"Faint o'r gloch ydy hi rŵan?"

Translation:What time is it now?

March 7, 2016

This discussion is locked.


Nawr generally used for now in South Wales,rwan generally used in North Wales .Is that correct ,diolch


Very broadly, yes, but there are considerable areas of overlap. Both are used in the written and spoken media available in all parts of the country.


Just as an addendum to that: of the two, nawr is considered the more acceptable in formal writing so that's what you're more likely to come across in things like written news reports, official documents and so on. Doesn't really matter other than that.


Is it just coincidence that nawr and rwan are palindromes of each other?


No, not a coincidence - both are contractions of expressions including the word awr (hour):

  • nawr < yn awr - you will often come across yn awr in written Welsh
  • rŵan < yr awr hon


Just in case people need translations:

yn awr is "in (the) hour"

yr awr hon is "this hour"

So you can see how they both developed to mean "now" eventually.


That adds a whole new depth of meaning to the Wenglish “I"ll be there now in a minute”.


What does "o'r" mean?


Literally, "of the", from o + yr.

Compare English "o'clock" which is from something like "of the clock" in origin as well :)


I thought Beth was "what"? Is faint used specifically in the context of time?


faint is used with time, money, age, etc and also to ask 'how much'?:

  • Faint fydd y bil? - How much will the bill be?
  • Faint o'r gloch ydy hi? - What time is it?
  • Faint o ymarfer ydych chi wedi'i wneud? - How much practice have you done?
  • Faint o amser sbar sy gen ti? - How much spare time do you have?


thank you ibisc, that was really helpful :)


Out of interest, Faint o'r gloch is literally "How much/many of the bell". I assume it comes from the time before people had watches on their arms or phones in their pockets to tell the time and so just listened out for the church bells: "How much/many of the bell is it?"


I suppose that faint is a mutated form? (deduction from the fact that it's am faint o'r gloch, where am should cause a mutation.)

If so, what exactly causes the mutation in the case of "faint o'r gloch"?


faint? comes from the older pa faint? which includes a soft mutation maint -> faint following pa.


Thanks Ibisc.

I seem to have come across one or two other instances so far in the course where absent words still cause a mutation. I should really compile a list of my own of them for easy reference.


I though ydy had to be in initial position? Sut mae, not sut ydy


Following ble "where", pryd "when", sut "how", pam "why" (adverbial question words), the word for "is/are" is always mae. Following pwy "who", beth "what", faint "how many/much" (pronomial question words) however, the word for "is/are" depends – it can be mae, sy or ydy/yw depending on the sentence.

Learn Welsh in just 5 minutes a day. For free.