SSi Forum

Tips on using a Welsh dictionary (and translating words)?


This is basically why SSiW doesn’t teach grammar (at least not explicitly).

Learning the intricacies of the grammar makes you very good at grammar. It (probably) doesn’t help you to speak the language, although it might help you to write it.


Very true Mike if you thought too much about grammar you would hardly utter a word, youd be pondering what to say.


Yes, you’re right. The easiest way for now I guess is…just ignoring the fact that they’re actually all different (oh, and way different!) forms of bod, and just remembering when to use one or the other! :grin:

Your detailed answer is interesting, though.

Let me just add, also related to @mikeellwood and @Tricia answers:
I love the SSiW approach, and I’m sure that I wouldn’t be still here if it wasn’t for that!

I actually completely ignored grammar and even vocabulary lists.
But after a batch of challenges like that, I see there’s things that I keep on getting wrong really often or that just never comes to mind when I try to make up a sentence.

I mean, i think I can survive in the wild even if I don’t know how to say “in his twenties” or “in her thirties”, “the latest idea”, “to fly” and “as much as”.
I’m a bit shocked and worried for not being able to remember “a drink”, but I’ll make sure to practice this enough before I go to Wales. :smiley:

However I also noticed that, for example, thinking of “mae” as “there”, whenever I got a sentence with “is” - like “the boy is ten” in the challenge or I try to think one in my mind with a similar structure - I feel: hey, but I don’t know how to say “is”!
I did hear the correct sentence every time, but it just didn’t seem to stick in my mind.

Another example: in the challenges there’s quite a few sounds that seem to appear out of nowhere and float around for mysterious reasons (especially “n”, “y”; and also “dd” or “f” - which I usually cannot distinguish).
Entering survival mode, I just throw in a bunch of those in a pretty random way, and sure sometimes get them right. I know I wouldn’t mind doing the same in the wild, but I think it would be useful to figure them out, at some point.

That’s why I’m trying to find out if a different approach might help with these.
It seems helpful, so far, so I guess I’ll do a few more questions - but I’ll be more specific on the examples/sentences, rather than trying to understand everything about “to be” or “to have” etc


I understand Gisella that the SSIW approach makes you curious and you sometimes want to seek an explanation. I have investigated in grammar books myself and enjoyed and found interresting the conversatiins you have been having on the forum. :+1: and hope some of it sinks in when conversing.


Yeah, the verb ‘to be’ is a mess in most Indo-European languages – it’s usually a mix of at least two completely different verbs. Italian fu (Latin fuit) is the same root as English be, Welsh bod; è (Latin est) is the same as English is and the ‘s’ bit of Welsh sydd; and then in English you’ve got was/were that go back to the same root as verità; and heaven knows where mae and oes come from. Best not to worry :slight_smile:


Ah…so not quite experiencing the power of the Dark Side of The Force yet :face_with_raised_eyebrow:


Ah, yes sorry. My Welsh spelling is rubbish. :slight_smile:


That was intended to be punny, padawan :male_detective:
You should try English…now there is a language that is tough to pick up as a second language :crazy_face:

#29 has been updated and is now accepting new registrations!


Oh thanks! I’ve just registered, I’ll check the content later, but I can already tell I’m curious to see thesaurus and verb conjugator in action!

Actually it’s also very interesting to see my own posts after some time and see how everything seemed sooooo difficult back then (almost two months after starting SSIW), but improved in the meantime!:sweat_smile:


Hooray! At last. Thank you @RichardBuck.


I’ve just registered as well. It will be interesting to see if it has advantages over other resources available online.


For looking words up, other resources seem quite similar or even more detailed (with more examples).

But one really really smart useful thing here is learners mode: showing each word with definite article and an adjective and counting one to ten items that’s going to help me remember masculine and feminine words at last!


You really need more than one dictionary as some have entries that others don’t. GPC is my first stop for older/more formal Welsh: Gweiadur is brilliant for verbs - when you come across what is probably a verb but unrecognisable, it will lead you straight to the full conjugation. Its also good for idiom/expressions


I use two dictionaries. The one I use most is Gareth King’s Modern Welsh Dictionary / Geiriadur Cyraeg Cyfoes. I’ve already worn out one copy and had to buy another the last time I was in Wales. It isn’t as exhaustive as the bigger dictionaries, but has a lot of extra information - examples of usage and such - that I really like.

So when I can’t find a word in that one, I use my bigger one - Y Geiriadur Mawr. I have yet to fail to find a word that I’m looking for in that one.