Hooray, challenge 10 of Say Something in Welsh complete (*trumpets, party poppers aplenty*)! I found repeating the new sentences in my Welsh before Catrin more tricky this lesson. And I have to admit I used the pause button a few times just to give me a chance to formulate the sentence. You see, in lesson 10 I learnt the Welsh for “to ask you” which when you start wanting to say “to ask you something” it mucks around with the order of the words, the syntax. You gotta say the equivalent of “something ask you” when you say it in Welsh….all very tricky to get right when you’re up against a clock!
Now I’ve completed lesson 10 I have a new daily listening exercise. Its crazy! 5 mins of speeded up Welsh- twice the normal speed- to give my “listening muscles more of a workout”! Imagine a conversation between a man and woman recorded, press play and then fast forward and there you’ve got what I’m listening to daily for 5 mins! I listen to it whilst on the train to work, and the mega speed plus the motion of the train has made me feel a bit tweasy at times!
I’m at topic 56 out of the 97 topics of lessons on Duolingo now so over half way. This has included over the past couple of weeks lessons on ‘the news’.
Quite sad really, but probably not surprising, that the vocab Duolingo generates for learning about the news includes:- “man was shot, man was arrested, car was stolen, house was burned down, boy was caught, girl was killed/injured/burnt….” I was taken aback to begin with and then I was disappointed at Duolingo’s lack of positivity. But then I guess that it’s sadly reality. The News is rarely balanced between bad and happy news. But I hope that Duolingo teaches me more happy vocab in the coming weeks.
So it’s been a couple of weeks since my last blog post and since then I’ve had a long weekend in Falmouth (Cornwall), contracted food poisoning, had a hazy week recovering from said food poisoning and painted our newly spruced up bathroom (“ty bach” yn Gymraeg – literally “little house”). I can’t lie my Welsh has taken a back seat throughout all of that. But I’ve kept up with my DuoLingo daily (ish) and conversing with Hedd.
Last week on 1st March we also celebrated Saint Davids Day (Dydd Gwyl Dewi) – The patron saint of Wales. I’m not sure if it’s because my senses are tuned into the Welsh language more this year but I thought there was a lot more coverage about it on telly/ social media. The BBC website, ‘Give Welsh a Go’ gave me a few giggles (http://www.bbc.co.uk/cymrufyw/39117700) where they had got TV stars from Eastenders, Casualty and Let It Shine videoed trying to say Welsh words. I’m relieved to report that my Welsh pronunciation is better than Dannii Minogue!
On the Duolingo I completed a some what timely set of lessons on health (!) including the phrase “Mae bola tost gyda fi” / “I have a stomach ache” which I was able to repeat with conviction earlier on last week!
I also completed lessons on ‘order’ (as in before/after) and now have the following phrase in the memory bank “cyn i’r heddlu gyrraeddd” / “before the police arrive”! Not sure what eventually Duolingo is preparing me for there!
Sport was another lesson – “England has lost” being one of the phrases…we all know who DuoLingo are supporting in the Six Nations then!
My favourite word learnt for this week has to be the Welsh for whiskey which is “Chwisky”…you literally pronounce it like you would if you were drunk on whisky!
Whilst I am channelling my inner “yes” to the Welsh language as I attempt to get back on the figurative horse this coming week, to complete the series on “saying yes, saying no” that I blogged about a couple of weeks back, here’s how you say no in cymraeg.
Just as in saying “yes”, there isn’t a single word in Welsh to answer “no” to questions. Take your pick from the following options*:-
- Na- no (caution:-sometimes can come across as a bit rude)
- Nac ydw- no I’m not
- Nac ydy- no he/she isnt
- Nac ydyn- no they/we aren’t
- Dim- none
- Naddo- no in the past tense
(*list is unlikely to be exhaustive…it’s Welsh after all!)