https://www.duolingo.com/KisseMjolk2

as an American, all these English place names are worse than the Welsh names

So, I'm an American, but I've really been interested in Welsh, so I started picking it up here.

But I got to places, and they dump a ton of towns/cities on me and honestly, the English names mean like, nothing to me. (Ok, except Cambridge, and Manchester)

So, like, Casnewydd is way easier for me to remember right now, because it's Welsh, not uh... Newport?

I mean Shrewsbury? Like? o.O?

October 23, 2016

10 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Ieuan-Jones

Shrewsbury is the capital of Shropshire, which (I don't really know much about this at all) seems to have quite a lot of shared history with Wales. One of the best football teams in the Welsh leagues is based in Shropshire too. If you ever want to catch a train from Swansea, Cardiff, Newport, etc. to Aberystwyth (or much of North Wales, for that matter), you'll have to go via Shrewsbury, since the rail lines in Wales go far more West/East than North/South (although, there is some political pressure right now to change that!).

Newport is the third biggest city in Wales, and gave us this fantastic parody song a few years back (and this one in response).

But yea, in general, know town names isn't so important, since all the signs has both Welsh and English on them, but it gives a bit of insight into the culture of Wales, especially since all the place names are fairly well known here.

October 23, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/KisseMjolk2

I think you're confused about my complaint. I'm fine with learning the place names. But when I have to learn both the Welsh and English names at the same time, it gets ridiculous.

There should be the option to just use the Welsh names in both English and Welsh, as at this point, though learning the Welsh cities is important, learning their English names just adds more effort, and it's effort in the English-speaking portions of the learning process, which I already speak fluently, so I shouldn't be struggling with remember English place names.

October 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/rmcode
Mod
  • 1539

Apologies for your frustrations with this unit. One of the difficulties in designing this course was making it relevant to different sets of learners with different needs and interests.

One of our primary audiences are non Welsh speakers in Wales, who have either not learned at school because it's only been a compulsory subject for just over a decade, or who are migrants from England and other countries, about 25% of the population at the last census.

For this audience it's important to learn that there are Welsh versions of all the English based town and city names they are familiar with for both cultural and linguistic reasons.

For a non UK based user of the course this is of course not so necessary since most of the places will be unfamiliar to you in either language. However there is an argument that if you choose to further your studies of Wales and its history you'll find the vast majority of the fairly scant information presented through the distorting prism of English, the language that has only been spoken by the majority of the inhabitants of Wales for less than a hundred years compared with the history of Welsh as a distinct language for over fifteen hundred years previously.

So thanks for this comment and there have been a number along the same lines about this unit and we are actively looking at probably reducing the size to at least make it a shorter experience.

October 26, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/KisseMjolk2

Ok yeah. That makes sense. :)

October 26, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Adams861

Downvoting KisseMjolk2 is cowardly as she makes a reasonable point: her comment is not spam or off topic and has proved useful to rmcode. My message to KisseMjolk2 is to keep up your interest in Welsh and keep asking questions. Pob lwc!

October 29, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/KisseMjolk2

rmcode's response helped explain the situation a lot as well. I mean, what kind of crazy American starts learning Welsh? mae hin gorffwyl

I started learning it because of JRR Tolkein's Quenya being influenced by Welsh.

They won't get me down. I love learning languages, and welsh has been on my list for a long time!

October 29, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Adams861

Good for you, and the great thing about the DuoWelsh site is that you get terrific, and almost immediate, help when you post a question regarding a sentence etc. Dal Ati!

October 29, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/KisseMjolk2

diolch, dw i'n mynd cwneud!

October 29, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/AmareloTiago

I can only remember one Battle of Shrewsbury. It involved one of the Henrys (IV or V?) and appears in one of the Shakespeare plays, which would make it somewhere in the early 1400s.

October 23, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Adams861

Henry IV part one. After the battle, Battlefield Church was thought to have been built over a mass burial pit, paid for by the king. The sixteen year old Prince of Wales, son of Henry IV, and later to become Henry V, was struck by an arrow in the face, a wound that was successfully treated with mead and honey. He was permanently scarred.

October 28, 2016
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