SSi Forum



It can be confusing, I can see that. Daiddeg meant 12, but is now 20, which was hugain or ugain. I loved 18 = 2 nines!!
We used to count in 3s and, really thought in terms of 1, 2, 3, many!! (I don’t mean my generation, I mean “back when”!!).


Not really. 12 is deuddeg. 20 is dau ddeg. It’s a subtle difference, though, I’ll admit. :wink:


I was thinking about this earlier, and came to the conclusion that we have the same subtle differences in English. Fifty and Fifteen, for example.


The French Canadians and francophone Swiss and Belgians have a healthy disrespect for “French”, French twenty-based numbers. Instead of getting their mouths round quatre-vingts-dix-neuf for 99 they save time and breath with nonante-neuf and septante-sept for 77 instead of soixante-dix-sept :slight_smile:


This sounds so complicated to my ears. I don’t think I’d manage to learn old Cymraig number system. I actually liked the “lazy” way of saying numbers on radio but it sounded really odd so I’ve put question here.

Thank you all for replying.


I have a course on Memrise that teaches Welsh numbers in the vigesimal system, as well as a course for numbers in the decimal system too. You can give it a go at if you want to…


I noticed this last week, i.e. people in shops/cafés coming out with English prices after (apparently) happily speaking Welsh to me, and I at first thought “o diar, they’ve rumbled me as a learner & that’s the end of the Welsh for now”, but then decided just to carry on in Welsh anyway, and it was usually fine - occasionally, I’d repeat the price back to them in Welsh (er, if it was an easy one), and they’d either nod or correct me :slight_smile: ).


Here’s another one:

I was listening to some kind of drama on Radio Cymru some minutes ago. I didn’t actually understand 3/4 of things and can’t say what was it all about but what struck my ears was “Dwi’n sori!” (don’t know if I’ve written this sori right). I can asume “sori” is one of those wenglishisms and means “sorry”. Am I right? I didn’t hear this word in speach yet so I was even more attentive and I didn’t hear it anymore in the flow of the drama later either.

Any thoughts about this?


Yes Tatjana, sori is “sorry” and its very common. It features in Course 3, in the sentence:

Sori, ond dydy ein cŵn ni ddim yn goch go iawn - “Sorry but our dogs arn’t really red”

You could also say mae’n ddrwg gen i if you like.




I was watching a video of some young Welsh speakers on You Tube and they kept saying sglods, so the Welsh chip “sglod,”, but with the English plural “s.” So basically in between tsips and sglodion!


Yes, sgod a sglods is fish n chips. :grinning:


Sticking an s on the end of a word is one of the (many) ways of forming a plural in Welsh, and having alternative plurals is not uncommon (punnoedd and pynnau for punt is the most common I can think of off the top of my head), so it’s perfectly valid for both sglodion and sglods to be ‘correct’.
A single chip, BTW, is sglodyn or tsipsen, which makes me wonder why the plural is not simply sglod.


This has been a fascinating thread and I wish I had seen it from the beginning.

Personally, anglicisms in Welsh don’t bother me. It’s just part of the evolution of a language. After all, no one worries about saying ‘problem’ or ‘system’ in English because they are of Greek origin, and so forth.

To add to the please and thankyou posts upthread:

In Greek, please is παρακαλώ [parakalo] and thankyou is ευχαριστώ [efharisto]. You would use parakalo to reply to efharisto, too.

But please and thankyou are used differently in Greek, and I find that people often prefer to use polite verb forms where we would say please in English. I assume that this is because we don’t have polite verb forms in English.

for example ακούω which means listen. All these forms translate as imperative listen in English.

άκου - you singular very ordinary
άκουσε - you singular polite
ακούστε you plural ordinary
να ακούσετε you plural much much more polite

So if I wanted to say “please listen” in Greek, I could use “parakalo”, but I would be much more likely to use the last example - να ακούσετε - na akousete


Would that be like “If you please, Sir(s)/Madam(Mesdames)”?, which is probably what a butler might have said when asking the assembled aristocrats to come to the table for dinner!!!


It is in a way, although this is something that is heard in ordinary everyday speech. I have just come back from my children’s school, where the headmistress was using this imperative form to address me and other parents. It is not old fashioned in any way


It is indeed interesting how different languages / cultures have different takes on expressing politeness. e.g. Spanish and Italian use the 3rd person (he/she/it) form to express a polite version of the 2nd person (you). I believe old French also used to do this, and maybe at certain stages in its development, so did English (and of course we used to distinguish between the “thou” and “you” pronouns, similar to “Du” and “Sie” in German, or “tu” and “vous” in French.
(And interestingly, “sie” in German also means “they” or “she”).


Except, it was strictly Singular and Plural, not familiar vs formal.


There is a significent difference in German inbetween sie and sie. Plural is sie and singular polite is Sie.

It’s the same in Slovene. If you write Vi you mean single person which you address politely but if you write vi, you mean more persons who you don’t need to address politely. As in German also in Slovene if you need to address more people polite way you also use Sie in German and Vi in Slovene.

In German though (as to my knowkedge and what I’ve been taught) capitals are very important and are used for this polite form of use Sie and also for all nouns.

Oh, but this is a bit off topic already so I’ll finish here for now. :slight_smile:


There’s people in and from Derbyshire and elsewhere who do that to this day!
(Well, older people maybe, and only in certain circumstances now, but certainly common in their youth and still a living thing!)

I thought it was similar to French and other languages- “you” showed “respect”, to such an extent in English that it took over (in most dialects!) from “thou”.

This (normally reliable) site seems to back that idea up-

In Welsh, as perhaps in other languages, the idea that the plural implies respect seems to have been possibly taken from the French, or just the common European way of using it, and does not seem to have been about in the earliest recorded Welsh. Rather than saying it again, here’s a link to the old site about the subject-


It wasn’t a natural part of the language. It became the “in” thing to emulate Latin and French so, people started using it that way. It became so popular that “thou” was lost.