Welsh, an introduction.

Philip.Belben at pgen.com Philip.Belben at pgen.com
Wed Sep 8 04:28:15 EDT 1999





> On Tue, 7 Sep 1999, Nat Case wrote:
>
>> 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".
>
> I seem to recall reading that W was stolen off Welsh in the first
> place.


In some mediaeval (English) documents, w is written as uu...

I disagree, though, that the English W is anything like a vowel.  I had a Welsh
friend once who used sometimes to pronounce English words like "well" with a
Welsh W just to annoy me.

And the Welsh W becomes almost a consonant in names like Dewi (hint: the e is
not affected at all by the presence of the W)


>> Try pronouncing these:
>>
>> Tywyn

Towin

>> Aberdyvi

Abber-dovey

>> Machynlleth

Makh-un-hleth

>> Betys-y-coed

Bettooss-uh-coyd, or possibly Bettiss-

(how am I doing so far?)

>> Llandudno

Hlan-did-noh (yes, u is always i)

>> Rhydych chi?

Rhuddikh-khi

Can someone confirm for me the difference between R and RH?  I have hitherto
assumed that R is a rolled R and RH is a guttural R, but I have no confirmation
of this.

> Llareggub
> Llamedos

Are not Welsh at all, so I shan't try pronouncing them.  (In case you don't
know, read them backwards instead)

> Llanfairfach

Hlanvairvakh ("Little St. Mary's", roughly)

Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrdrobwllllandysiliogogogoch

Whitewater ;-)

Soft mutation after Llan, so Tysilio might become Dysilio, but I think I have
always seen this written Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwll
Llantysiliogogogoch. (note the extra n in wyrndrobwll as well.  I generally
forget the r)  I will have to look this up - it is not in my road atlas :-(

And we haven't even touched on the Welsh dd yet (the letter eth is the best
equivalent)


Philip (who had to look up the spelling of Tysilio).




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