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Welsh phrasebook

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Welsh (Welsh: Cymraeg) is a language spoken by around 21% of the population in Wales in addition to English (according to the 2001 Census) but probably more than 21% of the Welsh population can speak the Welsh Language now in 2010. It is also spoken by several thousand people in the Chubut province of Argentina, as well as by substantial numbers of people scattered around the world. All Welsh speakers old enough to attend school in Wales also speak English, while those in Argentina speak Spanish. There are probably at least 100,000 Welsh speakers elsewhere in the UK, and considerable interest in learning the language not only in Wales but also elsewhere in the UK, in the US and elsewhere.

Pronunciation guide[edit]

Welsh is a relatively phonetic language, with most letters having only one pronunciation. Complications may arise with the various consonantal digraphs, particularly "dd" which is represented in English as "th" as in "breathe", while "th" is represented in English as "th" as in "think"; "ll" is a famously difficult (and common) sound for non-Welsh speakers to produce - made by positioning the tongue at the top front of the mouth and blowing, and represented here as "lh". (Not uniquely Welsh, it also occurs in some South African languages.) "Ch" is always pronounced like the German name "Bach" or the Scottish "loch"; the sound which appears in the English word "church" is represented by "ts".

There are relatively minor pronunciation differences between northern and southern Welsh, most notably that "i" on the one hand and "u" and "y" are two distinct sounds on the other in the north, while in the south these letters are pronounced identically as the sound of "i".

Unless overridden by an accent mark, the stress in Welsh words nearly always falls on the last but one syllable of a word. As syllables get added to words, for example to denote a plural or a female person of a particular occupation, the sound of a word can change dramatically.

Welsh is written in a version of the Latin alphabet containing 28 letters, including 8 digraphs which count as separate letters for collating purposes (and crossword puzzles): a, b, c, ch, d, dd, e, f, ff, g, ng, h, i, l, ll, m, n, o, p, ph, r, rh, s, t, th, u, w, y.

The letters j, v, x and z do not exist in normal Welsh usage, but have been adopted from English for limited use e.g. in personal names. "K" is regarded as redundant in Welsh as the sound is always represented by "c", but it is found in the prefix "kilo-", although "cilo-" is always acceptable.

Grammatically, Welsh is relatively complex with two grammatical genders, masculine and feminine, which all nouns are assigned to, and also masculine and feminine forms of the numbers "two" "three" and "four" which have to match the gender of the object being counted; there are also two separate counting systems, decimal (base 10) and the more traditional vigesimal (base 20). The phenomenon of mutation is a characteristic of the Celtic languages, where the initial letters of words change depending on the grammar of the sentence, which can make tracking words down in a dictionary difficult.

Vowels[edit]

Vowels in Welsh can have accent marks, most commonly the circumflex (^), called the to bach (little roof), which lengthens the sound of the vowel, and the acute (´), which shortens it. Occasionally the diaresis appears, dividing two vowel sounds from each other. Vowel sounds tend to resemble those of major continental European languages rather than English.

There are seven vowels in Welsh, which have both short and long forms. The following sounds are only approximations in English:

like "pat" and "father".
like "pet" and "pear".
like "pit" and "machine".
like "pot" and "port".
In South Wales, like "pit" and "machine".

In North Wales, more like a French "u" as in "tu"

like "u" in "put" and "oo" as in "moon".
like "i" in "pit" and "machine".

Consonants[edit]

like "b" in "bed".
like "c" in "cat".
ch 
like "ch" in German "Bach" or Scottish "loch".
like "d" in "death".
dd 
like "th" in "the".
like "v" in "van".
ff 
like "f" in "fun".
like "g" in "garden".
ng 
like "ng" in "pong". Sometimes, like in "finger".
like "h" in "heart".
like "l" in "link".
ll 
place the tongue at the top of the mouth, and blow.
like "m" in "meet".
like "n" in "news".
like "p" in "pen".
ph 
like "ph" in "philosophy".
like "r" in "red" (well rolled, as in Scottish pronunciation).
rh 
an aspirated, breathy "r".
like "s" in "state".
sh + vowel (NOT a consonant, but a sound) 
like "sh" in "shore".
like "t" in "time".
th 
like "th" in "think".

Common diphthongs[edit]

Only southern forms unless otherwise stated. English approximations are also given.

ae 
like "eye".
ai 
like "eye".
au 
like "aye", with a rounded closing sound. When used as the plural marker, often pronounced "ah" in the north and "eh" in the south.
aw 
like "ow!".
ei 
like "ey" in "hey!"
eu 
like "ey" in "hey!", but with a rounded closing sound.
ew 
like "eh-oo" said quickly.
ey 
like "ey" in "hey!".
iw 
like "you".
oe 
like "oy" in "boy".
oi 
like "oy" in "boy".
ou 
like "oy" in "boy".
uw 
like "you".
wy 
like "oo-ee".
yw 
like "you" (in monosyllables).
yw 
like "uh-oo" (in polysyllabics).

The differences between some of the dipthongs are often very subtle.

Phrase list[edit]

Basics[edit]

Hello. 
Helo. (Hello)
Hello. (informal
S'mae? (s-my? (north) shoo-my? (south))
How are you? (formal)
Sut ydych chi? (north) Shwd ych chi? (south)
How are you? (informal)
Sut wyt ti? (north) Shwd wyt ti? (south)
Fine, thank you. 
Iawn, diolch. (yown, DEE-ol'ch)
What is your name? (formal
Be' ydy'ch enw chi? (bay UHdi'ch ENoo ch'ee?)

What is your name? (informal) : Be' ydy dy enw di? (bay UHdi duh ENoo dee?)

My name is ______ . 
______ ydy f'enw i. (_____ you ven-oo ee.)
Nice to meet you. 
Braf cwrdd â chi. (Brahv corth ah khi)
Please. 
Os gwelwch chi'n dda. ( )
Thank you [very much]. 
Diolch [yn fawr]. (DEE-ol'ch [un vowr])
You're welcome. 
Croeso. (CROY-so)
There are no exact equivalents of "yes" and "no" in Welsh; the concept is conveyed grammatically with regard to agreement between the person and tense by indicating agreement or disagreement e.g. "yes there is" or "no there is not", which is said in different ways depending on how the question was phrased. If the question begins "Oes...?" or "A oes...?" ("Is there...?") then the reply is "oes" or "nac oes"; if the question begins "Ydy...?" ("Is...?") then the reply is "ydy" or "nac ydy" etc
Yes. 
Ie (ee-yeah)
No. 
Na (Nah)
Excuse me. (getting attention
Esgusodwch fi. (es-gis-OD-oo'ch vee)
Excuse me. (begging pardon
Esgusodwch fi. (es-gis-OD-oo'ch vee)
I'm sorry. 
Mae'n ddrwg gen i. (My uhn th'roog gen ee)
Goodbye (Formal
Da bo chi. (Da BO ch'ee)
Goodbye (Informal
Hwyl! (hooill)
I can't speak Welsh [well]. 
Alla i ddim siarad Cymraeg [yn dda]. (Alh'a ee thim SHARad kym-RYE-g [uhn tha])
Do you speak English? 
Ydych chi'n siarad Saesneg? (UD-ich ch'een SHARad SAYES-neg?)
Is there someone here who speaks English? 
Oes rhywun yma sy'n siarad Saesneg? (Oyss RHEEW-in UMma seen SHARad SAYES-neg?)
Help! 
Help! (Help)
Look out! 
Hendiwch! (HEN-dyoo'ch!)
Good morning. 
Bore da. (BOR-eh dah)
Good afternoon. 
Prynhawn da. (PRINhaun dah)
Good evening. 
Noswaith dda. (NOSS-why-th thah)
Good night. 
Nos da. (NOHS dah)
Good night (to sleep
Nos da. (NOHS dah)
I don't understand. 
Dw i ddim yn ddeall. ( )
Where is the toilet? 
Ble' mae'r ty bach? (Blay my'r tee bahch?)

Problems[edit]

Numbers[edit]

dim (dim)
un (een)
dau (die) (m); dwy (doo-ey) (f)
tri (tree) (m); tair (tire) (f)
pedwar (PED-war) (m); pedair (PED-ire) (f)
pump (pimp); pum (pim) before a noun
chwech (ch'way'ch); chwe (ch'way) before a noun
saith (sayeth)
wyth (oo-ith)
naw (now)
10 
deg (day-g); deng (deng) before a noun
From this point, the first term is the vigesimal form, the second is the decimal form. Replace "dau", "tri" and "pedwar" with "dwy", "tair", and "pedair" as appropriate.
11 
un ar ddeg (een ar thayg); un deg un
12 
deuddeg (DAY-theg) deuddeng (DAY-theng)before a noun; un deg dau
13 
tri ar ddeg (tree ar thayg); un deg tri
14 
pedwar ar ddeg (PED-war ar thayg); un deg pedwar
15 
pumtheg (PUM-theg), pumtheng (PUM-theng)before a noun; un deg pump
16 
un ar bymtheg (een ar BUM-theg); un deg chwech
17 
dau ar bymtheg (die ar BUM-theg); un deg saith
18 
deunaw (DAY-now); un deg wyth
19 
pedwar ar bymtheg (PED-war ar BUM-theg); un deg naw
20 
ugain (IG-ine); dau ddeg
21 
un ar hugain (een ar IG-ine); dau ddeg un
22 
dau ar hugain (die ar HIG-ine); dau ddeg dau
23 
tri ar hugain (tree ar HIG-ine); dau ddeg tri
30 
deg ar hugain (DAYG ar HIG-ine); tri ddeg
40 
deugain (DAY-gine); pedwar deg
50 
hanner cant (HAN-ner kant); pum deg
60 
trigain (TRIG-ine); chwe deg
70 
deg a thrigain (DAYG ah THRIG-ine); saith deg
80 
pedwar ugain (PED-war IG-ine); wyth deg
90 
deg a phedwar ugain (DAYG ah FED-war IG-ine); naw deg
91 
un ar ddeg a phedwar ugain (een ar thayg ah FED-war IG-ine); naw deg un
100 
cant (KANT); can ( can) before a noun
200 
dau gant (die gant)
300 
tri chant (tree ch'ant)
1000 
mil (meel)
2000 
dwy fil (doo-eey veel)
1,000,000 
miliwn (MIL-ioon)
number _____ (train, bus, etc.
rhif _____ (Rheev)
half 
hanner (HAN-ner)
less 
llai (lhie)
more 
mwy (moo-ee)

Time[edit]

now 
rwan (ROO-an)[North]; nawr (NOW-r) [South]
later 
hwyrach (HOOIR-ach)
before 
cyn (kin)
after 
wedi (weddy)
morning 
bore (BOR-eh)
in the morning 
yn y bore (un uh BOR-eh)
afternoon 
prynhawn (PRUN-hown) - commonly pronounced p'nown
evening 
noswaith (NOSooaith); noson (nosson)
in the evening
gyda'r nos (GIdar nohs)
night 
nos (nohs)

Clock time[edit]

one o'clock AM 
un o'r gloch y bore (een oh'r glo'ch uh bor-eh) - 1:00 y.b.; 01:00
two o'clock AM 
dau o'r gloch y bore (die oh'r glo'ch uh bor-eh) - 2:00 y.b.; 02:00
noon 
hanner dydd (HAN-ner DEE-th) - 12:00 pm
one o'clock PM, 13:00 
un o'r gloch y p'nawn (een oh'r glo'ch uh p'nown) - 1:00 y.p.; 13:00
two o'clock PM, 14:00 
dau o'r gloch y p'nawn (die oh'r glo'ch uh p'nown) - 2:00 y.p.; 14:00
quarter to seven, 18:45 
chwarter i saith - 6.45 y.h.
quarter past seven, 19:15 
chwarter wedi saith - 7.15 y.h.
half past seven, 19:30 
hanner wedi saith - 7:30 y.h.
midnight 
hanner nos (HAN-ner nohs) 12:00 y.b.

Duration[edit]

_____ minute(s) 
_____ munud(au) (MINNID(eh))
_____ hour(s) 
_____ awr, pl. oriau (our, plural OR-yai)
_____ day(s) 
_____ dydd(iau) (DEEth, plural DUTH-yai)
_____ week(s) 
_____ wythnos(au) (OOITH-noss, plural ooith-NOSS-eye)
_____ month(s) 
_____ mis(au) (mees, plural MIS-eye)
_____ year(s) 
_____ blwyddyn, pl. blynyddau (BLOOITH-in, plural blun-UTH-eye)
daily 
yn ddyddiol (uhn dhuh-iol)
weekly 
yn wythnosol (uhn ooith-NOSS-ol)
monthly 
yn fisol (uhn VIS-ol)
yearly 
yn flynyddol (uhn vluh-NUTH-ol)

Days[edit]

today 
heddiw (HETH-you)
yesterday 
ddoe (THOY)
the day before yesterday 
echddoe (ECH-thoy)
tomorrow 
yfory (uh-VOR-ee)
this week 
yr wythnos hon (uhr WITH-nos hon)
last week 
yr wythnos diwethaf (uhr WITH-nos xxx)
next week 
yr wythnos nesaf (uhr WITH-nos NESS-av (commonly pronounced "nessa'"))
Sunday 
Dydd Sul (deeth seel)
Monday 
Dydd Llun (deeth lheen)
Tuesday 
Dydd Mawrth (deeth MOW-rth)
Wednesday 
Dydd Mercher (deeth MER-cher)
Thursday 
Dydd Iau (deeth IAI)
Friday 
Dydd Gwener (deeth GWEN-er)
Saturday 
Dydd Sadwrn (deeth SAD-oorn)

Months[edit]

January 
Ionawr (ION-our)
February 
Chwefror (CHWEV-ror)
March 
Mawrth (MOWRTH)
April 
Ebrill (EB-rilh)
May 
Mai (MY)
June 
Mehefin (me-HEV-in)
July 
Gorffennaf (gor-FEN-nav)
August 
Awst (OWST)
September 
Medi (MED-ee)
October 
Hydref (HUD-rev)
November 
Tachwedd (TACH-weth)
December 
Rhagfyr (RAG-vir)

Writing time and date[edit]

Dates are written day/month/year. So if you see 04-12-2003, you know that's y pedwerydd o Rhagfyr, not April 12. A date (18-12-1963) fully spelled out is y deunawfed o Ragfyr mil naw chwe tri (you specify the number of thousands, then the individual number of the hundreds, tens, and units; for years from 2000 onwards say "dwy fil" (two thousand) followed by the significant number, omitting the zeroes - thus 2005 is "dwy fil a phump" (two thousand and five), compared with 1987 which was "mil naw wyth saith" ((one) thousand nine eight seven).

The ordinals are as follows. The feminine form is given with feminine nouns.

1st - 1af, cyntaf
2nd - 2il, ail
3rd - 3ydd, trydydd (m.), trydedd (f.)
4th - 4ydd, pedwerydd (m.), pedwaredd (f.)
5th - 5ed, pumed
6th - 6ed, chweched
7th - 7fed, seithfed
8th - 8fed, wythfed
9th - 9fed, nawfed
10th - 10fed, degfed

Times are either written in the 24 hour clock or with hours and minutes separated by a colon or dot and suffixed by "y.b." (y bore),"y.p." (y p'nawn) or "y.h." (yr hwyr) equivalent to "a.m." and "p.m.".

Colours[edit]

black 
du (dee)
white 
gwyn (m) / gwen (f) (gwin/gwen)
grey 
llwyd (lh'oo-id)
red 
coch (KO'ch)
blue 
glas (glaas) - note that this word is also used to describe the colour of grass.
yellow 
melyn (MELLIN)
green 
gwyrdd (m) / gwerdd (f) (gwirth/gwer'th)
orange 
oren (ORRen)
purple 
porffor or glascoch (POR-for or GLASko'ch)
brown 
brown (brown)

Transportation[edit]

Bus and train[edit]

How much is a ticket to _____? 
Faint yw tocyn i _____ ? (Vy-nt yoo TOK-in ee)
One ticket to _____, please. 
Tocyn i _____, os gwelwch yn dda. (TOK-in ee ____ oss GWEL-ookh uhn thah)
Where does this train/bus go? 
Ble mae'r trên/bws hwn yn mynd? (blay mire trayn/boos hoon uhn mind?)
Where is the train/bus to _____? 
Ble mae'r trên/bws i _____ ? (blay mire trayn/boos i ____)
Does this train/bus stop in _____? 
Ydy'r trên/bws hwn yn galw yn _____ ? (Uh deer trayn/bws hoon uhn GA-loo uhn _____)
When does the train/bus for _____ leave? 
Pryd mae'r trên/bws i ______ yn gadael? (preed mire trayn/boos i _______ un GAD-ile)
When will this train/bus arrive in _____? 
Pryd fydd y trên/bws hwn yn cyrraedd _____ ? (preed veeth uh trayn/boos hoon un KUHR-ithe _____)
a one-way ticket
tocyn sengl
a return/round trip ticket
tocyn dwy ffordd

Directions[edit]

Where is the _____? 
Ble mae'r _____ ? (blay my'r _____)
North 
y Gogledd (uh GOG-leth')
South 
y De (uh day)
East 
y Dwyrain (uh DOOY-rine)
West 
y Gorllewin (uh gor-LH'EW-in)

Taxi[edit]

Taxi 
Tacsi

Lodging[edit]

Hotel 
Gwesty
Bed & Breakfast 
Gwely a Brecwast
Campsite 
Gwersyll, Maes Gwersylla
tent 
pabell (pl: pebyll)
caravan 
carafan
self-catering 
hunan arlwyo

Money[edit]

Pound 
Punt
Penny 
Ceiniog

Eating[edit]

Milk 
Llaeth (south), Llefrith (north)
Bread 
Bara
Chips (fries) 
Sglodion
Fish 
Pysgod
Cheese 
Caws
Sausage 
Selsig
Cake 
Cacen, Teisen
Chocolate 
Siocled
Coffee 
Coffi
Tea 
Te
Water 
Dwr

Bars[edit]

Pub 
Tafarn
Cheers (good health
Iechyd da
Beer 
Cwrw
Bitter 
Chwerw
Real ale 
Cwrw go iawn
Wine 
Gwin
White wine 
Gwin gwyn
Red wine 
Gwin coch
Half a bottle 
haner potel
Crisps (potato chips
Creision (Tatws)
Nuts 
Cnau
whisky 
chwisgi
vodka 
fodca
rum 
rym

Shopping[edit]

Shops 
Siopau
Shop 
Siop
Dairy 
Llaethdy
Bakery 
Popty
Butcher 
Cigydd
change 
newid
open 
ar agor
closed 
ar gau
buy 
prynu
sell 
gwerthu

Driving[edit]

road 
ffordd
motorway 
traffordd
services 
gwasanaethau
car park 
maes parcio
insurance 
yswiriant
accident 
damwain
Is there a petrol station here? 
Oes na orsaf petrol fan hyn?
Where's the road to Pandy? 
Ble mae'r ffordd i'r Pandy?
The road via Gwersyllt is quicker. 
Mae'r ffordd drwy Gwersyllt yn gyflymach.
Try to avoid Cefn-y-Bedd. 
Ceisiwch osgoi Cefn-y-Bedd.
Is there a prettier route to Brymbo? 
Oes ffordd perta i fynd i Frymbo?
Turn left at the old steel works. 
Trowch i'r chwith ger yr hen waith dur.
There's nothing to see there. 
Does dim byd yna i weld yno.
There's a petrol station in Rossett but Sainsbury's is cheaper. 
Mae na orsaf petrol yn Yr Orsedd ond mae Sainsbury's yn rhatach
You can park in Heol Hyfryd for free. 
Gewch chi barcio yn Heol Hyfryd am ddim.
Don't park in Bryn Hyfryd it's a rough area. 
Peidiwch a pharcio ym Mryn Hyfryd - mae'n ardal ryff.

Authority[edit]

Police 
Heddlu

Fire Station Gorsaf Dan

Ambulance 
Ambiwlans
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