Mynd i’r afael
Mynd i’r afael is a Welsh expression I’ve noticed quite a bit recently on Radio Cymru, and from the context in which it is used, I think it means something like “to try hard to deal with something”.
Here are some examples:
Angen i Brifysgol Cymru fynd i’r afael â dilysu canolfannau newydd, medd y Gweinidog Addysg, Leighton Andrews.
The University of Wales needs to address the validation of the new centres, said the Education Minister, Leighton Andrews.
[Source: BBC Newyddion]
Mae ‘na lawer o gymorth a chefnogaeth ar gael i bobl sy’n poeni am droseddu ac i’r rhai sydd am helpu i fynd i’r afael â throseddu.
Plenty of help and support is available to people who are worried about crime and those who want to help tackle crime.
NB. In both these examples mynd has mutated to fynd.
From these examples it seems that mynd i’r afael, which literally means “go to the grip/grasp/handle/hold”, means “tackle” “address” or perhaps “get a grip on”. Google translate gives “(to) address” for this term, as does the BBC Welsh dictionary. I got the impression from the context that quite a bit of effort was involved, but perhaps this is not always the case.
These days I tend to learn new words and expressions in Welsh, and in my other fluent languages, through extensive listening and reading. If I notice a word or phrase that crops up frequently, I’ll try and work out its meaning(s) from the context, and sometimes it takes a while to hone in on exact meaning(s). When I learn things in this way I tend to remember better than if I just look them up in a dictionary, though I do remember dictionary words if I use them quite a bit after looking them up.
How do you learn new vocabulary?