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Welsh Language Books


BACKGROUND

Gruffudd, Heini (1997) Wales – The Basics. Talybont: Y Lolfa, ISBN 0-86243-423-8, £5.95 p/b.
A bite-sized, potted introduction to all things Welsh.

Davies, Janet (1993, 1999) The Welsh Language. Aberystwyth: University of Wales Press (Pocket Guide Series), ISBN 0-7083-1516-X, £7.95 p/b.
‘A comprehensive introduction to the origins and development of the Welsh language from the 9th to the 20th century, in a useful pocket-volume and an easy-to-read format. 21 black-and-white photographs and illustrations and 10 maps.’ Excellent.

Aitchison, John W. and Harold Carter (1993) A Geography of the Welsh Language 1961–1991: An Interpretive Atlas. Cardiff: University of Wales Press, ISBN 0-7083-1236-5, £9.95 p/b.
A scholarly but readable examination of the fortunes of the language in recent times.

Stephens, Meic (1973, 1979) The Welsh Language Today. Llandysul: Gwasg Gomer, ISBN 0-85088-208-7, xviii/370pp, approx. 140×215mm, p/b, o/p.
A collection of essays on the state of the language in various areas of public life (broadcasting, government, the law etc.). Interesting, though now somewhat dated: things have changed greatly for the Welsh language since the seventies. However, the more general chapters are still relevant, if you can find a second-hand copy.

Stephens, Meic (1986) The Oxford Companion to the Literature of Wales. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-211586-3, xvii/682pp, h/b, o/p?.
Excellent work of reference covering much more than just literature; includes preface, information on the pronunciation of Welsh, abbreviations, 8-page chronology of Welsh history.

Williams, Gwyn (1992) An Introduction to Welsh Literature. Cardiff: University of Wales Press (Writers of Wales series, eds. Meic Stephens and R Brinley Jones), ISBN 0-7083-1130-X, £4.95 p/b.

Jones, W. J. (1996) A Helping Hand: A Guide for Learners. Llandysul: Gwasg Gomer, ISBN 1-85902-393-2, 208pp, approx. 150×212mm, illus. (b&w photos), £7.95 p/b, o/p.
A series of one-page snippets about odd aspects of Welsh language and culture. Personally I find the bitty, random, inconsequential feel of this book annoying. Currently out of print, but can still be found in shops.

Twigg, Aeres (2000) Y Draig Goch (The Red Dragon). Llandysul: Gwasg Gomer (Cip Ar Gymru/Wonder Wales series), ISBN 1-85902-886-1, approx. 150×210mm, £1.95 p/b. Parallel text in Welsh and English.

In the same series (2000):
Dewi Sant (Saint David), ISBN 1-85902-980-9.
http://www.gomer.co.uk/english/welshbk/dewi_sant.htm
Owain Glyndwr, ISBN 1-85902-904-3.
http://www.gomer.co.uk/english/welshbk/owain_glyndwr.htm
Yr Anthem Genedlaethol (The National Anthem), ISBN 1-85902-885-3.
http://www.gomer.co.uk/english/welshbk/yr_anthem_genedlaethol.htm
Sospan Fach [famous rugby song], ISBN 1-85902-887-X.
http://www.gomer.co.uk/english/welshbk/sospan_fach.htm

Another factual series aimed at Welsh learers is Y Lolfa’s Hwylio ’Mlaen (‘Sailing On’), books of 50–60 pages selling at £3 p/b.

Morris, Jan (1986) The Matter of Wales: Epic Views of a Small Country. London: Penguin, ISBN 0-14-008263-8, 448pp, £8.99 p/b, o/p.
Classic account by the famous travel writer, herself born and resident in Wales. Typical Jan Morris: whimsical, sometimes sentimental, but lyrical and wry, and enjoyable light reading. Out of print, but not hard to find second-hand.

Petro, Pamela (1997) Travels in an Old Tongue: Touring The World Speaking Welsh. London: HarperCollins, ISBN 0-00-255656-1, 420pp, £18.00 h/b (or 1998, ISBN 0-00-655010-X, £7.99 p/b).
Fired by her discovery of the Welsh language at university in Lampeter, an American Welsh-learner travels the world in search of ideas about what it means to be Welsh. The snippets of Welsh she throws in are not always accurate, but the book is worth reading for its perceptive insights into the Welsh language and people.

Thomas, Sandi (2001) You Don’t Speak Welsh!. Talybont: Y Lolfa, ISBN 0-86243-585-4, £5.95 p/b.
PUBLISHER’S BLURB: http://www.ylolfa.com/newyddion/news.html
REVIEW: http://clwbmalucachu.co.uk/books_reviews/dont_speak_welsh.htm

ONLINE

There is plenty of rubbish on the Web about things Welsh, or ‘Welch’, or (worse) Celtic. Luckily there is also a growing amount of good, authoritative writing.

Jones, Geraint (1995–1999) History and Status of the Welsh Language.
An excellent, though unfinished, introduction to all things Welsh (by Geraint Jones of Wolfson College Oxford) can be found on the Web at http://www.comlab.ox.ac.uk/oucl/users/geraint.jones/cwrs-cymraeg/welsh.html.

Suite 101
http://www.suite101.com/welcome.cfm/welsh_language
a fine, still growing, collection of essays by Sarah Stevenson (formerly Baig) on various subjects to do with the language

Kluge, Jana (2000) Fostering Bilingualism: Language and Education in Wales
http://www.tu-chemnitz.de/~jakl/wales/contents.htm
includes a includes scholarly bibliography

Britannia.com
http://www.britannia.com/celtic/wales/eighthwonder/wonder1.html
for the very keen, a ten-page essay on the historical survival of the Welsh language, a.k.a. ‘The Eighth Wonder of Wales’ (so what are the other seven?) [N.B. the oft-linked-to pronunciation page at http://britannia.com/celtic/wales/language.html is not recommended]

More basic background information:

European Bureau of Lesser Used Languages
http://eblul.org/State/uk.htm#Welsh

Euromosaic
http://www.uoc.es/euromosaic/web/document/gales/an/i1/i1.html
also at:
http://europa.eu.int/comm/education/lami/en/wel-uk-e.htm

Eurolang
http://www.eurolang.net/State/uk.htm

Mezzofanti
http://www.mezzofanti.org/welsh.html

Yamada Language Guides
http://babel.uoregon.edu/yamada/guides/welsh.html

‘Taffnet’
http://www.cyberphile.co.uk/~taff/taffnet/pages/wales.htm
basic geographical and historical data from Encarta

Welsh Language Board (Bwrdd yr Iaith Gymraeg)
http://www.bwrdd-yr-iaith.org.uk/html/lang/s2_intro-e.html
Enquiries can be mailed to ymholiadau@bwrdd-yr-iaith.org.uk, and those in the UK can call the Board’s ‘Link Line To Welsh’ hotline on 0845 6076070 for the cost of a local call.

The National Library of Wales has some some pages of historical background about campaigning for the Welsh language:
http://www.llgc.org.uk/ymgyrchu/index-e.htm


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GRAMMAR

Williams, Stephen J. (1980) A Welsh Grammar. Cardiff: University of Wales Press, ISBN 0-7083-0737-X, 184pp, £7.95 p/b, o/p.
Out of print, but not too hard to find second-hand.

Gramadeg Cymraeg Cyfoes: Contemporary Welsh Grammar. Uned Iaith Genedlaethol Cymru, 1976. Llandysul: Gwasg Gomer, ISBN 1-85902-672-9, £4.95 p/b.
Cymraeg Byw.

Thorne, David A. (1993) A Comprehensive Welsh Grammar. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, ISBN 0-631-16408-1, £16.50 p/b, o/p.
Contains a detailed section on the sounds of Welsh, including regional variations, and an even more detailed one on mutations. Sadly, now out of print.

King, Gareth (1993) Modern Welsh: A Comprehensive Grammar. London/New York: Routledge, ISBN 0-415-09269-8, 352pp, £20.99? p/b.
‘Modern Welsh is a complete guide to current Welsh [ . . . ] and is the ideal reference source for all users of Welsh, irrespective of level, in schools, colleges, universities and adult classes of all types. In addition, it will provide a lasting and reliable resource for fluent speakers of the language. [ . . . ] It presents the complexities of Welsh in a concise and readable form. [ . . . ] Throughout, the emphasis is on Welsh as used by contemporary speakers of the language. Features include: Detailed treatment of the common grammatical patterns and parts of speech; Full use of authentic examples; Particular attention to areas of confusion and difficulty; Welsh/English contrasts highlighted throughout the book; Extensive index and cross-referencing.’
REVIEW: A scholarly review by Alan King, including some background on the history of Welsh grammars, can be found at http://www.eirelink.com/alanking/gareth.htm or http://www.emich.edu/~linguist/issues/7/7-1046.html.

new! A new edition, with extra sections on functions and situations, was announced for autumn 2002, ISBN 0-415-28270-5, price £18.99.

Thomas, Peter Wyn (1996) Gramadeg y Gymraeg [‘the grammar of Welsh’]. Cardiff: University of Wales Press, ISBN 0-7803-1345-0, 837pp, £14.99 p/b. IN WELSH.
Heavyweight academic grammar.

Thorne, David A. (1996) Gramadeg Cymraeg [‘a Welsh grammar’]. Llandysul: Gwasg Gomer, ISBN 1-85902-417-3, 480pp, £17.50 p/b (ISBN 1-85902-310-0, £22.50 h/b). IN WELSH.

Thorne, David A. (2000) Gafael Mewn Gramadeg [‘A Grasp of Grammar’]. Llandysul: Gwasg Gomer, ISBN 1-85902-888-8, 264pp, £14.95 p/b. IN WELSH.
“An easy-to-read, elementary guide, together with a useful commentary on the basic elements of Welsh grammar, comprising comments on contemporary language styles and customs, dialect variations, a comprehensive bibliography and detailed index, written by a renowned linguistic expert.”

Gruffudd, Heini (2000) Cymraeg Da: Gramadeg Cyfoes Ac Ymarferion [‘good Welsh: a modern grammar and exercises’; a.k.a. A Welsh Grammar For Learners]. Talybont: Y Lolfa, ISBN 0-86243-503-X, 312pp, 215×201, £12.50 p/b. more

Hughes, J. Elwyn (1984) Canllawiau Iaith a Chymorth Sillafu [a.k.a. Language Guidelines and Spelling Aid]. Llandysul: Gwasg Gomer, ISBN 1-85902-571-4, 63pp, £3.50 p/b.
‘A convenient and handy way to raise awareness of the correct use of language and to give more confidence to many people, Welsh speakers and learners, to write Welsh. [ . . . ] has sold over 20,000 copies’
HYPE: http://www.gomer.co.uk/english/englishbk/canllics.htm

Hughes, J. Elwyn (1998) Canllawiau Ysgrifennu Cymraeg [A Guide to Written Welsh]. Llandysul: Gwasg Gomer, ISBN 1-85902-598-6, 130pp, £7.95 p/b.
HYPE: http://www.gomer.co.uk/english/englishbk/canllyc.htm

Lewis, D. Geraint (1996) Y Treigladur: Check-List Of Welsh Mutations. Llandysul: Gwasg Gomer, ISBN 1-85902-480-7, £5.95 p/b.

Morgan, T. J. (1951) Y Treigladau a’u Cystrawen [‘the mutations and their syntax’]. Cardiff: University Of Wales Press, ISBN 0-7083-0158-4, 494pp, £19.99 h/b. IN WELSH.
A heavyweight work, for the serious student.

Thorne, David A. (1998) Taclo’r Treigladau [‘tackling the mutations’]. Llandysul: Gwasg Gomer, ISBN 1-85902-503-X, 131pp, 9.95 p/b. IN WELSH.

Lewis, D. Geraint (1995) Y Llyfr Berfau: A Check-List of Welsh Verbs. Llandysul: Gwasg Gomer, ISBN 1-85902-138-7, 231pp, 7.95 p/b.
‘A comprehensive list of the inflected forms of Welsh verbs which will serve as an useful reference book for Welsh speakers and learners of the Welsh language.’ An excellent, thorough guide to Welsh verbs. In both English and Welsh, with Foreword, Introduction, How to Use This Book and Glossary of grammatical terms.

Klingebiel, Kathryn (1994) 234 Welsh Verbs: Standard Literary Forms. Belmont MA: Ford & Bailie, xix/272pp, £15.00 p/b.
‘A valuable reference for students of written Modern and Early Modern Welsh. Sets out all the forms for verbs that students commonly encounter and are confused by. Includes an index of variant stems and a list of verb-preposition combinations. No index by English meaning. Of less use to students of spoken Welsh.’ © Book News, Inc. (Portland, Or.)

Lewis, D. Geraint (2000) Pa Arddodiad? [‘which preposition?’]. Llandysul: Gwasg Gomer, ISBN 1-85902-764-4, 76pp, approx. 174×118mm, 5.95 p/b.
‘If knowing what prepositions to use when has been causing you problems in writing Welsh, then this easy-to-use guide should help. In it you will find: a comprehensive alphabetical list of verbs and their prepositions; some common idioms which involve using prepositions; the main prepositions.’
One of the most important things to remember when learning a language is not to translate word for word: you have to learn not only the words themselves, but also how to build them up correctly into bigger chunks. For example, you don’t say *gwrando i (‘to listen to’) in Welsh but gwrando ar (literally ‘to listen on’). English–Welsh dictionaries have been very unhelpful about providing this sort of information – as I may have pointed out elsewhere! – so if yours isn’t up to much this book will go some way to help plug the gaps. But as with many language reference books you can use it more pro-actively than that, by simply reading through it to learn new things. Like other Gomer books, it’s on the pricey side, but it’s a handy size for your pocket! Includes a table of the most important prepositions and how they inflect.
HYPE: http://www.gomer.co.uk/english/welshbk/pa_arddodiad.htm
Diolch yn fawr i Geraint am anfon copi o’i llyfr.

new! BBC Learn Welsh: Grammar Guide For Learners (2004). Tal-y-bont: Y Lolfa, 0-86243-730-X, £5.95 p/b.
A modern Welsh grammar for Learners of the Welsh language presenting Welsh grammar elements.

ONLINE

“Verbix is a universal Verb Conjugator that shows complete verb inflections of any verb in 100+ languages. Verbix 4.2 for Windows costs $29.90 USD and is available as shareware and freeware.” Unfortunately Welsh is not available as freeware, but you can test-drive the shareware version for a month before buying a key online with which to register it. Or, you can use the software online, though you shoule be a little cautious as the data doesn’t seem to be complete yet.
http://www.verbix.com/languages/welsh.shtml

Chris Grooms’ elaborately-designed site features some very high-tech verb tables.
http://iws.ccccd.edu/grooms/gwteit.htm


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VOCABULARY

Jones, Ceri (ed.) (1995) Six Thousand Welsh Words. Llandysul: Gwasg Gomer, ISBN 1-85902-162-X, 190pp, £6.95 p/b.
Themed lists of basic vocabulary items.
HYPE: http://www.gomer.co.uk/english/englishbk/sixthou.htm

Hughes, J. Elwyn (ed.) (1995–1999) News-Speak: Words and Phrases used by the Radio Cymru News Service, Books 1-4.
Free yearly booklet (30 or 40pp) containing a collection of words used in Radio Cymru news broadcasts and listed in the Welsh learners’ section of the weekly newspaper Y Cymro. Available from: Y Golygydd [the editor], Y Cymro, Parc Busnes, Yr Wyddgrug, Sir y Fflint, CH7 1XY; or: Golygydd Newyddion BBC Radio Cymru, BBC Cymru, Llandaf, Caerdydd CF5 2YQ.

Lewis, D. Geraint (1997) Y Geiriau Lletchwith [‘the awkward words’]. Llandysul: Gwasg Gomer, ISBN 1-85902-404-1, 104pp, £5.95 p/b. IN WELSH.
A check-list of irregular word forms and spelling.
HYPE: http://www.gomer.co.uk/english/englishbk/ygeirlle.htm

Geirfa a Chystrawennau Cymraeg [‘Welsh vocabulary and Constructions’] (1973) Y Bontfaen, Morgannwg: D Brown a’i Feibion, 56pp, approx. 130×190mm, o/p.
Cymraeg Byw. Out of print but often available second-hand. No author named.

Y Thesawrws Cymraeg: Y Drysorfa Eiriau [‘a Welsh thesaurus: the treasure-house of words’] (1993). Swansea: Gwasg Pobl Cymru, ISBN 0-952153-60-2, ix/213pp, £10.95 h/b (or 1999, 0-952153-67-X, £7.99 p/b). IN WELSH.
The hardback version is currently out of print.

Gruneberg, Dr Michael M. (1995) Linkword Welsh. Llandysul: Gwasg Gomer, ISBN 1-85902-268-5, 247pp, £5.95 p/b. Published the USA by Beekman Publishers Inc., New York, ISBN 0-8464-4747-9. Linkword Welsh Pronounciation Tape: £6.75.
The Linkword method involves learning vocabulary by associating it with a memorable mental image. For instance, you learn that the Welsh for butter is menyn, and remember it by picturing some men in butter. Not all of the language submits readily to this treatment, of course, and so some of the mnemonics work better than others. Also available in a CD-ROM version. You can see a demonstration of the technique at http://www.tomino.dial.pipex.com/linkword/linkword.htm.

ONLINE

Llyfrgell Owen new!

Named after the 19th century novelist Daniel Owen, this is Wales’ answer to the Gutenberg Project, a searchable online database of the Welsh language texts. It’s an early step on the very important process of assembling a Welsh-language corpus, an essential tool for lexical research and publishing. You can access it for free at http://llyfrgell.cymraeg.org. So, what use is it to learners? Very useful actually. When you come across an unfamiliar word or expression, your dictionary will give you translations and meanings, but not much in the way of illustration. It’s good to see the word used in authentic, unmediated, real-life contexts. Furthermore, you will inevitably, in fact frequently, come across words that are not in your (or sometimes any) dictionary, perhaps because it’s too modern or too colloquial; but you may still find it here. You can have a go at working out what it means from the context. The citation bank is even linked to Mark Nodine’s Searching Lexicon by means of a handy button you can click on to look up the word there. Three cheers for the volunteers who put this useful resource together.


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IDIOM

As well as being interesting in their own right, to browse through at leisure, books like these can be a useful way of plugging the idiomatic gaps in the dictionaries.

Davies, Cennard (1980) Lluniau Llafar [‘word pictures’] : Idioms for Welsh Learners. Llandysul: Gwasg Gomer, ISBN 0-85088-782-8, 151pp, £4.50.
An highly browsable collection of Welsh idioms, arranged by theme (animals, colours, parts of the body) and specialising in the pictureque and memorable (rather than ‘core’ language). Below are other examples of Mr Davies’ prolific output in this area.

Davies, Cennard (1993) Seiliau Sgwrs [‘the foundations of conversation’]. Llandysul: Gwasg Gomer, ISBN 1-85902-095-X, 70pp, £6.00 p/b.

Davies, Cennard (1994) Y Geiriau Bach [‘the little words’] : Idioms for Welsh Learners. Llandysul: Gwasg Gomer, ISBN 0-86383-332-2, 174pp, £4.95 p/b.
‘Prepositions (the little words) cause problems. Sometimes the literal meaning of a word given by a conventional dictionary makes no sense at all! It’s at times like these you will find this book invaluable. The prepositions are listed and explained alphabetically, and are also shown in the context of an example phrase or sentence.’

Davies, Cennard (1995) Dros Y Bont [‘over the bridge’]. Llandysul: Gwasg Gomer, ISBN 0-85088-211-7, 85pp, £3.50 p/b.

Davies, Cennard (1996) Torri’r Garw [‘breaking the ice’] : Idioms for Welsh Learners Based on the Verb-noun. Llandysul: Gwasg Gomer, ISBN 1-85902-372-X, 371pp, £8.50 p/b.

Davies, Cennard and Mair Treharne (1990) Darluniau Byw [‘living pictures’]. Llandysul: Gwasg Gomer, ISBN 1-86383-612-7, 122pp, £2.95 p/b.

Hayles, Leonard (1997) Welsh Phrases for Learners. Talybont: Y Lolfa, ISBN 0-86243-364-9, 200pp, £5.95 p/b.
A strange and annoyingly random miscellany of jottings downloaded pretty much raw from the notebooks of a Welsh learner (the author). more

Jones, Ceri (2001) Dweud Eich Dweud [‘having your say’]. Llandysul: Gwasg Gomer, ISBN 1-85902-790-3, xviii/268pp, £19.95 p/b (!).
Introduction (15pp), alphabetical guide to colloquial Welsh (169pp), 20 appendices (including verb tenses, grammar, mutation, place and personal names, dialects and regions of Wales, the use of English in Welsh), bibliography, English–Welsh index (36pp).

Cownie, Alun Rhys (2001) A Dictionary Of Welsh And English Idiomatic Phrases. Assoc. ed. Wyn G. Roberts. Cardiff: University of Wales Press, ISBN 0-7083-1656-5, xvii/299pp, 216×138mm, £7.99 p/b.
‘A brand new Welsh–English/English–Welsh dictionary containing some 12,000 idiomatic phrases’. ‘An important aim of this dictionary is to help those learning Welsh to make the difficult transition from idiomatic usage in English to idiomatic usage in Welsh.’
HYPE: http://www.uwp.co.uk/book_desc/1656.html and http://www.uwp.co.uk/book_desc/1656.html


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DIALECT

Thomas, Beth, and Peter Wynn Thomas (1989) Cymraeg, Cymrâg, Cymrêg. . .: Cyflwyno’r Tafodieithoedd [‘Cymraeg, Cymrâg, Cymrêg. . .: presenting the dialects’]. Cardiff: Gwasg Taf, ISBN 0-948469-14-5, 178pp, £7.95 p/b.
IN WELSH. Accompanying cassette available. Currently out of print.

Fynes-Clinton, O. H. (1913) The Welsh Vocabulary of the Bangor District. London: Oxford University Press; re-issued (1995) in facsimile with additional material, Llanerch Publishers (Lampeter), ISBN 1-897853-72-6, 2 vols, 660pp, approx. 205×145mm, £19.95 p/b.
Website: http://www.zenton.co.uk/llanerchpress/index.php?file=book&cat=4&id=1897853726
In the form of a Welsh–English dictionary with headwords in phonetic script. This is the bible for those with a serious interest in the Welsh of north-west Wales. Scholarly but readable. Has been described by one authority as ‘the only complete dictionary of spoken Welsh there has ever been’ (Bruce Griffiths 1998). The quality of reproduction in the facsimile edition isn’t wonderful, but then you can’t have everything.

Morris, W. Meredith (1910) A Glossary of the Demetian Dialect of North Pembrokeshire. Tonypandy: (original publisher?). Re-issued (1991) in facsimile, Llanerch Publishers (Lampeter), ISBN 0-947992-69-3, £9.95 p/b.
Website: http://www.zenton.co.uk/llanerchpress/index.php?file=book&cat=4&id=0947992693
The dialect of the Gwaun Valley of North Pembrokeshire.

Lewis, Robyn (1993) Blas ar Iaith Cwmderi [‘a flavour of the language of Cwmderi’]. Llanrwst: Gwasg Carreg Gwalch, ISBN 0-86381-264-3, £4.25 p/b. IN WELSH.
An interesting comparison of Northern and Southern Welsh dialects based around the characters of the BBC TV soap-opera Pobol y Cwm, which is set in the fictional village of Cwmderi.


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MIDDLE WELSH

Evans D. Simon (1964, 1994), A Grammar of Middle Welsh. Dublin: The Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (Medieval and Modern Welsh Series), ISBN 1-85500-000-8, 312pp, £10.
“A reprint of a study of the Welsh language between the twelfth century and the end of the fourteenth century, first published in 1964.”

ONLINE

Morgan, Gareth (1995?) Reading Middle Welsh
http://canol.home.att.net
For those with a historical interest in Welsh, the late Gareth Morgan’s course in Middle Welsh is available on the Web. Includes a bibliography and a chapter on medieval spelling.

A booklist on medieval Welsh can be found at http://www.digitalmedievalist.com/faqs/medwelsh.html.


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PHRASEBOOKS

Gruffudd, Heini (1989) Get By In Welsh. Talybont: Y Lolfa, ISBN 0-86243-363-0, £1.95 p/b.
‘A really useful Welsh phrasebook that’s not just for visitors to Wales. This phrasebook helps you to to engage in conversation with Welsh speakers, as well as understand the visual Welsh around you. This phrasebook helps you to to engage in conversation with Welsh speakers, as well as understand the visual Welsh around you. This phrasebook covers real areas of interest and need such as: pronunciation, greetings, everyday conversation, asking the way, in difficulty, public signs and many other day to day useful subjects.’

Knox, William (1998) The Pan-Celtic Phrasebook. Talybont: Y Lolfa, ISBN 0-86243-441-6, £5.95 p/b.
‘The ideal phrasebook for anyone interested in the Celtic languages. With instructions in English and French, this phrasebook will help you learn Breton, Gaelic, Irish and Welsh.’

ONLINE

Online Welsh phrasebooks are of vary variable quality and often unreliable, but here are some of the better ones:

• BBC Wales
http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/about/language-justenough.shtml

• Welsh for Travellers
http://www.travlang.com/languages/

• Clwb Malu Cachu
http://www.clwbmalucachu.co.uk/cheatsheets.htm

• Radio Acen
http://www.radioacen.fm/welsh/

• Croeso Cynnes
http://www.croeso-cynnes-wales.co.uk/iaith/phrases.html
(includes .wav sound files to illustrate the pronunciation)


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WELSH NAMES

Jones, Bedwyr Lewis (1991) Enwau [‘names’]. Llanrwst: Gwasg Carreg Gwalch (Llyfrau Llafar Gwlad series, Number 20), ISBN 0-86381-182-5, approx. 151×212mm, ii/58pp, illus. (b&w photos), £1.75 p/b. IN WELSH.
Sections on the names of towns, counties and Wales itself, and months and seasons, as well as a list of the elements they are made up from. Index of places, and booklist. Authoritative (Bedwyr Lewis Jones was the leading expert in the field) but eminently accessible and not difficult for Welsh learners: a bargain at £1.75!

Lias, Anthony (1994) A Guide To Welsh Place-Names. Llanrwst: Gwasg Carreg Gwalch, ISBN 0-86381-289-9, £3.50 p/b.

Owen, Hywel Wyn (1990) Hanes Enwau Lleoedd [‘the history of placenames’]. Aberystwyth: CAA, ISBN 0-86348-874-9, approx. 213×299mm, iv/72pp, illus. (b&w photos, diags etc.), £? p/b. IN WELSH.
An attractively-designed large-format source-book for schools, ideal for Welsh learners. Out of print?

Davies, Elwyn (ed.) (1967, 1996) Rhestr o Enwau Lleoedd: A Gazetteer of Welsh Place-Names. Cardiff: Gwasg Prifysgol Cymru. Republished 1996 University of Wales Press, Cardiff, ISBN 0-7083-1038-9, xxxvii/119pp, £7.99 p/b.
A standard work, recently republished in paperback by the University of Wales Press. Gives a four-figure OS grid reference for each name.

Gruffudd, Heini (2000) Enwau Cymraeg I Blant: Welsh Names For Children. Talybont: Y Lolfa, ISBN 0-904864-99-5 £3.95 p/b.

Stephens, Meic (2000) Welsh Names For Your Children: The Complete Guide. Cardiff: Ashley Drake Publishing, ISBN 1-902719-00-X, 196pp, £7.99.
‘A comprehensive guide to 2,000 Welsh Christian names, with notes on origins and famous bearers of some names.’

ONLINE

Welsh surnames (Knoxville Tennessee Welsh Society)
http://www.korrnet.org/welsh/surnames.html

Welsh patronymics (Helen Jones’s Genealogy Advice Pages)
http://www.melcombe.freeserve.co.uk/helps/patronym.htm

The Welsh Language Board have a list of the twenty most popular Welsh first names at http://www.bwrdd-yr-iaith.org.uk/html/infolang/5_welsh-e.html.

Those fascinated by a certain famously long Welsh placename might like to look at http://members.aol.com/gulfhigh2/words12.html and http://www.estelnet.com/catalunyacymru/catala/llanfairpwllgwyngyll_01e.htm. If you’re really serious about this there is a very detailed 5-minute pronunciation tutorial (downloadable MP3) at
http://wri.cymru.net/celtic/notes/notidx.htm. The ‘longest URL on the Web’, http://www.llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.com, has been registered by the domain name registration and hosting company Internetters.co.uk, though there’s nothing much there; http://www.nwi.co.uk/llanfair/say.htm is defunct.

And finally, click here for news of the most famous Welsh surname of them all.


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ATLAS new!

Gareth Jones (ed.) Yr Atlas Cymraeg Newydd [‘The New Welsh Atlas’] (1999). Aberystwyth: CBAC, ISBN 1-86085-377-3, £10.99 h/b.
An adaptation of the Collins-Longman Student Atlas designed for secondary schools (11–18 age-group).


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BIBLE new!

Y Beibl Cymraeg Newydd [‘The New Welsh Bible’] (1988). Aberystwyth: British and Foreign Bible Society, ISBN 0-564-05733-9, £13.95 h/b.
Available in various versions, prices and ISBNs varying accordingly.

ONLINE

Not much of the old ‘Beibl Cysegr-lân’ or Bishop Morgan Bible is available on the Web, though the Psalms and some other books of the Old Testament (1620 edition) can be found accumulating on the encyclopaedic Wales–Catalonia site, at http://www.estelnet.com/catalunyacymru/catala/sion_prys_003_beibl_salmau_01k.htm; they are available in Welsh or Welsh–English parallel text as well as a range of other language combinations with Welsh, including Maori. The Testament Newydd (New Testament), paraphrased in simple colloquial Welsh, can be found at http://www.beibl.net/. The 1662 Book of Common Prayer in Welsh (Y Llyfr Gweddi Gyffredin) is online at http://www.justus.anglican.org/resources/bcp/Wales/Wales.htm, including some PDF and MS Word downloads.

The interactive concordance for Y Beibl Cymraeg Newydd hosted by the British and Foreign Bible Society at http://theo.sihe.ac.uk/~ffge/bible_soc/ is now no longer available.

Diolch yn fawr i Peter Madley.


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FICTION

Any attempt to classify or review Welsh literature is well outside the scope of this site, but there is certainly any amount of fiction aimed at or suitable for Welsh learners. Here is just one example:

Palfrey, Eiry (1977) Chwedlau Cymru i Ddysgwyr (‘Welsh Folk Tales for Learners’). Cardiff: Gwasg y Dref Wen (Llyfrau Llafar series), ISBN 0-904910-17-2, 32pp, 145×210mm, £2.99 p/b. Also available with cassette, read by Eiry Palfrey and with music by Mabsant (ISBN 0-904910-39-3, £7.99 the set).
Ten Welsh folk-tales related in simple language with vocabulary, questions and activities, suitable for adult and secondary-school Welsh learners.

Among the many authors writing for learners we might mention the names of Pat Clayton (who specialises in black comedies), Bob Eynon (adventure stories), and Ivor Owen (accessible if not exciting). The websites of publishers like Gwasg Gomer and Y Lolfa will supply details. Look out for the following series, for example:

  • Nofelau Nawr (‘Novels Now’), ed. Christine M. Jones and Julie Brake, pub. Gwasg Gomer (Llandysul), approx 175×120mm, 80pp, £3.50 p/b. New novels written specifically for Welsh learners.
  • Cam at y Cewri (‘A Step Towards the Giants’), pub. Gwasg Gomer (Llandysul), £5–7 p/b. Abridgements for learners of classic Welsh literature.
  • Cyfres y Dolffin (‘The Dolphin Series’), pub. Cwmni Iaith Cyf. Aimed at teenagers.
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© 1999–2003 Harry Campbell
Last updated: November 2003

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