Thursday, 21 November 2013

Welsh: arse over tit

Welsh is an odd language.
Everything seems just a little topsy- turvy as well as occasionally unpronounceable
But once you get the hang of it all
It's no more difficult to speak than Spanish or French
It's just not as sexy.
I have been asked what our cottage's Welsh name actually means...
Well.....
"Y Bwthyn" is the Welsh name for cottage
"Llan" is an old word which means " an enclosure" or " settlement" . It is also an alternative name for a " Church" which seems more likely in our case as our cottage and the one next door overlook the Church fields and graveyard.
So Bwthyn-y-llan literally means " Cottage the Church" or  "Church cottage"
Simples

30 comments:

  1. I would say that Welsh is quite a sensible language...just think, in English, Big, Red. Apple....if you're interrupted before you get to Apple, who knows what you're on about?!! On the other hand in Welsh, Afal Fawr Goch...

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  2. On paper it does look as daunting as, say, Czech. However, if the heir apparent can get his tongue round it (no, I'm NOT referring to the lovely Camilla) - and even William Hague at least attempted to master it - then it ought to be within most of our grasps.

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  3. It looks difficult - but is such a melodious language. And a welsh accent is special too.

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  4. So John Gray means 'John the Animal', as in 'Jones the Meat', for a butcher?

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  5. All I know about Welsh is that they are very fond of the letter L as in, say, the surname Llewellyn. How many L's does one need before in danger or repeating oneself? The gorgeous, and I believe not Welsh, Laurence Llewelyn Bowen makes do with just three. The fourth needed for his first name.

    Should I ever make it to your neck of ll woods I shall ask for directions to Bwthyn-y-Llan. If my pronunciation leaves locals shrugging their shoulder I am sure they'll show me the way on "I believe there is a home here for the orphaned and otherwise blemished. Do you know where I find it?" Don't boil the kettle yet.

    U

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  6. Bore da. Dw'i ddim yn siarad Cymraeg yn dda. But I know what 'panad' means. Other than 'diolch' I don't think I need much else. do I?
    Iechyd da!

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  7. You should hear some of our pronunciations at the moment, at least the Welsh seem to have a sense of humour and a second sense when working out the pronunciations of incomers and visitors :-)

    We are getting there, slowly but surely, but I think a few classes will help us no end!! I don't think I could play Scrabble in Welsh though, not enough consonants in the set and way too many vowels!!

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  8. That's rather lovely John.

    Our house just has a number & no name but there is a stone plaque which reads " Wilkes House "
    Samuel Wilkes was a bit of housing developer I believe ( we are talking 1930's here )
    When we moved here we were told these were Church houses & assumed for the main village church, I later found that one Eliza Wilkes bequeathed No 56 & No 58 to the United Reformed Church for missionaries, widows or orphands of missionaries of, " poor and slender means"
    We used to live at no 56 & now live at no 58. I think the story is lovely & I like to think of them as " Church Houses "

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  9. Cottage the church...is that arrestable?

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    1. My thought too (but I didn't really like to say).

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  10. Yes, but what does this mean - Dewch i'r Rhyl ar gyfer eich gwyliau! - and what about this - O fy Nuw, yn edrych ar y cyd yn esgidiau plastig!

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  11. Simple, if one knows how to pronounce the words. When we lived in The Estate in Illinois, The Hurricane and I named it CANES AMANDI SUNT–Latin for The Dogs Must Be Loved. The Hurricane painted a plaque for the house with the name and the likenesses of the four dogs we had at the time. I took the plaque when I left. Now it's on my Florida bungalow.

    Love,
    Janie

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  12. Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogenychwyrndrdowyll-llantysiliogogogoch....we stopped here on a tour....the tour guide had it down pat when he explained....

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  13. In our city, every building has a name. We live in Edificio Monica (Building Monica). Much easier for me than Bwythn-Y-Llan. I'll just head into Trelawnyd and ask where the homeless shelter is.

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  14. Easy peasy! Right!

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  15. I've been to Wales - good luck understanding any of it.

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  16. many years ago, when I was a student, I delivered mail at xmas. There was a tiny house called "Ffometeg" owned by a newly married young couple. I often mused that it might have been the name of the quaint welsh village where they spent their honeymoon, until the man of the house laughingly told me "just reverse the letters...."

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  17. Our house has no name; only the tiny 3 house settlement itself. However, if it did, I'd like it to translate as 'Cro's Gaff'.

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  18. I have a friend who is into Welsh too John and speaks it quite fluently. I on the other hand am one of those English women who just speak loudly in the hopes that whichever country I am in they will understand me.

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  19. This should be a weekly feature!

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  20. I just love the accent, even if I can't understand a word.

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  21. Cyfarchion o Loegr a bod yn iach

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  22. Have you got a semi John...............oh don't go there! I mean a semi detached, as in 'the house next door'? who lives there?

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  23. I can spell BUS. BWS! hooray. I can just about speak English. What language is it close to?

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  24. I'm proud that I can say Trelawnyd. Did I spell that right? Yes, I did.

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  25. What's Welsh for 'eejit' which is what I was calling your First Minister, Carwyn Jones, when I heard him talking in our Parliament yesterday, issuing all sorts of dire warnings (and even a threat!) about us (Scotland) if we should go down the independence route. One should tend to one's own house before they start castigating others', methinks.

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  26. When you've told us the name of your cottage before, i wondered what it meant. Perhaps you can do another video where we can hear you pronounce it, because i'm quite certain i'm saying it in such a way that no one would know what the hell i'm trying to say.

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    1. Hello all
      Sorry been working tonight and just got home.......( it's after midnight) will get auntie glad to make a " Bwthyn y llan" video

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    2. that would be lovely, John!

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  27. Welsh and Irish are beautiful languages...wish I could understand them.

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