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- " 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
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Welsh ( Cymraeg [kəmˈraːɨɡ] ( listen) or y Gymraeg [ə ɡəmˈraːɨɡ]) is a Brittonic language of the Celtic language family that is native to the Welsh people. Welsh is spoken natively in Wales, by some in England, and in Y Wladfa (the Welsh colony in Chubut Province, Argentina ).
The earliest known examples of Welsh literature are the poems of Taliesin, which feature Urien of Rheged, a 6th century king in what is now southern Scotland, and Aneirin's Y Gododdin, a description of a battle between Celts and Northumbrians which occurred in about 600 AD, nobody knows for sure when these works were composed or when they were first written down, however the oldest surviving manuscript featuring Y Gododdin dates from the second half of the 12th century.
Welsh is the de facto provincial language in Wales. There are large numbers of Welsh people who speak Welsh, but monolingual speakers of Welsh are relatively rare today since most Welsh speakers speak English. English-Welsh code-switching is a very common phenomenon. The U.K. government has ratified the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languageswith respect to Welsh. Although Welsh is a minority language, and thus threatened by the dominance of English, support for the language grew during the second half of the 20th century, along with a rise of nationalism. Welsh is compulsory in most Welsh schools up to age 16. Many Welsh primary and secondary schools provide Welsh-medium education to over 82,000 children. The language is widely used on the radio and TV. It is the language of daily communication in many parts of Wales. Most people in Wales believe that Welsh should have equal status with English.
Welsh is usually divided into Northern (Cymraeg y gogledd) and Southern (Cymraeg y de) dialects that differ in pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary. The differences between the dialects are much more pronounced in the spoken than in the written language. Patagonian Welshspoken in Argentina is influenced by the surrounding Spanish.
Welsh phonology shares many features with that of other Celtic languages.
The grammar of Welsh shares many features with the grammar of other Celtic languages. A distinguishing feature of Welsh, as of all Celtic languages, is initial consonant mutation. This means that the first consonant of a word may change depending on grammatical context. Welsh has three mutations which are illustrated below.
While Welsh has borrowed some words from English, the bulk of its vocabulary is inherently Celtic. Below are a few common words in Welsh. Below are the Welsh numerals 1-10.
Wales. Cymru - Wales. Cymry - Welsh (people) Cymraeg - Welsh (language) Cymru am byth! - Wales forever! Hen Wlad fy Nhadau - Land of My Fathers (Welsh national anthem)
- Different Alphabets
- Welsh vs. English Vocabulary
- Syntax & Grammar
- Common History
- Welsh vs English: Conclusions
While the English alphabet has 26 letters, its Welsh counterpart has 29, including 8 diagraphs. Diagraphs are pairs of characters that represent a single or several phonemes, but that relate to each other in a way that doesn’t correspond with what we normally understand as combining two characters. The Welsh diagraphs are: Ch, Dd, Ff, Ng, Ll, Ph, Rh,and Th. These characters are considered as single letters. Officially, the Welsh alphabet doesn’t have the letters J, K, Q, V, X andZ, but they appear in imported terms when no Welsh alternative is available.
Their different roots give Welsh and English little vocabulary in common – but English and Welsh have adopted countless loanwords from each other through the years. For instance, English acquired “corgi”, “coracle” (the name of a Welsh boat) and “bach”(“small”, in Welsh). On the other hand, among the English words that have entered the Welsh language, we can mention “dawns” (“dance”),“cwestiwn” (“question”), “golff”(“golf”) and “iard” (yard).
English has an “SVO” (Subject-Verb-Object) sentence structure, while Welsh is a “VSO” language. There is one occasion in which the “Verb-Subject-Object” structure of Welsh is changed to SVO: when we want to emphasize or refer to someone’s name. If we try to translate a text literally from Welsh to English, one of the main things we’ll notice is that Welsh, being a Celtic language, doesn’t have possessive verbs. You don’t “have [something]”. Instead, “there is [something] with you”.
When we compare Welsh vs English pronunciation, we first thing we might notice is that Welsh has no silent characters. Every letter in the Welsh alphabet has a sound that is pronounced by speakers. On the other hand, English speakers who learn Welsh as a second language often highlight how “straightforward” the phonetic pronunciation of the Welsh language is. While Welsh and English have very similar alphabets, we shouldn’t make assumptions. When it comes to diagraphs: 1. “Ch”is pronounced like the “ch”in “Bach”. 2. “Dd” is pronounced like the “Th” in “Thorn”. 3. “Ll”is pronounced as “Thl”. 4. “Ff” is pronounced like an “F”. When it comes to letters: 1. “C”is always pronounced like a “K”. 2. “G”is always the hard “G”in “Gym”. 3. “F”is pronounced like a “V”. 4. “W”is pronounced like the “Oo”in “loose”. 5. “Y”might be the hardest letter to pronounce correctly, simply because it has might correspond with two different sounds. If it’s anywhere in a word but its last syllable, it’s prono...
While Welsh has official status in Welsh (after the Welsh Language Masure of 2011), and it’s the only de jureofficial second language in the United Kingdom, the pervasiveness of the language was very often threatened. A decline in the usage of the Welsh language began in the 16th Century. When Wales was annexed to the United Kingdom, parliamentary measures promoted the dominance of the English language. And, during the industrial revolution, the migration of Welsh workers to England further decreased the use of the language. Another factor was the prevalence of English-speaking management in the mining and smelting industries, pillars of the Welsh economy. Most Welsh people also speak English, giving origin to the Welsh English dialects known as “Wenglish“. The English spoken in the west of Wales has been more heavily influenced by Welsh than its eastern counterpart. But, across groups of speakers, we can notice distinctive syntax and vocabulary borrowed from Welsh. Influenced flowe...
Due to their different roots, Welsh and English have very basic differences related to vocabulary and grammar. Years of cultural exchange have filled English and Welsh with words borrowed from each other and gave origin to mixtures of Welsh and English, used every day by code-switching Wales natives. Welsh can be an easier language to learn than English, due to its straight-forward phonetic pronunciation. The greatest challenge posed to learners outside the UK might be a lack of community resources and speaking communities. Welsh is the most-spoken minority language in the United Kingdom, but its importance shouldn’t be understated. Welsh translation servicesaren’t as common as those for major languages. But there’s just as necessary. Whether for academics, a Welsh writer wanting to expand abroad, a person of Welsh descent who wants to learn more about their family history, or a business that wants to enter the Welsh market with an advantage over their English-speaking counterparts.
Nov 23, 2016 · There are tons of fantastic examples of Welsh English out there in celeb-land, but if we had to pick just a couple, you couldn’t go wrong with the actor Michael Sheen or the hilarious Welsh comedian Rob Brydon. Both have very distinctive Welsh accents and serve as great examples of how sing-songy and melodic the Welsh English accent can be!
The only word in these examples that is similar in all the languages is name: ainm (Irish), ainm (Scottish Gaelic), ennym (Manx), anv (Breton), hanow (Cornish) and enw (Welsh). The word for what - Cén (Irish), De (Scottish Gaelic), Cre (Manx), Petra (Breton), Pyth (Cornish) and Beth (Welsh) - illustrates one of the sound differences between the branches of the Celtic languages.
- What Is Welsh?
- The History of Welsh
- The Current and Future Status of Welsh
Welsh is one of the Celtic languages still spoken, perhaps that withthe greatest number of speakers. The only natural communities ofspeakers are in that part of Britain which is called Wales, and asmall colony in Patagonia (in the Chubut province of Argentina),although there are many speakers ofWelsh elsewhere, particularly in England and Australia and the UnitedStates of America. The English names of the Welsh language (in Welsh, y Gymraeg)and the Welsh people (y Cymry)and Wales (Cymru) derive from a Germanic name for foreigners that crops up elsewhere in Europe in the same way, and which comes from a Latin name for a lost Celtic people,the Volcae.
How old is Welsh? Where did it come from?
Welsh is an Indo-European language, so is presumably descended like most(but not all) languages in modern Western Europe from somethingfirst spoken on the steppes of central Asia. Its immediatedecent is from the Brythonic language or languages of Roman Britain.Conventionally one speaks of Early Welsh as being the development of thatBrythonic precursor around the time when Britain fell to the Scandinavians,and Old Welsh as being the language of Walesbetween the ninth and eleventh centuries. Ma...
To what other languages is it related?
The closest relatives of Welsh are the other p-Celtic languages, of which the other modern representatives are Cornish and Breton, which are alsodescendants of Brythonic. Cumbrian, if it was indeed a distinct language,would also have been p-Celtic, and there was also a p-Celtic languageindigenous to the continent, known as Gaulish, which is long extinct. The next nearest relatives are the family of q-Celtic languages, of whichmodern representatives are the Gaelic languages of Ireland, Man and...
Can Welsh speakers understand Gaelic?
By and large, no. In fact even the p-Celtic languages are not reallymutually intelligible. A Welsh speaker especially if he is familiarwith some of the archaic vocabulary of his own language can expect toread but perhaps not fully understand Cornish, but has difficulty understanding spoken Cornish. Breton is accessible to Welsh speakers who have French for its differently borrowed words and sounds, and again especially to thosefamiliar with archaic Welsh.It is certainly much easier for a Wels...
Is Welsh a dying language?
The conventional answer to this question in the first half of the twentiethcentury would certainly be yes. The proportion of Welsh speakers in Waleshas fallen consistently since there have been any sort of reliablestatistics. Over the twentieth century the total number of speakers of Welshhas remained pretty much constant in the face of a sharp rise in the population. There is perhaps less of an obvious consensus on the answer atthe end of the century,although the long term prospects must be...
How many people speak Welsh?
(I do not have the statistics to hand; I am going to fill this in later.) Ah, now. There is a question to keep one awake at nights. It really ratherdepends what one means by speaking Welsh. The most consistently reliable statistics are those derived from thedecennial United Kingdom National Census, which in Wales asks peoplewhether they speak Welsh. This reports a figure of a few hundred thousand (in a population which is rapidly approaching three million)but is widely held to underestimate t...
As a first language? As their only language?
There are almost certainly no monoglot Welsh speakers, at least not overthe age of about four or five, although there wouldstill have been many in the middle of the twentieth century.The question by nowmust be how many speakers are thoroughly bilingual, as opposed to havingWelsh as a second language. Most Welsh speaking people probably knowof many individuals who give a much better account of themselves in Welsh than in English,but they must be relatively few. One consequence of this is that...
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