The praise came after I read my "Halloween" story. I started out by saying how brilliant it seemed to me at 11 o'clock the night before as I was making last minute corrections in class. It was well received. We all encouraged each other as we went along. As I said, it's not like we're learning "Saesneg" ["Saxon," actually "English." The Welsh hold grudges for a long time - up to 1600 years, at least].
So, here it is. My first story in Cymraeg. We were assigned to write a Halloween story and given a bunch of new vocabulary words. I still don't like Halloween much and I have a hard time writing fiction. So, I wrote a "true" story. It's almost all correct grammatically. I've even got mutating consonants! Plug it into Google-Translate and see what you get:
Grant HenIt's really pretty amazing that we can write a paragraph in Cymraeg after only a month. That's because we do the homework.
Mae tylwyth teg yn byw yng Nghymru. Mae Saesnes wedi yn dweud. Oes tylwyth teg yn byw yn Unol Daleithian? Nag oes! Mae gwrachod yn byw yma. (Nag fy ngwraig!) Dw i wedi teithio i Gymru. Dw i ddim wedi gweld tylwyth teg yn Nghymru. Dw i mynd teithio i Gymru eto. Dw i yn mynd i gweld. Pam mae “Halloween?” Achos mae melys lapio!
My main trouble is pronunciation. My efforts with Portuguese, Spanish, and dabbling in German and Russian leave my mouth-muscle instincts pretty confused. It's not even the odd, double letters, dd, ff, and ll, it's the vowels. W, drives me crazy. Even if it is literally double u [oo]. And the u almost always trips me up from the Portuguese u which is legally oo. So, I'll keep working on the ee like the Russian И it's supposed to be as I slur those vowels together into the proper diphthongs.
OK. Maybe I should have been a linguist.