SSi Forum

Tiny questions with quick answers - continuing thread


I have similar thoughts about how words and acronyms are spelt out loud :slightly_smiling_face:
The ‘approved’ way of spelling out words probably works well for children learning to spell, but it seems adults are expected to use the same system with e.g. the word pen being spelt out loud as something akin to ‘puh-eh-nuh’ which sounds a bit plentynnaidd. Nobody though seems to say ‘buh-buh-cuh’ to refer to the BBC or ‘suh-pedwair-cuh’ to refer to S4C - it’s always ‘bay-bay-ec’ and ‘es-pedwair-ec’ which to my ear sounds much more pleasant


Helô pawb!

Could someone explain the difference between pan and pryd?
I thought that pan is used when talking about a period of time and pryd for a singular moment. But now I‘m not so shure anymore…

Also: could someone translate what I heard as „clwyd“? I looked it up and found gate as a translation, but couldn’t make any sense of it as the context I heard it in was something about tiktok, instagramm and the like.

Help would be much appreciated!


It’s not quite that.
The confusion is because they can both mean ‘when’. ‘pan’ is ‘when’ when it is being used as a conjunction, not a question.
‘pryd’ is used when there is a question - either straightforward or implied.
The trouble is, ‘pryd’ often pops up in set phrases too - as in “pryd o fwyd” for a meal. Those, I’m afraid, are really a case of getting to recognise the phrase as a whole rather than interpreting each word.

Could what you heard as “clwyd” be a version of “clywed”? I don’t ‘do’ tiktoc, instagram or the like, so not sure of the context without the rest of the sentence! Or maybe it was something referring to the county of Clwyd?


But the English rationalised their numbers. We don’t give our ages in scores any more, or refer to “four and twenty”, other than in the nursery rhyme. It’s said that the reason some of the Asian countries (Japan and China? Not sure) are so much better at teaching maths to kids is because the numbers are totally logical, and that’s comparing them to the normal English way of counting, not the old Welsh way.

I appreciate the history, but I’ve noticed that most Welsh adults over 50 don’t use Welsh for numbers in shops etc, whereas youngsters do because they were taught the new numbers at school.

But I’m naturally going to be in favour of the more practical system because I’m married to a mathematician who used to teach computing and maths/numeracy before he retired and who has written a book on numeracy.


Also I note that in your examples you refer to numbers being used for ages. On every single Welsh course I’ve done (and believe me, I’ve done plenty of them!) we have never been taught anything other than the old way of counting for ages, time and dates. But if you’re in a science lesson, “un deg naw gram o gopr sylffad” is clearer than “pedwar ar bymtheg gram…” or would it actually be “pedwar gram ar bymtheg”?


Not really - we still say eleven and twelve and have not changed them to ‘onety-one’ and ‘onety-two’ like they did with Welsh.

Excellent! :slight_smile:

Yes, in that environment I’ve noticed that too, and in places like livestock auctions as well - but that’s not because they don’t know how to use them, it’s because English is the only guaranteed universally understood language in those situations, and they don’t want misunderstandings! :slight_smile:


Yes Siaron - you still have to learn the authentic numbers, so all the bureaucrats have (brilliantly as always) achieved is giving learners TWO sets of numbers to learn (and distinguish between!) instead of just the one! :rofl:


oh if only that had happened! :rofl::rofl:


Well, you say clearer, but clearer from whose perspective? Are you claiming that, in the old pre-invented-numbers days, when a farmer up Aberygynolwyn way said pedair dafad ar bymtheg for nineteen sheep , that was in some way not clear?! It was the only way to say it! Just like quatre vingt onze for 91 in French - that’s what they use in science and maths classes, because that’s what 91 is in French!

Both pedair ar bymtheg and quatre vingt onze are less ‘clear’ to us, but only because we don’t do it that way. But they do. :slight_smile:

This is fun. :slight_smile:


Tank you siaron for the quick reply! That helps a lot. Mystery (sort of) solved, diolch yn fawr!


Doesn’t Bilbo or Frodo or somebody in Lord of the Rings have an eleventy-first birthday? I think I remember that…


As you’ve explained your dislike for the changes I can totally understand your feelings. As a reception class teacher though I have always wished that the English number system was as clear as the Welsh (new decimal system) - it would make place value so easy to teach!


Yes!! It‘s bilbo‘s 111th birthday: „I am eleventy-one today“. Can‘t be of much help with Welsh but I do know my Tolkien hahaha


I do certainly see this argument :slight_smile:




There IS also of course the long-term argument that having to deal with a more complex number system in the early years actually makes for better numeracy in adulthood, because you’ve had to think harder.

This is one of the reasons often stated, incidentally, for Japan’s very high rate of literacy - one of the highest in the world, and yet with a writing system generally regarded as the most complex and laborious to master (a mixture of Chinese characters and two different syllabary sets, with each Chinese character furthermore having multiple sounds/readings).

Just a thought. :slight_smile:


Wouldn’t that be something like “oneteen” and “twoteen”?


Well, if you’re going to get picky about this, Sionned… :confused:


I think 141 should be thirteenty-onety-one from now on.


Of course you know that we keep ‘eleven’ and ‘twelve’ because that’s how we count the hours…