SSi Forum

Tiny questions with quick answers - continuing thread


This is also my preference, but there’s always that nagging doubt!


I’ve always said “Vun-wee”, and I remember the wonderful historian, the late John Davies always said “Vun-oy” - but he never once tried to tell me my pronounciation was wrong (unlike some I’ve come across!), and put it down to dialectual preference :slight_smile:


That’s it then. Whatever I pronounce and however I pronounce it, I shall just attribute it to my own dialectual difference!


@gisella-albertini And trying to explain pronunciation rules for another language, especially one with sounds not even found in English, is kind of tricky anyway. Maybe we should all just use the IPA.
Besides, what seems a clear explanation to one person may be misinterpreted by another. The spelling/pronunciation rules of English are a convoluted, self-contradictory mess aren’t always consistent. ‘OW’ can represent multiple things, ‘TH’ represents two different sounds (which drives me insane when trying to explain a pronunciation involving those), and so on and so forth. But we’re here to discuss the more phonetic Welsh language, not why English is complicated. :laughing:

@AnthonyCusack Wait, so in ‘dysgwyr’, ‘W’ is a consonant? I thought it was all vowels still. :sob: But this is what happens when you assume, that evil diphthong reminds you that you don’t know what you’re doing. (Seriously, I have trouble predicting which sound ‘WY’ makes in a word sometimes.)
And now everyone’s talking about ‘WY’ making an ‘oi’ sound at the end of words, so I’m just going to lose my mind now. (tears hair out and screams in frustration)


This “wy” is one of the few sounds of Welsh that are a bit tricky, isn’t it?
And one of the things that make me find writing and reading complicated - since as long as you just have to pronounce them, you pick the first you hear and copy it! :sweat_smile:

For example I’ve heard “goo-bod” several times, and I was doing just fine with it!
Then I saw it written and wondered why it is “gwybod” if you don’t hear the y (or at least, I don’t). Pretty much the same with rhywbeth.
Then recently I’ve heard someone saying more like goo-e-bod.
But from what you write I think I should just be aware there may be variants - and just keep on going with the one I like/remember best - am I right! :smiley:

@meowmocha I’m lucky that I know how to pronounce gwyddoniaeth from songs, so I can’t remember what it means, but I should be able to guess and remember how to say gwyddeleg too! :grin:


The Welsh part of Wikibooks has a section called “W; a tewwible letter!”;_A_Tewwible_Letter


yup! :smiley:



To be honest, without messing around with explanations of different types of w sounds in English I wasn’t even aware of, or consonants and vowels…that make things look even more complicated than they are:
I’ve always pronounced it like Italian “u” so far and everybody understood me just fine! :laughing:
(also for @meowmocha in case it can help reduce the stress! :wink: )

What I don’t understand is if, when and how to pronounce the y right next, when there is one!


I’ve seen the word written as ‘gwbod’ in a few places. :thinking: On Wiktionary, the standard pronunciation has the ‘Y’, pronounced, while in colloquial speech it’s often dropped.

I read that ‘W’ was sometimes a vowel in Welsh, and that made the weird jumble of letters less intimidating. So when it appears in strange places, it’s actually a vowel! That makes so much more sense!
Then I get words like ‘gwneud’ and ‘gwlad’. What do you mean, it’s a consonant?! This makes no sense, ‘W’! I hate you again!


And this is where we must remind ourselves of @aran’s words - DO NOT WORRY! This stuff really is minutiae when it comes to speaking Welsh. If you used “wy” as a diphthong every time you’d be understood. So please don’t stress this stuff. First language welsh speakers say things differently to each other all the time and “wy” is no exception to that.


Why am I reminded of The Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy?

Don’t Panic


And if all else fails, remember: the answer to everything is 42.


Particularly “How many different forms of “bod” are there?”


A little summary, cause I’m confused!

Cymru = the country
Cymraeg, y Gymraeg = the language
Cymreig = of Wales, but not the language
Cymro = Welsh man
Cymraes = Welsh woman
Cymry = Welsh people
Cymro/Cymraes/Cymry Cymraeg = Welsh man/woman/people who speak Welsh
Cymro/Cymraes/Cymry di-Cymraeg = Welsh man/woman/people who do not speak Welsh
Cymraeg mamiaith = first language Welsh speaker
o Gymru = from Wales

A band from Wales would be:
band Cymru?
band o Gymru?
band Cymraig?
band Cymraeg (if you mean they sing in Welsh language, but not if they sing in English)?


Band o Gymru - a band from Wales
Band Cymreig - a Welsh (not language specific) band
Band Cymraeg - Welsh language band


Presumably, literally, “mother language”?


yup, exactly. The word ‘iaith’ gets linked like this very often - some of my favourite examples are:
gormodiaith - hyperbole/exaggeration - lit. too-much-language
gweniaith - flattery/adulation - lit. smile-language
rhyddiaith - prose - lit. free/liberated-language
tafodiaith - dialect - lit. tongue-language
bratiaith - slang/debased language - lit. rag/tatter-language


Yes, the wy sound swings about a bit even for the same word. Crwys is a good example. Incidentally Caer has different sounds in different areas. Another is the ei sound. I live on the border of accent areas so all good fun. Even in Saesneg reit can be rite, rate or reet. :grinning:


No worries. You’ve helped me out a number of times and I’m always grateful.


FYI, we need to make ‘caloniaith’ a thing. Because that would be awesome.