Tiny questions with quick answers - continuing thread


Like the time I asked - further to a conversation we had been having about classical music - (I as guest 17 year old in the house of my sister’s French friend, and in front of her husband and young children at the dinner table) how to say the other part in a string quartet besides “les violons et la violoncelle” (violin and ‘cello)… was to play viola “jouer de la viole”? say I…

Very strange quizzical to disbelieving look on face of this person, a grown up of thirty or even a few years older, and shocked faces all round the table.

“La viole” means ‘rape’, of course… most embarrassingly. Playing the “viole” even stranger… It took her a moment or two, plus my deep blush, to convince her it was an innocent enquiry. I wished the ground might swallow me up, but we were in an apartment a few floors up…

“Un alto” is a viola, and a viola player an “altiste”…

(From school I knew alto from choir parts, as opposed to sopranos/trebles.

Otherwise, I always thought that referred to the alto recorder rather than the treble or bass recorder, ‘cos a recorder or two & some early & baroque & classical sheet music was what my father treated himself to, with what he might have spent on tobacco for the pipe he had had to give up, and the music shop in Derry found other amateur musicians to help cobble together a music session of a Sunday afternoon, us pre-schoolers kept out of the living-room till tea and biscuit tray meant the door was open and the battle for kid-free zone was lost…It was a short phase, but the music sheets were always around the house after, till my musical brother took them.)



OOps! :grin:
And sure, realizing the sweet host family believe you’re a horrible maniac…is definitely a bad moment.
Actually I’m sure any Italian, including myself, would have said the same as you; “alto” here refers to the saxophone, never strings.

Luckily in my host family in England the only mistake that was remembered through years is innocently funny. I said we reached England on an “hoovercraft”. :smiley:

By the way there are several combinations of Welsh words that sound a bit odd and funny in Italian…so there’s a whole universe of hilarious things that can happen when speaking different languages! :smiley:


how would I ask something of a friend like: “where did you grow up?” as opposed to “o ble wyt ti’n dod?” or are they the same thing? Thanks!


“Lle gest ti dy fagu?” I think.


“lle gest ti dy fagu?” (where were you brought up?) would be the best one here, although you could also say “o ble wyt ti’n dod yn wreiddiol?” (where are you from originally) - adding the ‘originally’ would distinguish it from “where are you from” with an implied “now”. :slight_smile:


Just putting my little knowledge to test - @martinarnold, don’t trust me! :joy:

I was wondering. If “tyfu lan” is to grow up
Would “o ble wyt ti wedi tyfu lan” make any sense?


Can you say ble ot ti’n tyfu lan (i fyny) or ble wnest ti tyfu lan (i fyny)?


yes, tyfu lan is to grow up, so you could use that, although as I understand it, using magu works better/more naturally in Welsh (less of a direct idiom translation from English).

“o ble wyt ti wedi tyfu lan” isn’t quite the right tense though (lit. from where have you grown up). “Lle nest ti dyfu lan” (where did you grow up) is the one - but well done for testing yourself and putting that together, although not quite right, people would have understood what you meant, so you’re going in the right direction! :grinning:

edited to add - @Toffidil you posted before I got my answer out, but hope it answers your question too!


wow thanks for the responses!


Glad to hear that! :slight_smile:

But wait. I was focusing on the verbs, and didn’t pay attention to this:
why “lle” not “ble”?
(or why “ble” just in case it’s a matter of mutations, the other way round…since I usually can’t really understand which is the “original”)


Lle in the North. Ble yn y De😀

Also regarding your datblygi/datblogi, its just how some regions bend their vowels :grimacing:. Same for Odi instead of Ydy.

Also happens in English. Eg in NE England and also Cardiff for some reason, the a sound is sort of ae. Like air. I dont think we changed. Just kept our old sound when everyone else went posh.

Just thought of this as I typed a business email with Hevn’t instead of Havn’t. :grimacing:


feel i’ve met my welsh language nemesis…i’m having a nightmare with subordinate and relative clauses, just cannot get this structure into my head! i don’t think there’s a quick answer to this haha, but has anyone else felt the same way and overcome it? it would give me hope if nothing else.


Mmm… if you could chuck a couple of examples at me I’ll try and get my head around them… :slight_smile:


I have noticed similarities between how Welsh and Irish operate in this area. Will subsequent Manx lessons tackle some of this stuff (?), cos that will all help.


it’s the general idea, rather than specific examples. i’ve got a dyslexic memory, so unless information is presented very succinctly or broken down into chunks i can process, i’m lost! usually i adapt my approach and do this myself, but i’m finding it impossible with these structures as they are information heavy and this is my third stab at it! - guess i’ll have to dal ati @aran, if you see me out and about looking confused and distracted, wringing my hands and nashing my teeth…you’ll know why!


Thing is, as soon as you say ‘subordinate and relative clauses’ in English my brain starts limping - with enough time and a good run up I could probably get somewhere near it, but if you can dig out a couple of examples at some point, I’ll be able to help tidy them up - and in most cases you’ll find that half a dozen examples will be enough to make a real difference to your confidence… :slight_smile:


i know! it’s joining up long sentences with small link words such as that, who, whose, if, whether…argh my brain feels fried! i’ll get some examples together, thanks loads!


Also Le in many parts of the De.

Le ych chi wedi bod? - Where have you been?


Yr Eidal is like the Italy, right?
But do I always have to keep yr?
Dw i’n dod o yr Eidal doesn’t sound good.
Dw i’n dod o 'r Eidal?

Also, how would you say that something is as…as, or less/more…(than)?

Like learning Welsh is easier than I thought, although writing is more complicated and pronunciation as easy/difficult as any other European language?


Yup, this one… :slight_smile: