Useful Welsh phrases you can learn in Lockdown

Are you like us pining to get back into the hills, onto the beaches, into the towns and villages of North Wales? While we can’t visit (for now), we can plan for when we do.

How about learning a few useful Welsh phrases?

Next time you visit your favourite bar of cafe here, try greeting the owner or the person behind the bar in Welsh. It can be great fun having a go, and Welsh speakers are more than happy to help if you get stuck.

So let’s have a look at some useful words and phrases you can practice while at home in Lockdown.

General Greetings and Phrases

The great news here is, most of these are phonetic. Where they’re a little tricker to say we’ve added a guide in brackets:

Helo: Hello (how easy is that?)

Bore da: Good morning

Prynhawn da: Good afternoon

Nos da: Good night

Dw i’n dysgu Cymreg (dew een disgi cumrayg): I’m learning Welsh

Su’ mae (S’mae): How are things?

Sut dach chi (You’ll hear it said as S’dach ee): How are you?

Da iawn, diolch (Dai yown, diolch): Very well, thanks

Os gwelwch yn dda (click this link for a pronunciation guide!): Please

Croeso (croy-zo): You’re welcome

Bendigedig: Marvellous or beautiful

Tara ‘wan (or often Ta-ta!): Bye now

Hywl (huel): Also means goodbye

Numbers

One: Un (een)

Two: Dau (die)

Three: Tri (tree)

Four: Pedwar

Five: Pump (pimp)

Six: Chwech (Chwaych – tricky, it’s worth hearing it said and repeating)

Seven: Saith

Eight: Wyth (u-ith)

Nine: Nau (now)

Ten: Deg

Weather

Su’ mae’r tywydd (s’mae t’wyth): How’s the weather?

It’s – Mae’n

Raining: bwrw glaw (buru-glau)

Snowing – bwrw eira

Windy – wyntog

Cold – oer (oy-r, roll the ‘r’)

Sunny – heulog (haylog)

Pronunciation tips

  • ‘ch’ is pronounced as in ‘loch’
  • ‘dd’ is pronounced as the ‘th’ in ‘this’. So heddlu (police) is pronounced ‘hethlee’
  • ‘w’ makes an ‘oo’ sound
  • ‘ll’ is pronounced by placing your tongue as if to say ‘l’, then blowing out of the sides. It takes a bit of practice! It doesn’t quite sound like a ‘k’, however, so it’s not ‘klanberis’!
  • ‘u’ makes an ‘i’ sound, which is why heddlu is ‘hethlee’ and not ‘hethloo’
  • ‘f’ is pronounced as a ‘v’. So on the road, araf (slow) is pronounced ‘arav’
  • ‘ff’ is pronounced as ‘f’, so Ffestiniog is pronounced exactly as it looks

Another useful tip: when saying words with more than one syllable, the emphasis falls on the second to last syllable. So you say bendiGEDig, LlanDUDno or LlanBERis.

So when you do return to North Wales (and we know you will!), why not give some of the words and phrases mentioned above a try? You could be quite the expert by then, and ready to impress your family and friends with a little local lingo!

The A to Z of North Wales – part two

As a holiday destination, North Wales has a little bit of everything. In this second of two blog articles, we set out to whet your appetite for some of the region’s best attractions using the letters of the alphabet.

Click here for Part 1. Otherwise, keep reading for N to Z!

N is for Nant Ffrancon

Sir Anthony Hopkins once declared Nant Ffrancon as one of his favourite places, and who are we to argue? It’s a stunning valley stretching from the slate village of Bethesda to Ogwen Cottage at the foot of Cwm Idwal. It was one of three amazing mountain passes we described in this blog.

O is for Ogwen – Cycle route

Among the many fabulous cycling routes around North Wales, Lon Las Ogwen is one of the finest. One thing that makes this route stand-out is the fact it is off-road for most of the way. The other thing is the scenery – start from Port Penrhyn near Bangor, head inland and cycle deep into Snowdonia.

P is for Portmeirion

It’s one of the most popular destinations in Wales, but with good reason. Portmeirion is magical in every way. The coastal location, the local micro-climate (think palm trees), the Italianate-style “village” designed by Williams Clough-Ellis, all adds up to a wonderful place to visit, especially for groups.

Q is for Quarries

From a distance, Snowdonia’s slate quarries might look like scars on the landscape. Up close, they are jaw-dropping feats of human endeavour, from a time when North Wales roofed the world. Some of the quarries and mines can be safely explored, too, as we described here.

R is for Railways

One of the most enjoyable ways to see North Wales is by train. Fortunately, several routes twist and wind through the valleys, some from coast to coast, creating unique journeys. Most are narrow-gauge routes, a delight for families and enthusiasts alike, as this article explained.

S is for Snowdon

At 1,085 metres high, Snowdon is the tallest mountain in England and Wales. It’s also one of the most popular to walk up. Our hotel is right at the start of one of the most well-used trails to the summit, but as we explored here, there are many, quieter ways to explore this wonderful mountain.

T is for Trekking

Trekking is the number one pastime in North Wales. Yet Snowdonia’s peaks offer rock-strewn landscapes, knife-edge ridges and precipitous cliffs too, all of which combine to make scrambling and bouldering popular outdoor activities. This blog explained the differences between the three.

U is for Underground

What do you do when it’s raining in North Wales? Go underground! Many of our mines have been preserved with sections opened to the public, including the prehistoric Copper Mines on the Great Orme and the slate mines near Blaenau Ffestiniog. We listed slate caverns and Llanberis’s own hydro-electric power station in our Seven Wonders of Wales blog.

V is for Views

Here in Snowdonia, we’ve got views, views, views! With Snowdon right on our doorstep, it can be harder than you think to get a really good look at our highest mountain. These three walks give you different perspectives on the peak that gives our national park its name.

W is for Weddings

Get married or just hold your reception with us. Our hotel boasts an unrivalled location amidst mountains and lakes, with 30 acres of mature Victorian gardens and woodland and a real Welsh castle right next door. It’s the perfect setting for beautiful photographs and an unforgettable occasion. Learn more here.

X is for X-Country Running!

OK, we struggled with X! But we did think of cross-country (ie, x-country) running, which is a big deal in North Wales. Events don’t come much bigger than the Snowdonia Trail Marathon, put back to October 18 this year (usual month July) because of the virus outbreak. It’s a great event for entrants and spectators alike.

Y is for Y Garn

We have a bit of a soft spot for Y Garn, a 3,000ft mountain in the Glyderau range (across the valley from the hotel). Unlike its neighbours, Glyder Fawr and Glyder Fach, Y Garn sees fewer visitors, but the views from the summit are awesome. Walk from the hotel or tackle the peak via the fearsome Devil’s Kitchen from Ogwen Cottage. This blog described Y Garn with all Snowdonia’s 3,000ft summits.

Z is for Zipwires

North Wales has become famous for the fastest, longest, most out-and-out crazy zipwires in the world! Making unique use of vast slate quarries (underground too!), zipwire attractions are among the many world-class experiences you can enjoy in Snowdonia, as our article explained.

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