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  5. "Lle aeth hi ddoe?"

"Lle aeth hi ddoe?"

Translation:Where did she go yesterday?

March 8, 2016


  • 2538

Ble in South Wales, Lle in North Wales


As "to" was in the picking list I wrote "where did she go to yesterday" which I know isn't grammatically ideal English, but the "to" is often added in South Wales (and the South West of England). It wasn't accepted.


Probably because it would've been "I le aeth hi ddoe?" or "I ble aeth hi ddoe?" or "I le wnaeth hi fynd ddoe?" in Welsh.


"I ble" doesn't mutate to "i fle", does it ?


ble is already mutated from pa le "which place". It can't mutate any further.


So there are actually two mutations hidden in the word ble (the b from p, and the l from ll)?


So there are actually two mutations hidden in the word ble (the b from p, and the l from ll)?

That's right. pa caused soft mutation from lle to le, and then the p- itself mutated, perhaps from frequent use in constructions such as i ba le "to which place" where the preposition i causes soft mutation as well.


Historically, "Ble" comes from "Pa le" (literally "which place"). Over time, it became "Ble" in parts of Wales while others just decided to drop the "Pa" and just leave the word "lle" place as the question word


I find it really hard to pronounce "lle" with the /ll/ at the start of the word. Any hints??


The sound that you are after is called the 'voiceless alveolar lateral fricative', /ɬ/. Look it up on Wikipedia and listen to the sound file there. Somwhere on the web there is an IPA video file of it, too, showing a close-up of someone's mouth as they make the sound - the same videos are on the free 'IPA Phonetics' mobile app.

So, following its descriptive name:

  • You do not make a sound in your larynx.
  • You keep the end of your tongue up behind the (alveolar) ridge behind your top front teeth (the same position as when saying the '-l' in English 'eel')
  • As you breathe out gently, the air passes over one or both (lateral) sides of your tongue,
  • Making a (fricative) rushing, hissy sort of sound.

Practice the tongue position by saying an English 'eel' and then 'eelllllllll'. Then put your tongue pressed up gently in that position, keep it there, and start breathing the air out past one or both sides of your tongue.

There should be no sound from your larynx - no 'l' sound. There should be no 'c' sound - no back of mouth or throat involvement. There should be no 'th' or 'thl' sound - no tongue tip visible under your front teeth. No putting your tongue in any unfamiliar or contorted positions, no moving it around as you make the sound.

Good words to practise - allt, ill, hallt, allan, allai, falle, felly, llan, lle, llys, llo, oll, colli, hollti, gallwn.


Thank you, that just helped me with llefrygell too


Honestly? Practise. Practising is the only way to become more proficient at pronunciations one is unfamiliar with.


Fair play to this course for putting 'Lle' in as well as 'Ble' , the latter, I have found exclusively taught elsewhere. There is a comment below suggesting that Lle/Ble is another South/North divide. I am not sure of this, having lived in the South and had in laws in Ynys Môn, and, spending time in the North, where I have heard Gogs use 'Lle' too? What have others found?


I saw a notice by a green in Bangor, "No ball games on Sundays". I also saw "Merched" on lavatories, which is "girls" but on the other side it was "Dynion" which is "men" not "boys"


I don't suppose it could have been, menywod, which is women? For as you say, it does seem odd that it is men and girls; merch also having the sense of daughter too, which makes it more surprising.

As for lle and ble it is more mixed up than any North/South divide, the same speaker will often use both at different times, and, it is good that the course shews both; very helpful.


Definitely "Merched". Because of this I thought merched were women for 50 years.


That could be a very embarrassing mistake to make! I'm flummoxed. Pob lwc gyda merched, Butty. Nos da.


It wasn't too bad. We met in 1976 and have not split. Diolch.

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