Horizons/ Gorwelion

29. March 2015 14:06 by Chris in ForTheRecod, Welsh  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

We're off to see the Horizons/ Gorwelion event at Chapter in Cardiff tonight (Sunday 29/03/15). I thought I'd have a listen to the singers/ bands and might as well make a note of a few links while I do.

See http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/1WhvnGjVSWVwMTtLw0GXkJ8/what-is-horizons-gorwelion & http://www.bbc.co.uk/events/emg5v2.


Gabrielle Murphy https://soundcloud.com/gabriellemurphy @gabymurphy 19.30-20.00

Climbing Trees https://soundcloud.com/climbingtrees @ClimbingTrees 20.15-20.50

The People The Poet https://soundcloud.com/thepeoplethepoet @People_Poet 21.00-21.35

Houdini Dax https://soundcloud.com/houdini-dax @HoudiniDax 21.50-22.30

Social Space

Chris Jones http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02fhw3m @chrisgwerin  18.25-19.00

Seazoo https://soundcloud.com/seazoo @seazooband 19.20-19.55

Kizzy Crawford https://soundcloud.com/kizzymerielcrawford @kizzkez 20.10-20.35

Gabrielle Murphy https://soundcloud.com/gabriellemurphy @gabymurphy 20.55-21.10

Baby Queens https://soundcloud.com/baby-queens @baby_queens 21.25-22.00



Wesh Language Books

24. March 2015 06:29 by Chris in Welsh  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

I keep coming across Welsh books that I don't (yet) have the time to read. So here is where I shall remind myself I should at least give them a go. I'll also add notes here when I do get round to reading them and I'll also add the few books I've read already. As such this a work in progress I'll hopefully return to regularly.

Just as background in case you've not come across my other posts. I'm a long-time Welsh learner mainly doing the 'slow and steady' approach with once a week classes and supporting outside activities but have attempted to 'step things up' a little over the last couple of years with a twice a week course and an intensive course at the end of last year. As a result I'm at level Uwch2 and supposedly ready for the pseudo A-level (Welsh as a 2nd Language) which, to my shame, 5 or 6 of my fellow students are preparing for currently (24/03/2015). Maybe next year.


Dirgel ddyn by Morgan, Mihangel

This is one of the choice of 'A-leve'l books and my tutor is particularly keen on this author. I borrowed this book from the library a few weeks ago, struggled through the first page due to the complexity of the vocabulary and put it to one side as I had another to try. I had been told it was a difficult but good book but as I've been put off wading through books like this in the past as it is just not enjoyable I may return to the library and try again at a later date.

On a related note there is an opinion that you shouldn't get too bogged down reading books in your second language expecting to understand every word and that if you appreciate the gist/ main threads this is sufficient. I can appreciate the argument and even agree, to a degree, but this may come down to the type and character of the reader. Personally I find it frustrating if there are too many words in a page that I can't work out from the context. It also spoils the reading experience as the length of time it takes and the complexity of the process of 'reading' compromises the ability to appreciate and hence enjoy the story.


Blodwen Jones Trilogy by Bethan Gwanas

Bywyd Blodwen Jones (1999)

Blodwen Jones a'r Aderyn Prin (2001)

Tri Chynnig i Blodwen Jones (2003)

These books were great for me at my stage of learning - Canolradd if memory serves. They are part of the Nofelau Nawr series for adult Welsh learners. Compared to the book in the same series I tried to read over one summer (Deltanet - see below) they were a joy to read. The level was more appropriate to me and they were amusing. The dialect was not the South Walian I was used to but, hey, you need to get used to the regional variations at some point.


Deltanet, Andras Millward

Didn't like this book. To be fair it might have been too high a level for me when I started. When I returned to it a year later after reading the Blodwen Jones series I did enjoy it more.


Modrybedd Afradlon, Mihangel Morgan

Struggled a bit again to get into it but finished the second half at a good pace which I think is key to enjoying a book. I agree with the review at http://ssiw.pbworks.com/w/page/36027266/Fiction%20and%20Poetry.


Smoc Gron Back by Eirug Wyn (1994, 192 pages)

There was an excerpt from this book as part of a homework in course Uwch 2 and it was a) good and b) intriguing, so I ordered the book from the library immediately. I now have 3 books out for the library so I'll have to decide which one to go for and return the other 2 for the enjoyment of others. I think it'll be this one I go for.


Noson Yr Heliwr by Lyn Ebenezer (1994, 160 pages)

Another of the A level reading books. Heading towards the 'horror' genre direction judging by the blurb and the first couple of pages. Based on a film apparently. One of those waiting for me to return to.


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!


Geirfa Uwch 1 Uned 5

25. May 2014 12:23 by Chris in Welsh  //  Tags: ,   //   Comments (0)

Geirfa Uwch 1 Uned 4

25. May 2014 12:16 by Chris in Welsh  //  Tags: ,   //   Comments (0)

Geirfa Uwch 1 Uned 3

25. May 2014 12:10 by Chris in Welsh  //  Tags: ,   //   Comments (0)

Geirfa Cwrs Uwch 1 Uned 2

25. May 2014 12:06 by Chris in Welsh  //  Tags: ,   //   Comments (0)

Geirfa Cwrs Uwch 1 Uned 1

25. May 2014 09:44 by Chris in Welsh  //  Tags: ,   //   Comments (0)

It's a bank holiday weekend. The rest of the family are away. It's raining. My "To Do" list includes writing some blog posts and catching up with my Welsh studies so why not combine the two?

The vague plan is to write lots of Welsh learners content as a means of revising/ studying over the (long) summer holiday break after my current course has finished and also link this into a side project of mine (dysgwyr.co.uk). We'll see. Let's at least make a step in that general direction. I'm about to finish Cwrs Uwch 1 as delivered by Welsh for Adults of Cardiff University and I've been typing up my notes semi-regularly and plan to share in case they are useful to the wider community of Welsh learners. This will include vocab from each unit. This will normally be a subset of the vocab as presented at the end of each unit, the subset I thought at the time was not sufficiently secure in my memory.

I will add these vocab sets to Quizlet, to extend the similar, useful Welsh resources others have already submitted to the database.

I have lots of vague plans, however; we'll see how many come to fruition.

Anyway, Uned 1 ... 

eReader Dictionaries

31. July 2013 17:38 by Chris in dev, Welsh  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

I just put this up on the SSIW forum:

Might be a long shot this one ... I've just downloaded a Welsh book to my Nook eReader from the "eBooks for Wales" website and the thought occurred that it would be very useful for Welsh learners such as myself to have integrated automatic translation from Welsh to English, similar to the English dictionary that is accessible where you just press on the word and see the definition. A quick google suggested only English dictionaries are supported but perhaps others here know better, or know of better support on other platforms/ devices?Currently I have Ap Geriaduron on my Nexus 7 by side by side with the Nook but I could do without the extra data entry!

I then came across this: 


which refers to a project with which an aquaintance of mine is involved: Apertium.

Maybe I should just develop one myself using the opensource tools/ data available?!


A Welsh learner typing tip

21. January 2013 21:17 by Chris in Welsh  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

From http://desktoppub.about.com/cs/finetypography/ht/circumflex.htm 

Under Windows hold down ALT while typing the appropriate number code on your numeric keypad to create characters with circumflex accent marks e.g. â 0226, ô 0244

In Word: Ctrl-Shft-^ then the letter ... but this is word specific and won't work generally in Windows.

Staying with Word, if you want a ë it's CTRL-':'m i.e CTRL-SHIFT ';' then the 'e' or another character. You can get at this generally in Windows with ALT-137, a different scheme from above (see http://www.edu.dudley.gov.uk/ict/software/word/accents.htm). I'll get to investigating the difference between the two schemes.



In Welsh the circumflex is known as hirnod 'long sign', acen grom 'crooked accent' and also colloquially as to bach 'little roof'. It lengthens a vowel (a, e, i, o, u, w, y), and is used particularly to differentiate between homographs; e.g. tan and tân, ffon and ffôn, gem and gêm, cyn and cŷn, or gwn and gŵn. I add this as I needed 'ŷ' (the code in this case is 0177) as the standard way to insert a circumflex, Ctrl-Shift-6, then 'y', didn't work, so you type the code then ALT-X. Note this is different from the general Windows approach above.

Note also that while â, ê, î, ô and and û will work with the CTRL-Shift approach ŵ as well as ŷ won't, the code for the former being 0175.

P.S. you can always also Insert-Symbol as well!

Shame it can't all be easier in this day and age!







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.

Month List