63 Matching Annotations
  1. Last 7 days
  2. May 2022
    1. Where there wasn’t a local real Mari Lwyd to hand, the flat-pack Mari designed by David Pitt has been incredibly useful.

      Modern celebrations of the Mari Lwyd which haven't had easy access to a horse skull to decorate have used a flat-pack cardboard version of a skull designed by David Pitt.

    1. https://forum.artofmemory.com/t/what-language-s-are-you-studying/73190

      I've been studying Welsh on and off now for just over a year.

      I've been using a mix of Duolingo for it's easy user interface and it's built in spaced repetition. I like the way that it integrates vocabulary and grammar in a holistic way which focuses on both reading, writing, and listening.

      However, I've also been using the fantastic platform Say Something in Welsh. This uses an older method of listening and producing based teaching which actually makes my brain feel a bit tired after practice. The focus here is solely on listening and speaking and forces the student to verbally produce the language. It's a dramatically different formula than most high school and college based courses I've seen and used over the years having taken 3 years of Spanish, 2 of French, and 2 of Latin.

      The set up consists of the introduction of a few words which are then used in a variety of combinations to create full sentences. The instructors say a sentence in English and the listener is encouraged in just a few seconds to attempt to produce it in the target language (Welsh, in my case), then the instructor says the sentence in Welsh with a pause for the student to repeat it properly, another instructor says it in Welsh with a pause for a third repeat. This goes on for 20 to 30 minutes at a time. The end result is that the learner gets into the language much more quickly and can begin both understanding the spoken language as well as produce it much more rapidly than older school based methods (at least in my experience, though I have known some college language labs to use a much more limited version of a similar technique). Each lesson adds new material, but also reviews over older material in a spaced repetition format as well so you're always getting something new mixed in with the old to make new and interesting sentences for conversation.

      SSiW also has modules for Manx, Cornish, Dutch, and Spanish.

      I find that the two done hand in hand has helped me produce much faster results in language acquisition in an immersive manner than I have done previously and with much less effort.

    1. https://forum.saysomethingin.com/t/could-we-have-a-thread-on-welsh-customs/4068

      • robingoch
      • hawthorn
      • The Hamish Macbeth series By M.C.Beaton has superstitions of highlanders
      • Mari Lwyd
      • Siôn Corn
      • Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru (1923) by J. Glyn Davies
      • Folklore of West and Mid Wales by John Ceredig Davies
      • Welsh Folk Customs by Trefor Owen
      • Welsh Folklore and Folk-Custom by T Gwynn Jones
      • Wirt Sykes including a volume on British Goblins
      • John Rhys
      • Welsh Folklore: Folktales & Legends of North Wales (1896) by Elias Owen
      • Calan Mai
    1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJyuBioq33I

      Recorded in Tregaron(?) on Christmas Eve 1964, a wonderful example of the Welsh Midwinter Tradition of The Mari Lwyd. Usually performed around Christmas and New Year, this luck-bringing ritual has recently been enjoying a revival in some parts of Wales after becoming virtually extinct during the first part of the Twentieth Century.

      The Mari Lwyd, an adorned horse's skull, is accompanied by several participants, who go from door to door, engaging in a light hearted 'battle of wits' through song with the occupant of the house, in the hope of gaining admittance and being rewarded with cake and ale!

      Reminiscent of the idea of battle rap, but in a different cultural tradition.

    1. in the first public appearance of Siôn Corn (in Glyn Davies’ 'Cerddi Huw Puw"), he is described as a “rather benevolent spook”) himself! His basis seems to be a possibly family tradition concerning a pleasant bogeyman living up their family chimney, whose main interest seemed to be getting children to go to bed early, til he was introduced to a wider public.
  3. Apr 2022
    1. (Note that although 'n/yn here is not actually translated into English, it does act as a marker showing that the action is 'in progress', unfinished.

      "yn" (or it's contraction "'n") is a marker in Welsh to indicate that the action of a verb is in progress or unfinished.

      Example: Dw i'n hoffi coffi.

      https://www.duolingo.com/skill/cy/Present-1/tips-and-notes

  4. Mar 2022
    1. glas is a very old word, and while the more modern gwyrdd is used for green, glas can in fact be both blue and green, depending on context. The idea behind glas is not so much a colour itself, but the attribute you’d give to plants that are alive. The opposite is llwyd, which is connected to “dead” things like rocks, so naturally you’d translate it as gray, but sometimes it’s used as brown, too. (Again, the Welsh word brown is much newer than llwyd.)

      The older Welsh words 'glas' and 'llwyd' designate both colors (green/blue and gray/brown respectively) but also indicate the idea of 'being alive' (like plants) or 'dead' (like rocks).

      These words can sometimes be translated differently than the more modern words gwyrdd (green), glas (blue), llwyd (grey), brown (brown).

      Irish is somewhat similar, where 'glas' is green, but usually for the less vivid greens of the natural world (seaweed might be called 'glas') versus artificial vivid green (the green on the Irish flag would be 'uaine'). However a 'madra glas' is not a green or blue dog, but a grey one.

      Glasgow / Glaschu (the place name) means "green hollow".

    1. Evaluations of the platform show that users who follow the avatar inmaking a gesture achieve more lasting learning than those who simply hear theword. Gesturing students also learn more than those who observe the gesture butdon’t enact it themselves.

      Manuela Macedonia's research indicates that online learners who enact specific gestures as they learn words learn better and have longer retention versus simply hearing words. Students who mimic these gestures also learn better than those who only see the gestures and don't use them themselves.

      How might this sort of teacher/avatar gesturing be integrated into online methods? How would students be encouraged to follow along?

      Could these be integrated into different background settings as well to take advantage of visual memory?

      Anecdotally, I remember some Welsh phrases from having watched Aran Jones interact with his cat outside on video or his lip syncing in the empty spaces requiring student responses. Watching the teachers lips while learning can be highly helpful as well.

  5. Jan 2022
    1. The inventor of the original English version, Welsh-born software engineer Josh Wardle, created it during the pandemic to entertain his partner – a word game addict, as he told The New York Times.
  6. Dec 2021
  7. Nov 2021
    1. Over the years in academic settings I've picked up pieces of Spanish, French, Latin and a few odd and ends of other languages.

      Six years ago we put our daughter into a dual immersion Japanese program (in the United States) and it has changed some of my view of how we teach and learn languages, a process which is also affected by my slowly picking up conversational Welsh using the method at https://www.saysomethingin.com/ over the past year and change, a hobby which I wish I had more targeted time for.

      Children learn language through a process of contextual use and osmosis which is much more difficult for adults. I've found that the slowly guided method used by SSiW is fairly close to this method, but is much more targeted. They'll say a few words in the target language and give their English equivalents, then they'll provide phrases and eventually sentences in English and give you a few seconds to form them into the target language with the expectation that you try to say at least something, or pause the program to do your best. It's okay if you mess up even repeatedly, they'll say the correct phrase/sentence two times after which you'll repeat it again thus giving you three tries at it. They'll also repeat bits from one lesson to the next, so you'll eventually get it, the key is not to worry too much about perfection.

      Things slowly build using this method, but in even about 10 thirty minute lessons, you'll have a pretty strong grasp of fluent conversational Welsh equivalent to a year or two of college level coursework. Your work on this is best supplemented with interacting with native speakers and/or watching television or reading in the target language as much as you're able to.

      For those who haven't experienced it before I'd recommend trying out the method at https://www.saysomethingin.com/welsh/course1/intro to hear it firsthand.

      The experience will give your brain a heavy work out and you'll feel mentally tired after thirty minutes of work, but it does seem to be incredibly effective. A side benefit is that over time you'll also build up a "gut feeling" about what to say and how without realizing it. This is something that's incredibly hard to get in most university-based or book-based language courses.

      This method will give you quicker grammar acquisition and you'll speak more like a native, but your vocabulary acquisition will tend to be slower and you don't get any writing or spelling practice. This can be offset with targeted memory techniques and spaced repetition/flashcards or apps like Duolingo that may help supplement one's work.

      I like some of the suggestions made in Lynne's post as I've been pecking away at bits of Japanese over time myself. There's definitely an interesting structure to what's going on, especially with respect to the kana and there are many similarities to what is happening in Japanese to the Chinese that she's studying. I'm also approaching it from a more traditional university/book-based perspective, but if folks have seen or heard of a SSiW repetition method, I'd love to hear about it.

      Hopefully helpful by comparison, I'll mention a few resources I've found for Japanese that I've researched on setting out a similar path that Lynne seems to be moving.

      Japanese has two different, but related alphabets and using an app like Duolingo with regular practice over less than a week will give one enough experience that trying to use traditional memory techniques may end up wasting more time than saving, especially if one expects to be practicing regularly in both the near and the long term. If you're learning without the expectation of actively speaking, writing, or practicing the language from time to time, then wholesale mnemotechniques may be the easier path, but who really wants to learn a language like this?

      The tougher portion of Japanese may come in memorizing the thousands of kanji which can have subtly different meanings. It helps to know that there are a limited set of specific radicals with a reasonably delineable structure of increasing complexity of strokes and stroke order.

      The best visualization I've found for this fact is the Complete Listing of the 214 Radicals and Major Variations from An Introduction to Japanese Kanji Calligraphy by Kunii Takezaki (Tuttle, 2005) which I copy below:

      A chart of Japanese radicals in columns by number, character, and radical name & variations with a legend for reading the chart

      (Feel free to right click and view the image in another tab or download it and view it full size to see more detail.)

      I've not seen such a chart in any of the dozens of other books I've come across. The numbered structure of increasing complexity of strokes here would certainly suggest an easier to build memory palace or songline.

      I love this particular text as it provides an excellent overview of what is structurally happening in Japanese with lots of tidbits that are otherwise much harder won in reading other books.

      There are many kanji books with various forms of what I would call very low level mnemonic aids. I've not found one written or structured by what I would consider a professional mnemonist. One of the best structured ones I've seen is A Guide to Remembering Japanese Characters by Kenneth G. Henshall (Tuttle, 1988). It's got some great introductory material and then a numbered list of kanji which would suggest the creation of a quite long memory palace/journey/songline.

      Each numbered Kanji has most of the relevant data and readings, but provides some description about how the kanji relates or links to other words of similar shapes/meanings and provides a mnemonic hint to make placing it in one's palace a bit easier. Below is an example of the sixth which will give an idea as to the overall structure.

      I haven't gotten very far into it yet, but I'd found an online app called WaniKani for Japanese that has some mnemonic suggestions and built-in spaced repetition that looks incredibly promising for taking small radicals and building them up into more easily remembered complex kanji.

      I suspect that there are likely similar sources for these couple of books and apps for Chinese that may help provide a logical overall structuring which will make it easier to apply or adapt one's favorite mnemotechniques to make the bulk vocabulary memorization easier.

      The last thing I'll mention I've found, that's good for practicing writing by hand as well as spaced repetition is a Kanji notebook frequently used by native Japanese speaking children as they're learning the levels of kanji in each grade. It's non-obvious to the English speaker, and took me a bit to puzzle out and track down a commercially printed one, even with a child in a classroom that was using a handmade version. The notebook (left to right and top to bottom) has sections for writing a big example of the learned kanji; spaces for the "Kun" and "On" readings; spaces for the number of strokes and the radical pieces; a section for writing out the stroke order as it builds up gradually; practice boxes for repeated practice of writing the whole kanji; examples of how to use the kanji in context; and finally space for the student to compose their own practice sentences using the new kanji.

      Regular use and practice with these can be quite helpful for moving toward mastery.

      I also can't emphasize enough that regularly and actively watching, listening, reading, and speaking in the target language with materials that one finds interesting is incredibly valuable. As an example, one of the first things I did for Welsh was to find a streaming television and radio that I want to to watch/listen to on a regular basis has been helpful. Regular motivation and encouragement is key.

      I won't go into them in depth and will leave them to speak for themselves, but two of the more intriguing videos I've watched on language acquisition which resonate with some of my experiences are:

  8. Oct 2021
  9. Aug 2021
  10. forum.saysomethingin.com forum.saysomethingin.com
    1. In doing some work with Japanese, I’ve come across a Chrome browser extension called Mainichi which shows me a flashcard-like image and the related word in English and Japanese (with both associated kana) every time I open a new browser tab. Because I open dozens to hundreds of browser tabs a day it’s an easy way to review and even learn new words. (It also reminds me that I ought to be working on my next lesson instead of surfing the internet. :smile:)

      I’m curious if anyone has seen anything like this for Welsh beyond the more focused use of flashcard technologies like Anki, Mnemosyne, et al?

    1. As far as we know, the earliest example of the nursery rhyme is in Nancy Cock’s Pretty Song Book for All Little Misses and Masters, circa 1780.  Here are the opening lines: “Taffy was a Welshman, Taffy was a thief, / Taffy came to my house and stole a piece of beef.” The name “Taffy” may come from “Dafydd,” a Welsh name related to “David,” and the Taff, the river in Cardiff.
    2. welsh on a bet
  11. Jul 2021
  12. Jun 2021
    1. <small><cite class='h-cite via'> <span class='p-author h-card'>KevinMarks</span> in #indieweb 2021-06-25 (<time class='dt-published'>06/26/2021 01:52:39</time>)</cite></small>

      IndieWeb + Welsh finally comes in handy! The Cwtch service Kevin Marks mentioned is the the Welsh word for "hug" or "cuddle" and cleverly has a heart shaped Celtic design for their logo. Kind of cute when you think about it. And speaking of opaque ids, if they're using a new protocol I hope they call it Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch....

    1. Great description of a Welsh cake:

      "Made like a scone, cooked like a pancake, eaten like a cookie"

      Welsh Cakes:

      • 8oz flour
      • 4oz salted butter
      • 4oz sugar
      • 4oz currants
      • 2 pinches of allspice (or nutmeg)
      • 1 large egg
      • splash of milk until the dough holds together
  13. May 2021
    1. "alright or what" as a greeting

      • "alright" means hi/hello (in South Wales)

      "Ychafi" - horrible or disgusting

      cwtch is a Welsh hug

      Conversation beginnings:

      • What it is...
      • See...

      "Tidy butt" as a response to how are you? (translates as good friend)

      Baaard (sick)

      bog snorkeling

    1. Here's the video version of this article: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yLQ6XlG0MQ4

    2. You don't have to be a Welsh speaker to realise these place names make Wales different.They connect us to our history and our shared identity.
    3. But, and this is a big but, replacing Welsh place names with English ones, just because some people can't pronounce them or they just don't like the sound of them, is not ok.It's deleting your cultural distinctiveness. Your heritage and the uniqueness of these British islands. It's getting rid of one of the oldest languages in Europe, one place name at a time.
    1. Place names and songlines together reminds me of a great BBC segment "Disappearing Welsh Names" I saw recently: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yLQ6XlG0MQ4

      It highlights by analogy the value of indigenous culture, knowledge, and creativity which the survival of songlines also provides us with. (It also saddens me because it starkly reminds me of all the knowledge and languages we've lost already.)

      I've been learning Welsh since the pandemic started and just a few simple words of Welsh has given me a far greater appreciation of places in the UK and what they mean. It's helped not only to expand my vocabulary, but increased my creativity in creating local songlines. It's also made it much easier to learn to say and remember the town of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.

      <table> <thead><tr> <th>Cymraeg</th> <th>Meaning</th> </tr> </thead> <tbody> <tr> <td>Aber</td> <td>Where one river flows into another body of water (example: Aberystwyth)</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Ban, Bannau</td> <td>Peak(s), beacon(s)</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Bron</td> <td>Breast of a hill</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Bryn</td> <td>Hill</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Caer</td> <td>Fort</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Cas</td> <td>Castle</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Crug</td> <td>Hill, tump</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Cwm</td> <td>Valley</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Derw, Deri</td> <td>Oaks</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Dinas</td> <td>Hill-fort</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Dyffryn</td> <td>Valley, vale</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Ffin</td> <td>Border, boundary</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Isaf</td> <td>Lower, lowest</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Llan</td> <td>Church, church land (often followed by the name of the saint to whom the church was dedicated, eg, Llangatwg - a place with a church dedicated to St Catwg)</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Morfa</td> <td>Salt-marsh</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Nant</td> <td>Brook, dingle</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Pont</td> <td>Bridge</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Porth</td> <td>Gate</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Rhos</td> <td>Moor</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Tyle</td> <td>Hill-side, ascent</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Uchaf</td> <td>Upper, highest</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Ystrad</td> <td>Vale</td> </tr> </tbody> </table>

      It also uncovers quirks of place names like Breedon on the Hill which translates from Brythonic, Saxon, and Modern English to "Hill Hill on the Hill" and crystalizes, as if in amber, the fact that Brythonic, Saxon, and English speakers all conjoined for a time on a hill in England. Similarly there's also Barnack Hills in England which translates from old Celtic (barr), Scottish Gaelic (cnoc) and English as "flat topped hill hill hills". It's almost hillarious.

    1. Article about the renaming of Welsh place names into English which erases culture and history.

    2. The Welsh name for Snowdon, Yr Wyddfa, means grave and is pronounced like "er with-va".The story goes in a legend that the giant Rhita Gawr, the king of Wales, was buried under a cairn of stones on the summit of the mountain, following a battle with King Arthur.It is said that the giant defeated 30 kings of Britain, taking their beards to create a cloak of the beards, reaching from his shoulder to the floor.
  14. Apr 2021
    1. Resources:

      • Duolingo
      • Routledge book on Colloquial Welsh by Gareth King
      • S4C on TV or online BBC iplayer or website
      • BBC Radio Cymry
      • BBC Bite Size
      • Llyn Bochlwyd (lake gray cheek)
      • Foel Fawr
      • Coed Llugwy
      • Cwm Cneifion

      Erasure of culture

      Memory and place names

      "A nation which forgets its past has no future." - Winston Churchill (check quote and provenance)

    1. penguin - pen (head) guin (white)

      bard - bardd (poet)

      Avon - afon (river)

      corgi - cor (dwarf) + ci (dog)

      flannel - gwlanen (fabric from Wales)

      coombe/combe - cwm (valley)

      balderdash - baldorddu (noisy talk or chatter)

      adder - neidr (snake)

      crockery - crochan (cauldron)

      iron - haearn (both steam instrument and the element)

      crumpet - crempog (crepe/pancake)

      London - Llundain (maybe from llyn + dain or pool of the river)

    1. <small><cite class='h-cite via'> <span class='p-author h-card'>John Naughton</span> in Tuesday 6 April, 2021 | Memex 1.1 (<time class='dt-published'>04/12/2021 21:27:21</time>)</cite></small>

  15. Mar 2021
  16. Feb 2021
    1. https://www.duolingo.com/skill/cy/Dillad1/tips-and-notes

      This looks like the divergence of the idea of fox and vixen could appear here with mutations in these languages then later entering English.

      The pronunciation difference of ff and f also could factor here.

  17. Oct 2020
    1. Sioned Davies is Chair of Welsh at Cardiff University. Her special interest is the interplay between orality and literacy, together with the performance aspects of medieval Welsh narrative.

      Oh! This is fascinating. Perhaps some interesting tidbits for my growing theory about the borders of orality and literacy could be hiding in some of her research?

    1. However, if Welsh does not yet possess a spoken standard, it does possess a literary standard which can be traced back to the translation of the Bible by Bishop WIlliam Morgan in 1588, which in turn is based on the language of the medieval court poets who were the heirs of the Cynfeirdd, the earl poets Aneirin and Taliesin. These lived in the sixth century AD and described battles which took place in today's Scotland and Northern England [...]

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  18. Sep 2020
    1. The Mabinogion, translated by Sioned DaviesIn You Goddess! we use “supernatural female” as a definition of goddess and this allows us to include the story of Blodeuwedd, who was created out of flowers by a wizard as a wife for his friend, but who kicks over the traces and finds her own partner. Bloeuwedd appears in this medieval collection of Welsh stories. The first English translation was published in the 19th century by the linguist, go-getter and driver of the Welsh renaissance, Lady Charlotte Guest. This 2007 translation by Sioned Davies is a fantastic contemporary version. In the past Blodeuwedd has been taken as a cautionary tale about adultery, but to modern readers she appears as a floral rebel breaking free from male control. Sadly things don’t end well for her and her metamorphosis from vegetable to human ends with her wizard enemy turning her into an owl. She lives on as the inspiration for Alan Garner’s The Owl Service.

      This has been on my list for a bit. I'm also reminded that I ought to get back to The Celtic Myths: A Guide to the Ancient Gods and Legends by Miranda Aldhouse-Green

    1. Cymraeg Byw was promoted with the intention of facilitating thelearning of Welsh particularly among adults, and providing a stable ‘plat-form’ from which they could progress to fluency – and inevitably, as withLiterary Welsh, the loser once again was the native speech of ordinaryWelsh speakers, dismissed by implication as irrelevant. The counter argu-ment, now all the stronger for hindsight, must be that, as with all languages,the aim of the serious learner is competence in the living language; if thatmeans coping with dialect variation, then so be it – it has to be faced sooneror later, and it may as well be sooner.
    2. Literary Welsh, on the other hand, is no-one’s native language. All thosewho know how to read it, whether Welsh speakers or not, have been taught.In this sense it is an artificial language – consciously planned and designedto standardize the written language at the time of the translation of theBible into Welsh (sixteenth century), and by and large with a deliberatedisregard for the native speech of ordinary people. Its subsequentundoubted success as the medium of a prolific literature has been at theexpense of Colloquial Welsh, neglected and relentlessly disparaged by apowerful (Welsh-speaking) minority who had much to gain from puttingthe main means of expression of the cultural identity out of the reach ofthe majority. In this way a sense of inferiority was engendered among ordi-nary Welsh speakers with regard to their language – one which persists tothis day with native speakers routinely dismissing their own spokenlanguage as something ‘inferior’ (i.e. to the artificial Literary Welsh) and‘not proper Welsh’. Only recently has this situation begun to be redressed.

      Interesting distinction here between the literary and the colloquial and problems it has created.

    3. Within the Celtic family, Welsh has as its closest relatives: Breton (Welshname Llydaweg), spoken in Brittany – estimates of number of speakersvary, but probably somewhat under half a million active users; and Cornish(Cernyweg), extinct since the late eighteenth century, though recently‘resurrected’ by enthusiasts. More distantly related are Irish (Gwyddeleg),Scots Gaelic (Gaeleg yr Alban) and the extinct Manx (Manaweg, whoselast native speaker died in 1974). Welsh, Breton and Cornish constitute theBrythonic group, while the others form the Goidelic group. There arestrong similarities within each group, and considerable differences betweenthe two. All six languages share certain basic characteristics which markthem out as Celtic languages – notably the mutation system (see §§3–12),and inflected prepositions (see §446).
    4. Fynes-Clinton, O.H. (1913) The Welsh Vocabulary of the Bangor District.Oxford: OUP. Reprint (two vols): Llanerch Publishers, Felinfach (1995).

      Downloaded a copy of the 1913 edition from archive.org.