mountain-1569436_edited.png

LEARNING WELSH

WELSH DYSGU

We are often asked if there are any Welsh language classes in the Norfolk area. Sadly, as far as we know, no one is taking a class locally. However, the society does hold occasional conversational afternoons which are not strictly "lessons", but do allow members to practice their conversation and allow learners to pick up some conversational Welsh.

If you know of anyone in the area teaching Welsh please let us know, or if you are prepared to start classes, we can put you in contact with some learners who would dearly love to formally improve their language skills.

Many people believe or assume, that Welsh is a difficult language to learn, full of harsh consonants, fiendishly hard to pronounce, divided into a range of mutually unintelligible regional dialects, and complicated by confusing ‘mutations’ that change the initial letters of words so you cannot recognise them, but honestly, it isn’t that bad!

 

Listed below are some online courses that we recommend if you are interested in learning Welsh:

OPEN UNIVERSITY

The Open University run a free beginners Welsh course. It concentrates on Welsh as a tool for communication, and it also provides insights into Welsh societies and cultures through printed and audio materials.  You will develop the four language skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing in Welsh.

SAY SOMETHING IN...

Say Something in... is an MP3 based tutoring course. Enter your email address, and they will teach you one sentence in Welsh in a way that will open your eyes to your own brain's abilities. The course has glowing reviews, with one person saying it is "an excellent way to build confidence. It gets you speaking and really works!"

 

WELSH NATIONAL ANTHEM

Click the play button to listen to 'Mae Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau' being performed.

WELSH LYRICS

Mae hen wlad fy nhadau yn annwyl i mi,

Gwlad beirdd a chantorion, enwogion o fri;

Ei gwrol ryfelwyr, gwladgarwyr tra mad,

Tros ryddid gollasant eu gwaed.

 

Gwlad! Gwlad! Pleidiol wyf i'm gwlad!

Tra mor yn fur i'r bur hoff bau,

O bydded i'r hen iaith barhau.

 

Hen Gymru fynyddig, paradwys y bardd,

Pob dyffryn, pob clogwyn i'm golwg sydd hardd;

Trwy deimlad gwladgarol, mor swynol yw si

Ei nentydd, afonydd, i mi.

 

Os treisiodd y gelyn fy ngwlad tan ei droed,

Mae hen iaith y Cymry mor fyw ag erioed,

Ni luddiwyd yr awen gan erchyll law brad.

Na thelyn berseiniol fy ngwlad.

ENGLISH LYRICS

This land of my fathers is dear to me,
Land of poets and singers, and people of stature;
Her brave warriors, fine patriots,
Shed their blood for freedom.


Land! Land! I am true to my land!
As long as the sea serves as a wall for this pure dear land,
May the language endure for ever.

Old land of the mountains, paradise of the poets,
Every valley, every cliff a beauty guards;
Through love of my country, enchanting voices will be
Her streams and rivers to me.

Though the enemy have trampled my country underfoot,
The old language of the Welsh knows no retreat,
The spirit is not hindered by the treacherous hand
Nor silenced the sweet harp of my land.

UNWAITH ETO’N NGHYMRU ANNWYL

The expatriate Welsh folk song portraying a sense of longing (or hiraeth) for the homeland.

WELSH LYRICS

Unwaith eto'n Nghymru annwyl

Rwyf am dro ar dir fy ngwlad.

Llawen gwrdd â hen gyfeillion

Sydd yn rhoddi mawr fwynhad.

 

Rhai ymffrostiant mewn prydferthwch

Gwledydd pell mewn swynol gân,

Ond i mi 'does dan yr heulwen

Gwlad mor bur a Gwalia lân.

 

Magwyd fi ar ei bron,

Ces fy siglo yn ei chrud.

O'r holl gwledydd y ddaear

Dyma'r orau yn y byd!

 

Gwlad y bryniau ydyw Gwalia;

Gwlad y delyn, gwlad y bardd;

Gwlad y canu, gwlad y moli;

Gwalia sydd yn swynol hardd.

 

O, rwy'n hoffi i rodio'r llwybrau

Fum yn chwarae yn ddi-nam.

Atgyfodant rhyw atgofion ynwyf am fy annwyl fam.

 

Magwyd fi ar ei bron,

Ces fy siglo yn ei chrud.

O'r holl gwledydd y ddaear

Dyma'r orau yn y byd!

ENGLISH LYRICS

(Please note: this is only a rough translation)

Once again back in dear Wales

I walk the grounds of my country.

Merry meetings with old friends

Which gives me great pleasure.

Some boast of beautiful countries far away,

But to me, here under the sunshine

Gwalia is so pure and clean.

I grew up on her breast,

I got swung in (her) cradle.

Of all the nations on the earth

This is the best in the world!

Gwalia is a land of hills;

Land of the harp,land of the bard;

Land of song, praising the country;

Gwalia is a charming beauty.

Oh, I like to walk its paths.

I went to play without worry.

Calling back memories of my dear mother.

 

I grew up on her breast,

I got swung in (her) cradle.

Of all the nations on the earth

This is the best in the world!

carew-castle-2305685.jpg

THE WELSH ALPHABET

BACKGROUND

Welsh is a phonetic language, which means that every letter is always pronounced the same way. The only variation is the amount of stress given to different words. There are the inevitable exceptions. Firstly the letter Y, which can be pronounced either ‘clear’ or ‘obscure’; and when the letter S is followed by an I – this forms a ‘sh’ sound.

The Welsh alphabet has 28 letters as opposed to 26 in the English language. The letters J, K, Q, V, X, and Z are omitted from the Welsh, although J has be been used in recent times owing to the absorption of some English words e.g garej for garage and of course in that most Welsh of surnames, Jones. There are an additional 8 letters: ch, dd, ff, ll, ng, ph, rh and th. If you advance sufficiently to be able to do Welsh crosswords, these count as a single letter and go into one square! There are seven vowels: A, E, I, O, U, W and Y.

THE VOWELS

a — either long as in 'part' or short as in 'hat'

e — either long as in 'pale' or short as in 'well'

i — long as in 'need' but sometimes short as in 'win'

o — either long as in 'door' or short as in 'hop'

u — long like the 'ee' in 'weed' in the South or short like the 'i' in 'win' in the North

w — either long 'oo' as in 'school' or short 'oo' as in 'look'

y — mostly 'u' as in 'cut' but when in the last syllable of a word it most commonly represents the 'ee' in 'beet'

THE DIPTHONGS

ae, ai and au — as the English eye (i.e 'mae' is 'my')

eu and ei— as the 'ay' in 'pray'

ew — similar sound to 'eh-oo' or as in 'mount'

i’w and y’w — similar to 'ee-you' or 'yew' or 'you'

oe — similar to 'oy' in 'toy' or 'oi' in 'coin'

ow as in 'tow' or 'low'

wy — similar to 'oo-ee' or as in 'win'

ywy — as in the 'ui' in 'fluid'

aw — as in the 'ow' in 'cow'

THE CONSONANTS

b — as in 'boat'

d as in 'door'

ff —  as f in 'force' or ff in 'effort'

h as in 'horse' ('h' is never silent)

m as in 'man'

phas in 'pharmacy' or the f in 'front'

s as in 'sort'

c — always hard as in 'cart'

dd — as th in 'that'

g — always hard as in 'glove'

— as in 'long'

n — as in 'nail'

r — as in 'red' but slightly rolled

t — as in 'tree'

ch — as in the 'ch' in 'Loch' or 'Bach'

f — as in 'v' in 'wave'

ng — as in 'ng' in 'sing'

ll — similar to l with a 'th' in front of it.

p — as in 'paper'

rh — a breathy 'r' without the voice

th — as in 'thorn'

Try the paragraph below, which is in “English” using the Welsh alphabet that you learnt above!

 

 Gwd lwc. Ai hop ddat yw can ryd ddys and ddat yt meiks sens tw yw. Iff yw can ryd ddys dden yw ar dwing ffaen and wil haf no problems at ol yn lyrning aw ffaen Welsh alffabet.

 

Good luck. I hope that you can read this, and that it makes sense to you. If you can read this , then you are doing fine and will have no problems at all in learning our fine Welsh alphabet.

logo-white.png

Website created by Meg Garratt Designs