It is actually built into fasai. All that has happened is that the fe/hi has been dropped. This often happens in common expressions such as this where the subject is an abstract one.
(If you come across more formal registers of Welsh , it is even more common for the pronoun to be dropped unless it is absolutely necessary to understanding.)
So, does more informal Welsh rely on progressive constructions with verbal nouns instead of these conjugated verbs? That is my general impression of Irish and Scottish Gaelic.
Not sure if it really a progressive construction. But the use of auxiliaries such as bod and gwneud with verb-nouns is a particular feature of colloquial Welsh compared with the much wider use of conjugated verbs in more formal registers.
That sounds like the kind of thing I am thinking of. I am thinking of a sort of progressive, like the English "I am going," as opposed to a simple conjugated verb, like the English "I go," but I guess it is the use of the verbal noun that is really the heart of it. I even remember hearing people suggest that the English reliance on such constructions might be a Celtic substrate in the language.
Well, I'd put money on it being common in Breton and Cornish, too. And I am sure those wackos trying to recreate (or let's face it create) Gaulish prefer it as well. For me, one of the great joys of learning a language is then learning other related languages. I've always liked having a Germanic, Romance, Slavic, and non-Indo-European I was playing with, and now I may have to add a Celtic to the mix as well.
Interestingly, that subject initial order is an old one and was more common in Welsh back in the day. William Morgan when tranlating the classic Welsh Bible back in 1588 made much use this more formal construction, although it was archaic even then I believe. Just some examples from the first few chapters:
A Duw a ddywedodd, Wele, mi a roddais i chwi... (And God said, Behold, I have given you...) Genesis 1:29
...ac oddi yno hi a rannwyd, ac a aeth yn bedwar pen. (...and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads.) Genesis 2:10
A thi a ei at dy dadau mewn heddwch: ti a gleddir mewn henaint teg. (And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age.) Genesis 15:15
You know, shwmae, I am already finding the little Guide Breton de Poche I bought in France a few years ago far more interesting than I ever did before. For some reason, Celtic languages were never a nut I could crack with books, but these two Duolingo programs have really given me a foundation for Irish and Welsh. I think it really is due to the help of people like you on the comment boards of both languages.
A, diolch yn fawr! I'm really pleased to hear you're enjoying it. If people like you didn't ask questions and contribute I'd have nothing to say lol.
I hope Duolingo makes languages like Welsh and Irish more accessible and understandable to people all over the world.
Awesome! Seriously, crack the Welsh and Irish courses on here and you'll be able to have loads of fun with their sister languages too.
Cornish doesn't do this all that much for the present tense, perhaps because that already has a different way of simplifying things: the most common way (in my experience) to form simple positive sentences is with something that arose (I believe) from a relative construction.
For example, "I sleep" is My a gosk, which I think is originally something like "It is I that sleeps" -- and thus the verb is always in the third person singular in such a construction. The word order is related to Welsh emphatic sentences such as Meddyg yw Siôn.
But as soon as you want to negate the sentence or question it, you have to deal with "proper" inflected verbs :) (A goskydh? Na goskav. "Do you sleep? No.")
Progressive uses verbal nouns, though, with (the long form of) bod as auxiliary: Yth esov ow koska "I am sleeping".
Future is usually expressed with auxiliaries (usually gul "to do" or mynnes "to want, to will"), e.g. My a vynn koska "I will sleep" or My a wra koska which can mean either "I sleep / I do sleep" or "I will sleep".
Past is most often with auxiliary gul, I'd say - My a wrug koska "I slept (I did sleep)" is easier than My a goskas (I slept) - though that is easier than Y koskis "I slept" with proper personal ending and fifth-state (mixed) mutation!
That makes Cornish even more interesting. That progressive with to be and the verbal noun, though, is something I think I have only seen in Celtic languages, English, and maybe as a rather rare construction in Dutch and Danish. Trying to make such a construction is a pretty common mistake in Romance and Slavic languages. My daughter is in her third year of French and will still try to write things like Je suis écrivante, if she doesn't stop and think about what she is doing.
I think Italian and Spanish do the "estoy escribiendo", "sto scrivendo" thing for "I am writing" - so French may be the odd one out, or it may be an independent but parallel innovation. (I don't know about Portuguese or Romanian.)
Note that they use a special form of the verb (estar, stare) rather than the "normal" verb "to be" (ser, essere).
I wrote: "Would it be better if you waited?" and it was marked wrong. What do you think? Is it still basically the same meaning?
Fasai'n well? is literally "Would it be better?", but once you use it with gyda ti (with you), it changes the meaning to "prefer": Fasai'n well gyda ti aros? (Would it be better with you to wait? i.e. Would you prefer to wait?).
If there's no preferring involved, you could say Fasai'n well i ti aros? (Would it be better that you wait? i.e. Would it be better for you to wait?) which is probably closer to your translation.
Not sure about "genius", just happy to help. I love it when I see people like you enthusiastic about learning Welsh.
Sorry, I'm not at all involved with Duolingo. You can see the list of course contributors here. It doesn't look like you can message them directly from their profiles so my advice would be to find a comment one of them has made somewhere and reply to that. The two most active here seem to be rmcode and ibisc.
In the meantime, if you have any questions about North Walian Welsh or Welsh in general, hit me up and I'll do my best to answer. Pob hwyl!
Thanks for your reply below, you must be an absolute genius with all you have learnt!
Thank you. Can you help me on another matter please, I think you are involved with the Welsh course here aren't you? I set up a a 'north Wales' club hoping that would help me be able to learn and help others learn 'north Welsh' as I am finding the general course very confusing, being as I realise mainly geared towards learners in the south and some grammar is very different, I really need to learn the north not the south, I get confused. Is it possible to make comments available within the clubs as this is what I really wanted there, it's good to be able to encourage everyone with points but that has only limited interest and people leave the club probably for the reasons I have given to its limited use. Would appreciate your input here or could you put it to whoever is 'in charge' please. Diolch yn fawr iawn.