Dale Fort Blog Number 21

24 10 2013

Welsh in 10 Minutes

Welsh is the oldest frequently spoken language in Europe.  In the early medieval period it was spoken all over northern Britain.  It’s used as a first language by about 20% of Welsh people.  Lots of people in Wales have knowledge of Welsh because it’s taught in nearly all primary schools and is a compulsory subject in nearly all secondary schools.  You will not become fluent after ten minutes of study but you might learn how to pronounce some words and some useful phrases.

  How to make the sounds:


Ll or ll   (two ls) is pronounced by putting your tongue loosely against the roof of your mouth and exhaling noisily while saying “l” (that is an English “l”).  Using this method you should find yourself able to say:  Llanelli  (A town in South Wales which has the highest number of urban Welsh speakers anywhere).

Dd or dd  (two ds) is pronounced as in the English hard “th” as in the.

So say: Prynhawn Dda (good afternoon)

Ch or ch Imagine you have a small crumb stuck in your throat, make the noise you’d make to clear the obstruction.  Use this method to say the word: Ty bach (= toilet/lavatory literally little house)

In Welsh the letter U is pronounced as a short I as in “pip.”

The letter F is pronounced as an English V.

The letter I is always a long I as in pipe.

Say your first phrases:

HELPU! Ble mae’r ty bach agosaf?  (= Help! Where is the nearest toilet?)

Ble mae y tafarn agosaf? (= where is the nearest pub?)

Ble mae fy nhrowsus?  (= that was quite a party.  Lit. Where are my trousers?)

Welsh place names usually have a clear meaning:

Aberdaugleddau (Milford Haven) = Mouth of the two Cleddaus

Aberystwyth = Mouth of the Ystwyth (a river)

Eglwyswrw = Wrw’s Church


St Mary’s Church (Llanfair)

in the hollow (pwll)

of the white hazel (gwyngyll)

near (goger) the rapid whirlpool (y chwyrndrobwll)

and the church of St Tysilio (llantysilio)

by the red cave (gogo goch)

More useful words and phrases:

Diolch = thankyou

Diolch yn fawr = thank you very much

Dim diolch = No thank you

Os gwellwch yn dda = Please

Ga’ i = Can I?

Bore da = Good day

Prynawn Dda = Good afternoon

Nos da   = Good night

Wi’n hoffi coffi  = I like coffee

Wi ddim yn hoffi coffi   = I don’t like coffee

Ga’ i pysgod a sglodion os gwellwch yn dda?   = Can I have fish and chips please?

Mae’n flyn da fi, wi ddim yn siarad Cymraeg, wi’n Saesneg a twp

= I’m sorry, I don’t speak Welsh, I am English and thick.

Cwpaned o de osgwellwch yn dda   = A cup of tea please

Cwpaned o de gyda llaeth ac swgr os gwellwch yn dda

= A cup of tea with milk and sugar please

Cwpaned o de heb llaeth a siwgr os gwellwch yn dda

= A cup of tea without milk and sugar please

Symud dy din     = You appear to be sitting on my beach towel

Ble mae esgidiau   = It was the fault of my underpants

Fy hofrenfad y llonaid o llyswenau  = My hovercraft is full of eels

Nadolig Llawen   = Merry Christmas

Penblwydd Hapus   =  Happy Birthday

Croeso i Gaer Dale    =  Welcome to Dale Fort

Ach a fi  = I find all this rather distasteful

Popty Ping  = Microwave oven

Yn dod a dealltwriaeth amgylcheddol i bawb

= Bringing environmental understanding to all

Wi’n hoffi moron=  I like carrots

Don’t miss Blog 22 which also will not be about statistics




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