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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 www.gweiadur.com, www.geiriaduracademi.org 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 'Tips and Notes' for the section on 'The' - https://www.duolingo.com/skill/cy/The-1/tips-and-notes. 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

To find the course notes generally, go to https://forum.duolingo.com/topic/924/hot and see 'Course tips and notes'. The 'duome' link there is useful for browsing all the notes in one place. We recommend reading the notes for each new section as you start it.

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.


Unfortunately the online dictionary you have recommended https://www.gweiadur.com/en/Account/SignUp has reached its registration limit, so we cannot view the meanings.


You could try asking them for a userid and password through e-mail - ymhol@gweiadur.com


Thank you very much for the links! / Diolch yn fawr!

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