Native Welsh speaker using Dwi'n eisiau


I have just discovered the joys of Cyw - my youngest is still at home so we’ve watched a couple of things together - I really enjoy it! I like the way you hear ‘pet Wesh’ - family Welsh, fast enough but with all the little sayings that real people say to each other. We like Octonauts in both languages, and Bing is firm favourite - although it is a shame Mark Rylance from the English version doesn’t speak Welsh - he has a voice I could listen to all day.
Yes, that was meeeeeeee! Croeso!


Diolch eto! Toffi send tail wags to your youngest!!


I met a little of this at Uni and was utterly mesmerised by it. Even not understanding it, I couldn’t fail to be blown away by the sound of it, whilst simultaneously marvelling at the conscious placing of sounds and stresses. I still have an ancient copy of Cerdd Dafod which I pat reverentially now and then. Can’t read it but just love it being there!
I think the key for me now, is to forgive myself when I don’t understand and crack on. It’s what I do in English if I don’t understand everything. I either ask, or shrug. It seems counterproductive to be niggled by the stuff you didn’t understand in the last sentence because you are missing the opportunity to understand what is going on in the next sentence by focussing in the wrong place. Wish I’d have worked THAT out a long time ago!!!


I think that’s one of the things that we as learners can get out of a programme like “Y Talwrn” - just enjoying the sounds of the words, spoken by wonderful speakers who clearly love their language. And also you get to hear quite a lot of it twice over, as Ceri Wyn Jones seems to repeat the pieces after the contestants have recited them. (Not sure if he repeats everything). And as mentioned, it’s mostly at a nice, leisurely pace so one can hear every word. Understanding the words is just a nice bonus (when it happens), as far as I am concerned.

As well as the current programmes, it’s also worth exploring the home page for the programme:

(see for example the “Clipiau” tab, and “Cerddi 2017” (and the other “Cerddi”).

Lot’s of material to keep one occupied. :wink:


They are not a native speaker, trust me. It should absolutely not be ‘Dwi’n’. Generally, because I have lived in Cardiff for a long time, I have encountered more people there saying they are fluent in Welsh when they are not, but it could happen anywhere.

Actually, native speakers (in the south most of the time as well), would always say 'Dwi’sio in spoken Welsh. Hard to write it down really, but for you it would be pronounced as ‘Dweesho’.


This is why I started my Learn Welsh blog. Please refer to this thread -


They are not a native speaker, trust me

I don’t think you can conclude this. There are plenty of native English speakers, for example, who don’t talk English as tidy as what I do. :laughing:


Yes - but there are errors in any language that no native speaker would say, as opposed to differences in dialect or register. For example, in English ‘you was’ is non-standard but common among many native speakers in certain areas and from certain backgrounds. So for that matter is ‘you is’. But an error like (for example) ‘The children am in the garden’ or I wants for he should come’ are straight non-native errors that any native speaker would identify immediately as sounding wrong.

Dw i’n eisiau - though a common error among non-native speakers for obvious reasons - is, I suggest, one of those that native speakers would instantly identify as wrong. Sounds horrendous, even to me who isn’t a native speaker. :slight_smile:


“Dw i’n eisiau” sounds wrong to me, too. My point is that there will be some of Wales’ 600,000 (?) native speakers who do say it (and worse) but, in my opinion, this does not establish that a person is not a native speaker.

I say this, not on the basis of any linguistic expertise, of course. The reason I remain convinced that “Dw i’n eisiau” is not one of the expressions that no native speakers would utter is that I have heard it more than once from people I know to be native speakers (born and raised in a Welsh speaking family).

(Apologies for all the double negatives :slight_smile: )


That was really well said. Took the words right out of my mouth really, although I appreciate what hewrop is saying. :slight_smile:


I have different take on this: “error” and “wrong” are strong terms, certainly if we are talking about descriptive grammar, and I interpret patterns like these more as “unexpected”. If enough speakers are using “dw i’n eisiau”, then ipso facto it is part of the contemporary language - and Huw’s attestation is perhaps a sign of that this is happening now.


Well that certainly amazes me.


Yes, and of course this is always true in any language - changes in any language eventually become the norm if native speakers start adopting them.

I wonder if the difficulty here is the definition of the term ‘native speaker’ - I note that @hewrop mentions [quote=“garethrking, post:53, topic:8376”]
native speakers (born and raised in a Welsh speaking family)

but does not specify whether the parents here were themselves native speakers or learners. If they were the latter, but used Welsh as primary language to their offspring and wrongly used dw i’n eisiau with them, then yes…the next-generation native-speakers would indeed use the new formulation with no sense of strangeness - although surely they would constantly hear dw i eisiau on the media at every turn, wouldn’t they?


Maybe these dwi’n isio native speakers were inspired by the Monty Python Hungarian phrasebook…


Excellent little book - I’ve got two copies…


In case it appears that I am arguing with an expert, let me just refer to my post of 4th June in this thread in which I acknowledged the importance of your publications to me and other Welsh learners. I would also thank you for your frequent, generous and enlightening posts on this forum.

I believe this particular issue has had enough public “airtime” so I have taken the liberty of sending you my response by Private Message to which you can respond if an when you have time.

Diolch, Huw


Aw. I’ve been enjoying the very civilised debate…


I’ve never heard dwi’n eisiau in my life. Native speaker from Llyn, who went to a Welsh medium school, from native Welsh speaking parents & grandparents, great grandparents ect.

If I hear anyone using this I am going to note down their details so we can make case studies for linguists! Ha!


We may be in danger of losing sight of the answer to @ElynnWinter 's original question. I believe it was established early on that “Dw i eisiau” is “right” and “Dw i’n eisiau” is “wrong”.

People in this thread have different experiences of whether native speakers (by whatever definition) ever utter the “wrong” version. Gareth made an important point about native speakers to which I have responded privately in order to spare the forum from possible repetition.

I have invited you to share that message and would welcome your private response if you want to send one.

(In case anyone else thinks I am being secretive, I’d be happy to share this message if they PM me.)


Shush hewrop! You’re ruining the mystique! :stuck_out_tongue:

Everybody, there’s a secret password and everthing!