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
One: Un (een)
Two: Dau (die)
Three: Tri (tree)
Five: Pump (pimp)
Six: Chwech (Chwaych – tricky, it’s worth hearing it said and repeating)
Eight: Wyth (u-ith)
Nine: Nau (now)
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)
- ‘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!