North vs South

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Art
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North vs South

Postby Art » 10 May 2006, 17:27

Let it be known that my Cymreag is barely enough to wrap around a cocktail wiener on a good day! My understanding is that the two primary dialectic conventions involve colloquial expressions in north Wales vs South Wales.  

For instance, the phrase; Sud dych chi? (How are you?) would be pronounced “Shwd eeekh khee” in south Wales but “Sit dach khee” in North Wales.

Similarly, saying Hi to someone (Sut mae!) is pronounced “Shwmai!” in the south and “S’mae!” in the north! (Of course being from Louisiana I don’t see why the southern folks don’t just say “Shwmai y’all!”)

From what I understand there are even slight differences from valley to valley such that a native speaker can often tell a person’s home simply by listening.

My question would be how prevalent are the regional differences in Welsh today and what, if any, impact would that have on a Welsh learner?
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Postby Creirwy » 11 May 2006, 09:41

the impact of north and south welsh today? Well as a language it definately tells the 'locals' from the tourists. I wouldnt go as far to say valley to valley but then again I havent meant and compared welsh speakers from different valleys. However, I can tell the differnce in someones accent (accent when they speak english because I dont know any south welsh folk that speak their native language) if they come from Cardiff, Newport or Swansea in south wales because I've lived there and got chucked into the roughest of deep ends sometimes - as well as being english lol.

The difference and divide between north and south welsh is much more cultural than just linguistic. They each have different values and life experiences - north wales being far more agricultural and south wales being far more indusutrial with the mines and now the big cities of south wales. Accent and pronouncation is part of that cultural identity.

Sorry just had to had that into the mix...
And no one knows about the midwelsh - those that venture into the mountains rarely come back to tell the tale ;)

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Postby Branwen Fach » 12 May 2006, 02:20

Being a South Wales lass who does speak her native tounge I can reasure you that for the purpose of learning Welsh it won't matter too much ifyou pronounce it in a North Walian accent or a South one.  There are some differences, but it's more a matter of dialect.

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Postby Cariad » 14 May 2006, 14:30

Hi

I've been away so have only just discovered this exciting new sub forum.

My mother's family are from different areas of North Wales. and I am trying to learn (improve) my Welsh at the moment.

There are differences in accent and ways of speaking even within fairly small areas but as branwen says, it doesn't really matter. Even in England , you get regional differences, so I guess this is the same really. As long as you can get the pronunciation somewhere near, that's the most important, I would say.

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Postby Gwilym Goch » 16 May 2006, 01:14

Some more info on dialects (boring for most I'm sure but it's a hobby of mine):

Just to begin, as Branwen rightly said, these days it is unlikely that two Welsh speakers will have any dificulty understanding each other regardless of where they come from.

There were once very specific regional dialects (all still based on the same grammer). The more striking diferences have largely dissapeared due to the massive demographic changes in local communities (as in most of Europe).

Saying that there are still strong regional difernces in the areas where native Welsh communities still flourish. The North and South dialects are the more obvious to note, but also the Mid walian dialect is different to both in many respects, as is the North Eastern Fflintshire accent different to the North Western Arfon accent. You can still tell if someone is from Anglesey as opposed to Caernarfon with a little attention. West Wales (Dyfed) also has a very difernet flavour to the Morganwg Welsh of the valeys.

Generally speaking all accents are softening, and the North Welsh 'u' is on the decline, being replaced by the flater southern 'i'. Also many parts of Mid-wales have lost their accents altogether and the Cardiganshire West accent has crept in.

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Re: North vs South

Postby ~*Blackbird*~ » 31 Jul 2006, 16:54

Hehe I love this topic!

To me the difference is very noticeable.I live in the South-near Cardiff but I go to uni in Aberystwyth in mid Wales.

Southern Welsh is quite soft,I'd say easier to follow for a learner because it's so industrialised down here-its more widely spoken as there are so many people whereas up North it's more agricultural and so more likely to have localised dialect.As a friend of mine said,Southern is more like English being spoken in a funny way whereas up North you get something that actually does sound foreign lol.That's just his opinion though.

Northern Welsh is very accented I think-even I have to sit up and pay attention!Aswell as the difference in accents,there's difference in words aswell.Here's a few examples:

'Ill' is "sal" with a '^' above the 'a' (dunno how to do it on here) down South but "tost" up North which down South means 'toast' lol.

'Moon' is "lleuad" down South, but "lloer" up North

'Now' is "nawr" down South but "rwan" up North (if you look carefully you'll see it's the same word only backwards!)

'There' is "dyna" in the South and "dacw" up North

'Do you understand'-"ydych chi'n deall?"-South  "Dach chi'n dallt?"-North

That's just a few examples!Mid Wales is like a mix of the two with it's own accent.West and East Wales also have their own accents though not as obvious I don't think.

If you want a comparison-try and take a look at the British Big Brother!There are currently two housemates-Glyn from North Wales and Imogen from South Wales.Quite interesting to see lol.

In Wales-if you go to Welsh school there's usually a mix in accents in teachers so you become aware of these differences anyway.Plus the fact that there are more books written in the Northern way of speaking than any other way.

It really doesn't matter in what way you learn Welsh-you're going to be understood regardless.It's a matter of preference to what you like best I think.As you said-most of it is just colloquial so if you're not sure about the local dialect there's no harm in using the formal way-you'll soon pick up the slang lol.

Sam
Let it be known that my Cymreag is barely enough to wrap around a cocktail wiener on a good day! My understanding is that the two primary dialectic conventions involve colloquial expressions in north Wales vs South Wales.  

For instance, the phrase; Sud dych chi? (How are you?) would be pronounced “Shwd eeekh khee” in south Wales but “Sit dach khee” in North Wales.

Similarly, saying Hi to someone (Sut mae!) is pronounced “Shwmai!” in the south and “S’mae!” in the north! (Of course being from Louisiana I don’t see why the southern folks don’t just say “Shwmai y’all!”)

From what I understand there are even slight differences from valley to valley such that a native speaker can often tell a person’s home simply by listening.

My question would be how prevalent are the regional differences in Welsh today and what, if any, impact would that have on a Welsh learner?
~*Efo can yn fy ysbryd,a'r heniaeth yn fy ngwaed,rwy'n byw bywyd llawn efo calon Celtaidd*~

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Postby dreamguardian » 16 Aug 2007, 06:54

I moved to West Wales just over 3 years ago. I'm in mid Wales and went to Welsh Learners. The locals told me not to bother with it coz it's not the 'Welsh' they speak..!! I've learnt localisms + speak it with a dodgy south london accent.

I personally find it a nightmare to understand Northern Welsh, not just dialect but it seems a huge difference in vocabulary too. But thats me, stupid!

Also as a little trivia, I can hear + tell where abouts Welsh speakers hail from.

Rob
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Re: North vs South

Postby LunarLiz » 05 Apr 2013, 12:47

I am something of a "cockney sparra" having been born and bred in London some 50 plus years ago... so I'm used to folk "taking the mickey" out of my way of speaking where ever I go... I don't use full-on rhyming slang much, like my Gran used to all the time, but little bits creep in now and again, words like "titfer" (tit for tat) for hat... or apples (and pears) for stairs... "mutton" (jeff) for deaf... and that sort of thing, they just sort of slip out and find their way into what I'm saying without me even thinking too long and hard about it. It just "comes naturally".
Mind you, having said that, nowadays it's more like ghetto slang like "My cribs' in Lun-dun, innit?" :o so the whole thing has been made into a form of oral shorthand really... and altered beyond recognition in a lot of respects, which in turn has made me interested in all dialects for all of my life really.

I spent my youth traveling much of the UK, my family were fun fair working nomads... and I'm pretty good at hearing somebody speak and then guessing where they come from as a rule. I can certainly tell a Yorkshire man from a Kent one in just one or two brief sentences... quicker than that if they are Essex or Hertfordshire... or Cambridge or Norfolk for example... I don't think it's just on the sound of the words, either, it's something in the mannerisms they apply, maybe, and the energies they give off that I'm picking up on too perhaps...
In fact, I find myself getting a bit "put out" if I can't quite place it because I like to challenge myself (as sad as that might make me sound) :???:

I've been visiting South West Wales regularly for the last 30 years, having fallen in love with it back in 1975, and been honoured to have been living here (Pembrokeshire) for the last 3. I have just learned about the Landsker line, and what the locals refer to as “Little England Beyond Wales.” There's certainly not much Welsh being spoken (in public) where I am, the road signs and other ones like sign posts for churches, schools, train stations and so on are in English first, and Welsh second. Where I am there's a busy ferry port close by to and from Ireland, (sailings are twice a day every day) so quite a few of the locals have Irish (or Irish/Welsh now) accents. :) The two blended together are something of a curious mix... I have to say :???: Sort of "top o' the morning to ya" meets "Croeso" or "Shwmae"... :roll:

I could listen to the Welsh speak all day and all night, even if they were just reading the telephone directory. Be they North or South. It's all so musical and enchanting. Not just the words and lilt or accent, but the spaces in between, the pace, the excitement levels, the passion, the expressions, all of it... it's just wonderful. Even English spoken with the slight Welsh accent sounds beautiful to me. And I like to think I'm starting to pick it up a bit now myself too... when ever I speak to my friend who's still in London she says I sound more Welsh each time :) My next door neighbour is from "oop north" but he's been in Wales since 1942, and clearly has taken on lots of the Welsh dialect, so his voice is very interesting!!! (sort of "eh by gum, there's trouble with me whippets" meets "borra da") :roll: :grin: - please excuse the sweeping generalizations and blatant and perhaps unforgivable stereotyping, but I think you'll get what I'm trying to say... No offense meant by it at all. All said with honest affection and as terms of endearment, I can assure you.

I have noticed subtle differences from those in, say, Barry Island, those in Bridgend, those in Cardiff Bay, those in Swansea and so on... nothing I can really identify but tiny influences making minute changes... enough to just notice if you pay full attention... I found Carmarthen accents sound quite different, more like the North ones really. The more I visit the town there, the more this is becomming clear to me... and I've been spending a fair amount of time in Cardigan too lately, given that's where I'm getting some of my harp lessons now, and I've noticed it's slightly different there again.

I had to laugh when I heard the phrase "where to you from, boy?" and "I'll be there now in a minute" (otherwize known as "the Pembrokeshire Promise" - like "Manyana" but even slower... :-) I believe the Cornish call it dreckly... :roll: :)

Listening to somebody from Anglesea speaking in Swansea quite recently (Kris Hughes - MonDruid) I have to confess I was struggling a little bit (to keep up) and in awe / somewhat star struck :blink:
When the Welsh speak of place names I can't quite put a picture in my mind of where it is they mean and then I feel "lost" because the way it's written doesn't sound in my head when I read it like how it's heard in my ears when it's being spoken. That aside, the talk was totally amazing, both for historical content, and for how it "came across". Just love the Anglesea accent, I does. (See what I did there? :roll: this is a welsh way of putting things...!)

I hope it will get easier with time and more effort on learning the language on my part. :) I certainly look forward to it. I'm finding lots of the posts on here very helpful in that respect so thanks to all who have contributed.
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