Maen yr Athronydd

posted Jan 21, 2009, 12:17 PM by Julie Birch

Yesterday I finally got the first Harry Potter book in Welsh in the mail, and this is proving an interesting challenge. I knew that my largely colloquial knowledge would need some expanding to deal with even marginally formal written matter, and I knew that written Welsh is basically a different language from the spoken variety, but I guess I wasn't prepared for how much this is the case even for a work like Harry Potter. Where are all the pronouns? What on Earth is this verb ending -ai I keep seeing everywhere? It looks imperfect, but I thought the imperfect was formed with oedd + VN in the modern language. And how come they're using o for "he" instead of e, as I understood to be the standard?

Anyway, here's the first paragraph with the words I don't understand in bold.

Broliai Mr a Mrs Dursley, rhif pedwar Privet Drive, eu bod nhw'n deulu cwbl normal, diolch yn fawr iawn ichi. Fyddai neb yn disgwyl iddyn nhw, o bawb, fod yn rhan o rywbeth rhyfedd neu anesboniadwy, oherwydd doedden nhw ddim yn credu yn y ffasiwn rwdlmi-lol.

I seriously need to buy myself a better dictionary. Fun times ahead, though!

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