In Welsh, there are many different ways you can translate the English expression “I would like...” in order to express a desire or to make a polite request.
If you want to keep your sentences short and sweet, I would suggest learning these two expressions to begin with: Hoffwn i… and Liciwn i…
Hoffwn and liciwn are the conditional forms of the verbs hoffi and licio (also spelt leicio) respectively, both of which mean to like in Welsh. They are perfectly interchangeable, though I’ve found that people often have a personal preference for one or the other.
Hoffwn i fynd i’r sinema heno.
I would like to go to the cinema this evening.
Liciwn i brynu rhywbeth i ti.
I would like to buy you something.
Note: There is a third form – carwn i – which comes from the word caru (to love). However its usage is largely restricted to the south.
Very often however, the Welsh don’t conjugate hoffi and licio directly. Instead they’ll use the conditional form of the verb bod (to be).
Broadly speaking, the conditional form of bod in the first person is byddwn in the south whereas in the north, it is baswn. (There are other dialectal variations but these are the main two.) In speech, don’t be surprised if they appear in their mutated forms (mi) fyddwn / (mi) faswn.
Byddwn i’n hoffi / licio dysgu Cymraeg.
I would like to learn Welsh.
Baswn i’n hoffi / licio talu rwân.
I would like to pay now.
Note: In colloquial Welsh, baswn will almost always be shortened to ‘swn.
Below are a few common requests you might want to make when eating out. I’ve used hoffwn here but any of the above forms will do.
I would like a beer.
I would like a coffee.
I would like a cup of tea.
Hoffwn i gwrw.
Hoffwn i goffi.
Hoffwn i baned o de.