SSi Forum

Are there those who never or rarely use mutations or noun genders correctly?


#1

So I am very curious, is it common to find native Welsh speakers or Welsh learners who never or rarely use mutations or noun gender correctly when speaking Welsh? As for Welsh learners is it common to find those who just skip learning the mutations and the genders of words and just learn the words without them?It would be difficult to skip the mutations when learning sentences and that in some instances you have to use mutation because the entire meaning of the sentence would change, but besides these cases are there those who just don’t do mutation right? Are there dialects that tend to just naturally use less mutations?

Would a speaker (fluent or not) get judged or get weird looks for doing so?

Is there anyone here who doesn’t use every single instance of mutations that would be described in a formal Welsh grammar?

*Keep in mind when I say correctly I only mean correctly regarding an official grammar of the standard language(if there is even such a thing), if a dialect doesn’t use a certain mutation that doesn’t mean the dialect is “wrong”.


#2

It’s not common to find 1st-language Welsh speakers who never or rarely use mutations or genders correctly, although that’s not to say that they always use them correctly either.

I have heard of learners (not many, admittedly) who never or rarely use them correctly, but it’s not an approach to be recommended - there are 1st-language speakers who would find this disrespectful to the language. Of course, learners are naturally going to make more mistakes, and whilst this is not something to stress over, neither is it an excuse not to bother trying to learn mutations or genders!

Sometimes you will come across dialects that don’t mutate things or even over-mutate them (e.g. the soft mutation of gwneud gets you to wneud, but it’s very common in the North especially to hear neud) and there are also some nouns which are regarded as masculine in some areas but feminine in others, so what would sound right to someone from one area may sound wrong to someone from another.

There are certainly pendants who would judge others on not mutating or getting genders wrong, but these are in the minority - most would accept that it’s a genuine mistake or a matter of ‘still learning’.

Well certainly me for one!
Some mutations are more commonly left out than others - the aspirate mutation for instance is not as widely used as it once was, so while the rules in formal grammar haven’t changed, the day-to-day useage has.


#3

I’ve heard native speaker slip occasionally and correct themselves if they get something wrong, just as an English speaker would if they fumble a sentence. I’ve never heard a native speaker ignore mutations. As a learner, I’ve always done my best to get mutations right and learning via oral methods helps a lot because you’re learning sentences and phrases, rather than separate words, therefore the mutations naturally come as part of the learning. I think trying to pretend mutations don’t exist would sound very wrong.


#4

I think the important thing is to have a go. My (albeit limited) experience is that most people don’t mind if you get the mutation or grammar wrong as long as you’re trying. Just not bothering might be taken as rude/disrespectful. So I’d say don’t fret about being perfect, but do try to do your best.