Welsh League of Arizona
Cynghrair Cymreig Arizona

America's trendsetting St. David's Society
promotes the language and culture of
Wales and our shared heritage     
throughout the Southwest and the world.

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Notes on Linguistics

Welsh is a Celtic language. This means it is not closely related to either Germanic languages (English,
German, Dutch, etc.) or Italic languages (Spanish, French, Latin, Italian, etc.). All these languages can
be traced back toa common mother tongue called Indo-European, which is thought to have once
spanned the entire European and Asia Minor areas, as many as 10,000 years ago. It's very much like a
family, with Indo-European being the great grandmother, and the languages in each branch being
siblings to one another, and cousins to the languages in other branches.

The Celtic branch consists of Welsh, Irish, Scottish, Manx, Breton, and Cornish. The Germanic branch
consists of English, German, Dutch, Danish, Flemish, etc. The Italic branch consists of all the Latin-based
languages (Italian, Latin, French, etc). There are a lot more branches than these, though. While
similarities can be found in all the languages (the building blocks to reconstructing Indo-European), it is
difficult to find a lot of similarities in the languages not in the same branches. It is relatively easy for
English and German speakers to learn each other's languages. Similarly, it is relatively easy for French
and Spanish speakers to learn other Italic languages. It is more challenging to go from English to French
or Welsh and vice versa because of fundamental differences that are unique to each branch.

One thing that makes studying languages so interesting is that as you learn a language, you get to see
how a different culture views the world. Things are organized completely differently for the speakers of
Welsh than they are for speakers of English. A stark example of this is that Welsh sentences, as a rule of
thumb, begin with a verb, and the verb is conjugated (changed) to form a question, whereas in English,
the verb is simply moved around to form a question.

Another interesting thing about it is that language is history. As you trace events of people invading and
conquering one another, you can see how languages get mixed, and even can become extinct. English
and Welsh have 2 different periods of a mixing with Italic languages, first from Latin, during the Roman
occupation of the British Isles, and the second from French following the conquest of William the
Conqueror. It was from this period of about 1100AD - 1300 that English changes from Old English to
Middle English.


Notes on pronunciation:

ll - English does not have an equivalent. Basically make an L sound, and blow,
but do not actually make the LLLLL sound. It's more like a soft hiss.
The accent is always on the second-to-the-last syllable
ch - like the German or Scottish ch, as in "loch" or "ich."
dd - ethe, voiced TH as in "THat"
th - eth, voiceless TH as in "THing"
g - hard g, like "Gain", never soft like "Gin"
ng - one sound, like "nga" of the South Pacific, or like in "siNG"
oe - oi, as in "oil"
R, or RR - r is always rolled, like the Spanish "erre", like "aRRoz"
rh - Hhhhrrrrrr, blow out before rolling the R.
ph - F as in "PHilip"
f - V as in "seiVe"
ff - F as in "Fluff"
u - EEEE


English Welsh Pronuciation
Wales Cymru KUM ree
Welsh (people) Cymry KUM ree
Welshman Cymro KUM ro
Welshwoman Cymraes KUM rise
Welsh (language) Cymraeg   KUM rahg
Welsh (adjective)   Cymreig   KUM raeg
England Lloegr CHLOI gr
English (people) Sais Sise
English (adjective) Saeson (literally, "Saxon") SISE on
English (language) Saesneg SISE neg
Englishman Sais SISE
Englishwoman Saesnes SISE nise
Colors
English Welsh Pronuciation
Red Coch Koch
Purple Porffor   POR vor
Blue Glas Glas
Yellow Melyn MEL in
Green Gwyrdd GOO irth
Orange Oren O ren
White Gwyn   gwin
Black Du   DEE
Brown Brown   Broan
Grey Llwyd   CHLOO id
Adjectives
English Welsh Pronuciation
Big Mawr rhymes with "hour".
Small Bach Bachh (see Note above)
Old Hen Hen
New Newydd NEW ithe
The Home
English Welsh Pronuciation
House (houses) Ty (tai) TEE (tye)
bathroom (bathrooms) Ty bach (tai bach) TEE bahch (TYE bahch)
Door (doors) Drws (drysau) droose (DRUH sigh)
Window (windows) Ffenestr (ffenestri) FEN est (fen ES tree)
Curtain (curtains) Llen (llenni) chlen (CHLE nee)
Table (tables) bwrdd (byrddau)   boorthe (BOORTHE eye)


Animals
English Welsh Pronuciation
Dog (dogs) Ci (cwn) kee (coon)
Cat (cats) Cath (cathod) Kath (CATH od)
Mouse (Mice) Llygoden (llygod) chlee GO din (CHLEE god)
Cow (cows) Buwch (gwartheg) BEE ewch (GWAR thaeg))
Fox (foxes) Cadno (cadnoau) KAD no (kad NO eye)
Horse (horses) Ceffyl (ceffylau)   KEFF l (keff EL eye)
Dragon (dragons) Draig (Dreigiau)   Dreig - ryhmes with "bike" (dreg EE eye)
Wolf (wolves) Blaidd (bleiddiaid)   blythe (blathe EE eyed)
Elephant (elephants) Eliffant (eliffantod); or "Oliphant"    Elephant (elePHANTod), nye "O LEE fant"
A special note to those of you who are fans of J. R. R. Tolkien: Yes! This is the word he uses in Elvish for
the Elephant-like creatures.
Tolkien was greatly inspired by Welsh.


Nature
English Welsh Pronuciation
Tree (trees) Coeden (coed) KOI den (Koid)
Plant (plants)s Planhigyn (planhygion) plan HEE ghin (plan hee GHEE on)
Flower (flowers) Blodyn (blodau) BLOD in (BLOD eye)
Sea Môr More
Cloud (clouds) Cwmwl (Cymylau) KOOM ool (kum UHL eye)
Mountain (mountains) Mynydd (mynyddoedd)   MIN ithe (min ITHE oethe)
to rain bwrw glaw   BOOroo GLAW
Sun; sunshine Haul; heulwen   hile; HILE wen
Moon Lleuad   CHLEYE ad
Star (stars) Seren (sêr)   SER en (Sehr)


Time and Days of the Week
English Welsh Pronuciation
Time amser  am SER
Always; all the time pob amser  pobe AM ser
Hour awr  ah Wer
Day dydd  DEETHE
Week wythnos WITH noas
Month Mis MEES
Year
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Blwyddyn blew EE then
Sunday dydd Sul DEETHE seel
Monday dydd Llun DEETHE chleen
Tuesday dydd Mawrth DEETHE mawrth
Wednesday
dydd Mercher,
DEETHE mercher
nye "Nos Merhcherr Bachh"
Thursday dydd Iau   DEETHE ee-eye
Friday dydd Gwener DEETHE gwenner
Saturday dydd Sadwrn DEETHE saddern


Numbers
English Welsh Pronuciation
1 Un een
2 Dau dye(see Note above)
3 Tri tree
4 Pedwar PED war
5 Pump  Pimp
6 Chwech CHW ech
7 Saith SYEth
8 Wyth with
9 Naw now
10 Deg daeg
13 Un deg tri een DAEG tree
20 Dau deg DYE daeg
23 Dau Deg tri dye DAEG tree
50 Pum deg; hanner cant DYE daeg; HANNER kant
53 Pum Deg tri pim DAEG tree
100 Cant Kant
Thousand Mil Meel
Million Miliwn mil EE oon


Phrases (using the formal case)
English Welsh Pronuciation
How are you? Sut dach chi? Sit dach chhee?
Fine, thanks. And you? Iawn, diolch. A chi? Yawn, DEE olch. A chee?
How's the weather? Sut mae'r tywydd? sit meyer TUH weth
It's hot. Mae'n poeth. Mine poith.
It's raining. Mae'n bwrw glaw. Mine BOOroo glaw.
It's cold - very cold! Mae'n oer - oer iawn!  Mine oir - oir yawn!
I'd like coffee. Dwi'n eisiau coffi. dw een AYshah coffee.
I'd like beer. Dwi'n eisiau cwrw. dw een AYshah KOOroo.
Please, or "if it you see it's good". "Plis", neu "os gwelwch yn dda" "Pleese", nye "os goo-EL-ooch un
thah."
Thank you. Diolch. DEE olch.
No thanks. Dim diolch. dim DEE olch.
Good morning! Bore da! BORay da!
Good afternoon! Pnawn da! Pin anwn Da
Good evening. Noswaith dda! Nos withe tha.
Nice to see you. Neis wela chi. Nise Wela chi.
Bye! Bye now! Hwyl! Hwyl nawr! Hoil! Hoil nawr!
Nice to meet you. Neis cwrdd a chi. Nise COORth a chi.
Welsh League of Arizona
Cynghrair Cymreig Arizona
Here are some common Welsh words and phrases to try
Dyma geiriau cyffredin a ymadroddion yn y Gymraeg i chi ymarfer dweud
Cymraeg - iaith y nefoedd

Welsh - the language of heaven
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