"Do you like Carmarthen?"

Translation:Dych chi'n hoffi Caerfyrddin?

January 28, 2016

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So why does "'r" come into play in "do you like abergavenny" dych chi'n hoffi 'r fenni" but no "'r" needed in "do you like carmarthen?" Is this one of those vowel things??


Some Welsh placenames have a definite article attached, just as some do or used to do in English - 'the West Indies', 'the Ukraine', 'the Gold Coast', 'the Mid-west', 'the Hebrides', 'the Wrekin', etc.

So we have yr Alban, yr Iseldiroedd, y Rhyl, y Bala, y Fenni, etc. After a vowel, acccording to the usual rule, the y/yr becomes 'r:

  • Dych chi'n hoffi'r Rhyl?
  • Wyt ti'n licio'r Bala?
  • Mae hi'n hoffi'r Alban, y Bontfaen a'r Fenni.
  • Bydd Sioned yn mynd i'r Drenewydd heno.


The 'r in ...hoffi'r Fenni is 'the'. The rules governing 'The' in Welsh are thus:

There are three forms of the definite article (the) in Welsh: y, yr, and 'r and which one you use is important - they have an order of priority:

  • The form 'r (apostrophe followed by 'r') is used after a vowel, no exceptions.
  • The form yr is used when there is no preceding vowel and the next word begins with a vowel. If the following word begins with a G and is deleted after the article (feminine singular nouns) and leaves a vowel, then yr is used, e.g. yr ardd 'the garden' – not 'y ardd'! (from gardd 'garden'.)
  • The form y is used if there is no preceding vowel and the next word begins with a consonant, e.g. y gath 'the cat', y ci 'the dog', etc.

For your example, Abergavenny in Welsh is Y Fenni which always takes the article, like 'the Netherlands' in English. So, because the previous word, hoffi ends in a vowel, the form of the article must be 'r: ... hoffi'r Fenni and not '... hoffi y Fenni'! Carmarthen does not take the article and so is left out all together, like Cymru, Lloegr, Caerdydd, or Llandudno.


Why is it Caerfyrddin and not Gaerfyrddin coming after hoffi? i thought that the i at the end of Hoffi would cause a mutation?


“Hoffi” doesn't cause mutations in other sentences either; such as “Dw i'n hoffi te” and “Dw i'n hoffi coffi”. Perhaps you're thinking of the preposition “i” (= “to”),but that doesn't apply here because in this sentence the letter i is part of a another word — it doesn't mean “to”.


The spelling of a word does not cause a mutation in a following word.


I don't get the difference between Wyt ti'n and dych chi'n. Help?


Wyt ti=Informal you
Dych chi/Dach chi=Formal you


Dych chi is also used when there's more than one of "you", regardless of formality. Like the difference between "I" and "we". Dach chi is the same, but in North Wales.


Great - thank you both.


The English equivalent has died out, except perhaps in Yorkshire, where if you get it wrong you might be told “Don't tha thou me: thee thou thissen, and see how tha likes thee thouin! ” For a more famous example, see Sonnet 18 by William Shakespeare: “Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?/*Thou art more lovely and more temperate…”*. The poet is addressing one person who knows him well, so he uses the informal singular “thou art” instead of the formal &/or plural “you are”.


Is Carmarthen colloquially called Câr too, or is it just the county that's Sir Gâr?


I have made deveral attempts to write Caerfyrddin correctly. The system changes it to a single d each time.


Duolingo does not change the spelling of words that you type in.

Your own device may perhaps have predictive text or some sort of spelling correction turned on.

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