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

Ania theania at
Mon May 13 14:43:09 EDT 2002

> Ania is talking about Welsh:
> > Welsh is written in Roman alphabet and has never been written in
> > else. Some early Celtic inscriptions are in Greek letters, or in ogham,
> > that actually predates Welsh, i. e. Welsh as such had not evolved yet.
> > The Welsh alphabet does not have K, Q, V, X or Z; it does include
Philip's comment:
> Nor does it have J except in words borrowed from English, I think.

Yes, it's used mostly in the surname Jones (ha! I managed an oblique
ObDWJ!). They used to use si to render j, so Jenkins is Siencyn in Welsh,
and John - Sion. (this is a rendition of English John/germanic Johann -
likewise Irish Sean - both Irish and Welsh also have earlier forms of the
Hebrew name John, which came presumably through Christianity and scriptures,
not via English. These are Eoin and Ioan, respectively, IIRC)
> > extra letters to represent Welsh sounds, but they are just 'ordinary'
> > letters combined or doubled. These are: CH, DD, FF, LL, NG, RH. If you
> > in a Welsh dictionary, words beginning with these letters will be listed
> > separately (ch will not be between ce and ci, but in its own section
> > all other words beginning with c)
> It's worse than that - and this fooled me when I first tried looking up
> words.  NG comes in the alphabet straight after G.  Don't go looking for
> after N...
This is because ng is the nasal mutation of g, not n. (sorry, being
technical again. This is not the place to go into detail, trust me)

> (Czech has similar difficulties with CH, which in their alphabet follows

Well, one learns something every day! We have a ch (pron. not unlike h) in
Polish, but it isn't seen as a separate letter.

> ObDWJ:
> I've often wondered whether the "twig-shaped" writing in Power of Three
> derived from Ogham.  I'm guessing that the Moor people didn't use a
> Roman-derived alphabet, since they couldn't make any sense of printed
books in
> English.
> Any thoughts?
Probably. I believe ogham evolved as it did because it was suitable for
carving into hard surfaces. But (in Po3) maybe it was a form of runic
script? (also lacks curves, therefore good for carving)
Incidentally, I've never heard of a Welsh number-writing system, so cannot
comment constructively on this point.

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