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Welsh Pronunciation (3)

4: The Finer Points

There's no shortage of advice on how to pronounce Welsh, though not all of it is good: beware of myths. The main thing to remember is that Welsh is not as difficult as you probably imagine. The basics are pretty straightforward, with only a few annoying exceptions.

But. . . at the same time, it's not 100% straightforward and logical either. There are a few subtleties and unpredictabilities that you may start to notice if you have a good ear for languages and an enquiring mind. And some of them don't seem to have made it into print or onto the Web yet (correct me if I'm wrong).

If you're a beginner, it's probably better not to bother reading this page for a while, until you've got the basics straight in your head. But if you want to know the full story, read on. . .

So, Welsh spelling is logical? Yes, it is. Up to a point, anyway. Logical would mean that there was only one letter (or combination of letters) to represent each sound, and each sound was always represented by one letter(s). xxxxxxx * "logical" welsh: * y * ph/ff * si * ng * gwlad * barred i near g * unpredictable stress * use of diacritics * unpredictable prons * heddiw * dropped consonants: The letter "f" is considered a weak consonant in Welsh, and is often dropped when it is the final letter of a word. For example, "haf" (summer) is usually prounounced "ha". * colloq prons * wsnos * cymyd * isio * ella?

The (in)famous North Welsh u/y sound. (SEPARATE PAGE FOR THIS?!) back to top


© 1999–2002 Harry Campbell
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