A Conversation for Wales

Is there any more?

Post 1

Fruitbat (Eric the)

Surely there must be more to Wales than this. I'm interested in in climbing and understand that Wales has phenomenal climbing sites. I'm also keen on boating....what's there for that?

I'm glad of the alphabet listing, although I'd like to see a "as it is spoken" pronounciation guide along side to give me an idea of how the words sound.

A good start, though


Is there any more?

Post 2


What sort of boating are you after?

Climbing - from sea cliffs (pembroke, anglsey) to long routes (tryfan, llewydd) to hard sport climbs (slate quarries). There is a lot of choice.

There is even a couple of universities in wales.
A nice overview of the place though.

Guide to Welsh phoenetics

Post 3

Researcher 180270

as requested:
(trying to use English examples)

a - can be short or long, long usually signified by a hat over it. Short is as in "can", long as in "can't" and "arch"

b - as in English

c - always hard, as in "can", but never as in "cede" or the start of "cycle"

ch - always as in German Bach, or Scottish Loch. Never as in English "church" or German "schule"

d - as in English

dd - the softer version of the two possible English pronunciations of "th", ie as in "breathe", rather than as in "breath" It's a fairly subtle difference, usually undefined in English.

e - again can be short or long. Short is as in "bed", long is kind of pronounced as "air"

f - soft as an English "v", like in "leaves" or "volvo"

ff - hard as in English "f", "finish"

g - always hard as in "get", never soft as "gin"

ng - possible variations: can either be as in the "ng" at the end of English verbs, eg. "shopping" or as in the pronunciation of the town Bangor, ie, "bang - gor" with the g seemingly in there twice. Never as in the English "angel." Is often used in Welsh in conjuction with "h" and is then always pronounced without the second g sound.

h - as in English, but can't be used with an "s" to make, eg, "shop", (in Welsh you use "i" for this, "siop")

i - again long or short. Short is in, "in", long like an "ee" sound, eg in "see"

j - doesn't really exist, but is increasing used in modern Welsh.

l - as in English

ll - aspirated version of "l". The sound doesn't exist in English, but you'll probably have heard it. There's a presenter on BBC News whose name is Rory Cellan-Jones, listen to how Huw Edwards pronounces that double l. You basically put your tounge up behind your two top front teeth, and ease some air out, trying to make an "l" sound toward the end of the breath. Ll is common on the start of place names, usually in "Llan," meaning, "church of" and usually followed by the mutated form of the relevant saint's name, eg, Llanbedr, church of Pedr, Peter in English.

m - as in English

n - as in English, not to be confused with the first part of "ng"

o - short as in "on", long as in "or", again usually signified by a hat.

p - as in English, except never silent. Not to be confused with "ph"

ph - same as "ff" basically. It only exists as a seperate letter so as to signify when a particular type of mutation has taken place, that is sometimes an initial letter "p" is mutated to "ph" - depends on specific context though that, and it's too complicated to bother with for this purpose.

r - as in English

rh - as in the English, "perhaps," well strictly anyway. In South Wales people don't bother with the "h" it's a relic, eg Rhondda is pronounced Rondda, except by people trying to sound more Welsh than they actually are. In North Wales though, they leave their h's in. "Rh" is common on the start of place names.

s - as in English, combines with i to make "sh" sound.

t - as in English.

th - as in English, but see "dd" above: "th" is pronounced as in "theatre" or "breathe"

u - basically the same as "i" above

w - one of the more difficult. It's a consonantal vowel, much as "y" is in English. In words like "gwyn" meaning, "white" it's essentially as in English, but with a bit more of an "oo". More often a vowel though: "cwm" meaning, "valley" is pronounced kind of like "coom" but with a bit less "oo," more like "coombayah my lord" sort of pronounciation, but definately not "come."

y - a vowel. Short as in "in", long as "un", "ynys" meaning, "island" is pronounced "unis". "Y" means "the" and appears in place names often as a conjunction between two words, sometimes helpful signified by being hyphened, "Pen-y-Bont," but sometimes not, as in "Pontypridd", either way it's pronounced "uh," Pontypridd being pronounced, "Pont" "uh" "preathe". On the end of words "y" tends to be like an "ee" sound, like on the end of English words, "slowly"

Mmm, that probably isn't as helpful as I'd like it to be, esp as there are dipthlongs, ie vowel combinations. As a rule of thumb most, eg "ei" "eu" "ae" are pronounced as in "wine" or "sight" in S Wales, but more like "wane" or "same" in N Wales. The other main one is "oe" which is as in English, "boy" or "avoid", Pencoed = Pen Coyd, never Pen Code. Maendy could be either Mane dee or Mine dee. It doesn't really matter.

More generally emphasis is always, well nearly always, on the penultimate syllable. And if you see the place you want written with a slightly different 1st or 1st couple of letters it may have been mutated, this will usually be if it starts with a hard consonant and is being preceded by a preposition, eg "Cardiff" is "Caerdydd" but "to Cardiff" is "i Gaerdydd", "in Cardiff" is "yng Nghaerdydd" but it's always "Caerdydd" on road signs and maps. There's lovely.

Guide to Welsh phoenetics

Post 4

Fruitbat (Eric the)

Thanks, that's another good start. All those infamous place-names with impossibly-long constructions are starting to make sense now.


Is there any more?

Post 5


There is one University - The University of Wales. It is split up into constituent colleges; Cardiff, Swansea, Aberystwyth, Bangor, Newport and I think some more. Cardiff in particular is recognised as a leading UK higher education establishment, regularly being place in the top 15 of British Universities for teaching and research excellence.

Wales is also home to the finest band in Britain, Europe and probably the world, Super Furry Animals. smiley - smiley

Is there any more?

Post 6


Nope. As I said earlier, there are to my knowledge two universities. The University of Wales (Bangor, Aberystwith, Cardiff, Swansea and somewhere else I can't remember) and the university of Glamorgan - I think that's what the Polytechnic of Wales (or was it Glamorgan poly) changed theire name to. Unles they've been assimilated by the UoW.
(Now where's that bilingual degree certificate I've got smiley - winkeye)

Is there any more?

Post 7


glamorgan's a uni now eh? ahh


Post 8


This post has been removed.

Is there any more?

Post 9


Wonders if the Welsh he copied stright from the degree cert will stay up and for how long...

Is there any more?

Post 10


Blimey, what on earth is going on?

Is there any more?

Post 11


Foreign language posting! I put some of the text of the degree cert (all it said was where I went and what I did and when but it was in Welsh). I mean the BBC has a whole section of it's website in Cymraig(sp?).

Is there any more?

Post 12


Yep Trefforest polytechnis is now the University of Glamorgan.It was to be named after Diana,Princess of Wales,but I believe that plan had the mockers put on after her untimely death.It`s my beleif,that any Uni that is named after a district,such as Glamorgan,is a clue that they were formally a Poly.

Is there any more?

Post 13



Acually, although strictly it's only one university the colleges of the University of Wales have long and individual histories, none more so than UWA, Aberystwyth (article to follow).

Lampeter, the one that everyone forgets, is one of the only universities in Britian not to have a trian station within 50 miles and is one of the oldest universities in the country.

Is there any more?

Post 14


Ah, Super Furry Animals, surely the world's finest band.

Is there any more?

Post 15

Cadi Merchionamercheluned

Yeah, the Beeb are allowed to post in any language they like, but we're only allowed to use English. Unfair or what?! Maybe they like to be able to keep an eye on what's being said, which they can't do if we all star gabbing away in our favourite lingos.

I wonder where they stand on jargon? That can be even more incomprehensible than a foreign language - and no chance of a dictionary to help you either!

I've inserted the odd bit of Cymraig (you spelt it right BTW) in a conversation, but I've lost it, so I can't tell if it was OK-ed or not. But I'm glad there is a site in Welsh, because it means that even here in Birmingham, I have a link with home, (albeit a http one!).


Is there any more?

Post 16

Researcher 187749

Not entirely true on the one university front. There is, as you state, the federal University of Wales BUT there is also the univeristy of Glamorgan, not a federal member, and the only university in wales not to be so. Ya boo sucks to you!

The federal university was set up by the founder member, the 'Peoples University' in Aberystwyth, now the 'University of Wales, Aberystwyth', funded by the people of wales and resident in a glorious seafront building - Old College, a former hotel - of grandiose proportions.

The Univeristy of Wales is the degree awarding body of the consituent members (Bangor, Aberystwyth, Cardiff, Swansea, etc, as well as some foreign universities that offer degree schemes abroad), however Cardiff do hold degree awarding powers of their own, but do not use them (politics!). Aberystwyth is the oldest degree awarding institution in Wales (as a theological college at that time), and the first to allow women to enter into its courses in wales. Lampeter is the oldest Univeristy in Wales - although given it's finances will proably be the first to be shut down.

Anyway, that'd pretty dull, but worth a mention in H2G2 in case your interested.



Is there any more?

Post 17


Don't forget Lampeter, a small place but still a Uni (I think)

Is there any more?

Post 18


Ah, ok, I hadn't read the whole conversation when i posted the above! smiley - blush

Is there any more?

Post 19

Researcher 188007


I'm a linguist with quite a good grasp of phonetics. I'm interested in eventually adding Welsh to my pronunciation guides. So far I've only done one (Spanish), so don't hold your breath.


Is there any more?

Post 20

mingum, keeper of words made up by small children

cymraeg? i think there are two spellings, one for the language, and one as a descriptor , like "welsh school" = "ysgol gymraeg" except that's probably dodgy example, and i can't remember my mutations and also i can't remember which cymreag/cymraig goes where.....argh...

Key: Complain about this post