Wednesday, September 07, 2011
*Diolch a nos da. A consideration of language
But I'm in Wales, and I have to admit that the local language is totally baffling. Not only are individual letters pronounced completely differently from English (For Rhug, hear Rig) but even within Welsh some letters are interchangeable. C and G, for example, often sound and mean exactly the same. So the Cymraeg live in Cymru, or Gymru (pronounced Cummri) depending on what appears to be the whim of the writer.
Yesterday I tried my first ever foray into Welsh speaking. (I can't say that the North Walian attitude towards my Englishness has encouraged me to try to be friendly to the locals, but ...) The nice lady in the pub at Llechwedd Slate Caverns (I was proud of my attempt to say Llechwedd because I wasn't TOO far off) was kind and so when she brought my bowl of lobscows (pronounced surprisingly like it looks) I said 'diolch', to which she replied 'croeso'. When I admitted that it was my first attempt at speaking Welsh she said it sounded right and I'd done well.
It's a start. But I'm a long way off mastering Welsh and I doubt if I'll be doing any writing in it any time soon.
*Thank you and good night.