Word of the day – treiglad
Today’s word, treiglad (pl. treigladau) is the Welsh word for mutation, the process of changing the initial consonants of words - something we were practising in class today. This is a characteristic of all the Celtic languages and takes quite a bit of getting used to.
The most common mutation in Welsh is the soft mutation or treiglad meddal, which changes t to d, p to b, c to g, and so on. It’s quite hard to keep track of all the occasions when this mutation is needed, but I think I’m getting better at it. I haven’t tried to memorise all the rules because there are so many of them. Instead I notice where mutations are used in the Welsh texts I read and when I hear Welsh spoken. This gives me a good feel for when to use them.
If you practise reading and listening to a language as much as possible, you get a lot of exposure to grammatical patterns like mutations. This helps you to develop instincts for the grammar and seems to me to be the best way to learn it. I think this method works better than trying to memorise all the grammatical rules first. Once you have developed a feel for how a language works, then learning the rules might be helpful and certainly will be easier.