is possible to take the exams even if you’re not learning with the Cymraeg i Oedolion system. I took the Uwch one a couple of years ago. I did go to a revision day to help me with exam preparation (but found it quite dispiriting as the tutor didn’t quite have the same approach to mistake-making as SSiW and spent the whole time interrupting me to correct my treigladdau).

If you do decide to go for it, there should be past papers (or sample papers) on line for you to practise on.


Just curious:

is it somewthing like Cambridge exams/certificates for English?

What does treigladdau most commonly mean?
I checked the GPC dictionary and it has a list of 20 different meanings, of which at least 5 or 6 make sense in this context! :open_mouth:

I noticed that everybody mentions “tutors” when talking about studying Welsh. Why not “teachers”?
Is it a Welsh thing? Or a British thing? :smiley:
I know the word “tutor”, but in Italy we use it only for very specific situations, while for Welsh I hear it all the time - but I don’t know if it’s maybe commonly used in all UK, since I never took any course there!

Treiglad. @gisella-albertini, you know enough Welsh now to know that the first letters of words sometimes change, depending on what comes before them. For instance, tad is Welsh for father.
But we say, and write, or are supposed to say or write,
Fy nhad, my father
Dy dad, your father
Ei dad, his father
Ei thad, her father.
It is exactly the sort of thing that exams examine, and exactly the sort of thing that real Welsh speakers, and SSIW learners are real Welsh speakers, don’t really worry about it. Very rarely does a mistake with a treiglad mean the listener can’t understand what you’re saying. You have to know it exists, and you will be a better speaker if you get them right, but they are complicated and there are other, more important things to concentrate on.


Yes, as you say a Tutor is a particular type of teacher. Often someone who gives one-to-one or extra tuition. For some reason, the word tends to be used in adult education. So not specific to learning Welsh, but it tends to apply to the way that we are learning. That’s my understanding of it, but others on here will be able to give a better definition :slight_smile:

“like Cambridge exams/certificates for English?” Yes, pretty much, in this context. Although it is also a mainstream examination body for all subjects.

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Also known as “mutations”.


@margaretnock, @mikeellwood
Oh yes, now it’s clear.
I mean, it’s clear what the Welsh term is referring to, not how mutations work: they’re probably the only thing of Welsh that seems really weird and unnecessarily complicated to me. :dizzy_face:

I do catch them right once in a while, but I’m totally with the SSiW approach for this!

But after all, I’m not so willing to deal with exams and tutors (thanks @JohnYoung for the explanation) either, so I’ll be fine without treigladdau! :wink:

My apologies for muddying the waters by using the Welsh term - that was naughty of me! Eventually you’ll get used to them and they won’t seem weird and complicated, I promise! :slight_smile:


Well it’s actually good to know, I’m sure I’ll meet this term again, so better be ready. :wink:

As for getting used to it…uhmmmm…it takes a leap of faith for me here, but alright, I believe you. :grin:


@sarapeacock’s right. Honest.


depending on your point of view, mutations are, in part, a reflection of how words are actually pronounced. In English and many other languages, the spelling of a word does not change much no matter what environment it is used in, but in Welsh and other Celtic languages, it does.
A good example is ‘in Cardiff’/“yng Nghaerdydd”. In English, Cardiff is always Cardiff, Welsh recognises that the nasalisation of the in/yn is not only changed to ‘yng’ because of the following [k], but also that the initial [k] sound is slightly nasalised by the preceding nasal. But exactly the same changes (in normal speech) happen in English, too - but that is not usually reflected in the written language. There are exceptions, such as “impossible” from “in possible”. This is a normal occurrence in all languages, due to human vocalisation mechanics.
Other mutations are seemingly more obscure, for instance p->b, t->d, c->g. But they are based on a similar mechanism (loss of aspiration in the case of soft mutations, mainly), but the reasons are no longer explicit in the language, and often due to the loss of word-endings of preceding words some time in the distant past. I could go on for hours…


Personally not having the best relationship myself with Welsh for Adults, it would be too easy for me to come in kicking down doors and stuff…
…but I do think this is a good idea, and it means the exam system now more closely follows what happens with other European languages in the European framework. (i.e with French for example, you can simply make an appointment to go to London and do your A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2 exams - regardless of how you’ve gone about learning the language. This was something I had to look into a few years ago as Lara and I were incredibly close to moving to France and I would’ve needed to officially prove my ability as a speaker through these exams)
The only problem is that until someone/some company starts saying “You have to be A1, A2, B1, B2 at Welsh in order to apply for this job” I cannot see there being a massive take up on these exams from people who aren’t going through the usual courses. Perhaps that may change as the exams become more appealing?

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I recently applied for a council job, where the requirements, particularly English and Welsh, were given as Levels. Great for SSiW and Btec students. I found a conversion table based on the Common European frameworkt. It gives links between CEF and to/from formal school, college and University qualifications, and also Cambridge qualificatios and many international standards.


I have to say, this is exactly the sort of qualification I would go for, simply because I love having certificates for things! I don’t for one minute think they always accurately reflect one’s ability in a language, but I do like having a certificate!

I’m exactly the same! Although it’s finding the time to do it and plan well enough in advance. Living and working in England certainly provide it’s challenges!

…and for a change: I love learning new things but hate exams! :grin:
Actually didn’t even like school so much.

However I had done the effort of buying a couple of books and get First Certificate in English because I thought it would help for jobs interviews, and so on.
Result: Pass. Grade A. Score: 92/100.
But nobody ever seemed to care about it, so I guess with Welsh I’ll be fine with speaking and being an illiterate! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: