Tiny questions with quick answers - continuing thread


N and R can be doubled. No others.

Doubling doesn’t affect the pronunciation - tynnu sounds exactly as if it were spelt tynu

Although you DO get geminated consonants in gog dialects particularly.


Hmmm… is “dwi” too informal for a uni application? :sweat_smile:


Which is odd, really. Ebbw clearly isn’t an English word, and yet the actual Welsh word for the town doesn’t sound like that.

I guess it’s an Anglicisation, but I don’t really understand why towns around here have welsh-ish English names and Welsh names that look completely different.


Ebbw (Eb-oo) and Ebba or Ebber is a flow thing. Eb-oo Vale doesn’t flow as well as Eb-ba-Vale.
Glyn Ebwy - I’d say this - Glyn Eb-oi (wy as in the Welsh equivalent of egg).


It’s a mystery to me too. :slight_smile:


Talking of which -
Does anyone else feel the need to use Welsh conjuctions/prepositions when speaking English.

I’m thinking of something like “There was a traffic jam on the Llangefelach to Ynysforgan motorway.” I can’t help saying "Llangefelach i Ynysforgan.

OK, just me :slight_smile:



Actually, I have been noticing Welsh trying to work its way into my English from time to time, and it seems like the little words are the one’s that are most likely to slip through my filter. I think it’s a natural part of learning languages. :wink:


One last one from me -
So, Tail is compost (polite word) and Dail is leaves but they aren’t connected?


Since in another thread about accents @sasha-lathrop mentioned this from an article: “The unaccustomed sounds that occur in the foreign language are initially assimilated to the familiar sounds of one’s first language”, now I’m wondering:

I usually (seem to?) hear a slight difference between the way the n is pronounced tynnu compared to -for example- unig.

But even more I notice that with torri, that to me never resembles to Italian tori (= bulls, if anyone’s curious), but always to torri (= towers).

Is there really no difference between them? That would mean I’m hearing phantom Italian sounds on Welsh… :roll_eyes:


I suspect that the sound of a consonant might be slightly affected by the preceding or following vowel, i.e. the way the particular arrangment of the ‘vocal apparatus’ changes to ‘approach’ the consonant or vowel from the preceding vowel or consonant, as it is after all a stream of sound rather than a set of discrete sounds (that looks a bit unclear when I read it again, but hope you know what I mean :slightly_smiling_face:)


Hi all! I spotted a puzzling road sign when I was in Pembrokeshire recently: the Welsh for Lamphey (a village) is given as Llandyfài. I have never seen this accent in Welsh before. A Google search reveals that it’s probably named after Cadwgan of Llandyfài (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cadwgan_of_Llandyfai) and that there is maybe some Irish influence here … but does this accent appear anywhere else in Welsh, or is it just an ‘imported’ relic?

Incidentally, when I was a nipper, there just weren’t Welsh names for most of the English-sounding villages in Pembrokeshire, or at least the names were not well publicised and didn’t appear on road signs (though the Welsh names for the larger towns did). Many of the Welsh and English village names seem just to be phonetic equivalents (you can just see Maenorbyr/Manorbier on the sign in the attached photo). But that seems not to be the case for Lamphey/Llandyfài, perhaps because the village was of religious significance.


Yes, that totally makes sense to me.

However with more similarly structured words like tymer or tymhorau I do not hear them as tymmer or tymmhorau.

Or in Italian, tori and torri are exactly the same, except the one or two “r” and they sound different from each other - because we mean to have them sound different, and no matter what word comes before or after them.

p.s. By the way since I can’t really go out and ask a bunch of Welsh speakers right away and my main source of sounds is songs (because I can read the lyrics and go to the exact spot and listen to it - unlike SSiW challenges where it would take me hours to find a specific word) it may also be affected by other factors like recordings, melody or whatever…but still I’m curious to discuss the topic!


Could be the Welsh signwriter’s equivalent of the Grocer’s Apostrophe, possibly.
But Welsh does use accents (in addition to the well-known to bach) in some cases, doesn’t it?
I’ve certainly seen the diaeresis (aka umlaut) in some words, and either grave or accute accents (or maybe both, but not sure now). Perhaps we need SuperGareth to make a ruling.

In the meantime, we have Wikipedia:


Road signs sometimes seem to use very odd spellings for words that don’t appear like that anywhere else. I’m not sure if they’re supposed to be definitive, but it sometimes seems that they’ve been wrong a very long time and nobody had bothered to change them - or perhaps that people have used the ‘wrong’ spelling so long that the correct one isn’t used in real life.


There was a question about the appearance of a ‘grave’ accent a bit earlier in this thread - the circumstances weren’t the same but @garethrking gave this answer

but as opposed to a ‘grave’ accent, an ‘acute’ accent is used sometimes to indicate a stress which is not where you might expect it (e.g. caniatád) as mentioned in the Wikipedia article highlighed by @mikeellwood so I suspect that the road sign might simply have used a grave accent instead of an acute one by mistake :slightly_frowning_face:


And vice-versa: in English (certainly British English, but I think it’s more general) the length of a vowel sound varies depending what consonant follows it – the ‘short’ a of ‘mad’ is longer than the short a of ‘mat’. In fact, I think (not entirely sure) that ‘matter’ may have a shorter a than ‘mat’ – certainly that of ‘madder’ is shorter than that of ‘mad’. (I think it might go matter < mat < madder < mad.) And all of these differences are, to us, completely meaningless, completely unconscious, and almost completely imperceptible.

Maybe you’re hearing a real (but meaningless) difference that we’re missing – or maybe you’re listening with an Italian accent :slight_smile:


Well, it’s a purposeless curiosity of mine - I just love discussing details about perception, and sound in particular - in any shape or form. :smiley:
Oh, almost: I think that figuring out in detail the sounds of English language will always be out of reach for me, or a sure one-way ticket to madness. :sunglasses::grimacing:

But Welsh is way more reasonable, so I indulge on comparisons - by the way double consonants is probably one of the most complicated things to grasp for foreigners about Italian language, while totally natural and unconscious to us!


FWIW, I learned (admittedly only to a limited extent) Italian long before I seriously studied Welsh, and your double consonants make perfect sense to me (not that I’m saying I know how to get them right, you understand - but I kind of know the principle.

What Richard said about words like “mad” and “mat” made me think. Not only does the “a” change in length, the “t” is pronounced (by me anyway) in a quite different way to the “d”, i.e. it’s not just a hardened “d”. Maybe I’m exaggerating it, because I’m trying to examine what I’m saying closely, but after the “t”, I can feel a pronounced output of breath, which is not there at all (or not evident), after the “d”. I’m one of those British English speakers who likes to pronounce “t”'s clearly - not everyone does, especially not people with posh accents who like to pretend they are one of the people, and yes, I do mean you, Tony Blair… :wink:


There really isn’t :slight_smile:


Or perhaps there is no road sign character available for Á. I tried checking on the Sabre-Roads forum (a sort of SSiW for all things road-related), but as I passed the midnight hour, I started to get brain fade. Feel free to have a go.