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Thursday, January 03, 2008

Holi Hana, Hana siarad

D got this wonderful Welsh DVD for Ana for X'mas called Holi Hana.

It is a 2007 release children's DVD (3-7 years) with eight 10-minute episodes featuring Hana the Duck who runs a Phone Helpline addressing little problems children face, sort of like Agony Aunt to whom you run to with problems, who listens to you patiently and gives you good advice.

It is created by Jack and Elke Counsell and developed for television by Andrew Offiler of Welsh-based animation experts Calon. It has become an instant hit with Ana and me as it helps children learn how to express and solve problems.

What I like:
  • stuffed dolls are the main characters - Rosie the Panda, Cyril the Beaver, Ellen the Ostrich and so on
  • stop-motion animation with adorable stuffed dolls whose stitches can be seen - incredibly charming and rustic at the same time
  • educational and fun - one episode deals with not standing under a tree when there is lightning and thunder, and how to deal with fear

While I am not fluent in Welsh, I can pick up a word here or there and try to follow along. Ana seems to do better than me in this respect.

It doesn't help that D introduced Ana and me to Northern style Welsh whereas some of the Holi Hana and Nodi , Ffi-Ffi, Smot etc. have Southern style Welsh woven in...

However, it is extremely rewarding when Ana watches it and picks up things on her own. The other day, after watching a few episodes of Holi Hana, Ana felt she was done, so she turned off the TV and came looking for D. When he asked her what happened in her Holi Hana show, she stated (in Welsh) "Uh-oh Mouse... Mae'n ddrwg gen i, mouse"! (pronounced sort of like mine-dhroo-gun-ee)

D understood it. I didn't, of course...

Turns out, as she tried to explain to D in part English part Welsh, the mouse did something bad and was sorry - mae'n ddrwg gen i apparently translates to "my bad" idiomatically. She just picked up the phrase mae'n ddrwg gen i from the show and sort of understood it in context, vaguely at least... which is better than what I can do.

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