SSi Forum

Tiny questions with quick answers - continuing thread


Oh dear I find this so confusing. Would love to see this video but when I click on it i just get all the various topics up none of which relate to the link above. I really don’t understand the forum.


Sorry that was my mistake! Edited to link and it should be working now


Nice explanation. Thank you. I’ve been secretly thinking about this.:grinning:


Do you mean they tend to use English language? (I haven’t paid attention to that)

I might have missed something in the discussion, but nobody seems to have mentioned the Romans that I would consider at least a bit responsible for at least some of the old Welsh numerals like 1, 2, 3 having feminine/masculine.
And maybe also some between 11 to 20 (since we have undici, dodici and roman numbers are not exactly linear with things like XIX or even MCMXCV) :sweat_smile:

I admit finding the new version easier, but also because I’ve heard that most of the time. Like @garethrking was mentioning French has a crazy way of counting but I’m sure the Académie has never slightly considered changing them (and anyone learning French will just figure them out).

For years, I don’t know if it’s new or old, but I prefer the number-by-number though!


Back to an old topic, but with an extra question this time!

If in Welsh I can use the present tense for something I’ve been doing since a moment in in the past, and still doing.

And (as I seem to have understood in the last few days - tell me if I’m wrong) I can use the imperfect for something I used to do…

why should I make sentences longer, and add “wedi bod yn” or “arfer”?

Do they add a specific nuance in meaning?


I think (tentatively! :slightly_smiling_face:) that while oedd can mean ‘I used to do …’ oedd wedi bod would mean 'I had used to …" and oedd arfer would mean ‘I was in the habit of doing …’


Thanks, all variations are useful for me to see!

I’m not sure I know the difference between “I used to” and “I was in the habit of”. They seem identical to me! :thinking: :laughing:

For the wedi, I also referred to (for example):
Dw i’n dysgu Cymraeg ers 2018 vs. Dw i wedi bod yn dysgu Cymraeg ers 2018.


That’s a really helpful video Hannah, thanks a lot x


Yes, that confused me to begin with. I think the difference is that “I used to” is not necessarily a regular thing, e.g. I used to see him around sometimes, but “I was in the habit of” would be something regular that you do rather than something that just might used to happen, e.g. I used to buy a newspaper on Fridays.

I believe these two do have identical meanings, but the former would be the original Welsh way of saying it, whereas the latter would be a direct translation ofthe English way of saying the same thing


I don’t think we can pin it on the Romans, Gisella - different genders for the low numbers are an Indo-European thing. Even English - twegen = 2 (masc), twa = 2 (fem. and neuter) - and German used to do this, and the Celt and Slav languages still do.

Well here you’re confusing how they’re said with how they’re written as numerals. But I agree, it is a bizarre system to our eyes - but of course it didn’t stop them building and maintaining a gigantic empire, did it? :slight_smile:


Yes, that was the idea!

And also that it takes a bit of calculations to figure out what’s the number you’re reading or hearing or want to say.

And thanks for the other notes about the origin of numbers (I’m definitely not an expert in ancient history and when it comes to language I just do what’s easier for me to remember things that is referring to what I already know!).


That’s true! Although again, I expect the Romans had no difficulty. It must have been awkward to do maths without the concept of zero, though, mustn’t it?


Re using numbers in shops, older people will do the entire transaction with a Welsh speaking customer in Welsh, apart from using English for the numbers. Younger people who were taught all subjects, including maths, through the medium of Welsh will stick with Welsh throughout, including numbers.


For everyday life it’s mostly a matter of what one’s brain’s used to, isn’t it? Or is in the habit of using @johnwilliams_6 . :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

I can only guess it was all normal in ancient Rome. But I can tell for sure that for many of us Italians it’s just a matter of seconds reading those numbers while I’ve seen quite a few tourists from other countries being totally lost trying to figure them out. :rofl:

Speaking of zero - in Italy there’s a meme to fight back and ridicule racists on social networks that I saw again a few days ago. It shows a photo of a middle-eastern stereotype looking man with a comment like “This is (fake name). He wants to introduce Arabic numerals in Italian schools instead of Roman numerals. Share this to stop him!”
Looking at the number of people who do take this seriously, it looks that despite having had the zero since ages, Italians are still not too strong on maths though! :confused:


A good joke, but based on a falsehood - the Arabs themselves borrowed them from the Hindus. We should really call them Indian numerals, actually. Ask any Indian. :slight_smile:


Oh, fine with me, although until then, the official name’s still Arabic. And the joke wouldn’t have been as effective because it’s Moors the traditional opponents of Romans/Christians/Catholics and Indians would not drive as many people crazy.
It’s a bit embarrassing and odd that many of those also declare themselves fans and descendants of the Celts, but… :roll_eyes:


Why am I reminded of Goodness Gracious Me?
“Jesus was Indian! Think about it: carried on the family business, in his 30s and still living at home? Indian!”




Hey there!
Is Cymraeg feminine?
I was thinking about it, as say it again is deid o eto and speak it (when referring to welsh) is siarad hi :smile: at least how I hear it!


Yes, it is :slightly_smiling_face: