Pronounciation / Ynganu
If you'd like to get some more practice with your ynganu, then this five minute video on WelshPlus on YouTube is short, sharp, and snappy :)
Cymraeg is an almost completely phonetic language, so the first thing to do is to get the alphabet (yr wyddor) learnt - this will stop you from trying to pronounce Welsh words through your own, native alphabet. The above link's video will help you come on leaps and bounds before getting stuck into the rest of the course. Also pay close attention to ch dd ff ng ll ph rh th as they are all one letter in Cymraeg and therefore will sound differently; "t" is pronounced "tuh" but "th" like "the".
Thanks for the link, I think I can finally pronounce ll quite well and now my middle name too XD
When you are talking Dutch in the Welsh forum. Come to think about it, when there is a "Welsh Forum". Duo is awesome. And have a lingot for the Dutch.
Eén van de "awkward" welsh namen met twee "ll" XD maar Ik zal niet zeggen :P
Ik vind het zo leuk dat wij kunnen in het nederlands communiceren op een Welsh discussie. Welsh is mijn moedertaal maar ik probeer ook nederlands te leren - ik woondde vijf jaren lang in Den Haag maar dat was nu vijf-en-twintig jaar geleden en ik vond dat ik begon mijn nederlands te vergeten (voordat ik Duolingo vond!)
I find pronouncing "wy" to be the hardest thing about Welsh pronunciation. The explanations say a long oo followed by a short i, and sometimes it sounds like that, but other times it sounds more like "oi". Is there a rule about how to pronounce it?
Depends what part of the country you live in. I say 'oy' others say 'we'. If you listen to the beautiful song, Myfanwy, you'll hear it pronounced Muh van wee and Muh van oy in the same song.
I'd also like to know how to pronounce llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch too if that's possible!
and thanks for the awesome link!
It's pronounced just as it's spelled!
That sounds like a joke, but it is actually true. Welsh spelling is surprisingly regular once you get used to it, except maybe for the big vowel clusters.
It's pronounced 'uh' unless it's in the last syllable of word, in which case it is pronounced 'ee'. In compound words like Brynhyfryd (Bryn + Hyfryd) you'd have to look at the words that have been put together to make the new word to work out the correct pronounciation.
Have you watched the pronunciation videos that we recommend? They are well worth looking at regularly as you follow the course. Look on the web for 'youtube welsh plus pronunciation' to find them quickly if you do not have the link already.
y is pronounced as /i/ in the final syllable of multi-syllable words and in single syllable words, or otherwise as an English /uh/.
There are some exceptions, especially with the following very common, short, single-syllable words where the y is always pronounced as /uh/: fy, dy, y, yr, yn
For an experienced speaker all the individual sounds are clearly indicated in the spelling. But a bigger problem, I think, is actually remembering the word. I'd probably get half-way through and forget what was next.
uhm, y'know, normally. it's not like it's Klingon, it's perfectly pronounceable.
If you know how. :-) I suppose you can even say Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz if you know how. :-)
What about Menneskerettighetsorganisasjonene? Or Realisationsvinstbeskattning? Or even Lentokonesuihkuturbiinimoottoriapumekaanikkoaliupseerioppilas?
yep, I noticed when I googled them to be sure I recognised the languages correctly. ;p I'm not a longest-words geek, it's just that Welsh and Icelandic are very phonetic and thus easy to pronounce if you only know the respective sounds of their letters. btw., 'll' in both languages is very similar.
Norwegian, Swedish, and Finnish? you really overestimate me. XD I could have a decent go at the first two, I think. Finnish - nonononono.
Yep. I cheated and found a list of the longest words in various European languages. :-D They actually use the Finnish one in the air force, apparently.
Hey! Klingon has a completely phonetic writing system as well - like Welsh, it's perfectly pronounceable once you learn what each letter is pronounced like, and like Welsh, some individual letters of the alphabet are written with more than one character (e.g. ch, tlh, ng, gh in Klingon).
yes it is, but it kind of falls into the same category of unpronounceable foreign placenames.
When I was in primary school (NOT in Wales!) my teacher made sure we could all pronounce this...
th is pronounced like the th in "think",
dd is pronounced like the th in "the".
Learning alphabet really helps me pronounce correctly. Whatever they think, when they hear me pronounce Cymraeg. OTL
You can, you just haven't discovered how. (I'm assuming you have a tongue.) Any new sound, one you didn't learn as a child, takes time and practice to learn.
I'm sure you're right. But I had it drummed into me as a very small child that I couldn't roll my r's - my sister could, but I couldn't. Like it was an inherited trait. Any other sound English speakers "can't make", like ch or ll for instance, I've had no trouble with - but then I was never taught that I personally couldn't. So basically I've got to crack some fairly deep conditioning. Am working on it!
Practise - big breath and rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr like a drill. Bydd yn dod, hyd yn oed os ydych chi'n siarad fel Jonathon Woss! :)
Try saying "Around the rugged rock the ragged rascal ran".
My trilled Rs aren't great but if your tongue is near the roof of your mouth and you breath in a certain way (sorry, a bit vague), it will 'flutter' a bit against your palate. I don't know how 'Welsh' my Rs sound but they certainly sound less like English like that.
I know your pain. No matter what I do, including coaching from my Welsh schooled children, I cant nail the 'r' in 'gwyrdd'
Thanks for the link! I'd be lost without it! ;D I'm having trouble with the letters that must be pronounced with no voice. I can't figure it out! Maybe if I just encounter what whole words sound like with those letters, or watch those parts of the video again while listening very closely..
Voiced and unvoiced - place your finger lightly on your Adam's apple and you will feel it vibrate when saying the voiced sound at the beginning of each of these voiced/unvoiced pairs of English and Welsh words:
- these, threes - ddinas, thre
- vole, foal - fel, ffin (or compare the f, ff in the English 'of, off' - Welsh has those same sounds for the letters f, ff)
- bowl, pole - bola, polyn
- dine, tine - dîm, tîm
- gain, cane - gegin, cacen
Hello all! I recently found this Youtube channel, where they post "Welsh word of the day" videos. I find it does help me with pronunciation, although the choice of words can be unpredictable, I see that as a plus. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLPJe_Al5lXCv45aJ8zGOiE0bAkKRzsXOf
Also, watching through that series of videos again, I just realised it would teach you to pronounce my name wrong, so worth baring in mind that things may be pronounced differently from the "standard" pronunciations in that video.
Do you pronounce your name as Yay ann or Y eye ann? I know a few and even the Welsh speakers use both pronunciations.
(This is a reply to yours on rolling rrr's 'cos there's no reply button come up there). That's going to be my nighttime practise regime for the next few months! Thanks for the tip!
It depends on from where in Wales you come, which pronunciation you use. At this point I'm not too fussed :)
Can someone explain the function of the caret (^) in certain Welsh words? Why is the word for water written as "dŵr" instead of just "dwr?" How does it change the pronunciation?
The circumflex accent shows that the vowel is always pronounced as a long vowel. Unmarked vowels may be long or short.
This is explained in the WelshPlus pronunciation videos that we recommend - see earlier posts in this discussion or just look on the web for ‘welsh plus youtube pronunciation basics’.
The meaning if some words can change depending on the accent being there or not - look up these examples in a dictionary:
- gem, gêm
- gŵydd, gwŷdd
- gŵyr, gwŷr
- glan, glân
- man, mân
That isn't terribly helpful for the dipthongs. How does the sound differ in 'gwydd' if the circumflex is over the w or the y (oy, oo, aw, ee) ? Very difficult for learners and speakers in different parts of Wales. I have heard 'oy' and 'wee' for an egg. I'd be grateful for your pronunciation of goose/presence/ trees/plough/ crooked/men.
More or less:
- gŵydd - /gOOYdd/. As in hwyl
- gwŷdd - /gWEEdd/
(dd as voiced ‘th-‘ in there, these, the, as usual)
Diolch! Unfortunately, my American ear isn't really picking up on some of these vowel differences yet. I've played the videos at least twice now and some of the long and short vowel sounds - especially for "a" and "e" - sound exactly alike to me.
Don't worry too much about it - as long as you have the general sound. If it's any consolation some of the subtle differences are also lost on my old Welsh ears!
No it isn't - th is sounded softly like the th in thank - not hard - as in the.
Speaking out loud is no problem the sound becomes easy once you get used to it. Which for me was fairly quick. For the most part it all came quickly for me but some of the spelling took a bit to get used to. I love Cymraeg it's a beautiful and fun language to learn.