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CHAT: Welsh-Indian connection proved

From:John Cowan <cowan@...>
Date:Monday, October 11, 1999, 19:56
It seems that the connection between Welsh and various Native American
languages was confirmed as long ago as 1946.  Since the discovery was
made by a Canadian of Welsh ancestry, it was rightly ignored by
both of the English-speaking nations.

From the _Diary of Samuel Marchbanks_, repr. as part of _The Papers of
Samuel Marchbanks_, ed. Robertson Davies, pp. 191-92:

        A man asked me today if I had heard of the theory that the
        North American Indians are of partial Welsh descent, stemming
        from a pre-Leif-Erickson Cymric explorer?  I have gone farther;
        I think I have proved the theory to be correct.  About two
        years ago I chanced to meet an Indian in a woodland walk, and I
        facetiously addressed him thus:

        MARCHBANKS: "Dyna gapel y Bedyddwyr, onid e?" (Translation:
        "Look you, are you not the son of Mrs. Jones the Gas?")

        INDIAN: "Nage, nage; dyna gapel y Methodistiad Calfinaidd."
        (Translation: "Indeed to goodness no!  I am the love-child
        of Rev. Hopkin Hopkins.")

        MARCHBANKS: "Ple mae'r Ficerdy?" (Translation: "Pless my soul,
        whateffer! do you understand me?")

        INDIAN: "Dyna fe; dyna'r Ficer hefyd." (Translation: Yes indeed,

        MARCHBANKS: "Dyna deulu'r gof yn cerdded gyda mama modryba
        chwaer y crydd."  (Translation: "Then let us sit down here and
        refresh ourselves with elegant conversation.")

        INDIAN: (Speaking Indian for a change) "Golliwogagog, hoganogagog
        egganoggagog."  (Translation: "I am all agog.")

Though I am ignorant of the language of heaven, a comparison of the
proper names in the Welsh and the English suggests one of two theories:
either the English translation is wrong, or the Welsh itself is wrong.
Either theory is defensible, and I will avoid offense by (in the
manner of Ambrose Bierce) believing both.

John Cowan                         
       I am a member of a civilization. --David Brin