Tiny questions with quick answers - continuing thread


Since I suspect that language learning will be often part of my conversations for a while :smiley:

Are these questions correct, to ask how to pronounce something?
Sut wyt ti’n ynganu hynny?
Sut ych chi’n ynganu hynny?

Then, even though it’s not only Welsh-specific, I’d really like to know if there’s a word to mean what I could define as the “music” of a language: the way a sentence, and not a single word, is pronounced.The ups and downs the voice does - and a native does correctly, while everybody else tend to apply their own native language ones! (the easiest example is native French emphasizing last syllable! :grin:


yes :slight_smile:

This is “intonation”. Which, in Welsh, to quote from geiriadur Yr Academi, is:

  1. (action): llafarganu v.n.
  2. (of voice): tôn (tonau), gosleff (goslefau), tonyddiaeth


In English I think I’d call this ‘prosody’, and I think it’s more or less the same in most Romance languages. Unfortunately, you can also use the same term when speaking just about poetry, rather than language in general, and a lot of what I’ve seen in Welsh when looking for a translation just now seems to reflect that, although I’m not entirely sure.

Amongst the suggestions in the GPC for prosody is mydryddiaeth which they translate back into English as ‘metrics’ (i.e. of poetry); alternatively, they offer aceniad, and when you look that up in the GPC the bit of the Welsh definition that clearly corresponds to where it says ‘prosody’ in the English one is the rather lovely phrase cerdd dafod, but that unfortunately appears to have a technical meaning in Welsh poetics. Acenyddiaeth gives similar results, though, and @siaronjames’s suggestion of tonyddiaeth includes cerdd dafod in its definition where in English it says ‘prosody’… so maybe tonyddiaeth or maybe maybe maybe cerdd dafod??


Oh, I am also very curious to find out more about the subject and I didn’t know this word at all - so I’m glad now I can do more searches! :slight_smile:

At the same time, I have the impression that’s a bit more for linguists. I guess in most conversations intonation and tôn as @siaronjames suggested, will be fine. :slight_smile: Thanks a lot, both of you.

However, if I ever get the chance to meet people who are interested in discussing languages and theories about learning a bit more in depth…like us here, for example. ;-)…
if mydryddiaeth means metrics, it seems a bit different than what I have in mind.
Cerdd dafod sounds a bit too specifically related to poetry too, I would say, doesn’t it?
Aceniad…ohh…look what we’ve got here, one more for the latin connection, accentus! Might kinda work.
Tonyddiaeth seems the most ton/intonation - related, so probably the right one.

However, on the non-serious side, as an Italian, I just can’t help thinking that this sounds like the Welsh translation of the…Tonyosophy or Tonyology or the Science studying people named Tony: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_(given_name) :grimacing:
And with this I guess I’d better go and hide somewhere. Nos da. :grimacing:


Or prosodia, if you prefer. But I remember my old Catalan teacher talking about how, when he went to Italy, he didn’t bother trying to speak Italian: Catalan is sufficiently similar that in some ways it’s almost no weirder than a strong dialect (parlar instead of parlare, molt for molto, etc.) – except for the way that Catalan speakers (especially male ones) talk in a really growly monotone which is quite unlike Italian. So all he did was speak particularly bouncy Catalan, and he got by just fine!
I’m pretty sure that when we were talking about it, he used the word prosòdia (he was a linguist): but I’m also pretty sure that he also phrased it in terms of the ‘music’ of the language, which is why I liked the phrase cerdd dafod. And of course, in literary Welsh you don’t just get music – you also get rydym :smile:


Well, I’m not a linguist and we didn’t do grammar at school, so I don’t know half the words you are talking about …
But that is just terrible! :grimacing:


I aim to set people’s teeth on edge please :slight_smile:


Rydym is always my favorite! (Edit: because it sounds like rhythm - not sure it has other meanings!)

I didn’t remember much how Catalan sounds, so I briefly checked it out on Wikitongues. Very much like Italian with a touch of a few dialects (in fact, right, sounds like it might as well be one of those).
You teacher’s experience reminds me of how much all this part is overlooked in language teaching, and how effective it is instead!


When does a verb need “i” in front of it and when doesn’t it?

In challenge 23, there are the sentences “Mae’n bwysig aros” and “Dw i’n barod i fwyta”. Why does the latter require i before the verbnoun but the former doesn’t?


Because bwysig refers to the VN aros, while barod refers to the speaker, not to the VN fwyta. :slight_smile:


Aran explained at least once that the “i” is not really before the next word but after the previous word. Most times where you find that “I” it is after a word that needs it like:
barod i … = “prepare to…”
mynd i … = “go to …”

Specific words take “i” after them and you just (gradually) learn where to expect to hear it.


Ah, I did wonder if this might be the case after “mynd” was introduced as “mynd i”. Cheers Siaron.


Thanks for this - light bulb moment :bulb: :woman_facepalming:


gia - a word I see written informally at the end of sentences (mainly) by the northern youths … any idea?


'Gia = Hogiau (lads) plural of hogyn.
Btw, plural of hogan is genod.


@susancymru you were right :slight_smile:


That one definitely used to confuse me.
There is also the singular, northernish, word “geneth” for girl, plural “genethod”.

Perhaps “gen(n)od” originally came from “genethod”.

hmm… if you feed “hogan” into GPC it points you to “hogen”, with plural “hogennod”

All sort of related, I guess.


I have a beginner question about basic greetings. I often hear something sounding as dda in place of simple bye. Is it a shortening from nosweith dda or nos da or something else (or do I have hearing halucinations)? Thanks.


Could it be “Ta ra”? That gets used a lot around here, and sometimes sounds more like “Ta da”.


Could be. Thank you!