Tiny questions with quick answers - continuing thread - OLD


Diolch yn fawr


Diolch yn fawr i ti hefyd


No there isn’t :slight_smile:


Cwestiwn cyflym

Do you “nabod” or “gwybod” a language? My gut feeling says “nabod” because to learn a language is to get to know it like a friend, and because Welsh uses “nabod” for cities too…but…which is it?


Relating to the “how many syllables in gwlith?” side-quest on the Gair y diwrnod thread: in a word like rhedwraig, does the -w- of (g)wraig count as a syllable or not? As in, a male runner is a RHEDwr, but is a woman a RHEDwraig or a rheDWraig? Instinct says the former, but my instincts may be wrong.

(Also: this arose in speech because I was telling @johnwilliams_6 that I’d got a copy of the Welsh version of Straeon Nos Da i Bob Rebel o FerchGood Night Stories for Rebel Girls, and that to put the Welsh ultra-marathon runner Lowri Morgan in but keep it still to 100 stories, they’d had to take the difficult decision to leave Maggie Thatcher out of the Welsh version… :slight_smile: )


Catrin and I are umming and ahhing about this… we think you just wouldn’t use it like that… that you would either siarad or deallt a language… that you could gwybod am a specific language… Catrin reckons that at a pinch, you could nabod iaith brodorion Awstralia…

But in terms of general usage, you’ll hear siarad or deall for that kind of discussion, pretty much always, I’d reckon… :slight_smile:


How about knowing (the meaning of) a specific word?

Is that gwybod or nabod? It appears to be factual knowledge, which suggests gwybod, but it also suggests familiarity, which suggests nabod.

Thinking more about @Kerstin 's question, can’t you also medru a language?


I had the same question re gwybod & nabod a while ago, & there’s a whole rambling back & forth upstream in this very thread, but I think the relevantly definitive answer was this one from @Iestyn: Tiny questions with quick answers - continuing thread
Tl;dr - Yes, you probably can.


that’s interesting, “medru / gallu” a language is how German does it. Ich kann Deutsch = I speak German.

I don’t like saying “I speak (insert language)” because with my language profile, there are a few languages that I understand but I can’t speak them well. So maybe deall is the best way forward. Diolch @aran


Wonderful! Thanks for finding that, it helps.

On the North/South note I saw up there, I recently attended a course taught in the South and the teacher was very definite telling me I really should not mix my gyda/efo/gen/medru/gallu the way that I had been doing. Ooof!


On the recent question about “sear” and “shear,” this was the butter on my table at breakfast this morning, in Aberystwyth. Note: “Shir Gar” !!


Are you sure it’s not just horse milk butter?


Not from a stallion it isn’t!


Or from a dragon.


Remember though that it is only medru, not gallu, that is used in this way with a language - you say mae hi’n medru Ffrangeg, but not *mae hi’n gallu Ffrangeg (unless of course there has been drift recently, but I haven’t noticed that)

because medru includes mental ability, while gallu (essentially) does not.

Russian, incidentally, is like Welsh in this - they also have a special ‘mental ability’ verb and use it with a language.


Oh - and another thing: the North/South medru / gallu demarcation is cancelled when we’re dealing with mental ability - even the hwntws use medru in this sense. Because that was its original meaning.


Ah, that’s great, thanks. So I assume that’s why in the South we freely use words like medd & meddwl, for say & think.

Also, I have noticed that medrus (for skilled) is used as the name of a civil engineering business. Is this used in normal speech in the South?


Not least because male horses don’t have nipples :slight_smile: Interesting fact for pawb there.


Another one has just occurred to me while writing captions for my Instagram: do you mutate non-Welsh placenames? Does “In Bournemouth” become “ym Bournemouth”? Do I mynd i Fournemouth? Is there a Welsh name for Bournemouth, probably starting with “Aber…”, that I should be using instead?

If nothing else, Instagram has got me thinking more about Welsh!


It tends to vary a lot from person to person - I’d expect ‘yn Bournemouth’, but I wouldn’t be surprised at ‘mynd i Fournemouth’… :slight_smile: But I strongly suspect that very few people would recognise it if there is a Welsh name for Bournemouth - maybe @sumsmeister can help? :slight_smile: