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> Welsh Literature, Books, poetry, etc. from Wales
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gwenynen 
Posted: 23-Jun-2005, 02:56 PM
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Has anyone read "Y Môr yn eu Gwaed" by T. Llew Jones? It's for children (Welsh speaking children, mind) but far more challenging than books written for learners. But it's interesting! I try reading it without using a dictionary as much as possible. Amazingly, even when I don't know some words or grammar, I somehow can figure them out after a while. O, it's so exhilarating to be able to follow the stories!

As I was a big fan of C.S.Forester's "Hornblower" (I read all the books in the series,) the sailing theme is so appealing. "Y Môr" is actually parts of stories taken from three books; I want to read the whole of "Barti Ddu."

I hope someone reads this post; no one seems to post outside the Welsh learning threads.


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Weithiau, mae'r ateb i'n problemau o dan ein trwynau, dim ond bod angen i ni gymryd cam yn ôl ac edrych eto. - Stuart Kerner
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Siarls 
Posted: 23-Jun-2005, 03:58 PM
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T Llew Jones is very famous in Wales. There was even a documentary on him recently saying what an appealing author he is to children and adults alike. I haven't read much of his work, but I'd like to read more. Let me know what you think of Barti Ddu.

The "Wales" section does seem a little neglected recently, but I don't have enough energy to spark conversations. For the time being, I'm just responding to things. Once I'm back to my regular self, I'll be provoking interest in our interesting community.


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Gwlad, gwlad, pleidiol wyf i´m gwlad
Tra môr yn fur
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gwenynen 
Posted: 26-Jun-2005, 01:51 PM
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I read T Llew's interview on the web. It's interesting. He's 90 years old! He says he likes to hear from children who read his books and tell him how they enjoy them. So I'm writing to him though I'm not a child!

I read about Barti Ddu in a Learn Welsh newsletter before and was quite fascinated. Here's a brief description of him for whoever is interested:
Barti Ddu or Bartholomew Roberts was the most successful pirate in the world. He was born in Little Newcastle in Pembrokeshire. He always wore colourful clothes. He was couteous (if I remember correctly from a website.)

Wales had many pirates and there is even a book just on that subject.

I enjoyed "Y Môr yn eu Gwaed" so much! There's an interesting scene in "Barti Ddu." Barti and his friend, after pressed into a warship, get shipwrecked and rescured by a pirate ship. When the capten spoke in English, they knew right away he was Welsh and from Pembrokeshire. He tries to persuade those who were rescured from the shipwreck to join the pirates. He asks Barti and his friend, "What about you two?' Then Barti replies in Welsh....

I have a question, Siarls about some words. I'll post in 'Croeso i Gymru.'

Antwn, Austaff, I hope you'll post in the Welsh threads too.
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Antwn 
Posted: 12-Aug-2005, 02:23 PM
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Like Siarls, I haven't posted much on other threads, but I'd like to be more active too. Where did you get these books Gwen, from Gomer? I'd like to read them too. I feel the same way you do, I really enjoy when I can figure something out without having to consult a dictionary. Sometimes I'm able to read something in Welsh without translating it into English in my head. That's really exciting for me, though it happens only rarely for a few passages. I really have to build my vocabulary alot more. I've bought some books by Rhiannon Davies, Kate Roberts and Robin Llewelyn but he's a little harder for me to follow. I have Harri Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in Welsh too, but I think I'd have a better time of it if I got some books for either children or learners.

Any other recommendations would be appreciated. Also, if you'd post where you got the books, that would be great. Thanks.

Antwn


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Yr hen Gymraeg i mi,
Hon ydyw iaith teimladau,
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Fy nghalon ydyw hi
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gwenynen 
Posted: 12-Aug-2005, 04:13 PM
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Hi Antwn. Glad to find you here. I bought the book from gwales.com. I wish I bought it from gomer. I think their shipping is a lot cheaper than gwales. And they have more of T. Llew's books. I went to gomer after I already ordered the book. I would have bought "Barti Ddu" instead. "Y Môr.." is portions of three of his books. You can sample them and see which one you like but then you wouldn't be able to read the whole stories. Interestingly, in his letter to me, T. Llew himself says he was against the idea of portions of his three books put together in one book, but the editor got his way! So I recommend you'd browse through gomer and pick what you want.

Another book I like is "Cysgod yn y Coed" by Lois Arnold. She was the winner for the Learner of the Year in the National Eisteddfod last year. This book is for learners and it may be too easy for you but I find it quite useful. She has so many useful handy expressions I can copy. All the 9 stories are interesting too. I read them over and over. As a matter of fact, I wrote to her too and she sent me a kind message.

Happy reading! smile.gif
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Siarls 
Posted: 13-Aug-2005, 07:46 AM
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I'm not sure if I have said this already at another point, but according to experts, the Welsh Bible is an excellent place to learn Welsh. Standard Welsh is based on the Bible's Language that was constructed to be accessible to all the dialect.
According to a programme I watched on S4C about Religion in Wales, the Welsh Bible is also supposed to be closer to the original Hebrew (or whichever language the Bible was originally in before Latin) than the English.
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Antwn 
Posted: 13-Aug-2005, 03:04 PM
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Gwenynen, thanks for the ideas. I'd like to read about Black Bart. I also want to get some books for learners too. I think I'd heard an interview with Lois Arnold on Radio Cymru. You can access previously recorded interviews on their website. I believe it was her since the interview was with the winner of the learner of the year award. I could only understand certain passages, but I enjoyed listening to it. You might want to investigate it on that site. Often people on Radio Cymru speak so fast I can't make out what they're saying. Fortunately she didn't speak as rapidly so she was easier to understand.

Siarls, croeso 'nol. Yes, I'd often thought of reading the Bible in Welsh. I think its an excellent idea. I agree it woud be a great way to learn. I've read some passages already since one of my grammar books (by David Thorne) quotes it alot, often to compare grammar differences between the 1955 and 1988 versions. Its interesting that for me the Welsh is easier to understand than the King James English version once I've translated it, since that language is so archaic and the Welsh is much more direct. I haven't read if its closer to the Hebrew/Greek/Aramaic or not personally but it doesn't surprise me. I did read somewhere that the 16th century Morgan translation was done directly from the original languages, due to his incredible scholarship and knowledge of them.

What do you think? Would it be better to use the 1988 translation since the language usage is more contemporary? Though I like learning inflected verbs I don't want to pick up too many habits to make my Welsh too out of date. I saw on another message board in Welsh where someone had used "dyfod" in a sentence, and another member teased her by asking "have you been reading the Welsh Bible?" I had to laugh because I can relate to the difficulty sometimes choosing what form of a verb to use when you have several grammar books using various verb forms and pronouns, some of which are not used very often anymore. That's when it helps to read alot I guess.

Do you know where I can get a copy of the 1988 translation? Would you recommend that version, or the 1955? Or would you suggest the 16th century Morgan translation? I have a copy of Llyfr y Tri Aderyn written sometime in the 1600's and the Welsh in that book is wonderful.

I'd appreciate any suggestions you have Siarls about which Bible translation you'd suggest getting and where to find it. Which version do most people in Wales use? Which would be the best to learn formal Welsh from?

Oh Gwen!! On a related note, since that conversation you had on Welsh Learners a while back about not using Dwn i ddim, I have seen it written several times! Once on Cymru'r Byd I remember, and once in a Kate Roberts Novel, Y Byd Sy'n Cysgu. So it looks to me like its used by some people.

Antwn
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Siarls 
Posted: 15-Aug-2005, 06:45 AM
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I shall do research. I'm sorry to say that I am not particularly religious and have never actually read the Bible. But Welsh Language experts insist on the genius of the Welsh Language and I think I shall soon be studying it. (The Language rather than the Bible itself).

We've already looked at a couple of passages.
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gwenynen 
Posted: 15-Aug-2005, 09:24 AM
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Antwn, I like Barti Ddi because I've read a little about him; he was the most successful pirate in the world. And I used to like reading CS Forester's Hornblower as well as about Nelson and the British Navy in the days of sailing ships. There are numerous other books T Llew wrote which may be more to your interest. So, just look around and pick one of your interest.

I did try listening to Lois Arnold's interview on Beti a'i Phobl last year. She certainly spoke a lot slower than Beti but still it was beyond me. I was simply amazed that she's learned Welsh so quickly. I hear she's started only 6 or 7 years ago.

I believe the Welsh Bible was revised for the first time in 1988. Up till then, it was William Morgan's translation. I didn't know they made something in 1955. I haven't looked at Morgan's but I have a 1988 edition. It sure sounds quite literally to me. They published another edition last year, but as far as I know the change they made was in the area of 'gender issue' which has been a big issue in the States too. So the style of Welsh remains the same. There is a paraphrased version of New Testament. You can read the entire N Testament on the web:
http://www.beibl.net/
It's in modern Welsh but as the purpose of this translation is to help young Welsh speakers and learners (young and old!) understand the Bible, it's rather wordy. 1988 edition is fast disappearing as they are promoting 2004 edition. It took me almost half a year to obtain one at e-bay. You can buy 2004 edition easily from Welsh Bible Society. Here's a good site:
http://www.walesontheweb.org/cayw/index/en/220/all
Reading the Welsh Bible is an excellent way to get used to the literally Welsh for me since I'm familiar with the content and know what the Welsh is supposed to mean even when I don't understand the Welsh itself.

Kate Roberts used "Dwn i ddim" in a dialog of a little girl in "Te yn y Grug". And considering some Welsh speakers think it's ungramatical, I now avoid using it and stick to "Wn i ddim."
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Antwn 
Posted: 15-Aug-2005, 11:35 AM
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Diolch yn fawr for the info Gwen. Like Siarls, I'm not a big Bible reader and read it only as literature. In this case also to help me learn the more formal literary language.

Thanks again for the suggestions.

Antwn
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Siarls 
Posted: 15-Aug-2005, 03:03 PM
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If you want/need any books - of course they are in ready supply here and I can post them to you.
I have been meaning to make CDs as well - but my lack of computer skills is making it difficult! The same with photos. I keep asking my brothers and mother to help me, but they just lose me.
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gwenynen 
Posted: 15-Aug-2005, 07:16 PM
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I understand your predicament, Siarls. I'm using the computer with the basic possibe knowledge, the same way I drive my car without a slightest idea for what to do should something goes wrong (I'd just call my husband!) I'm sure you aren't as helpless as I am, though. smile.gif I hope you'd succeed in making a CD. I'd love to hear you speak both Welsh and English.
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gwenynen 
Posted: 27-Sep-2005, 12:11 AM
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Finally "Xenophobe's Guide to the Welsh" has arrived. It took amazon.com almost 3 months! (Heini Gruffudd's grammar book isn't available through them.) It was so amusing that I finished it in one day. The topics on mothers' power, beer, rugby and Japanese employers were particularly funny. (How Japanese consider sick leaves is amazingly accurate!)

Siarls, how much do you think is true? Do you disagree with any of the description of the Welsh characteristics?

Has anyone else read this book?
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Siarls 
Posted: 27-Sep-2005, 04:39 PM
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I think it's more or less accurate, actually. Some things I feel are generally Celtic, British, European and even human! Nonetheless, it has put a very humorous twist on Welsh culture. Some things don't apply to my family, but I can certainly see it's true because of friends!

The National Assembly is amazingly accurate and although Xenophobe's makes it quite humorous, it is in fact incredibly frustrating for us.

There is one thing I slightly disagree with. The opening lines on page 5. I feel that the Welsh cannot wait to mention that they are Welsh, even if they don't boast about it and that this in turn is the consequence of a slight national inferiority complex.

And the joke about the breaches of the laws of hospitality (page 45) - hysterical! I cried with laughter at that point!!!!!
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gwenynen 
Posted: 27-Sep-2005, 10:25 PM
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Is that so? Another question: who has more power, Secretary of State for the Welsh Offie or the First Minister of the National Assembly? Do they work together or are they more like rivals?

Also, what do you think of "cleanliness" - If it's not clearn, it's destined to stay so? This is an interesting topic as Japanese are passionately cleanliness conscious (some may be obsessed!) This may be due to their national religion, Shintoism (not that people believe in it. It's more like a tradition.) Outword cleansing is an important aspect of the religion. That's why they never wear outside shoes in the house.

I encourage anyone interested in Wales to read this book. It's informative as well as highly entertaining.
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