Learn Welsh

The Welsh language is a Celtic language and the national language of Wales, a country that is part of the United Kingdom. In Welsh, it is known as Cymraeg, or yr iaith Gymraeg, which means “the Welsh language”.

Welsh is still spoken throughout the region: around 21% of the people of Wales (about 600,000 people), as well as some people outside Wales, including those in nearby England, can speak Welsh. Many people in Wales say they can understand some form of Welsh, such as spoken, written, or can read Welsh, even if they do not speak it all the time.

How to say things in Welsh

There are some sounds and letters that exist in Welsh but not in English, such as the letters (and sounds) ch and ll. The first sound is pronounced like the Scottish Loch Ness, and an example Welsh word that uses the ‘ch’ is “bach“, which means “small.” Ll is a voiceless ‘l,’ and is made by placing the tongue on the top of the top gum, and blowing. A Welsh word that uses the ‘ll’ is “llan“, which means “church” and appears a lot in place names, including one called Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch. Both ‘ch’ and ‘ll’ are single letters in the Welsh alphabet, along with ‘dd,’ ‘ff,’ ‘ng,’ ‘ph,’ ‘rh,’ and ‘th.’

Here are some things to say in Welsh. How to say it is in brackets

  • Croeso i Gymru” (Kroy-sore ee Gum-ree) – Welcome to Wales
  • Dewch i mewn” (Dew-ch ee mewn) – Come in (formal Welsh)
  • Bore da” (Bor-eh dah) – Good morning
  • Nia ydw i” (Nee-ah uh-doo ee) – I am Nia (i.e.,My name is Nia)
  • Pwy ydych chi?” (Poi Ud-uch ee) – Who are you?, or What is your name? (formal Welsh)
  • Sut ydych chi heddiw?” (Sit uhd-ich ee heth-ew) – How are you today? (formal Welsh)
  • Sut wyt ti heddiw?” (Sit ooee-tea heth-ew) – How are you today? (informal Welsh)
  • Da iawn diolch” (Dah yoww-n dee-olch) – Very well thank you.

Here are a few other words;

  • Trwyn” (Troo-in) – Nose
  • Hapus” (Hap-is) – Happy
  • Trist” (Tree-st) – Sad
  • Rwy’n caru ti” (Rooeen carry tea) – I love you (informal Welsh)
  • Heulog” (Hey-log) – Sunny
  • Eira” (Ey-ra) – Snow
  • Ci” (Key) – Dog

Even though almost all Welsh people can understand and use the English language, the Welsh language is still an important part of Welsh culture and so children in all schools in Wales have to study it. There are some schools that have almost all of their classes in Welsh, but most schools teach mainly in English and Welsh is taught as a second language in these schools.

Diolch / Thank you