Customer Review

10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars welsh (lack of useful) phrases, 2 Feb 2004
This review is from: A Dictionary of Welsh and English Idiomatic Phrases: Welsh-English/English-Welsh (Paperback)
i have now been learning welsh for about 2 years, and whilst not entirely fluent, i can converse reasonably well with many of my friends who are first language speakers. A year ago i thought i'd try and become a touch more colloquial and, to this end, bought this book. So what can i say about the book? How has it helped me? Well, the short answer is that it really really hasn't. I've looked up phrases in novels, from transcripts, song lyrics, snatches of conversations, even idioms that i've learnt directly from the mouths of fluent first language speakers and, to date, i have still not found one of these phrases in this book. What's more, when i've taken phrases from the book and applied them, they've been met with, at best, amusement for their complete lack of idiomatic use. don't get me wrong- if you were a beginner in the tongue and wanted to know how using 'wedi..' affects certain verbs, then it's all in their. Unfortunately, i had learnt that within my first 6 weeks of class, so it was no help to me. My advice: skip past this one and invest in a good dictionary instead- you'll find far more useful and applicable idioms under many of the entries there.
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Initial post: 1 Feb 2011 13:29:55 GMT
Broga says:
I have been learning Welsh for 15 years and I am now totally fluent in both speaking, reading and writing. This book was given to me as a present in 2001 and I only read the negative review because I am about to buy the book as a present for a friend. I am sorry that David Hill has found the book so unhelpful. My experience, that of my native Welsh speaking tutor and that of the members of my Welsh chat group (Cyd) share my positive view. Looking up anything in Welsh is difficult because of the mutations. Thus coming across cath meaning cat you will find many different versons of that simple word e.g. gath, nghath, chath. Finding a meaning is not easy. With idioms it is so much more difficult as literal translation is impossible.

I understand David Hill's difficulty and indeed sympathise. All learners have been there. However, once past the learning stage I think you might find this book invaluable and well worth having on your bookshelf. It has been a boon to me through many Welsh novels and I am confident will continue to be so.
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