Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Breaking down the barriers - understanding the logic behind *some* Welsh words!

Being able to 'analyse' Welsh words makes it easier to remember them and then translate new words as you come across them.

These are just five quick examples of words which you break down into smaller words which *might* help you to keep them firmly in your brain!

  • Cefnogaeth > cefn o gaeth > to have someone's back > to support

  • Cyfrifiadur > cyfrif i addurn > a counting ornament > computer 
    • anything beginning with cyfrif is to do with counting; cyfrifiannell is a calculator, cyfrif is to count, cyfrifydd is an accountant.

  • Llyfrgell > llyfr gell > a cell of books > library
    • oergell (cold cell > refrigerator) and rhewgell (ice cell > freezer) follow the same pattern, so anything with -gell is a container of something.

  • Ffermwr > fferm gŵr > farm man > farmer 
    • words ending in -wr are mostly someone who works somewhere; gyrrwr (gyrru gŵr) > driver, cyfreithwr (cyfraith gŵr) > solicitor, tafarnwr (tafarn gŵr) > landlord.

  • Modurdy > modur tŷ > motor house > garage
    • words ending in -dy/-ty are often a place where things are housed or work is done; ysbyty > hospital, gweithdy > workshop, gwesty > hotel. 
So, it makes sense to try and understand how the word is 'made', you will have a logical reminder of most words and be able to work out the unknown ones... well, some of them anyway! Of course, not all words DO follow a pattern, but it's a start!
Share some of your own tips below!