1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Welsh
  4. >
  5. Pronounciation / Ynganu


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".

Pob lwc!

January 27, 2016



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.


Can't manage to roll my "r"s at all, anyone got any tips?


Try these ideas for trilling your r's - http://www.wikihow.com/Roll-Your-%22R%22s - and perhaps begin with words that contain tr... or dr... Eldra; trawst; pydredd; trist; dramor.... where the tip of your tongue will already be close to the correct position near your teeth.


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)


I find "ll" very hard to pronounce. Here's how: 1. Say "L" like in english 2. Stop saying L but keep your mouth in the same position 3. Blow air with your tongue on the front of your teeth like you are saying l but don't use your vocal cords, just blow


I am having the hardest time saying "ch" correctly and rolling the r's in "ffermwr". I either roll just 1 or add a random d after the first r. Any helpful hints? I've spoken the Southern US dialect my whole life if it helps.



Hi. I'm not a Welsh specialist but I am a linguistics professor who also has to teach basic phonetics! (And I know what the Welsh should sound like as I have Welsh-speaking relatives.) So, to say 'ch', pretend that you want to say a word like 'car' that starts with a hard 'c'. Your tongue will be contact with your hard palate. This is what is known as a 'stop' sound (i.e. the air can't come out until you lower your tongue). The 'ch' sound is a fricative (like 's' and 'f') and rather than completely lowering your tongue, just lower it a little way and blow through. In phonetic terms, 'k' (a hard c) and 'ch' have the same place of articulation, so your tongue is now in the right place. And if you lower your tongue slightly, you'll get the noisy airstream associated with a fricative (which is the manner of articulation that you are aiming for). The 'r' sound is a little more tricky - this may work, or you may need to practise a bit, but I can tell you where your tongue should be. Pretend that you're about to say 'l'. Your tongue should be in contact with the bony ridge behind your upper teeth. Now, the tricky bit. You want your tongue tip to repeatedly hit against the ridge while you breathe out. Think of it a bit like a drum roll. When you're practising, you might find it helpful to move your tongue backwards really slightly. I hope that helps!


Learn Welsh in just 5 minutes a day. For free.