Are there any mnemonics to help re pronunciation? Adrian
A quick google search came up with this for the alphabet. Welsh is a very phonetic language so once you master the alphabet pronunciation becomes reasonably easy.
I’m not sure what exactly is called “mnemonics” or if you have something specific in mind.
If it means any trick to help remembering Welsh words - which, in the beginning, are just unintelligible sequences of strange sounds - I did use one:
I basically tried to find, as fast as possible, a familiar word or name in my own language (Italian) or English that sounds pretty close to the sound I hear in the example.
I also visualize that thing or person in my mind; the funnier and weirder the image, the better.
After a few times I come across that word, I’m usually able to recall it pretty well. Then it takes a bit more time to improve pronunciation but it seemed better to remember SOMETHING than nothing at all.
Sorry, not a scientific, universal and fail-proof method, just a vague idea - but it worked for me.
So many thanks for your response. It does make sense. What works for me is seeing the word in welsh, devising my own phonetic for it and typing up the lessons then reading and reading.
Many thanks will click on the link in the morning.
Thanks for your time…Ade
It’s interesting to see that your method is a bit different and makes me think that probably each learner has experiment a bit by themselves, to find what works best for them.
In the first 4 or 5 challenges, I looked at the vocabulary lists right at the end of each challenge myself.
But then I noticed that it was extremely confusing for me: when I saw the words, they didn’t look at all like the sounds in my head.
I think it’s because I naturally tend to read an unknown language mostly with the same sounds of the Italian alphabet (especially “LL” “DD”, “CE” and “CI”, and U and F and sometimes even W)
So, for example -just for fun- if I read “Galla’i = I can”:
I hear in my mind “gahl-lay” and images of roosters and hens (galli e galline) suddenly appear in my mind.
Which might as well work if the word I’m learning did sound like what I hear in my head, but it doesn’t.
And “hen” even mean “old” in Welsh so that’s way too much confusion!
(this was just chatter, I hope I didn’t confuse you Adrian!)
I just wanted to urge you and Adrian to learn how the Welsh alphabet works. It might look odd at first, but once you’ve learned how each letter sounds (and “ll” and “dd” count as single letters), it’s pretty much phonetic. That’s why spelling is not as standardised as in English, at least not when writing informal Welsh.
Yes, Margaret, that’s certainly an essential thing to do.
However, I had (somewhat) learned the alphabet before starting SSiW because…well…all I really wanted to do was singing along a few songs - before getting myself into trouble with learning to speak!
But in the process of learning, I just can’t help reading it in my mind in Italian alphabet first - just like I can’t help translating every sentence Iestyn says in Italian first in my mind and then in Welsh, the first time I hear them.
What I’ve been trying for a few days now to improve my reading is listening to more songs while following lyrics in Welsh.
It seems to be working, but I think I just need a bit more time to get it to work more fluently.
By the way, you reminded me that I had seen a series videos on YouTube, explaining the alphabet, that I had found very helpful (in case someone else is interested).
Here’s the first :
Welcome & Introduction - Welsh Pronunciation (Series 1)
(the links to the other ones can be found there)
p.s. make sure to turn down the audio volume, especially if you’re in an office, cause the intro music is pretty loud!
As you have worked out, mnemonics are aids to memorising lists or complicated ideas. For example, when I started learning music, “Every Good Boy Deserves Favour” reminded me that the notes on the lines in the (normal) treble clef were E,G,B,D,F. The spaces were even easier - just the word “FACE” I have to confess that the mnemonics I used for the electrical resistor colour codes and the taxonomic system in Biology (Species, Genus, etc) are far too rude to repeat here. I’ve never forgotten them, though.
My music teacher had an unusual sense of humour and used to say “Every good boy deserves fishwater”, which made no sense at all but I didn’t forget it
Diolch yn fawr for the link! That helped me out greatly.