Thursday, 24 September 2015

That Darn Welsh

Well folks, we have started our second year of Welsh classes and let me say we have been thrown into deep end. We had been told that it would start slowly with a review and then build up gradually.

 Na-unh. Nope. No way, Jose'.

I had a momentary panic because looking at the first chapter was like reading a foreign language. Spiderman pointed out that it *is* a foreign language, bur you know what I mean.

There was just so much unfamiliar stuff--new words, new concepts etc that I felt a teency bit overwhelmed.

I am ashamed to say, there was some whining and self pitying that went on that wasn't pretty but Spiderman stopped that in it's tracks.

I have a perfectionist streak that can sometimes rule my life. I can be very driven. Driven to be the best, the smartest, the cleverest, top of the class Last year i was pretty confident in class. I grasped concepts easily and did exceedingly well on my exam. But suddenly I was feeling out of my depth. It all looked like gobbledy-gook to me. I had a panic.

Spiderman told me that most people feel out of their depth.  This is how the other half lives, baby--get used to it.

So I am trying. And not just trying his patience. I have developed a mantra to repeat when I feel the urge to say in my whiniest voice, "Welsh is hhhhhaaaard!"  and want to quit because I won't be the top of the class. I say, I don't have to be the best, I just have to do my best." 

So what was causing me to have a major freak out?

Prepositions. You know words like to or on or at or with. There is a list of nine of them that cause a soft mutation in the word that follows (where one letter changes to another letter--like c becomes g or p becomes b or m becomes f that makes the v sound).

They are:
i, o, am
ar, at, dan,
hyd, wrth, heb,
trwy, dros, gan

Did I mention that each one has at least two different meanings depending on the context? But that is not the worst part. The worst part is that i, o, am, ar,at and wrth all have to be conjugated if they precede a pronoun. CONJUGATED. Like a verb. WTF????

Those wacky Welsh.

Actually, after a day of drilling it on flashcards it makes more sense. I can do it in print but ask me to speak it and I sound like a Dalek as I stumble over the many syllables and tricky pronunciations (the accented syllable is always the second to last in Welsh). If someone said it to me quickly I would have no idea what they were on about as often beginnings or endings are just lopped off willy-nilly in speaking making listening skills the hardest to develop. But at least I can read it and write it, right folks?

Want to see it in action? Of course you do.

If I said I have seen Ffred it would look like Dw i wedi edrych ar Ffred. With me so far? See the preposition ar? If I wanted to say I have seen him  it suddenly becomes Dw i wedi edrych arno fe. Notice that conjugation? If I wanted to say I have seen her or I have seen them it would look like Dw i wedi edrych arni hi and Dw i wedi edrych arnyn nhw.  

Did I mention that ar is one of the *easier* prepositions? Am becomes amdan (plus conjugated ending) so I have searched for you looks like Dw i wedi chwillio amdanoch chi. And o becomes ohon (plus conjugated ending) and I don't know how to use it in a sentence yet.

But I will.

In spite of my momentary panic, I actually have a better grasp than i thought. I may not be the best at it, but I am certainly going to try my little heart out.

1 comment:

  1. I'll be your huckleberry.
    And your cheerleader.
    What you and T are doing is just frickin' amazing.
    And I'm proud of you to the max.
    Yesterday was International Daughter's Day, so this is what I posted on FB to say I have a fantastically intelligente daughter. :-)