A Welsh Pronunciation Guide

I have other pronunciation guides to Welsh elsewhere (here, and here and Welsh Idioms here), but I made up a cheat sheet for some common names and places and thought I’d share. I welcome any and all corrections if you know differently! Remember, the /ll/ sound is not known in English and is something of a breathy ‘shl’ sound where you kind of blow out your cheeks while your tongue is on the roof of your mouth. Abergavenny –Ah-bare-gahv-ENN-ee Aberystwyth –Ah-bare-IH-stwith Afon Arthog – AH-von AAR-thahg Angharad –Angh-AR-ahd Anglesey – (this is a Read More…

Welsh Pronunciation Guide

I have other pronunciation guides to Welsh elsewhere (here and Welsh Idioms here), but I made up a cheat sheet for some common names and places and thought I’d share. I welcome any and all corrections if you know differently! Remember, the /ll/ sound is not known in English and is something of a breathy ‘shl’ sound where you kind of blow out your cheeks while your tongue is on the roof of your mouth. Abergavenny –Ah-bare-gahv-ENN-ee Aberystwyth –Ah-bare-IH-stwith Afon Arthog – AH-von AAR-thahg Angharad –Angh-AR-ahd Anglesey – (this is a Viking Read More…

Welsh Pronunciation

“Names are not always what they seem. The common Welsh name BZJXXLLWCP is pronounced Jackson.” Puddinhead Wilson (Mark Twain, Following the Equator) For an English speaker, Welsh is not easy.  The following is a quick guide: a  ‘ah’ as in ‘rah’ (Caradog) ae  ‘eye’ as in ‘my’ (Cadfael) ai  ‘eye’ as in ‘my’ (Owain) aw  ‘ow’ as in ‘cow’ (Alaw) au  ‘eye’ as in ‘my’ (Dau) c  a hard ‘c’ sound (Cadfael) ch  a non-English sound as in Scottish ‘ch’ in ‘loch’ (Fychan) dd  a buzzy ‘th’ sound, as in ‘there’ Read More…

Index of Blog Posts

To read about a particular topic, just click on the link . . . Castles Aber Garth Celyn Aberedw Castle Aberffraw Castle Aberystwyth Castle Abergavenny An Iron Ring of Castles Brecon Castle Buellt Castle Caer Fawr (Iron Age Hill Fort) Carew Castle Carreg Cennen Castle Castell y Bere, Gwynedd Criccieth Castle Crickhowell Castle Deganwy Denbigh Castle Dinas Bran Dinas Ffareon (Dinas Emrys) Dolbadarn Castle Dolwyddelan Castle Dryslyn Castle Ewloe Castle Harlech Castle Hill Forts:  Dinas Bran, Dinas Emrys, and Tre’r Ceiri Llys Rhosyr (Royal Palace on Anglesey) Rhuddlan Castle (s) Read More…

The Evolution of Welsh

The first thing you learn in linguistics is that languages evolve.  The second is that they are arbitrary.   This does not mean language isn’t important, or that it isn’t integral to culture. (see this article on Quebec’s policing of language).  It does mean that there is nothing inherent in the word ‘spoon’ that denotes the rounded tool with which you cook or eat. Medieval Welsh, or Middle Welsh, was the language spoken in the 12th to 14th centuries.  Like when a modern English-speaker attempts to read Chaucer in English, it is possible for a modern Welsh Read More…

Pronouncing Welsh Words and Place Names

During my trip to Wales last spring, I finally had the chance to really see how bad my Welsh pronunciation was. After two weeks, it was really getting better, but I am by no means an expert. If you want to pronounce the names accurately, the following is a good start.  I can testify that the pronunciation below for Llangollen, for example, is exactly right.  Remember, in Welsh, the emphasis in on the second to last syllable in a word. This post is to follow up on the pronunciation guide. First Read More…