Elizabeth Jane Corbett

writing her way home

I have a dream ….

If Martin Luther King had been from South Wales, he might have said:Mae breuddwyd gyda fi.

Translated literally, this reads: a dream is with me.

But if he had been from North Wales, he might have said:

Mae gen i freuddwyd

It means the same thing, a dream is with me, but the possession pattern is different.

Instead of Gyda fi (with me) or gyda ti (with you) or gyda fe (with him) … they use the word ‘gan’ and it doesn’t come at the end of a sentence but towards the beginning. The word ‘gan’ also conjugates and causes a soft mutation Which, in Martin Luther King’s case, means his breuddwyd would have turned into a freuddwyd (dream).

I am trying to learn this new pattern for when I discourse fluently and at length (yeh, right) with the poor unsuspecting inhabitants of Criccieth.

And just in case I find myself sharing my dreams, along with other stock standard ‘Dick and Dora phrases like the sun is shining, my name is Liz, and where is the toilet, I thought I should write a script.

Here goes:

Mae gen i freuddwyd! – I have a dream.

Oes gen ti freuddwyd? – do you have a dream?

Oes, mae ganddo fo freuddwyd – yes, he has a dream. Mae ganddi hi freuddwyd, hefyd – she has a dream too.

Yes, that’s right I will be holding regular group therapy sessions in North Wales.

Mae gan gwr freuddwyd – my Husband has a dream.

Spilling all my family secrets.

Mae gan chwiriod freuddwydio hefyd, a fy meibion – my daughters have dreams too and my sons.

Mae gan fy nheulu freuddwyd – my whole family has a dream.

At this point, I will probably fling my arms wide and ask:

Oes gen ti freuddwyd? – Do you have a dream?

I wonder whether anyone will reply?

(apologies to M L K and of course the Welsh language – I’m sure I have made plenty of mistakes) 

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1 Comment

  1. Congratulations, Liz, sounds like your Welsh is powering on. You’ll be wowing the locals.

    And able to get totally into the mood on your upcoming retreat. A writer’s bliss – writing in land of her characters.

    Aah, she says, sighing enviously.
    Best, Chris.

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