Some questions


#1

Hello thank you for the encouragement last week. I have a few questions if you wouldn’t mind helping me please?

1 - I finished the mind-bending challenge 4 of the 6 month course but it took me lots of repeat listens to get to the point I could say the sentences confidently with the pause button but no hope of saying it before the lady for longer sentences yet, never mind 80% of the time. This means I only started challenge 5 (which I’m finding easier, phew) today so will prob be lagging behind again next week. How important is it that I can do the sentences before the lady 80% of the time before moving on?

  1. Why is an i sometimes inserted where one is not usually needed? Ie I’ve got something else to say ends with i ddweud but I’d like to say something is just dweud without the i?

  2. When learning it’s interesting it begins with mae’n, but is interesting begins with yn. When saying I have been learning welsh it’s dw i wedi bod yn dysgu so does that translate as I have been learning is welsh or am I hearing it wrong/are there 2 meanings?

Sorry if the above isn’t explained clearly but would appreciate an explanation if possible, or a swift ‘don’t overthink it, that’s not the point of the 6 month course’ if that’s the best way to continue :blush:

Diolch


#2

This is “I have been learning”.
“I have been learning Welsh” is “Dw i wedi bod yn dysgu cymraeg”.

I think I understand what you’re asking though, about “yn” and it’s because it serves several purposes. It’s used to join verbnouns, nouns and adjectives to a form of bod (dw, mae, etc) but doesn’t translate literally into English.

Dw i’n dysgu Cymraeg - the “yn” is joining “dysgu” to “dw”.

Mae’n ddiddorol - the "yn " is joining “diddorol” (mutated here because adjectives mutate when joined to bod like this) to “mae”.

The word “interesting” on its own is just “diddorol”.

So in “Mae’n ddiddorol”, where you’re thinking of “yn ddiddorol” as meaning “is interesting” you’re not quite right. The “yn” doesn’t translate literally as anything, it’s a linking particle; the “is” is actually “mae”.


#3

Hi Sarah,

You’ve asked questions that do frequently come up, and the forum (or the 6 Monther’s Slack workspace) are good places to ask them.

The answer to 1 is easy - the 80% is a hang over from early days when we didn’t have the structured courses and online support, so you can disregard it now. The important thing is to say SOMETHING in the gaps, even if it’s not the complete sentence, and not to get stuck on any one challenge repeating it over and over. If you find yourself repeating a challenge more than 2 or 3 times and feeling frustrated with it, move on. You can always go back to it later, and most people find that by moving on, the material starts to come more easily to them.

2 - the answer to whether there is an “i” inserted or not is - it depends. Sometimes the structure of the sentence calls for it, sometimes not. Occasionally it can help to think whether you would put a “to” in English, e.g. “something TO say” - “rhywbeth i ddweud” in your example, but there are lots of examples where that doesn’t work, e.g. “hoffwn i ddweud” in your other example. The best advice here is your “don’t overthink it” solution and with hearing the different examples over and over again, you’ll start to get a feel for it, which is a much more natural way of learning it.

3 - “Mae’n ddiddorol” (it’s interesting) is really “Mae yn ddiddorol”, with the “mae” and “yn” run together. That little “yn” word doesn’t really have any meaning or equivalent word in English in these examples. It’s just there to join bits of the sentence together and needed by the structure. Again, just listen to the examples and say them yourself, and you’ll get a feel for when you need it to keep the sentence flowing.

Have you made it into any of the Q&A sessions on Slack at all? These kinds of questions are perfect for those sessions, as they’re much easier to explain in person and I really enjoy answering questions :slight_smile:


#4

I haven’t managed to have a free Thursday to join in the sessions but will ask these type of questions in there in future. Thank you very much for the responses and explaining, it’s good to know the reason why even if i don’t completely understand it at the moment :blush:


#5

There are other sessions available now as well as the Thursday night. If you have a look in the #1-start-here channel in Slack, you can see the schedule. Perhaps one of the others will suit you better.


#6

Not only is this now out-of-date but, speaking for myself, if I hadn’t been able to use the pause button extensively, I would have given up long ago in utter frustration. As it is, though still a slow learner, my speaking ability has come on by leaps and bounds this year, and I must have spoken on Slack to over 25 people now. And very much enjoy helping other beginners get started.

I would just like to corroborate @dee’s excellent advice about not overthinking things but just allowing yourself to develop a natural feel for the language. I know I still make a lot of mistakes with the yn’s and i’s etc but not quite so many as I did, but nobody bothers about this in the slightest, and by chatting to people one gets attuned to these little nuances and you begin to pick up slightly better ways of saying things. As I see it, Welsh has its origins as a bardic language, and much of knowing when to insert these little words is about making the language flow along.