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Pearls Before Swine by Stephan Pastis for September 21, 2011
Goat: What are you doing, Rat? Rat: I have stumbled upon a form of communication that is so carefully encoded I can only assume it was accidentally dropped here by aliens. Message: dw i ddim yn gwybod. Ydw. Mae'n ddrwg gen i. Goat: That's Welsh. Rat: Do you suppose they come in peace?
As a Welshman myself and a Welsh speaker, these are obviously answers to questions and not a sentence themselves. Dw i ddim yn gwybod is I don’t know. Ydw is yes, but a first person yes and would be the answer to such a question as Ydy chi’n mynd ir theatr heno? (Are you going to the theatre tonight?). Yes as the English speakers know it is ydu. Mae’n ddrwg gen i is actually sorry, but said in a very polite way.
Welsh is an ancient language from the same group of Celtic languages such as French, Cornish, Manx and both Scottish and Irish Gaelic and is considered one of the oldest still spoken language in the world. At one time it would have been spoken throughout the British Isles and much like English today would have had different dialects. Aber is Welsh for mouth of the river, hence Aberdeen means mouth of the river Deen. Swansea’s welsh name is Abertawe, which is mouth of the river Tawe. Scottish Gaelic for Scotland is Alba, the Welsh for Scotland is Alban.
Sorry for the lengthy history lesson, but it’s nice to see my first language being referenced in an American comic strip.