Sut mae, gyfeillion! I do hope you are safe and well, with all this heavy weather around lately.
At the beginning of a weekly lesson I always ask my students about their week or weekend, and sometimes we also get talking about current affairs – national and international politics, the coronavirus, climate change, the economy, celebrity news. Yes, and of course we talked about the massive storms and floods of last month.
For learners it tends to be difficult to talk about these things. They require a specific vocabulary that doesn’t usually come with textbooks and dictionaries.
If you are a beginner and you want to tackle the news in Welsh, it makes sense to concentrate on the keywords first. Try and identify them in newspapers or online articles, on TV or on the radio. With all the mutations, singular and plural forms this can be challenging enough!
Here are some keywords from the news coverage of the past weeks:
tywydd garw (rough weather), glaw trwm (heavy rain), storm / ystorm (storm), dŵr (water), rhybudd (warning), argyfwng (emergency), achub (to save), gwasanaethau brys (emergency services), llifogydd (floods), tirlithriad (landslide), cymorth (help), difrod (damage), gwirfoddolwyr (volunteers), rhoddion (donations).
As an intermediate or advanced learner you will want to know how to actually use these words. Let’s take a closer look at some typical sentences.
In articles about weather conditions you will frequently find expressions like effaith (effect, impact) / effeithiau (effects) / effeithio (to affect, to impact), taro (to hit) or gweld (to see). Here are some examples:
Mae’r llifogydd wedi effeithio ar y pentref i gyd. – The floods have affected the whole village.
Mae nifer o ffyrdd wedi eu heffeithio gan lifogydd. – A number of roads have been affected by floods.
Mae llawer o ardaloedd wedi’u taro gan lifogydd. – Many areas have been hit by floods.
Mae’r gorllewin wedi gweld glaw eithriadol o drwm. – The west has seen exceptionally heavy rain.
The floods are usually described with the adjectives difrifol (serious) or sylweddol (substantial):
Mae Rhondda Cynon Taf wedi dioddef llifogydd difrifol. – RCT has suffered serious floods / floodings.
Another word for “flood” is dilyw (as in the Bible: Hanes Noa a’r Dilyw – the “Story about Noa and the Flood”):
Cafodd cartrefi a busnesau eu heffeithio gan y dilyw. – Homes and businesses were affected by the flood.
Water levels rose, rivers burst their banks, and streets and houses were under water:
Roedd yr afonydd yn codi yn gyflym. – The rivers were rising quickly.
Roedd lefelau afonydd yn uchel iawn. – River levels were very high.
Roedd afonydd yn gorlifo. – Rivers were overflowing (gor + llifo = over + flow).
Roedd strydoedd cyfan dan ddŵr. – Whole streets were under water.
The Met Office, Y Swyddfa Dywydd, issued a lot of rhybuddion tywydd, (weather warnings) or rhybuddion llifogydd (flood warnings):
Roedd rhybudd coch am law trwm yn weithredol drwy’r dydd. – A red weather warning for heavy rain was in force all day.
Mae rhybudd am dywydd garw mewn grym. – A warning for severe weather is in force.
Cyhoeddodd y Swyddfa Dywydd rybuddion coch. – The Met Office issued red warnings.
The severe weather had a lot of effects on roads (ffyrdd) and public transport:
Nid oedd modd gyrru ar nifer o ffyrdd. – It was not possible to drive on a number of roads.
Mi gafodd ffyrdd eu cau oherwydd llifogydd a thirlithriadau. – Roads were closed due to floods and landslides.
Roedd trenau wedi’u canslo. – Trains had been cancelled.
The emergency services (y gwasanaethau brys) were trying their best to provide help (darparu cymorth) and support (cefnogaeth). Sometimes they even had to save (achub) people from the water.
Derbyniodd y gwasanaethau brys gannoedd o alwadau. – The emergency services received hundreds of calls.
Cafodd dyn ei achub o’r afon. – A man was saved from the river.
The rain, the storm and the floods caused a lot of damage (difrod):
Cafodd cannoedd o dai eu difrodi. – Hundreds of houses were damaged (difrodi – to damage).
Mae’r llifogydd wedi achosi difrod sylweddol. – The floods have caused substantial damage.
Mae’r glaw wedi achosi tirlithriadau. – The rain has caused landslides.
Once the floods had receded, some villages were left with inches of mwd (mud), baw (dirt), silt (silt) and rwbel (rubble), and the clearing work (gwaith clirio) started – and continues: Mae’r gwaith clirio yn parhau.
The latest newspaper articles, naturally, revolve around insurance (yswiriant) and money matters, for example in the form of cronfeydd (funds) – like a cronfa frys (emergency fund) or a cronfa gymorth (relief fund).
Dyma ni am y tro. I do hope you made it through the storms safely, unharmed, and without damage to your home and belongings. We’re all hoping that spring will be here soon now. In the meantime:
Cymerwch ofal a chadwch yn ddiogel! ! – Take care and stay safe!
Hwyl am y tro,
I’m Susanne and I teach Welsh (oh, and English!) in Wolfenbüttel, Germany.