The Welsh alphabet and using a dictionary

If you want to see how particular words are used or what their range of meanings is, you need to use a Welsh dictionary to help you. There are several available on line or as apps, such as, and Ap Geiriaduron - the first two often show a number of useful examples of how words are used. Other dictionaries are mentioned in the 'Resources' discussion. Be aware, though, that some of the examples in dictionaries and grammar books will use more formal forms of Welsh than are taught on this course.

To use a paper dictionary, or to scroll through an electronic one, you need to know the Welsh alphabet of 28 letters (29 if you include the loan letter j) - this is set out in the 'Hints and Tips' for the section on 'The'. In particular, you need to learn where the eight digraph letters (ch, dd, ff, ng, ll, ph, rh, th) come in the sort order of the alphabet. As a check, put these into the correct alphabetical order:

  • cyfuno, addas, chwarter, efail, achau, boncath, ddim, gwyllt, cynghrair, portread, adloniant, ffôn, actio, phrynais, brith, llety, ngwely, cylchgrawn, tortsh, doniol, efydd, gwylwyr, porth, fo, cyffug, diweddar, torth, cyngor, effeithiol, bondigrybwyll, lodes

Dictionaries will sometimes use Welsh abbreviations to show what type of word you are looking at. There will always be a key somewhere, but here are some common ones:

  • be - berfenw - a verb-noun, the basic form of a Welsh verb (mynd, dod, prynu, ...)
  • berf - verb, a conjugated form of a verb-noun
  • eb - enw benywaidd - feminine noun
  • eg - enw gwrywaidd - masculine noun
  • ell - enw lluosog - plural noun
  • ll - lluosog - plural
  • adf - adferf - adverb
  • ans - ansoddair - adjective
September 12, 2016


Don't look at this answer until you have tried the question above!

acen, actio, achau, adloniant, addas, boncath, bondigrybwyll, brith, cyfuno, cyffug, cynghrair, cyngor, cylchgrawn, chwarter, diweddar, doniol, ddim, efail, efydd, effeithiol, fo, ffôn, gwylwyr, gwyllt, ngwely, lodes, llety, portread, porth, phrynais, tortsh, torth.

September 12, 2016

Does nga come right after gz ? I see that it comes before l, but does it come before h?

May 13, 2018

As mentioned above, the Welsh alphabet is set out in the notes for 'The'. You will also find it on the web. For example -

The sequence is .... F Ff G Ng H I L Ll ...

No unmutated words start with ng. There is no z in Welsh.

May 14, 2018

Well now, since Duolingo accidentally deleted my original account, I am not far enough along to see those tips and notes yet. Thank God for where I can see all the tips and notes whether or not I have done the lesson yet or not. I wish it were like that here on Duolingo. So for anyone else who wants to see the alphabet but has not done enough skills yet as it is not until the Skill “The”, just insert your own username where it says username in the address given.

May 14, 2018

tips and notes don't show up under that link anymore. And, if you click on a link at that page (using your username), it will redirect you to the duolingo site to be sure you don't see anything you should not see. Its a bad move on their part.

July 23, 2018

Are you sure you put “” ? Oh dear, you may be new and your name is not on the list yet. The other thing to note is if you are doing more than one language, you need to already be in the Welsh course before going to duome to see the Welsh tips and notes, otherwise you will see the information for whichever course you happen to be in. Wait, I just tried ibisc’s link above and I was able to see a few tips and notes though I am not even in the Welsh course at the moment. Maybe it is because it is not actually my link and the person called “myusername” if there is one is actually currently in the Welsh course. Note that sometimes there have been dummy usernames used for such purposes that worked great until someone actually used that as a username. I am currently using safari on my iPad to look it up. What are you using velvelajade?

July 23, 2018

Apparently, deleting one comment, deleted both of them. However, thank you for you help everyone! I reread the instructions and realised I was clicking on the link instead of the icon. lol It works now for me. rofl

July 24, 2018

That link just worked for me. I needed to use https:///

Clicking on the lightbulb icon on each line takes you to the current version of the course notes for that section.

July 23, 2018

Thanks. Very useful.

September 12, 2016
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