Question about Welsh (OT) Re: Pratchett in Welsh!

Caleb W scalebw at
Sun May 12 13:46:55 EDT 2002

----- Original Message -----
From: "lazy lousy lizzie jane" <mep3 at>
To: "DWJ Newsletter" <dwj at>
Sent: Saturday, May 11, 2002 12:20 PM
Subject: Question about Welsh (OT) Re: Pratchett in Welsh!

> Now, see, you've made me curious, and I have a question about Welsh.  I've
> seen it written in the Roman alphabet (ie, what English is written in--is
> that Roman?  I only call it that because it's referred to as romaji in
> japanese--I actually have no idea.  and if our alphabet is roman, what are
> our numbers derived from?  I'm looking at our lovely linguistics lady in
> Edinburgh right now, Kyra!;); my question is, is there a Welsh system of
> writing?  I want to say that when I was in Wales I saw evidence of
> numbers, at least, written in different, ways, but I could be remembering
> wrong.  If there is a written variant of Welsh--do they teach it that way
> or is it romanized?

I'll do a chart of the older number system, which is still used, although
nowadays a more standardized version is used which follows the same logic as
English, only without the oddities that English has:
18 "deunaw"        (two nines)
19 "deunaw a un"    (two nines and one)
20 "ugain" (twenty)
21 "un ar ugain" (one and twenty)
30 "deg ar ugain" (ten and twenty)
40 "deugain" (two twenties)
60 "trigain" (three twenties)

Further to what Ania said, the letter J doesn't officially exist in the
Welsh language, despite all the Joneses! These letters are sometimes used in
words that are taken from other languages - tjiocled is the Welsh for
chocolate. "Ch" is always a hard sound in Welsh, so can't be used. Welsh is
very phonetic in its spelling, much more sensible than English :)

Welsh writing is quite different from the spoken Welsh - much more formal. I
think the written Welsh is more like the South Walian accents that the
North, although I'm not completely sure and it obviously varies.

Caleb W.

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