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> Welsh Literature, Books, poetry, etc. from Wales
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Siarls 
Posted: 28-Apr-2005, 07:10 AM
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Haha! I suspected that's why you asked my opinion! Most people from Swansea don't like him. He's famous for being an alcoholic wife-beater, not for his literature. When Bill Clinton said, "You Welsh are lucky to have Dylan Thomas as your poet", my mother was like, "Erm, why?" and when my American friends told me that they loved him, I had no idea his literature was famous!!


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gwenynen 
Posted: 28-Apr-2005, 08:23 AM
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smile.gif !!!

I must say his works are well known in the States when even our local library in a small country town carries his books. When I asked our town's used book store owner if he had Dylan's books, he said, "Dylan Thomas, the poet?"

I'm glad Wales has Kate Roberts.


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Siarls 
Posted: 28-Apr-2005, 04:21 PM
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Kate Roberts is well like and in fact, on Tuesday I will be collecting an essay I wrote on here earlier this semester. I like her but felt her heroines are weak in that they are hero-worshipped for accepting and coping with their situations, rather than struggling to change them. I do like her, though and her attempts at Southern Welsh are amusingly accurate (as in, she gets them right, but they're playfully made fun of. I was always laughing at her Southern Welsh! I was like, "Haha! So true - I say that!!")
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gwenynen 
Posted: 29-Apr-2005, 09:09 AM
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Kate Roberts:
I know what you mean by the weak heroines, but I like her simple style of writing and her love for Welsh. Of course I read her novels only in English except "Te yn y Grug."

It was my first full encounter with Northern Welsh. (I guess most of the language books teach Southern Welsh.) I had to read almost sentence by sentence referring back to the English translation. I got CDs too and listened to them like mad! The male/female readers' Welsh (Northern, of course) is soo beautiful and flows like music. I even bought a video of the film by s4c. They changed some parts as movie makers always do. Kate Roberts would've been shocked! Overall, it was well-done, though.

I've noticed one interesting thing about Northern Welsh; the pronunciation of a vowel, y (I believe, the half sound that's hard to imitate) is similar to that of a Northern Japanese diarect. Does that mean people in the north tend not to open their mouths maybe in order not to let cold air in?

In which novel does she use Southern Welsh?

I'll have to write about Saunders Lewis later. Rhaid i mi fynd.





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Siarls 
Posted: 01-May-2005, 09:47 AM
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I don't understand or study Northern Welsh. In fact, while studying Kate Roberts, most of us had help from the lecturer because we're mainly southerners. Last night, I served a customer who was from the North, and we had to converse in English because we didn't understand each other!
We can be quite nasty toward each other. Southerners call Northerners Gogs which comes from the word, Gogledd, which means North, but gog also means cuckoo.
Northerners call us hwntws which I believe is Northern Welsh for them by there because we tend to say "by here" and "by there" (but in Southern Welsh, "by there" is fan na (although I'm not sure how to spell it)).

Kate Roberts uses Southern Welsh in her book Ffair Gaeaf. This is a collection of her short stories, and Southern Welsh is only used in Gorymdaith and Diwrnod i'r Brenin. Only as dialogue though, not as the narration is the Southern Welsh used.

I'll tell you a major difference between Northern and Southern Welsh that'll help you notice straight away... Northerners tend to speak more nasally. Southerners talk a lot slower as well. People say it's because we use Welsh less often and so are not used to speaking it. But that's rubbish in my opinion - I think it's just that our dialect(s).
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gwenynen 
Posted: 01-May-2005, 04:05 PM
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If Welsh speakers can't understand each other because of the difference in diarects, what on earth are poor learners supposed to do?! sad.gif Someone once told me there were different diarects from valley to valley!

As to 'Ffair Gaeaf,' do you know the English title? I have a book, 'The World of Kate Roberts' translated by Jeseph P. Clancy. In it there is a story called 'November Fair.' Could this be it? Do you also know the English titles for 'Gorymdaith' and 'Diwrnod i'r Brenin'? They might have been given completely different English titles and could be in the book.
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Siarls 
Posted: 02-May-2005, 06:23 AM
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November Fair might very well be Ffair Gaeaf, although the proper translation would be "Winter Fair".
Gorymdaith means "Procession"
Diwrnod i'r Brenin means "Day for the King".
I don't know their English names, but Gorymdaith is about a protest in the South Wales Valleys and Diwrnod i'r Brenin is idiomatic, meaning "a day spent in idleness or frivolity".

There are different dialects between the Valleys, I'm afraid to say. The situation of Welsh is actually in a poor state. Although the Welsh Language is a major part of everyday life, Welsh-speaking or not, there is little standardisation. There is of course a Standard Literal Official form of Welsh, whatever you want to call it. However, few people were taught this form of Welsh and picked it up from their parents without learning grammar or spelling. And when you speak this Welsh to people, they might not understand, but become confused and begin to get abrupt because they don't like to be made to feel less Welsh.

However, this should NOT deter you at all. Most people will be overcome with joy to know that an effort is being made to recognise and use Welsh. The best thing to do, is to pick North or South. I would say South because it's my opinion that Southern Welsh is leading the way for standardisation. Once you have Welsh to a good level, you will understand words because you will use common sense to fill gaps or recognise the similarity of the word to either the Standard Welsh word or very often, the English word. E.g. in my dialect we say "ffili" which comes from the English word "fail". And we say, "falle" from Standard Welsh "efallai".

Welsh is becoming increasingly normalised. Children now are learning Standard Welsh at school. Learners need not worry. And we are grateful and pleased to know that you exist! biggrin.gif smile.gif Keep up the good work - don't be intimidated!
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gwenynen 
Posted: 02-May-2005, 08:31 AM
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'Gorymdaith' is translated as 'Protest March.' I figured out from your description of the novel. I've read it once before but I'll read it again since it's so short. I'll see if I can get the Welsh version for it or 'Ffair Gaeaf' to see what you mean by Roberts' poking fun of hwntws.

Thanks for your encouraging words for learners. I'll take your advice and stick to one diarect, maybe Southern as you say. I don't think I'll ever be able to produce the nasal sound of Northern Welsh.
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Siarls 
Posted: 02-May-2005, 11:14 AM
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Southern Welsh is easier, I think. Another reason I say this is that we have a much larger English vocabulary than Northern Welsh. A lot of people think this is sad and that is contributing to the death of Welsh. I say that every language evolves and an unevolving language is a lifeless language.
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susieq76 
Posted: 03-May-2005, 09:58 AM
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So, is Kate Roberts a non-fiction writer? Are there any fiction writers you would recommend, Siarls? I do love Rhys Bowens novels, but she seems to be all I can find at the library right now....

Any help would be great. Thanks for the tip on picking a dialect. I think I will go with Southern Welsh, if I can. It will be easier to pick up with more English words, and then I can move on to other dialects.


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Siarls 
Posted: 03-May-2005, 04:51 PM
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Kate Roberts is a fictional writer. I was recently reading Llion Iwan. He's quite good - the Welsh version of Dan Brown.
Don't worry about moving to other dialects, as long as you speak Standard Welsh with a knowledge of spoken Welsh... every dialect will come TO YOU!
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susieq76 
Posted: 06-May-2005, 01:08 PM
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Sure thing - I will see what I can find of his.
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Siarls 
Posted: 07-May-2005, 04:53 PM
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I got my essay back on Kate Roberts. I got a B. 2 marks from an A. He said what pulled me down were dialectal expressions/words. I thought I could mix and match. Clearly not.
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gwenynen 
Posted: 07-May-2005, 07:50 PM
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Hitia di befo, Siarls. wink.gif
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gwenynen 
Posted: 13-Jun-2005, 04:08 PM
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Here is a poem by late Gwynfor Evans, written to one of his grandchildren on her 15th birthday. I found it on BBC.

Pe cawn fy newis o bob blodyn pert sy'n bod,
Y rhosyn coch, neu las, y llwyn neu bansi,
O'r blodau prydferth oll a'm llona' is y rhod,
Angharad fach yw'r floden gipia'm ffansi.

It's so simple yet beautiful. I wouln't dare translate the whole thing in fear of messing up the poem. Just the summary: Of all the flowers, Angharad (the granddaughter) is the prettiest to her grandfather.
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