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179120.  Wed May 30, 2007 11:24 am Reply with quote

They're just very very tiny green spaces though! They even count packets of walker's salt'n'vinegar crisps!

Eric the Underwriter
206272.  Mon Sep 03, 2007 10:06 am Reply with quote

apparently Cardiff has more parks/green spaces per head of population than anywhere else in Europe
Living here, i would say that is going to be worng or soon to be wrong.

I will do the maths later :)

Using maps, some maths and a little welsh cunning.
Unless you count the national parks of pembroke coast and the brecon becons all with in a drive of cardiff.

Eric the Underwriter
206273.  Mon Sep 03, 2007 10:07 am Reply with quote


Uh that should read "Wrong" not some odd word!

Indie Cindy
339093.  Sun May 18, 2008 6:06 pm Reply with quote

Hans Mof wrote:
The Welsh Scrabble set does not contain any Zs nor K, Q or X. Arguably J does not exist in Welsh either, but it is included as it is sometimes used for borrowed words.

And is also the first letter of the most popular surname in Wales, Jones.

It would appear that Wales lacks a massive variety of surnames.

Ian Dunn
352305.  Wed Jun 04, 2008 4:40 am Reply with quote

One quite interesting Welshman was Charles Horace Jones (1906-1998), a somewhat odd poet who performed his work for 45 years around Merthyr Tydfil.

When he was 5, his father died and his mother took him out of school so he could work down the mines. By 1950, Jones was earning £150 a week running a crafts business. However, one night he suddenly woke up and wrote down his first poem on the back of a cigarette packet. He then became a poet, while his wife Delia took a part-time job in a bakery to support him.

His poems were often very angry and what is more, all of his targets were Welsh. They included BBC Wales, the Church of Wales and Welsh politicans in particular.

He first attracted some support in his early years attacking lawyers, policemen, magistrates, bailiffs, tax commissioners and members of the Labour-controlled council. But as he expanded his targets, his support shrunk.

In 1955, the Gorsedd of Bards threw Jones out of the National Eisteddfod at Cardiff for distributing a collection of satirical verses called A Does of Salts, where people brought copies a shilling a time believing they were the official programme. The verses contained aphorisms such as:

The Eisteddfod is a cultural circus where everything is Welsh except the money.

One of his most famous poems was performed in 1956, where Jones attacked the Welsh rugby team on the day they were due to play an international match. He suggested the nation had:

Lost its nerve and found it all
In the blown-up bladder
Of a rubber ball.

When he performed this poem, he was attacked by a gang of rugby supporters outside a butcher's shop, but Jones escaped via a side door. After the incident, he always jept a knuckle-duster with him. Jones also used to perofrm standing next to a lamppost, claimed that if he stood next to one, he could only be attacked from one side.

On another occassion, Jones was knocked unconscious by a local businessman, who then tried to set fire to him. Jones managed however to escape.

Another time, Jones appeared before a magistrate after he refused to complete a census form. He dressed in black and told the bench that he was attending the funeral of a man's freedom. Jones was fined £2.

Merthyr Tydfil published a collection of Jones's work called The Challenger in 1966. The day after they were published, Jones attacked the council for wasting tax payers' money.

Source: Brewer's Rogues, Villains and Eccentrics by William Donaldsom

379789.  Tue Jul 15, 2008 9:56 am Reply with quote

defenestrator wrote:
I have heard that it (Blanau Ffestiniog) also holds some less impresisve statistics.

If you look at a map of the Snowdonia National Park there is a hole(sic) in the middle which is Blanau Ffestiniog and the surrounding slate mining waste heaps. Almost certainly not an area of outstanding natural beauty.

Michael Young
448852.  Mon Dec 01, 2008 2:30 pm Reply with quote

One quite interesting thing about Wales and Cymru is that the names for the country are antonyms.

The word "Wales" derives from the Old English for "strangers", whereas the word "Cymru" derives from the Welsh for "comrades/countrymen."

And the Welsh word for blue is "glas", which can also be used for green, especially in names.

449171.  Tue Dec 02, 2008 6:56 am Reply with quote

glas also means blue in breton, but it means exclusively green in irish and scots gaelic.



449207.  Tue Dec 02, 2008 7:44 am Reply with quote

And green in Manx, too (wholly unsurprisingly, but I thought I'd pop it in out of a sense of completeness).

449257.  Tue Dec 02, 2008 8:53 am Reply with quote

Well, what about Cornish?

449273.  Tue Dec 02, 2008 9:34 am Reply with quote

Excellent point. And Cornish is the only Celtic language for which I actually have a dictionary, as well. Fool that I am. Well, I'm sure you're all on tenterhooks, so the relentlessly unastonishing news is that glas means blue in Cornish, thus maintaining the alliterative blue in Brythonic, green in Goidelic trend.

Michael Young
449482.  Tue Dec 02, 2008 4:33 pm Reply with quote

Moving into Kernow, there is a Kernewek national anthem which has the same tune as "Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau" / "Land of My Fathers" - but with Kernewek words. It is called "Bro Goth Agan Tasow", which translates as Land of My Fathers. There is also a Breton version, "Bro Gozh ma Zadoù", which...guess what... translates as Land Of My Fathers.

In Kernow they also sing "Trelawny: The Song of the Western Man (or Men)", which outdates Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau by about 30 years or so. It is the chosen anthem of the Kernewek rugby team. Like Flower of Scotland / Scotland the Brave, there is no official position on the anthem; although Gorsedth Kernow prefers Bro Goth Agan Tasow.

Tomorrow, the Barbarians play Australia in rugby union to celebrate 100 years since the Kernewek rugby team, representing Great Britain, played the Aussies in the Olympic Games of 1908 in London. Unusually for a Baa-baas game, instead of wearing their club socks, the players will wear Kernewek rugby socks.

449835.  Wed Dec 03, 2008 10:35 am Reply with quote

Hmm. These Celt folk are rather unimaginative, aren't they? The same word for blue all round, the same tune and translation for their anthems. No wonder they keep getting lumped together.


760328.  Mon Nov 15, 2010 8:41 am Reply with quote

Well going back to my roots, dunno how widespread this is (though it makes it onto BBC and Wikipedia so maybe doesn't qualify) but Welsh has 7 vowels. "W" and "Y" are classed as full vowels.

Unlike English where letters can have generally more than one sound, Welsh letters have the same sound and changing the sound requires an accent.

The language spoken by people in Wales forms part of the census and has done for generations. Despite all the violence done since the time of Henry VIII done to eradicate the language, the impact on the Welsh language was limited. Even as recently as 1901 census records still show that often the female members of the family spoke only Welsh. In many cases only the head of the household was recorded as "Both".

Today fewer than 1% of the population have "Welsh" as their only language. 22% of the population can legitimately record "Both" (although 18% of them would not call themselves fluent speakers) and the remaining 77% speak only "English" with perhaps a passing appreciation of the tongue.

Arguably it is the increased mobility of people in the C20th combined with the breakdown of class barriers after the WW1 and more importantly social and economic mobility that almost killed the language. It took a concerted effort by so-called Welsh Nationalists defacing English-only roadsigns and the like to keep it alive in the consciousness of the Welsh people long enough that we would want to learn our own language again. Growing up in the 70s and 80s I can't tell you how many parents (including my own) described it as a "dead" and "unnecessary" language.

22% incidentally was recorded in 2004 by the Welsh Language Use Survey and is an increase on that recorded in the 2001 census (OK one percentile point but still...)

760333.  Mon Nov 15, 2010 9:06 am Reply with quote

samivel wrote:
Hmm. These Celt folk are rather unimaginative, aren't they? The same word for blue all round, the same tune and translation for their anthems. No wonder they keep getting lumped together.


The Breton, Cornish and Welsh languages have the same root. They are understandable to one another the way that some of the Germanic languages would be. That is they can be (sort of) understood through reading but spoken are almost unintelligable at normal talking pace.

If one wants to get high and mighty, compare the words "blue" and "green" with their German equivalents "blau" and "grün". Recognisable despite even longer separation and the fact both have been "developed".

By contrast modern Welsh is not much changed as compared to where it was a thousand years ago. For a Welsh literate, reading 900AD Welsh texts is simpler than reading Anglo Saxon equivalents would be to an English reader.


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