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 :)
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
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.
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.
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.
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. ;)
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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
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?
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!
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.