"Dw i'n mynd i'r capel dydd Sul."

Translation:I am going to chapel on Sunday.

March 17, 2016

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In English where we might just say "church", Welsh has a distinction between y capel (chapel i.e. Nonconformist) and yr eglwys (church i.e. Anglican, Roman Catholic etc.). You'll learn about it if you look a bit into Welsh history and literature.


I've noticed this distinction carries over to the English in some Welsh communities, which is worth baring in mind if someone is visiting.


And I believe that the article usage is similar to that with "church", i.e. some Welsh go "to chapel" (which is a usage I had never heard of before I started the Duolingo Welsh course).


That's interesting. I'm in the north of England and I hear "go to chapel" pretty often, and I was wondering if Duo accepts it without the article.

I'd say "to the church" if it's an unusual event, or the conversation is already about a specific church, and "to church" if it's just routine. I would use "to the chapel" and "to chapel" in exactly the same way.


Cool. I had no idea "to chapel" was used in other places too. Does it mean going to a Nonconformist church like it does in Welsh English?


Yep. I associate it particularly with Methodism. I guess it's a matter of where there are pockets of non-conformists and the usage is probably quite localised.

I think "chapel" is also used in UK English more broadly for the sort of multi-faith spaces one would find in a hospital or other large institution, but that's nothing to do with this sentence.


Yes, for sure!


Sorry, I think you're using the term Nonconformist in some specialised way I've never heard of in my country. From what I can glean from Google, it's a term for a kind of Christian denomination. A Protestant of some kind? Is it a term they apply to themselves or is it derogatory? Or is it a catch-all phrase for all Christian denominations that are neither Anglican or Roman Catholic? eg Baptists, Mormons, Seventh Day Adventists, Hillsong, etc


Yes, it's a historically specific term used in different ways in different places, I guess. In the Welsh context it means those Protestants that left the (Anglican) established church following generations of religious revival from the 18th century onwards. It's not derogatory and depending on the area of Wales, would include:

y Methodistiaid Calfinaidd (Calivinistic Methodists i.e. Presbyterians)

yr Annibynwyr (Independents i.e. Congregationalists)

y Bedyddwyr (Baptists)

y Wesleyiaid (Wesleyans - although very few in Wales)

yr Undodwyr (Unitarians)

I think maybe y Crynwyr (Quakers) may come under this label too, though not 100%.

It predates the arrival in Wales of things like Mormonism, Seventh-day Adventism, Hillsong etc. as far as I know.

This is one of the great things about learning languages. You end up learning so much more than just the language!


'Nonconformist?' Is that the name of a specific denomination, or just all the (Protestant?) ones that aren't Catholic or Anglican? I've never heard the term 'noncoformist' in a religious context before today, the parts of Canada I've lived in would most likely divide Christian denominations into Orthodox, Protestant, and Catholic - Anglican may or may not be listed seperately.


It may perhaps just be a British thing, but basically yes, Nonconformists were/are Protestants who weren't part of the national Anglican Church of England. Wikipedia explains:

In English church history, a nonconformist was a Protestant who did not "conform" to the governance and usages of the established Church of England ... By the late 19th century the term specifically included the Reformed Christians (Presbyterians, Congregationalists and other Calvinist sects), plus the Baptists and Methodists.

A subsequent article goes on to explain:

Nonconformity was a significant influence in Wales from the 18th to the 20th centuries. The Welsh Methodist revival of the 18th century was one of the most significant religious and social movements in the history of Wales. The revival began within the Church of England in Wales, partly as a reaction to the neglect generally felt in Wales at the hands of absentee bishops and clergy. For two generations from the 1730s onwards the main Methodist leaders such as Howell Harris, Daniel Rowland and William Williams Pantycelyn remained within the Church of England, but the Welsh revival differed from the Methodist revival in England in that its theology was Calvinist rather than Arminian. Methodists in Wales gradually built up their own networks, structures, and even meeting houses (or chapels), which led, at the instigation of Thomas Charles, to the secession of 1811 and the formal establishment of the Calvinistic Methodist Presbyterian Church of Wales in 1823.

The 18th century revival also influenced the older nonconformist churches, or dissenters — the Baptists and the Congregationalists — who in turn also experienced growth and renewal. As a result, by the middle of the 19th century, Wales was predominantly a nonconformist country.

Nonconformity was one of the shaping factors in the Wales that we see today.


Sounds like the same discussion we had above, sorry shwmae :-)


Ha. I've grown up with the term so it was initially a surprise to me when people didn't know what it meant, but I guess it makes sense why.


It probably easiest to read up on it on the web - it came about as part of quite a complex period in the history of religion in Britain.


As a native UK English speaker i would say "on Sunday". To leave the "on" out is not grammatically correct.


It's not not grammatically correct, it's just not correct in more formal language. In more informal UK English "I'm going to chapel Sunday" is fine.

Re the Welsh:

(d)dydd Sul = on Sunday

ar ddydd Sul = on Sundays


So why the I'r and not just the I?

  • 2909

This is from the inconsistency in English.

In Welsh we always say 'go to the place' whereas English only says that sometimes.

eg. (with 'the' in English) 'I am going to the office' = 'dw i'n mynd i'r swyddfa'

(without 'the in English) 'I am going to school' = 'dw i'n mynd i'r ysgol' (lit:- I am going to the school)


church should be acceptable here

  • 2909

Welsh for church = eglwys


Im surprised there was a negative taken by this sentence! A chapel can be a small church, with as few as 10 seats. It can also a smaller room in a very big church, cathedral, abbey or monastery. Also the chapel of rest is where the undertaker keeps a body after release from the morgue until the burial. In Wales most tiny villages have at least a chapel, and bigger villages may also have a church. They prayed a lot! What may surprise some is St Davids in South West Wales is about the size of a village, but in fact a city as it has a cathedral. Despite its size it is officially the smallest city in the UK. Well worth a visit!

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