Hwyl

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Hwyl

Post by Bobinwales » Wed Jun 15, 2016 12:55 pm

A Welsh speaking friend of mine sent me this message yesterday. I thought I would share it with you.

"The English don't have a word for "hwyl". The nearest they have is, "Joie de Vivre"!
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Re: Hwyl

Post by Erik_Kowal » Wed Jun 15, 2016 2:01 pm

You've mentioned as a possible synonym the French term joie de vivre, whose literal meaning is 'joy of living'.

One of the usage examples given by the ODO is this one:

"Some English people are familiar with that peculiarly Welsh communal emotional mood identified by the name hwyl".

This leads me to ask, is the principal focus of the Welsh usage the togetherness of the occasion, or its enjoyableness?
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Re: Hwyl

Post by Bobinwales » Thu Jun 16, 2016 12:48 pm

Hwyl is a strange word, and is untranslatable. We would say that an orator has hwyl. That is performance has it. A sporting crowd sometimes. I think 'passion' goes a long way in trying to explain it.

Just to confuse the issue, "Hwyl fawr" (big hwyl) is a very polite way of saying "Goodbye".
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End of topic.
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