https://www.duolingo.com/iAmOnDuolingoToo

Are there any Welsh people here?

I know lots of English-speaking Welsh people are trying to learn Welsh for a myriad of reasons but are any of them actively using Duolingo or is it just curious Americans here? If there are any Welsh people here say hello and perhaps share with me what's made you want to learn :)

September 18, 2016

44 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/iAmOnDuolingoToo

For the record I like the curious Americans, I hope it doesn't seem like I'm suggesting they shouldn't be here!

September 18, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/msomaji

Is it alright for people being neither American, Welsh or English being here?

September 19, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Arthfoel

I personally love hearing stories of people around the world learning Welsh - and yes I am Welsh. I am intrigued now, where you are from.

September 19, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/msomaji

I'm from the Netherlands. I had only seen and heard bits of sentences of the language before and was quite intruiged that it could be so different from all other west-european languages I knew about. Seemed like a challenge to learn a bit more :) Dw i'n hoffi Gymraeg a Cymru (don't know if I have the mutations correct, though). Would love to visit some time

September 19, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/EllisVaughan

Almost :) There's no need to mutate "Cymraeg" here and it should be "a chymru" with "a" causing an aspirate mutation though this is somewhat dissappearing from the language.

September 19, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/EllisVaughan

Hang on, I just realised a mistake in my comment I meant to say "a chymru" not "a chymraeg".

September 20, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/msomaji

Ok thanks! That additional 'a' is quite a surprise :)

September 20, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Arthfoel

Although Welsh is very different to other European Languages except Breton and Cornish, it is a celtic language and many different celtic languages were widely used all across Europe at one time. I think there is a lot more celtic influence on European languages and place names etc than many realise (or would like to admit) and the few remaining Celtic languages like Welsh, Irish, breton etc can give hints at some of these historic links.

European rivers names like the Meuse (but not Maas apparently), Moselle, Meurthe and the Rhine are all derived from celtic or proto celtic sources and placenames along these can often show their celtic language ancestry - the Meurthe rises in La Combe (not the typical French vallee) in Vosges (welsh for valley is cwm) for example.

So there might occasionally be some things that many across Europe might find surprisingly familiar in a few of the Welsh words.

September 21, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/SirFurboy

Yep, all good points. Celtic languages also give other surprises like the French counting system (not many people will thank it for that). Celts counted in 20s it seems, although the French system seems to jump back and forth on that, as it was the mix of Gaulish and vulgar Latin that created the language.

Another interesting one is an influence on English. Unlike most European languages, English forms tenses using the verb "to do". So we have "Did you enjoy that?" "Do you want some" etc. This can also be found in Welsh (c.f "'Nest ti fwynhau?" for instance), and it turns out that the borrowing was from Welsh/Brythonic to English for that one.

September 28, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Arthfoel

SirFurBoy I can't reply to your post for some reason - Borrowings into English from Brythonic languages always seem to be controversial - there seems to be an instinctive drive in English to find Latin and Greek origins - perhaps these are more classy?. The spelling of many modern English words have even be deliberately modified to highlight their latin origins - hence the weirdness of many English spellings with lots of redundant letters here and there. Many words of Celtic origin in English have wierdly entered from French and to a lesser extent from other European languages, which have themselves adopted those words from Celtic sources. You could argue that Car is an example of that type of word. Some would point out that itr is a borrowing from English and they wouldn't be wrong, but it is really a word of celtic origin, that's been reinvented in modern English and has always played a role in Celtic languages and sits very well in Welsh and probably Irish and maybe Breton.

September 29, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/msomaji

That is all very interesting. Could you maybe give exemples of words in english which derived from Celtic languages but have been transformed to look like the have latin origins? also funny with the french counting system. that is the laugh of many people trying to learn the language. quite glad Welsh now mostly has the 'dau deg pedwar' variety of counting. ;)

September 30, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Arthfoel

msomaji - not easy to answer that one, but this is a good link to how English spellings have been changed to make their latin sources clear, but also some mistakes.

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=mD8qAwAAQBAJ=PT50=PT50=english+word+spelling+latin+roots+receipt=bl=bj6lhISeSC=aMKij7d66lXjCE0LxR3FYSgZYOk=en=X=0ahUKEwi2uNjAi7_PAhUHJMAKHUt3D9IQ6AEITTAH#v=onepage=english%20word%20spelling%20latin%20roots%20receipt=false

I've trawled around and picked these up as well - mainly wiki sources (sorry about that):

These are a few words from Gaulish – typically attributed to Latin, because Latin took the words from Gaullish, but more likely came to English from Norman French which probably got them from Gaullish, rather than Latin.

ambassador , beak , bilge , bran , brave , budget , car , cream , change , embassy , glean , palfrey , piece , quay , truant , valet ,vassal

Anoter funny one is clock – from Irish to Old High German and then Flemish and then into English. Also in welsh gloch

ptarmigan from Gaelic tarmachan, of unknown origin. The pt- spelling (1680s) is a mistaken Greek construction (perhaps based on pteron "wing").

All of these are open to debate though as always when you try to look at these things.

October 3, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/msomaji

Hi Arthfoel, Thank you for looking that up! I find myself trying to pronouce 'debt' and 'receipt' now I know the b and the p truly have no functionality in these words. And somehow it feels different pronoucing them like that, it kinda sounds different to me too. Though I do not let their sound slip out I always do form the shape of b and p in my mouth apperently when I normally say these words, making pronounciation - feel- different. O well. I don't think i will be able to say 'debt' again without thinking - and thus stumbling - over it anytime soon. O.o

October 4, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Arthfoel

I do wonder if it's better to hear the words before you read them. I have never pronounced the p in receipt and if I didn't know how to spell it, then I might have guessed at riseet and equally det for debt.

A lot of other English spellings were modified by the Dutch printers as well - words like Ghost got an h and words like where had the h moved so that it was consistent with words like when and then.

I feel a bit sorry for people trying to learn English spellings - it must be quite difficult

October 4, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/msomaji

Actually I do think it helps rather a lot to see something written down when you want to learn pronounciation, even if it's spelling doesn't really get close to it's phonetics. It's quite easy to miss nuances when you don't really know what is being said and everything becomes just a blurb. If you do have superhearing and can replicate the nuances directly, I would think it is still very beneficial to see how English is written down. If you don't, you will get nuts when you finally arrive at the reading bit of your learning experience. I guess that is what native english speakers must experience when you finally learn to read :)

But anyway, there is no escaping learning English. :) Good thing it is everywhere or it would still not have made much sense to me. But i think i'm doing alright. I can only hope to reach the same efficiency in any other language i still want to learn. That will be a whole lot more bothersome I think - even if it would be an easier language - simply because immersing yourself isn't that easy for any other language.

October 4, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/iAmOnDuolingoToo

Natuurlijk!

September 19, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/msomaji

:)

September 20, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/iAmOnDuolingoToo

Oh, btw, being English would not have been alright at all ;P

September 21, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Arthfoel

I don't disagree at all that reading the words makes it easier and quicker, but I would like to try to learn a language simply by listening. I think the extra effort and all the extra mistakes that I would make, might give a different grasp for the language. It's the way very young children do it and it is obviously the hard way to learn, but I wonder if it might end more natural. Maybe my final accent and pronounciation might be better. It is just a thought?

October 4, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Niall363177

I'm Irish. I am learning Irish and Welsh among some other languages. I was not taught Irish at school due to my deafness. Irish is not taught in deaf schools in Ireland. I enjoy learning Welsh. Oh dear, Irish is much harder than Welsh. Welsh is truly a fascinating language. I'm moving to France next month. I'm learning for ar least two hours every day. When I settle in France, I will learn French Sign Language, my fifth sign language, after Irish, British, American and International sign language. International signs are amazingly similar to Esperanto. I'm sending my love to the Welsh people.

September 20, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/SVCymru

Hi there, I'm Welsh - Cymro dw i. I grew up and still live in an area of North-East Wales in which the Welsh language is not widely spoken. I learned Welsh as a second language throughout my school years, which allowed me to speak and understand simple Welsh. My school years are now well behind me and over the years my knowledge and confidence has diminished.

I am now starting a second year of once weekly lessons with 'Popeth Cymraeg' - a local organisation that specialise in teaching the Welsh language to adults. I am following the 'unlimited learning' course which utilises the desuggestopedia teaching method, immersing students in hearing, reading and (trying to) speak the language both simple phrases and more complex vocabulary.

One of my fellow students recommended Duolingo. I have only recently started to use the Duolingo course and have found most of the vocabulary in the early units to be very familiar. What I benefit from and enjoy the most is the opportunity to practice reading and writing/spelling sentence structures, the many tenses/variants of 'bod' and the correct method of saying Yes/No to different types of questions.

September 21, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Nia735433

I'm Welsh! :) I'm here to improve my Welsh for my upcoming exams in the summer (I'm in Welsh medium education).

September 18, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/iAmOnDuolingoToo

Isn't the course really basic for you if you're in Welsh medium education?

September 19, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/EllisVaughan

Actually it's a pretty great way to revise some of the simple grammar that we don't neccesarily cover in school all that often and can server as great practice if a person comes from an area of Wales that doesn't have many Welsh speakers.

September 19, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/iAmOnDuolingoToo

I thought Welsh medium schools would be entirely in Welsh so you'd need to be fluent?

September 21, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/EllisVaughan

Well yes and the students in Welsh medium are. Though if you come from an English speaking home (or even a Welsh speaking one) there will be a lot of words you simply don't come across. E.g the majority of my English vocabulary comes from video games and TV, there are no games (to my knowledge) that have been translated into Welsh and what little Welsh TV exists may not be to your liking so even fluent Welsh speakers might not know more complex/uncommon terminology. Back to your point even in English you go over when to capitalize letters or how to use an appostrophe so it never hurts to go over simpler grammar.

September 21, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Nia735433

They are, but advanced vocabulary doesn't tend to be taught and we don't come across it as apart from to teachers, we don't speak much Welsh - not at home and certainly not to each other. Also, it's easy to make grammar mistakes - especially in Welsh!

September 21, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Nia735433

I'm from Radnorshire, Powys.

I think the main problem here (I don't know about elsewhere) is that there is a shortage of Welsh teachers.

September 22, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/iAmOnDuolingoToo

What part of Wales are you from?

September 22, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Nia735433

It's just a good way to practice. Yes, I know the vast majority of the vocabulary, but my grammar is a bit rusty and I do make a lot of mistakes.

September 21, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/ClimateCanary

I am Welsh, know a little of the language and now welcome this opportunity to really get to grips with it. :)

September 19, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Acrescorp

I'm Welsh. This is my first time doing Duolingo and I thought should try a language that I was familiar with to see if this was a good way to learn one. My Welsh is very rusty so it was the perfect option :)

September 18, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/rmcode
Mod
  • 1536

The stats we had from Duolingo were about 40% North America, 35% the UK, of which we believe more than half (say about 20% of the whole total) are in Wales. With about 5ish % from a number of European countries and also Australia and New Zealand.

The graph is in a recent posting in the Facebook group

September 21, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/iAmOnDuolingoToo

40%? :/ That's weird.

September 22, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/ibisc

Perhaps not, given the Welsh background to several American communities. The history of 'the Welsh Tract' is interesting, and apparently a number of the early US presidents were from Welsh families.

A story by one Welsh emigrant in the US is here, in slightly old-fashioned Welsh, but with an updated version, a translation and some notes. The reference to some Germans is perhaps to some Amish families?

September 23, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Nate_J

Late to respond, but I'm a Jobe, a direct descendant of Andrew Job, one of the leaders of the Welsh Quaker community in the Welsh Tract. It's fascinating to me that other people know of that part of our history

January 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Arthfoel

brilliant find and the way it has two vesions in welsh and one in English is really useful

September 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/rmcode
Mod
  • 1536

That's where most of the users of Duolingo are from

September 22, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/MichaelDMarsh

Hi there I was born in Wales and lived there for the first 17 years of my life. I then joined the RAF and travelled the world for twenty years. I was discharged from the RAF at RAF Wittering and became an MoD employee working for the RAF at RAF Wyton so live in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire. My nickname in the RAF was Taff, as all Welshmen are known by this name. I decided now that i have retired to learn again my native language. Before joining up although we did not speak Welsh at home I could get by speaking in Welsh, but have used a myriad of other languages since!

November 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/iAmOnDuolingoToo

Diddorol iawn :)

December 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/beefschuhe

Welsh American; surely this must count for something :)

December 4, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/iAmOnDuolingoToo

It does not. But that is a good album so you're welcome here.

December 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/MichaelDMarsh

My mother was an American although she was born in Wales, she took her father's nationality and he was originally from Cork in Eire but emigrated to the States. She always travelled on her US passport and never got a British one.

December 8, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Rhobat78

Shwmae.

I’m not American. I’m Welsh-Australian. I live in a country area so accessing the Welsh church and community for language learning presents a distance issue. So Duolingo is great along with SSIW.

I find it helpful knowing a little bit of Welsh with the cousins back home and with figuring out the old letters and things.

The surprise was feeling more connected somehow.

September 27, 2017
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