Welsh, an introduction.

Nat Case hedberg at vermontel.net
Tue Sep 7 18:47:34 EDT 1999


If you can get over the weird-looking letter agglomerations, Welsh is an
amazingly intuitive language. Compared to the Gaelic Celtic languages (Scots
and Irish), it's a breeze to pronounce. Every letter has only a couple
sounds, and there are fewer sounds than English to start with.

The tricks:

VOWELS:

w is always a vowel. If you think about it, it's basically a vowel in
English, except when paired with an "h". Try saying "wombat" or
"Wellington." As in Welsh, "W" is basically "oo". 

y is also always a vowel. the pronunciation is different from English. It be
anywhere from a neutral "uh" to "ee", all pronounced with a roundness of
tone that Welsh has throughout.

a is always "ah"

o is always "oh"

As in English, most vowels can tend toward a schwa (neutral) sound when in
unaccented syllables


CONSONANTS:

ll: put your mouth in the shape to say "liquor", but instead of vocalizing
the consonant, breathe through it (as you would to start "thicker". It
sounds a bit like "hl"

f is pronouced "v", and ff is pronounced "f"

c is pronounced "g"

ch is as in Scots, only gentler, more forward in the mouth. 


RHYTHM:

Welsh has a musical lilt to it, maybe a bit like Swedish or Swiss Gernman.
Sometimes sounds like it's all a series of questions. 

Try pronouncing these:

Tywyn
Aberdyvi
Machynlleth
Betys-y-coed
Llandudno
Rhydych chi?



Hope this helps.

Nat Case
Hedberg Maps, Inc.

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