I promised free Welsh lessons as part of the Plaid Geltaidd Voom election manifesto, so (unlike RL politicians) I'm starting them here.
Rather than go through the same procedure as before (which, to be honest, petered out due to lack of inspiration), I'm basically going to present a Welsh version of the popular Cornish correspondence course, Kernewek Dre Lyther. I'm actually taking the Cornish version at the moment and finding it to be an efficient method of language learning, so I'll basically translate the Welsh version as I do the Cornish version.
So, welcome to CTL- Cymraeg Trwy Lythyr. Lessons begin here. If you want to follow the course, then I'd ask that you either PM the answers to me directly or put them in really tiny text. If you want guidelines on pronunciation, I suggest you take a look at the KutjaraWiki page that I wrote on it, as I can't be bothered writing it all out here again.
To use the course, read the passage and see if you can make sense of it with the geirfa vocabulary, then answer the comprehension questions after it. This will be followed by some grammar points and a few exercises for you to complete.
Cymru ydy gorynys yng ngorllewin Prydain. Cymru ydy gwlad Geltaidd. Ioan ydy Cymro. Mae o'n byw yng Nghymru. Mae o'n siarad Saesneg. Mae o'n siarad Cymraeg hefyd. Beth ydy mamiaith Ioan? Saesneg ydy mamiaith Ioan. Sut mae Ioan yn dysgu Cymraeg? Ioan ydy aelod Cymdeithas yr Iaith Cymraeg. Mae o'n mynd i ddosbarth i ddysgu Cymraeg. Pam fod o'n dysgu Cymraeg? Achos fod o Cymro!
Geirfa - Vocabulary
Cymru = Wales
gorynys f = peninsula
yng ngorllewin Prydain = in the west of Britain
ydy = is
gwlad f = land, country
Celtaidd = Celtic
Cymro = Welshman
mae o'n ... = he is ...-ing
byw = live, dwell (one can also use trigiannu for this sense)
yng Nghymru = in Wales
siarad = speak
Saesneg = English
Cymraeg = Welsh
hefyd = also, too
beth? = what?
mamiaith f = mother tongue, native language
mamiaith Ioan = Ioan's native language
sut? = how?
dysgu = learn
aelod = member
Cymdeithas yr Iaith Cymraeg = the Welsh Language Society
mynd = go
dosbarth = lesson
pam? = why?
pam fod o'n ...? = why is he ...-ing?
achos = because
achos fod o ... = because he is ...
Feminine nouns are marked with an f.
Cwestiynau - Questions
All the answers can be found in the text, and then just copied down.
1) Beth ydy Cymru?
2) Beth ydy Ioan?
3) Lle (where) mae Ioan yn byw?
4) Beth ydy mamiaith Ioan?
5) Sut mae Ioan yn dysgu Cymraeg?
6) Pam fod Ioan yn dysgu Cymraeg?
Gramadeg - Grammar
Y Treigliadau - Mutations
In Welsh, as in the other modern Celtic languages, in certain circumstances initial consonants mutate, after (most) prepositions, for example, as we have seen above (i ddosbarth to a class). The basic form of the word, which is the form found in dictionaries, is known as the radical. There are three further mutations:
- Y Treigliad Meddal - lenition, also known as soft mutation.
Y Treigliad Llaes - spirantisation, also known as the aspirate mutation, aspiration or the spirant mutation.
Y Treigliad Trwynol - nasalisation, also known as the nasal mutation.
For this course I have chosen the linguistic terms rather than the "learner's textbook" terms, principally because they are briefer and have corresponding verbs and adjectives: to lenite, lenited; to spirantise, spirantised; to nasalise, nasalised- "soft mutation" has no corresponding forms (to softly mutate, softly mutated?).
In this lesson only, a full table of all the mutations is provided. A dash on the table indicates that no change takes place, an ? indicates that the consonant is lost.
Code: Select all
Radical Lenition Aspiration Nasalisation
p b ph mh
t d th nh
c g ch ngh
b f - m
d dd - n
g ? - ng
m f - -
ll l - -
rh r - -
Words which trigger (cause) lenition will be marked (not wholly consistently) with a following ?, e.g. i? to; those which trigger aspiration will be marked with a following ? and those triggering nasalisation will be marked with a following ?. Now it sould be clear why certain words in the passage differ from the forms given in the vocabulary: they have been mutated.
The causes of the mutations will be introduced gradually through the course.
Yr Amser Cydrychiol - The Present Tense
We have already seen the following sentence in the above passage: Mae o'n siarad Saesneg He is speaking English.
This construction can be used to express the simple present tense in English, He speaks English as well as the present continuous He is speaking English. This is the most common way of forming the present tense in Welsh. Examine the following sentence:
Mae o'n siarad Cymraeg He is speaking Welsh.
As in English the Welsh continuous form uses a form of the auxiliary verb to be with the present participle. The present participle in English is formed by adding ?ing. In Welsh, however, the verb noun, from which the present participle is formed, keeps its ending but is preceded by the particle yn, which becomes 'n when following a vowel.
So, to break the sentence down into its constituent parts, we have:
Mae - there is, the form of "to be" used in declarative sentences.
o - he, the subject pronoun.
yn - a particle, which alone does not mean anything (c.f. however archaic English I am a-speaking)
siarad - speaking, the berfenw verbnoun. Celtic languages lack an infinitive, so the verbnoun is both the basic form and also the citation form.
Cymraeg - Welsh, the object of the sentence.
So, literally There is he a-speaking Welsh, which is how Welsh expresses the present tense.
To change the statement into a question, simply change mae into ydy: Ydy o'n siarad Cymraeg? Is he speaking Welsh?.
Ymarferiad - Exercise
Using the present tense formation given above, translate the following sentences into Welsh (the appropriate Welsh verb has been given in brackets):
1) Is he reading? (darllen)
2) He is sleeping (cysgu[/u])
3) Ioan is eating ([b]bwyta)
4) Is Rhodri snoring? (chwyrnu)
5) Deiniol is teaching. (addysgu)
6) Eleri is driving. (gyrru)
7) Is Angharad listening? (gwrando)
Is Pharazon masturbating? (godro)
9) Iorwerth is talking crap. (malu cachu)