You know you are learning Welsh when


i’ve been doing ‘gog’, so this was fine! What threw me yesterday was watching the match on S4C, when afterwards they interviewed, I think Mr Launchbury, I couldn’t understand a word, then I was surprised that he could speak Welsh, then I realised he was talking in English and I still couldn’t understand a word he said!
Growing up in Wales, the various Welsh accents aren’t difficult for me to understand, this is a big part of the ‘North South’ thing more than vocabulary really. It’s just some of the English accents I struggle with


With that last, I can sympathise! I still have problems with Scottish idioms and even accents! Aberdonian, in my humble opinion, is a language all its own!


It’s called Doric i believe


…you can find a Welsh location.
Here’s a (hopefully) interesting one. My work consists of visiting sites throughout the UK. For some of these, the address that I am given can be vague or incomplete. On Tuesday, I am to go to Bryn Goleu, Ceredigion. I happen to know of a Bryn Heulwen cottage in a fairly remote area. To me, the meanings seem to be similar, so that’s where I’ll be heading for :slight_smile:


Quick update:
It was the right place.
Anyway, back to the learning Welsh bit -
A lady car driver stopped to ask directions in English. Strangely, I didn’t catch much of her English, but did understand the tags “yw fe?” and “Oh Chei”. By the time that I thought of responding in Welsh, she had driven off :smile:


i recently finished reading two Welsh books and felt quite pleased with myself, though I admit that had they been in English I would have dismissed them as Mills and boon. My current book is a Bethan Gwanas one, ‘hi yw fy ffrind’, which is a step up and i’m really enjoying it and understanding it. Suddenly I realised that my in brain translator had fallen silent - I looked at the previous sentence, i understood the whole sentence, every word, including ‘pendroni’, and then found that I simply could not bring the English word to mind. I was determined not to look in a dictionary and it was nearly 24 hours before I remembered the English.
So what is this? Do other people have Welsh moments like this, is it a milestone? or maybe just a bit of tip of the tongue?


Back in the 1970s when living in London we had a German family friend who arrived with good English which improved while in the UK. One of the triggers for her going home was when she found there were more words she couldn’t remember in either language!


All. The. Time. I don’t know if I’d call it a milestone but I know it’s annoying.

Gyda llaw, hi yw fy ffrind and hi oedd fy ffrind … brilliant books. Bethan Gwanas promised me a third book but I think she might have been just humouring me.


Haia Polly,

I have read that one, and the sequel “Hi Oedd Fy FFrind”, but (for no good reason) I read them in the wrong order, and for some reason, I found the sequel much easier than the first one (the one you have just read. I am not sure why. Perhaps if I went back and compared them both now, I might be able to see why.

I must admit that I allowed a lot of it to “wash over me” without recourse to a dictionary, even if I wasn’t really understanding those bits. I just carried on and read the bits I did understand. I did use a dictionary sometimes of course - was just a matter of how I felt at the time.

But as to that phenomenon you describe about not being able to pin-point the English word - yes, I get that too, a lot. I used to think it was a bad thing, but now I think it’s almost a good thing.
We know what the writer means, but we can’t put it into English (at least not in a similar sentence). But that’s ok: we aren’t translators (that’s a special skill), we’re readers & learners.

I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but I have often wondered if Bethan Gwanas would contemplate writing a further sequel, to make it a trilogy. Depending on how you interpret the ending of the sequel, maybe that’s unlikely, but I hope it’s still possible. It seems likely to me that the stories were at least semi-autobiographical, so in that sense, maybe she’s not ready yet to write the 3rd volume. (“Hi yw fy ffrind eto”?).


Oh, hadn’t spotted this when I posted my post above! No Geraint: dal i gredu! (Well, I want to believe it, eniwe :slight_smile: ).


When understanding Welsh TV without subtitles (aka Pobol y Cwm) is suddenly easier.

When you start to pick up words by hearing them in context instead of having to look them up (diolch eto i;r Pobol y Cwm…am “cais” a “wejen newydd”)

When you automagically substitute Welsh words and phrases in for the English…in your head.

This reminds me of the Bootcamp I attended last September. I managed to leave my thyroid medication back in the States and replacing it meant travelling to a clinic (thanks again Iestyn and Cat!), a pharmacy, and speaking to both the doctor and pharmacist in Welsh. The poor doctor (who was, I think, attempting to learn Welsh too) looked like he was having a bit of cognitive dissonance while speaking with me. So much fun!


Oooh…do you speak Russian? If so, I might need to pick your brain the next time I have a moment free…


I love that.


Russian is my native language - so feel free to ask if you need something:)


Fantastic! I’m debating between Spineg neu Russian for the next language I learn and when I tackle Russian I’ll definitely have questions about resources.

(Which reminds me that I need to find my Cyrillic cheat sheet as I’ve forgotten everything I memorized a couple years ago.)


I’m your person for that - I have been teaching Russian as a foreign language for a while now, so I do know some fantastic resources.


All the time? Then that’s good, maybe I’m on my way to being as good as yourself. I can see how annoying it could be to forget the English, yet I enjoyed exercising my usual self control as regards dictionaries, and no I still don’t have an i phone so I was not tempted by that either. I’m kind of looking forward now to the next word that I only know the Welsh for. And yes, I too like Bethan Gwanas.


Yes I’m quite comfortable with the wash over effect now. I suppose it’s like adult books I read when still in primary school, authors like John Wyndham and William Golding, and on re-reading them in my teens discovering sex scenes which had simply washed over me previously.
Yes I too wondered if Bethan’s book has an autobiographical element, it’s hitting me quite intensely, it’s almost like I recognise the faces, such is the way my mind is matching people from my childhood with the characters.
I’m glad I’m reading this the right way round, and now I know there’s a sequel I must get my hands on it.


Very kind of you to say but I’ve a long way to go yet. We’re all at a different part of the same road. :blush:


Wow…I think in matters of health & medicine, a little relaxation of the “no English” rule might have been allowed, but well done for persevering!