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The Alphabet #12


Here's a few videos to check your pronunciation and see how close you got. Remember, Welsh, like any other language, has regional differences in pronunciation. I'm from South Wales on the Glamorgan coast, so my accent is different than people in Mid Wales or North Wales etc. None of them are right or wrong. Just different.

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The Alphabet #11


llan sounds like clan

fair sounds like fire with a v

pwll is pooll with the ll sound

gwyn is gwin

gyll is gill like fish gill but with the ll sound

goger is go geh

y chwyrn = uh ch ooey urn, like quuer with an n at the end - queern

drobwll is dro bwll like pwll above but b

llan - clan

ty silio - tih silly oh

go - go

go - go

goch like loch.

So now you can pronounce the longest place name in Wales!

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The Alphabet #10


ae ai au as in eye, aye

aw as how, now, brown, cow

ei as eight

eu as in say, pray

ew is tricky, try e as in bed oo as in moon but just the eh and the oo

iw / i'w as in "ew! (that's disgusting)"

yw / y'w as in yew

oe as in boy, toy

ow as in low, tow, never as in town, clown

wy as in gooey, fluid

ywy as in the ooey of gooey, but a hint of a y sound at the begnninng. Say "fluid" but drop the fl and add a y.

OK, let's break down llanfairpwll...

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The Alphabet #9

ch, dd, ff, ng, ll, ph, rh, th are each considered one letter. If you're doing a Welsh crossword then (a) good luck and (b) these letters fill one box each.

n and r are often doubled. These are not one letter, these are double letters. Tow boxes.

So, hanner (half) is six letters long, gyrru (drive) is five.

So you should now be almost ready to pronounce Welsh placenames like llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch - you just need a few dipthongs.

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The Alphabet #8

You'll note we don't really have a "j" which prompts a lot of people to ask how I got my name. That's a different story, but you'll see "j" borrowed a lot, and it's relatively common to see in Welsh these days.

What we really don't have is K, Q, V, X and Z.

We don't need a K because "c" is always hard. We get Q by using "cw", V for us is one "f", and who needs Z? Well, again, I do because of my silly name. For most uses we just throw the "s" in there, so zero is sero.

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The Alphabet #7

Long vowels. We add a circumflex to vowels to make them long.

For example this Mastodon server is named "Tŵt".

W as a vowel is somewhere between the u in put and oo in moon. But when we add the circumflex we get the oo sound long and no question, with a w sound at the end. Think of the difference between oo in zoo and oo in spoon. Spoon goes longer, right?

So "twt" (tidy) sounds like "put", short and sweet, but
tŵt sounds like toot. Like a train. Toooooot.

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The Alphabet #6

T as in turn, time

Th as in think, never as in this (go back and see "dd")

W (when used as a consonant) as in work, well

Back to "Ll".

Make the "el" sound with your mouth. Say "lap" Note how your tongue is pushing the back of your teeth.

Now say "clap".Your tongue pushes your teeth , but now there's air moving around the side of your tongue.

Now push that air from the back toward the front and you'll have a messy, breathy "cl" sound. That's close enough!

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The Alphabet #5

Ll is a sound with no English equivalent. I will put a toot just for this sound but it's a little bit like cl as in clap but with extra air

M as in more, money

N as in no, never

P as in pie, please

Ph is the same as ff, as in phonetic

R as in right although we usually roll or trill the r sound

Rh is pronounced as HR, try saying "hurray" really quickly, that's the "hr" sound

S as in say, something

(Si is the same as the English Sh as in show, shop)

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The Alphabet #4

B as in bacon, butty

C is our K as in can, canoe, never as in once

Ch as in loch, bach, never as in church

D as in dog

Dd as in with, this

F is our V, as in very. The next letter is the other f sound

Ff as in first, fun

G as in get, good, never as in giraffe

Ng as in singer, sometimes finger

H as in hot, hell, it is never silent

L as in let, live

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The Alphabet #3

y has two sounds:

If there's only one y in the word, or it's the last one of words with more than one y, it sounds like a shortened "ee" like the end of "shabby"

dydd (day) sounds like "breathe"

if there's more than one y, the extras, not the last one, sound like "uh" as in brother, fun.

example "mynydd" (mountain):

muh as in mud
nith rhymes with "with"

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The Alphabet #2

Pronunciation is surprisingly easy because with few exceptions all letters are pronounced phonetically, exactly the same way no matter the context.

Once you've learned the pronunciation you will be able to read Welsh with few mistakes.

Pronouncing vowels:

a as in can, map

e as in bet, shed

i as in pin, gin

o as in lot, hop

u "ee" as in queen, see

w "oo" as the 'oo' in zoo, moon

y has two sounds:

y has two sounds:

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Yr Wyddor Gymraeg

The Alphabet #1

There are 28 letters in the Welsh alphabet, 7 vowels, 21 consonants, and 13 dipthongs


Vowels: A E I O U W Y


I've written them in CAPS to avoid confusion, but when written the second letter of a two-letter is always lower-case, e.g. Llanilltud not LLanilltud, Rhiannon not RHiannon.

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