Help Wikitravel grow by contributing to an article! Learn how.

Welsh phrasebook

From Wikitravel
Revision as of 07:34, 18 April 2009 by Tarr3n (Talk | contribs)

Jump to: navigation, search

Welsh (Welsh: Cymraeg) is a language spoken by around 21% of the population in Wales in addition to English. 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.

Pronunciation guide

Welsh is a relatively phonetic language, with most letters having only one pronunciation. Complications arise with the various double consonants, 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". "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" and "u" are two distinct sounds in the north, while in the south both letters are pronounced as "i".

Unless overridden by an accent mark, the stress in Welsh words 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 and v 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

Vowels in Welsh can have accent marks, most commonly the circumflex (^), called the tô bach (little roof), which lengthens the sound of the vowel, and the acute (´), which shortens it. Occasionally the diaresis appears on the letter ï, to signify a doubling of the sound. 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:

like "a" in "and"
like "eh"
like "ee" in "see"
like "oh"
like a very tight, frontal "oo" sound (purse your lips as if to say "oo" as in "soon" but try and say "ee")
like "oo" as in "moon"
either "uh", or like "ee" in "see" (note that the short form varies depending on where it is in the word. If "y" is in the final syllable and is followed by a consonant, it's pronounced like the "i" in "bin". A common example containing both short forms is the word for valley, dyffryn, which is pronounced "DUFF-rin")

Consonants

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"
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 "f" in "fun"; only found in words of Greek origin, or at the beginning of words as a mutated "p".
like "r" in "range"
rh 
an aspirated, breathy "r"
like "s" in "state"
like "t" in "time"
th 
like "th" in "think"

Common diphthongs

ae 
aaye (long "a" sound) in the north; like "eye" in the south.
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"

The differences between some of the dipthongs are very subtle and virtually indistinguishable.

Phrase list

Basics

Hello. 
Helo. (Hello)
Hello. (informal
S'mae? (s-my? (north) shoo-my? (south))
How are you? 
S'mae? (s-my? (north) shoo-my? (south))
Fine, thank you. 
iawn, diolch. (yown, dee-ol'ch)
What is your name? 
Be' dy'ch enw chi? (bay di'ch enoo ch'ee?)
My name is ______ . 
______ yw 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 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...?") or a construct beginning with "ydy" e.g. "Ydych...?" ("Do you...?") then the reply is "ydy" or "nac ydy"
Yes. 
Oes. (oyss); Ydy (UD-ee); Ie (ee-yeah)
No. 
Nac oes. (nak oyss or nag oyss); Nac ydy (nac-UD-ee, nag-ud-ee, or NAG-dee), 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 ddrwg gen i. (My th'roog gen ee)
Goodbye 
Ffarwél. (far-WEL )
Goodbye (informal
Da bo chi. (Da BO ch'ee) (a contraction of "Duw bu gydach chi" - "God be with you")
I can't speak Welsh [well]. 
Alla i ddim siarad Cymraeg [yn dda]. (alh'a ee thim sharad kym-RYE-g [un tha])
Do you speak English? 
Ydych chi'n siarad Saesneg? (UD-ich ch'een sharad SIS-neg?)
Is there someone here who speaks English? 
Oes rhywun yma sy'n siarad Saesneg? (Oyss reew-in umma seen sharad sis-neg?)
Help! 
Help! ( !)
Look out! 
Hendiwch! (HEN-dyoo'ch!)
Good morning. 
Bore da. (BOR-eh da)
Good evening. 
Noswaith dda. (NOSS-why-th tha)
Good night. 
Nos da. (NOHS da)
Good night (to sleep
Nos da. ( )
I don't understand. 
Dwi ddim yn deall. ( )
Where is the toilet? 
Ble' mae'r toiled? (Blay my'r toy-led?)

Problems

Numbers

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)
chwech (ch'way'ch or ch'way)
saith (scyth)
wyth (oo-ith)
naw (now)
10 
deg (day-g or deng)
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 or DAY-theng)' 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); un deg pump
16 
un ar bumtheg (een ar BUM-theg); un deg chwech
17 
dau ar bumtheg (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 ugain (een ar IG-ine); dau ddeg un
22 
dau ar ugain (die ar IG-ine); dau ddeg dau
23 
tri ar ugain (tree ar IG-ine); dau ddeg tri
30 
deg ar ugain (DAYG ar IG-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)
200 
dau gant (die gant) (m); dwy chant (doo-ey ch'ant) (f)
300 
tri chant (tree ch'ant)
1000 
mil (meel)
2000 
dau mil (die meel) (m); dwy fil (doo-ey veel) (f)
1,000,000 
miliwn (MIL-ioon)
number _____ (train, bus, etc.
rhif _____ (REEV)
half 
hanner (HAN-ner)
less 
llai (lhie)
more 
mwy (MOO-ee)

Time

now 
rwan (ROO-an); nawr (NOW-r)
later 
hwyrach (HOOIR-ach)
before 
cyn (kin)
after 
wedi (weddy)
morning 
bore (BOR-eh)
in the morning 
yn y fore (un uh VOR-eh)
afternoon 
prynhawn (PRUN-hown) - commonly pronounced p'nown
evening 
min nos (meen nohs); noson (nosson)
in the evening
yn y fin nos (un uh veen nohs)
night 
nos (nohs)

Clock time

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
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
quarter past seven, 19:15 
chwarter wedi saith
half past seven, 19:30 
hanner wedi saith
midnight 
hanner nos (HAN-ner nohs)

Duration

_____ minute(s) 
_____ munud(au) (MINNID(ie))
_____ 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 
dyddiadol (duh-THIAD-ol)
weekly 
wythnosol (ooith-NOSS-ol)
monthly 
misol (MEES-ol)
yearly 
blynyddol (bluh-NUTH-ol)

Days

today 
heddiw (HETH-you)
yesterday 
ddoe (THOY)
the day before yesterday 
echddoe (ECH-thoy)
tomorrow 
yfory (uh-VOR-ee)
this week 
wythnos hon (WITH-nos hon)
last week 
wythnos olaf (WITH-nos ollav (commonly pronounced "olla'"))
next week 
wythnos nesaf (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

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-wedd)
December 
Rhagfyr (RAG-vir)

Writing time and date

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 Rhagfyr mil naw chwe' thri (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 pump" (two thousand and five), compared with 1987 which was "mil naw wyth saith" ((one) thousand nine eight seven). Ordinals are

1st - 1af, cyntaf
2nd - 2il, ail
3rd - 3ydd, trydydd
4th - 4ydd, pedwerydd
5th - 5ed, pumed
6th - 6fed or 6ed, chwechfed
7th - 7fed or 7ed, saithfed
8th - 8fed or 8ed, wythfed
9th - 9fed or 9ed, nawfed
10th - 10fed or 10ed, 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) or "y.p." (y p'nawn), equivalent to "a.m." and "p.m.".

Colors

black 
du (dee)
white 
gwyn (m) / gwen (f) (gwin/gwen)
gray 
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

Bus and train

How much is a ticket to _____? 
Praint yw tocyn i _____ ? (pry-nt yoo tok-in ee)
One ticket to _____, please. 
Tocyn i _____, os gwelwch yn dda. (tok-in ee ____ oss gwel-ookh un tha)
Where does this train/bus go? 
Ble 'dy trên/bws hon yn mynd? (blay dee train/boos honn yn mind?)
Where is the train/bus to _____? 
Ble mae'r trên/bws i _____ ? (blay mire train/boos i ____)
Does this train/bus stop in _____? 
Ydy'r trên/bws hon yn galw yn _____ ? (Uh deer train/bws honn un ga-loo un _____)
When does the train/bus for _____ leave? 
Pryd mae'r trên/bws i ______ yn ymadael? (preed my-r train/boos i _______ un umm-ad-ile)
When will this train/bus arrive in _____? 
Pryd fydd y trên/bws hon yn cyrraedd _____ ? (preed veeth uh train/boos honn un kurr-ithe _____)
a one-way ticket
tocyn unig
a round trip ticket
tocyn dwy ffordd

Directions

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

Taxi

Taxi 
Tacsi

Lodging

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

Money

Pound 
Punt
Penny 
Ceiniog

Eating

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

Bars

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

Shopping

Driving

Authority

This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!

Variants

Actions

Destination Docents

In other languages

other sites