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  5. "Yes, I have washed."

"Yes, I have washed."

Translation:Ydw, dw i wedi ymolchi.

January 28, 2016



Is there a reason here why 'Dw i wedi golchi' is incorrect?


Glochi is used for things. So " dw i wedi glochi'r llestri"-"I have washed the washing-up". Ymolchi is used for yourself so "Dw i wedi ymolchi fy hun"-"I have washed myself"


Is ym- a general reflexive suffix?

It looks to me like Cornish golghi "wash" vs. omwolghi "wash oneself", where om- also forms a lot of other reflexive verbs such as omdheskrifa "describe oneself", omdhiskwedhes "appear (= show oneself)", omdhi'ski < omdhiwiska "undress oneself" etc.

And om- causes soft mutation (which turns go- into wo- in Cornish rather than into o- as in Welsh), which seems to be operating here as well.


Yes, ym- (followed by the soft mutation) is indeed a reflexive prefix (though the "oneself" meaning isn't always transparent!). As well as ymolchi, i.e. ym + golchi (wash oneself), some other examples are ymbaratoi (prepare oneself), ymuno (join, e,g, a club), and -- one of my favourites -- ymddiswyddo (resign; literally, "un-job oneself"!).


Except for ym- + lladd (kill) = ymladd (fight). That one doesn't seem to make it reflexive - one might expect ymladd, due to its components, to be "suicide", but that's hunanladd, literally "self-kill".


Well, I think ym- can also sometimes cover situations where people are together doing things to themselves -- in the old days "fighting" all too often amounted to folk "slaying one another"! :) (There's a similar idea involved in "combat", from com+battere)


And how about ymweld (ie 'see each other')?


Well I'm not really sure since I've spoken welsh since I was six so I don't fully understand the rules I just use them. Ym as a prefix is used in words like ateb= to answer and ymateb= respond. Most prefixes cause soft mutations apart from negative ones (eg an i.e teg=fair annheg=unfair). appear is ymddangos but undress is dadwisgo so it's a bit hit or miss if the welsh word works like the Cornish. Do you speak Cornish? I have looked at learning a bit of it due to its similarity to Welsh


I took two years of Cornish and passed the third-grade exam; it's got a bit rusty but I have a reasonable level of Cornish... especially in writing when I have time to think :)

It's fun to see how much Welsh I can understand from my Cornish... and how much was borrowed from Welsh into Cornish to "fill in the gaps" where there was no known Cornish word in the literature.


Yes whenever I look at my Cornish dictionary I feel like its something very familiar to me even though I don't speak it at all.


OK, but nothing in the original phrase hints at washing something or oneself. So why not golchi as alternate answer?


golchi needs an object - I have washed the car/the dog/them/the clothes....


Ok, what (in the Englush sentence 'I have washed') indicates that the object is yourself (i.e. indicating 'ymolchi')? The Swedish sentence "jag har tvättat" (I have washed) would indicate that you had put your clothes in the washing maschine, and definitely not yourself, so I was very surprised to get 'ymolchi' as my only possible choice here. Is it that much different in English?


It's the very fact that there is no expressed object that makes it mean "washed myself". Compare: "I wash, shave, and dress". It's understood that I do those things to myself. As opposed to, say, "I wash the kitchen floor, shave grandad, and dress the children". Of course, it's possible to talk about washing (etc.) something other than yourself without specifying precisely what -- "I'll wash and you can dry" (we're about to do the dishes) -- but that's in a context where it's perfectly clear what we're talking about. 99 times out of 100, though, "I've washed" can be, and will be, taken to mean "I've had a wash" (I've washed myself).


Ah, thanks for the clarification! Seems like I learn new things in English every day through this Welsh course... :-) Good thing I enjoy learning things, because there are a few English peculiarities that make this course a bit harder when you're not a native English speaker. I'm very thankful that Welsh is so much easier to learn than English, and that it's far more consistant in almost every way. I think I'll be able to remember this little English peculiarity now, thanks to your clarification! :-D

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