Aberystwyth is a university town on the west Wales coast. It is also the location of the National Library of Wales.
Why did they have to pick "Aberystwyth" as an example? I always get finger tied trying to write that word...
Just think of it in three parts, as it is pronounced - aber-YST-wyth
aber is the name for a common geographical feature - a place where one body of water, usually a river, flows into another, such as another river or the sea. Ystwyth is the name of a river, afon Ystwyth, which joins afon Rheidol as they both meet and flow into the sea at Aberystwyth.
- Abergafenni (usually Y Fenni these days) - where afon Gafenni flows into afon Wysg (the Usk)
- Aberaeron - where afon Aeron flows into the sea.
- Aberhonddu - where afon Honddu joins afon Wysg
- Aberdyfi - where afon Dyfi joins the sea
I've been wondering why it's necessary to learn the Welsh versions of the names of cities in Wales. Do Welsh people actually call them by those names? Are the English names also used commonly?
Most places in Wales, such as Aberystwyth, have only one name. Some have an English version of their name which is used by English speakers and also on most maps - this is particularly common for the larger market towns and the cities. Some major towns, counties and regions elsewhere in Britain also have Welsh names that are widely used by Welsh speakers.
We introduce a variety of place-names on Duo so that we can introduce the various mutations when saying that we are going to a place, coming from a place and living in a place. It is also important to be be able to follow the Welsh-language media, where places that have English names as well as Welsh ones are always referred to by the Welsh name alone.