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  hen ffrindiau, hen gelwyddau
by Pat Clayton

Written specifically for learners as part of the Cyfres y Dysgwyr, Hen Ffrindiau, Hen Gelwyddau is a 95 page novella that’s long enough for you to get your teeth into, but not so long that it’s daunting. Each chapter is between three and five pages long, with vocabulary at the end, so it’s relatively easy to feel as if you’re making progress. When I started reading this it was taking me half an hour per chapter, but by the end I was steaming through them in about 10 minutes, or even less at times.

Although the vocab was invaluable, I still had to refer
to my dictionary quite regularly - more words could
have been included and it wouldn’t have gone amiss. Sometimes, the choice of vocab to put in or leave out was somewhat perplexing, so I would guess that these

hen ffrindiau, hen gelwyddau
books are pitched at learners that are slightly better than me. I did, however, eventually settle on the most effective technique for dealing with new vocab: scan and try to memorise the list of words before reading that chapter, so that when you come across them in the text you at least recognise that they’re in the list, even if you can’t quite remember what they mean!

Nevertheless, despite having to keep my dictionary to hand, I really enjoyed reading Hen Ffrindiau, Hen Gelwyddau. Pat Clayton’s style is easy to read, funny, and gripping. You really do want to know what happens to Lowri Llwyd, the arts reporter sent to cover the Glanllyn Festival, and to author Prys Prytherch who is the easily hated villain of the piece. The plot twists and turns enough to keep you on your toes, but not so much that you lose your way.

Despite the fact that, for me, this wasn’t bedtime reading - I really needed to be awake and able to concentrate on the Welsh - I enjoyed this book immensely and learned a lot from reading it!


Hen Ffrindiau, Hen Gelwyddau
Pat Clayton
Gwasg Carreg Gwalch
ISBN 0 86381 349 6



© suw charman 2002, 2003 unless otherwise stated

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