"A boy and a girl."
Translation:Bachgen a merch.
How distinct is the pronunciation of hogyn and hogan in Welsh, in practice? Can you clearly tell them apart?
It is clear but I never learnt this version at school (I'm from South Wales) and in West Wales they seem to stick to bachgen and merch. EllisVaughan do you know is hogyn/hogan is more north Welsh?
I had to consult a book for this (The Welsh Language: A History by Janet Davies(really recommend it) where there is a map showing where each word for girl is used. It seems as though hogan is used throughout the north with some usage creeping into the more southerly areas around Aberystwyth.(The book doesn't have a map for hogyn but I assume it is pretty similar.
I hear both pairs in Anglesey but I feel like merch is used for older girls and would be a bit more like 'lass' but that's just a feeling.
Most fluent Welsh people would probably put a lot of enthusiasm on the "ah" sound in "hogan", from my experiences, but people seem to say "merch" or "menyw" etc. Where I live, in South Wales.
I wrote "... a Ferch" instead of "...a Merch" thinking that I should be using the treiglad meddal after "a" - am I wrong or should I just stick to the original form this early in the lessons?
I believe you are wrong.
King writes in his grammar that
In the literary language, a is followed by [Aspirate Mutation]: bara a chaws bread and cheese, halen a phupur salt and pepper, mam a thad mother and father. This usage is generally disregarded in the spoken language (see §9).
So a merch would be correct -- either aspirate mutation (which doesn't usually affect /m/) or no mutation. (Or, perhaps, a mherch; I have read that colloquially, m sometimes turns to mh under aspirate mutation; King calls this "common spoken practice of long standing which, however, is not presently accepted as part of the standard written language".)
I did that too because I thought a singular feminine noun mutated softly - is that wrong then? I do remember the aspirated mutation after a but thought that only applied to T C and P?
Yes aspirate mutation only affects T, C and P. Feminine singular nouns mutate softly after Y, and 'r or after un.
The app tends to present this sentence in a choose the words exercise and only offers me hogyn for boy and merch for girl. Would these words ever normally be used together?
Merch and Hogan are two of the more recoginsed words for girl so there would be no loss in understanding. That said I personally would usually pair up hogyn and hogan, and bachgen a merch. If in doubt in spoken Welsh you can always just say hogs for a group of boy and girls.(at least in the north where I live)