The Alphabet

Sut i ynganu’r wyddor  /  How to pronounce the Welsh alphabet

a America
b boy  /  bag
c car  /  Canada  (never as in peace)
ch Bach  /  loch (a harsh sound made at the back of the throat – almost as if you’re clearing your throat!)
d Denmark  /  donkey
dd then  /  other
e end  /  elephant
f of  /  over  (never as in from  /  France)
ff off  /  France
g go  / garden  (never as in George)
ng running  /  sing
h house  /  hang
i in  /  print
l lost  /  London
ll (this sound is made by putting your tongue on the roof of your mouth and blowing air out. It does take some practice – try blowing out a candle with your tongue on the roof of your mouth!
m mum  /  mouse
n nine  /  number
o orange  /  Oliver
p pan  /  prize
ph off  / phrase
r run  /  Robert (we tend to roll our ‘r’s in Welsh)
rh (this sound is like adding a hard ‘h’ at the end of a rolling ‘r’)
s sun  /  Simon
t target  /  Tracey
th thin  /  thimble  (never as in that / them)
u tree  /  in
w too  /  window
y this has two distinct sounds – “ee” or “urgh”. Normally sounded as “urgh” if it appears at the beginning of a word, and “ee” if it appears at the end of the word. If it’s a one syllable word it’s usually sounded as “ee”, however it’s sounded as “urgh” if it appears on its own or with one other letter. Rather confusing… so here are some examples
yfory (tomorrow) = “urgh-vorr-ee”; ynys (an island) = “unn-iss”; dyn (a man) = “deen”; ysgol (a school / ladder) = “usk-oll”; y (the) = “urgh”; fy (my) = “vurgh”

“j” is also accepted as part of the modern Welsh alphabet today

ch, dd, ff, ng, ll, ph, rh, th – are all single letters in Welsh!

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