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Being polite?

PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 8:50 am
by paws3
Hi all,
Having no (welsh speaking) friends or family, I joined an informal group but was pulled up on using 'ti ' instead of 'chi' as I don't know them.

I am now on lesson 19 (Northern 1) where we are using 'chi' as plural for you. Is it also the formal singular 'you'?

The group want's me to use chi which has cut down on a lot I can say, as I don't think I can go back and just substitute 'chi' into phrases that I have already learnt (like byddi di'n to make byddi chi'n).... or can I?

Re: Being polite?

PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 8:53 am
by DavidHT
paws3 wrote:Hi all, Having no (welsh speaking) friends or family, I joined an informal group but was pulled up on using 'ti ' instead of 'chi' as I don't know them.
I am now on lesson 19 (Northern 1) where we are using 'chi' as plural for you. Is it also the formal singular 'you'?


Helo, I can certainly help you with the above. Ti is you singular informal, and chi is you singular formal, or you plural -- Even if it's a group of people where you know all of them, you still need to use chi.

Hope this helps.

Re: Being polite?

PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 8:58 am
by lambiek
DavidHT wrote:
paws3 wrote:Hi all, Having no (welsh speaking) friends or family, I joined an informal group but was pulled up on using 'ti ' instead of 'chi' as I don't know them.
I am now on lesson 19 (Northern 1) where we are using 'chi' as plural for you. Is it also the formal singular 'you'?


Helo, I can certainly help you with the above. Ti is you singular informal, and chi is you singular formal, or you plural -- Even if it's a group of people where you know all of them, you still need to use chi.

Hope this helps.


As David says, and just to be clear: the verb endings are the same as for the plural "chi", not "ti", so "byddwch chi" etc.

Re: Being polite?

PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 9:36 am
by Aran
Hi Paws - is this a group of Welsh learners, or Welsh speakers? No-one who wants to encourage learners should be giving them a hard time about formal/informal/plural usage.

As a quick and messy solution (my favourite kind!), yes, just go ahead and use ch instead of t - and then fine-tune as necessary - that will at least show that you are paying respect to the group. But please don't get trapped into worrying/thinking too much about it - you've got a huge amount of Welsh, and you need to be allowed to enjoy using it!...:)

Re: Being polite?

PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 9:37 am
by Spenny
paws3 wrote:Hi all,
Having no (welsh speaking) friends or family, I joined an informal group but was pulled up on using 'ti ' instead of 'chi' as I don't know them.

I am now on lesson 19 (Northern 1) where we are using 'chi' as plural for you. Is it also the formal singular 'you'?

The group want's me to use chi which has cut down on a lot I can say, as I don't think I can go back and just substitute 'chi' into phrases that I have already learnt (like byddi di'n to make byddi chi'n).... or can I?

Pulled up as in 'politely pointed out' or something a little more pointed? In the groups I have been to, we have been entirely relaxed about the issue, discussing it, but not criticising it.

As someone on the first course, you should expect and be given a wide range of tolerance.

My daughter discovered after several weeks that she'd been using the informal du in German with the head teacher and this was a major faux pas as although all the teachers used du amongst each other, they didn't to the head. However, she was never corrected over it, and no offence was taken.

Re: Being polite?

PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 11:29 am
by Tahl
Aran wrote:Hi Paws - is this a group of Welsh learners, or Welsh speakers? No-one who wants to encourage learners should be giving them a hard time about formal/informal/plural usage.

As a quick and messy solution (my favourite kind!), yes, just go ahead and use ch instead of t - and then fine-tune as necessary - that will at least show that you are paying respect to the group. But please don't get trapped into worrying/thinking too much about it - you've got a huge amount of Welsh, and you need to be allowed to enjoy using it!...:)

Paws, if I were you, I wouldn't try to use 'chi' until you've gotten to it in SSIW. As you suspect, you can't just drop 'chi' in in place of 'ti' without changing the verb conjugations.

As a result, I'd be inclined to tell the group politely (in English?!) that you will switch to 'chi' when you are able to, but for now you hope they'll understand that your use of 'ti' reflects inexperience and not impoliteness. To be honest, if they have a hard time with that, they may object to the linguistic informality of a lot of what you learn in SSIW. If they turn out to be 'don't say X, say Y' people, try reading this thread for some suggested coping methods. :cool:

Re: Being polite?

PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 12:08 pm
by hewrop
Tahl wrote:As a result, I'd be inclined to tell the group politely (in English?!) that you will switch to 'chi' when you are able to,

I agree entirely with the gist of what you are saying, Diane, but what if she wants to address everyone in the group rather than individual members where the second person plural (chi) would be the only thing that made sense? :-?
I have a possible answer to my own question. How about using a third person singular work-around such as "how is the group today?" = "sut mae'r gr┼Áp heddiw?"

Re: Being polite?

PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 12:47 pm
by paws3
Dear all,
The group is almost all learners who have done formal 'lessons' for years and are much more advanced than me. I heard about the group by accident and just turned up.

We also have a native speaker who sometimes comes and I think the person who commented was perhaps worried (?) than I was seeming to be rude to them...

Also it may be a bit of 'we have been taught to use chi' and therefore you should.

However it's probably me being over-sensitive as well. Why is it I can talk to my cat in Welsh but when I'm with that group I can't think of the simplest thing to say!
Thanks for all the support.
Paws

Re: Being polite?

PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 1:00 pm
by Tahl
hewrop wrote:
Tahl wrote:As a result, I'd be inclined to tell the group politely (in English?!) that you will switch to 'chi' when you are able to,

I agree entirely with the gist of what you are saying, Diane, but what if she wants to address everyone in the group rather than individual members where the second person plural (chi) would be the only thing that made sense? :-?

Sure, but if you haven't learned 'chi' yet, it's a lot better to use 'ti' than not to talk at all!

paws3 wrote:The group is almost all learners who have done formal 'lessons' for years and are much more advanced than me. I heard about the group by accident and just turned up.

We also have a native speaker who sometimes comes and I think the person who commented was perhaps worried (?) than I was seeming to be rude to them...

Also it may be a bit of 'we have been taught to use chi' and therefore you should.

However it's probably me being over-sensitive as well. Why is it I can talk to my cat in Welsh but when I'm with that group I can't think of the simplest thing to say!

It's hard to get past the 'they all know so much more than me!' feeling. What I can say is: have faith in yourself. You don't know yet what they know, but you know what you know, or what you're learning. Don't let other people, whether well-intentioned or self-important or both, derail you from practicing and enjoying your Welsh (which, with SSIW, will feature a lot about cats and dogs). Other stuff will come gradually. :D

Re: Being polite?

PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 1:04 pm
by hewrop
paws3 wrote:Why is it I can talk to my cat in Welsh but when I'm with that group I can't think of the simplest thing to say!
Thanks for all the support.
Paws

I've tried Welsh, English, French & Italian with our cat but she studiously ignores everything I say. Our dog, on the other hand will respond enthusiastically to any sound I make.

In relation to finding things to say to my own species, I confess I cheat. :oops: I rehearse what I want to say and then steer the conversation around so that I can say it. The result is that everyone thinks I speak brilliant Welsh. :harhar: Please don't tell any one else. :D