Written Welsh forms

The other week I was trying to buy an ebook from Gwales, and they had some problems on the website, and I sent them a quick email in very ar llafar Welsh to ask if it hadn’t been issued in that format yet, or if there were problems. Evidently there were issues, because later in the day it became available; but a couple of days later I got a nice reply in very proper, formal written Welsh – the contrast between my do’n i ddim yn medru prynu (I wasn’t able to buy) and their anhawster i osod archeb (difficulty in placing an order) was quite noticeable. And it was real nigh-on Biblical Welsh – full of rydym and hyderwn and things with not a ni in sight – I felt very much the bumpkin, but then I noticed how I was clearly starting to internalize some of the traditional prejudices about what constitutes proper Welsh, so I was also quite amused at myself.

But anyway: this leads on to two questions. The book I bought, even though it’s post-apocalyptic teenfic aimed at, say, 15 year olds, makes a very clear distinction between dialogue and narrative, with the narrative being much more ‘written Welsh’ i.e. it uses what looks like the conditional all the time to mean oedd hi’n (arfer) X and things like that. So I was slightly surprised, when other teenfic I’ve read so far (Prism, Pluen) has used the device of a first-person narrator to keep everything in more natural, spoken Welsh. What is the effect for a Welsh (say, teen, mamiaith) audience of this kind of formal language?

And the second question is simpler: I know nobody speaks literary Welsh as such, but there must be formal occasions, and things like when we saw Kylie in Llio’s class on Rownd a Rownd reading aloud rather hesitantly, when people say literary forms out loud. So, where does the stress go on rydym? Because the forms we’re used to, like dan, all seem to go back to the second syllable, I’ve been reading it in my head as rydým, but should it be rýdym like practically everything else in Welsh?

Oh, and there’s actually a third question: how does one say “post-apocalyptic teenfic” in Welsh :slight_smile: ?

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Yup… :slight_smile:

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Is that because it was originally yr ydym?

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I think Gareth King talks a bit about what looks like conditional being used for the imperfect in written (esp older)Welsh in some of his books.

It’s not totally alien sounding in English either e.g. “he would go” can either be conditional or could mean “he used to go”.

His “Welsh Reader” has some examples.


Yes, I was already aware of it in theory, I just hadn’t yet come across it in practice - and hadn’t entirely expected to, either, in sci-fi aimed at teenagers.

I just want to know which book - “post-apocalyptic teenfic” sounds right up my alley"

Lleucu Roberts, Yr Ynys. I’m enjoying it.

Ooh, let us know what you think - I bought that the other week but got distracted from starting it…

I read somewhere that the conditional aspect is actually used very widely by teenagers. It was their teacher that was writing to say that it was irritating her. TBH, I tend to find myself overusing it in work to subconsciously avoid being trapped by awkward questions.
(Edited for poor grammar in original drafts)

Coolio. (Mind you hmy ‘unread’ pile is already sibstantial…

Oh dear, I promised to get that. Is it still in print? I suppose it isn’t in Kindle?

I think it is on Kindle - it’s only on Gwales in dead-tree format, unfortunately.

It is! Got it now! Diolch yn fawr!