Tiny questions with quick answers - continuing thread


Hopefully of interest, I posted something over on the “Published: new advanced content” thread about hogia.


There’s also, more commonly in older people, Da Bo or Da Bo Chi, literally, Good be with you.


I like “da bo” or “da bo am y tro” as a valediction. Didn’t realise it was more common among older people (I get very little exposure to Welsh :frowning: )


My very first Welsh Tutor, in the days before SSIW said the use of Da Bo was fine if you wanted to sound as though you were 80.


Iestyn often says ‘Da bo’ and he’s definitely not 80!


He’s not far off… :wink:


Perhaps he’s an honorary 80! :smiley:


Maybe it’s one of those things that’s coming back around? Like calling children “Enid” or “Alf”, or leg warmers…


I met a neighbour this morning (he and his mother know I’ve been learning Welsh but they are kind and don’t push me into talking, but they now use greetings and simple phrases in Welsh when talking to me :slight_smile: ) and it was definitely tara. Fascinating, how human brain works, I hear it clearly when I know what I should hear.


Accurate prediction is a huge part of language use - and always a lot tougher in a new language, but it will come with time… :slight_smile:


Or flat caps.


I hope ok to ask here -
Just a general question that I was asked today.
Is there a Welsh (Cymraeg) sign language? The question arose after watching Iolo’s nature programme today, which showed a lady signing as Iolo was speaking.


Excellent question, because there are certainly differences between national sign languages. Even American Sign Language is different to British Sign Language.

You might think it would be possible to develop an international one, or at least a European one. One answer here (though not all here might agree with the comment on Esperanto):


I think lots of non-deaf people imagine BSL to be something like Makaton or sign-supported-English, without realizing that it’s effectively a completely different language with its own unique grammar and structures, as well as the signs themselves. My understanding is that other sign-languages are structurally similar (but not the same), as well as having different signs. AFAIK ASL was developed under the influence of French Catholic educators and has more in common with French sign-language than with BSL; since BSL isn’t signed English, I would imagine that deaf Cymry use the same BSL as other deaf people from these islands.


I took ASL a number of years ago and you are correct, none of the hand languages for the deaf are direct translations of the local language but are actually separate languages, though some signs apparently are similar in different traditions. I have a niece who is an ASL interpreter (and licensed to work in courtrooms, etc.) She has mentioned in the past that even ASL has different “dialects” - regional differences that can make it difficult for people to understand at big national gatherings (conventions and the like).


Thanks, All. Yes I had seen the stuff about different (nationality) sign languages. I also saw this video on the net showing signing of a hymn sang bilingually. It’s difficult top see, but it looks as if the same sign language is being used, perhaps ASL? Great Welsh accents in Cymraeg & English by the way. It looks like this took place in Cleveland, OH.


Huh. That’s actually at a NAFOW - North American Festival of Wales. I recognize a lot of the people when they’re panning at the beginning!


Ok so I thought I got the hang of the past tense but sometimes get mixed up between the o’n i’n and nes i ways of saying it. In the challenges we are taught o’n i’n meddwl for “I thought”…what would nes i meddwl be; would one even say it like that? I was of the understanding that the o’n i’n meddwl was “I was thinking”…or are they essentially the same?


Some verbs naturally describe states rather than actions - in English we can have “I think that’s a great idea” where “I am thinking that’s a great idea” just sounds a bit off - maybe stereotypical Indian English. We can say “I am thinking”, but probably in different contexts, with a slightly different meaning. Other verbs, for actions, have to be in the -ing form if you want them to be in the present: “I run to the shop” only works as habit, or as a certain style of anecdote-telling - if you want it to be now it has to be “I am running.”

So ‘stative’ verbs are different in the present in English, but not in Welsh: dw i’n meddwl and dw i’n rhedeg work just the same. But in the past they’re different in Welsh: o’n i’n meddwl when you’d say wnes i redeg for English ‘I thought’, ‘I ran’.

The one thing that helps is that I’m sure @garethrking says somewhere that the list of verbs that get treated as statives in English and Welsh overlaps pretty well, so for English speakers it should be reasonably straightforward to develop a ‘feel’ for what sounds right.

However, I’m not sure if you can sometimes say wnes i feddwl in slightly different contexts with slightly different meaning, so on that I’d bow to those with more knowledge!


I have sometimes wondered that. e.g. for things like “I thought for a moment that you had gone, but then I realised you were still upstairs…”. Or similar.