‘Blwyddyn’, ‘Blynedd’ and ‘Blwydd’

15. September 2014 19:24 by Chris in   //  Tags:   //   Comments (1)

I went to a revision class last Saturday before the start of my new Welsh course. One of the topics we went over was 'years' and it quickly became apparent that I didn't know much about the topic. Hence this blog post by way of additional revision! The below is based on 'Welsh Grammar' by Christine Jones as well as the examples from my last session at Cardiff University's Welsh for Adults Centre. 

‘Blwyddyn’, ‘Blynedd’ and ‘Blwydd’ are all used to refer to years in Welsh. 

Blwyddyn is a feminine singular noun, the plural of which is blynyddoedd.

Blwyddyn is used on its own with the cardinal one and with all ordinals:

Buodd hi’n gweithio yn yr adran am flwyddyn.
She worked in the department for a year.

Mae hi yn y flwyddyn gyntaf.
She is in the first year.

Dw i wedi byw yn yr ardal am flynyddoedd.
I’ve lived in the area for years.

With the exception of one blynedd is used with cardinal numbers (traditional):

un flwyddyn
dwy flynedd
tair blynedd
pedair blynedd
pum mlynedd
chwe blynedd
saith mlynedd
wyth mlynedd
naw mlynedd
deg (deng) mlynedd
un mlynedd ar ddeg
deuddeg (deuddeng) mlynedd
tair blynedd ar ddeg
pedair blynedd ar ddeg
pymtheg (pymtheng) mlynedd
un mlynedd ar bymtheg
dwy flynedd ar bymtheg
deunaw mlynedd
pedair blynedd ar bymtheg
ugain mlynedd

With the more modern number system blynedd will still mutate after 10 according to the number it follows or you can use the plural which simplifies matters:

un deg dwy flynedd or un deg dwy o flynyddoedd
un deg pump mlynedd or un deg pump o flynyddoedd
un deg chwe blynedd or un deg chwe o flynyddoedd

‘Blwydd’ is used when referring to age and age is always feminine regardless of the subject of the sentence. Also blwydd can be omitted but oed will remain.

Mae e’n ddwy (flwydd) oed.

On its own blwydd means a year old.

Mae’r babi’n flwydd oed.

Further Examples

  • Cwrddais i â fe dair blynedd yn ôl.
  • Mae merch dwy flwydd oed gyda hi.
  • Mae eu mab nhw’n flwydd oed yfory.
  • Roedden ni’n arfer mynd yno bob blwyddyn.
  • Y llynedd oedd y bedwaredd flwyddyn i mi fynd yna.
  • Rydyn ni’n briod ers pymtheg mlynedd.
  • Hon ydy’r ail flwyddyn iddo gystadlu.
  • Maen nhw’n byw yna ers deugain mlynedd.
  • Flwyddyn yn ôl ro’ch chi yn yr ysbyty.
  • Roedd y llynedd yn flwyddyn brysur iawn.
  • Blwyddyn newydd dda!
  • Dw i’n gobeithio ymddeol ymhen pum mlynedd.


Think you see a mistake above? It's distinctly possible so let me know!  


Enquiry Cymraeg

9. September 2014 18:47 by Chris in Welsh  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

I received an email enquiry and I thought I'd share my responses on the blog: 

"... I learn languages quickly but it is much easier for me to learn a language if I have a more formal grammatical introduction to the language.

1. Is there a book, either obtainable on-line or in the UK (where I've family and friends) which you could recommend for learning Welsh that way, especially with regular lessons, vocabulary and readings as the grammar is covered?
2. Is there a good and thorough dictionary you would recommend giving Welsh-English equivalents and vice-versa?
3. Finally, I regret to say that I am woefully ignorant of Welsh literature written in the Welsh language. I do own a Welsh translation of Harry Potter but once I've learned the language well enough to read that translation, how can I find out about what there is to read properly in Welsh?"


Re: 1 -


This is interesting as it emphasizes the fact that different people learn in different ways. SSIW (https://www.saysomethingin.com/welsh/course1) is the first option many recommend but this is very much a course about developing speaking conversational skills over grammar, at least as far as I have experienced listening to course 1.


A better option in this case, and a course I can personally recommend, is Catchphrase (http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/catchphrase/catchphrase1/lessons1.shtml) which is a little long in the tooth but little changes with languages over such a relatively short time and has both more of a grammatical focus as well as supporting documentation you can also download. There is also a good initial grammar guide available from the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/learnwelsh/pdf/welshgrammar_allrules.pdf). I have several other welsh course books I could direct you towards if these links are not suitable, but I haven't delved into these much as I have had enough to cope with attending classes in person. I do dip into another book: Teach Yourself Welsh Grammar by Christine Jones (http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0340887869/) - this has useful exercises to reinforce learning as well.


Re: 2 -

To be honest I use electronic dictionaries 99% of the time - at least until recently when my wife lost our Android Tablet (!) as Ap Geriaiduron (http://www.bangor.ac.uk/canolfanbedwyr/ap_geiriaduron.php.en) is available for Apple and Android devices. Check out the rest of the Canolfan Bedwyr site as well as they run several projects of interest. The BBC site (http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/welshdictionary/en-cy/ runs off the same database I understand. Also for vocab Google Translate (https://translate.google.com/) isn't too bad at all, just don't tax it too much with grammar. As far as hardcopy dictionaries are concerned 'Y Geiriadur Mawr' by Christopher Davies, published by Gomer is the standard recommendation once you're past beginners dictionaries.


Re: 3 -

I am going to point you at 'Y Lolfa' and, particularly, their 'Stori Sydyn' series. I will also recommend the works of Bethan Gwanas and, particularly, her Blodwen Jones trilogy which are part of the 'Nofelau Nawr' series for learners. Unlike some books aimed at learners these entertain as well as introduce you to new parts of the language. I would say that any of these probably aren't any more complex than Harry Potter, but they are more Welsh!


About the author

I am Dr Christopher Sully (MCPD, MCSD) and I am a Cardiff, UK based IT Consultant/ Developer and have been involved in the industry since 1996 though I started programming considerably earlier than that. During the intervening period I've worked mainly on web application projects utilising Microsoft products and technologies: principally ASP.NET and SQL Server and working on all phases of the project lifecycle. If you might like to utilise some of the aforementioned experience I would strongly recommend that you contact me. I am also trying to improve my Welsh so am likely to blog about this as well as IT matters.

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