Learn Welsh words and phrases which you can use in real life situations on your holiday to Wales. As well as covering the basics you will also learn some Welsh sayings and interesting facts about the Welsh language. Welsh is the oldest language spoken in Great Britain and has a rich history, possibly dating back some 4,000 years. The Welsh language, like most modern European languages can find its roots in what we now know as Indo- European. Indo- European itself evolved into nine different languages, one of these was Celtic. Several Celtic languages developed and were widely spoken across Europe. The only Celtic languages to survive are those that migrated to the west of the British Isles.
Wales is today part of the United Kingdom but has a very rich and varied culture of its own as well as a thriving language. Everybody does, of course, speak English but visitors who attempt to converse in the local tongue will get a very warm welcome.
The Welsh Alphabet
Learn the pronunciation of Welsh letters
How words are pronounced is very important in Welsh. There is only a short way to say a letter, not a long and short way as in English. Many letters sound completely different to how we might say them in English.
As a in cat
As b in boat
As c in cat
Is voiced from the back of your throat, hiss and clear your throat at the same time
As d in dog
As th in then, never as th in think
As e in hen but more often as ai in fair
As v in Vera
As f in feel
As g in get
As ng in ring
As h in high
As ee in seen
As l in lemon
Get your mouth ready to say an L but instead try to say H as in hiss
As m in mother
A n in no
This letter is usually pronounced like the English word oar, but in some words may be o as in dot
As p in party
As ph in pharoh
As r in Rolls Royce
Try to roll the r at the same same as saying the h
As s in stop
As t in tap
As th in thanks
As the i in machine
As the English oo
Can be pronounced as er in her, but don't linger on the r, say it short as if you were cup
The letter y is also sometimes pronounced as y in candy
Image credit: Cadw Swn
Click image for free Welsh Alphabet track download
Bore Da-Good Morning
Prynhawn Da-Good Afternoon
Noswaith Dda-Good Evening
Nos Da-Good Night
Os gwelwch yn dda-Please
Rydw i-I am
See if you can pronounce the words here. Try using the Welsh Alphabet phonetics above to sound as authentic as possible.
Lesson two-asking simple questions
Ble mae.....? Where is......?
Sut mae (s'mae)? How are you?
Pwy dach chi? Who are you?
Beth wyt ti'n gwneud yn dy amser hamdden? What do you do in your spare time?
Sometimes shortened to Be'? such as be'dy amser? (What time is it?)
Wyt ti'n aelod o dîm chwaraeon? Are you a member of a sports team?
Are you confident enough to try out your Welsh in Wales?
Provided by the University of Bangor this easy to use site will translate most common words and phrases. You can translate from Welsh to English and English to Welsh.
- BBC Learn Welsh Resources
BBC resources for Welsh learners. There is information here for beginners, intermediate and advanced speakers of the Welsh language.
Omniglot, a collection of Welsh sayings and phrases with recordings of the pronunciation.
A B C CH D DD E F FF G NG H I L LL M N O PH R RH S T TH U W Y
Please leave your comments regarding your experience learning the Welsh lingo.
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