Whether your child passes his exam with flying colours, or your best friend manages to get that long-desired promotion, there are many situations where it’s appropriate to praise someone for a job well done. In English, we have a range of encouraging phrases to choose between but what about in Welsh? Well, it turns out that there are plenty!
Da iawn ti / chi!
The most common phrase you’ll come across is “Da iawn ti!” (if you’re addressing a friend) or “Da iawn chi!” (if the situation calls for more formality or if you’re talking to a group of people). It is similar to saying “Well done you!” in English and is used across Wales in a wide variety of situations. If there is one phrase you should commit to memory after reading this article, it’s this one! 😉
Go dda / Go lew ti!
Two other alternatives with a near identical meaning are “go dda ti” and “go lew ti”. ‘Go dda’ and ‘go lew’ both mean ‘quite good’ or ‘fairly good’ on their own but in this context, they translate as “well done”.
Da + term of endearment
Many Welsh speakers also like to attach terms of endearment to the end of the word ‘da’ (good) such as ‘gwas’ (lad, boy, son), ‘bachgen’ (boy), ‘merch‘ (girl), ‘hogyn’ (boy) and ‘hogan’ (girl) to shower praise.
- Da ngwas i.
- Da machgen i. / Da merch i.
- Da’r hogyn. / Da’r hogan.
In the south, you may also see ‘da’ replaced by ‘gwd’ followed by ‘ychan’ or ‘achan’ (the dialectal forms of ‘bachgen’).
- Gwd ‘ychan.
- Gwd achan.
One word compliments
Just as we say “great” or “amazing” as a compliment for a job well done in English, you may also use similar one-word expressions in Welsh such as:
- tsiampion (excellent)
- arbennig (splendid)
- gwych (great)
- bendigedig (wonderful)
- campus (excellent)
A few other miscellaneous expressions you might come across include:
- Un da! = Good one!
- Ia, dyna ti! = Yeah, there you go!
- I’r dim! = Spot on!
Can you come up with any other ways of saying “well done” in Welsh? If so, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section below!