"I've never been to Spain before."
Translation:Dw i erioed wedi bod i Sbaen o'r blaen.
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byth is used for present and past tense incomplete actions and for all future actions - that is, for the present, imperfect, conditional and all future tenses:
- Dydy hi byth yn mynd i'r Bala. - She never goes to Bala. (present)
- Doedd e byth yn prynu peint yn y dafarn. - He never used to buy a pint in the pub. (imperfect)
- Fyddwn ni byth yn mynd yn ôl i'r caffi 'na. - We will never go back to that café again. (future)
- Fydden ni byth yn mynd yn ôl i'r caffi 'na. - We would never go back to that café again. (conditional)
erioed is used for past complete actions - perfect tenses in the past (with wedi) and the simple past:
- Dych chi erioed wedi aros mewn gwesty yn Sbaen. - You have never stayed in a hotel in Spain. (present perfect)
- Doedd hi erioed wedi mynd i Abertawe cyn mynd i'r brifysgol yno. - She had never been to Swansea before going to university there. (past perfect / pluperfect)
- Chawson nhw erioed eu harestio. - They never got arrested. (simple past)
That's a funny construction, wedi bod i. I guess it's a calque of "have been to", but if I hadn't been exposed to this exercise I'd totally translate it as dw i erioed wedi mynd i Sbaen o'r blaen or dw i erioed wedi bod yn Sbaen o blaen, which is what I would expect given what we've previously seen in this course.
When I first started learning Gaelic I fell into the trap of assuming any similarities were due to a 'calque on the English'.
Well Welsh is a much older language that English - ignoring what they call 'Old English' as that generally lacks most of the structures that we think of as specifically English. Further, the majority of English speakers in Britain can trace their knowledge of English back through their ancestors to someone who learnt a Celtic language first and English second.
So - unless we have specific evidence to the contrary - it is much more likely that the English is a calque on the Welsh. The only way to find out is to see who thought of it first.
No, I don't think at all that every similarity is a calque on the English, but this particular one seems to be, because I think we have a bridge in English ("been gone to" > "been to") which does not make sense in Welsh, given that Welsh does not use bod for a passive construction.
Regarding influence of Welsh on English, I certainly wish the situation were different, but if you want to discount Old English, then the vast majority of English has no contact with Welsh at all, so it would be very surprising if anything crosses over from Welsh into English; moreso because the areas where there is actual contact between the languages are rather peripheral for English, being far from London and even farther from New York.
I don't quite agree with your analysis as been gone to is not a passive. It can't be because go is an intransitive verb. What is happening here is that be is being used in place of have to make the perfect of an intransitive verb, although I am not familiar with the actual wording been gone to. This is normal in French and in Shakespearean English, and less common in modern English. It may survive in places, including the Scots he is away to meaning 'he has gone away to'. But it does seem possible that this structure could have been a bridge. As I said, and this may be very difficult in practice - we cannot really judge until we find evidence of who said it first.
As for Old English, I think it is very unlikely that OE had any significant effect on the Celtic languages - I can only think of one Celtic word that is even alleged to have come from OE. But I think it is much more likely that the Celtic languages influenced OE and/or Middle English due to the spread of OE/ME across areas of England and Scotland that previously spoke something like Welsh. What I am certain of is that bias against the Celtic languages was so strong that if there was any influence it could easily have been ignored. A lot more research into Old and Middle English has to be done by people with knowledge of the Celtic languages to find out.
I think you are basing your non-contact argument on the fact that English did not get far across the modern Welsh border until recently, but you will see I am talking about the retreat of Welsh-type language towards Wales from a position of being spoken by a significant proportion of the population of Britain before the Angles, Saxons, Vikings, Gaels and Normans arrived.