Essential Welsh

July 2nd, 2015

Regular Oakeley Arms blog readers will know just how proud we are to live and work in beautiful Wales, and to be in the heart of gorgeous Snowdonia is extra special.

And one unique thing about Wales is the fabulous language that we can call our own – Welsh. Around 1 million people in Wales speak Welsh, so it’s a language that’s very much alive and flourishing. Welsh is an ancient language, deriving from the Celtic language British, which was spoken by the Breton Celts in the 6th century. Snowdonia and North West Wales is an area that is rich in Welsh culture and language heritage, so if you’re planning a holiday in Wales this summer then here’s our handy guide to some of the most common words and phrases for essential Welsh.

  • Hello – one of the easiest…. helo! Or S’Mae is a general greeting (literally translates to “how’s things”?)
  • Thanks – diolch
  • How are you – Sut ydych chi? Or Ti’n iawn is less formal.
  • What’s your name? – Beth ydy dy enw di?
  • Thank you – Diolch!
  • Please – Os gwelwch yn dda
  • Good morning – Bore Da
  • Good afternoon – Pnawn Da
  • Good night – Nosda
  • Goodby – Hwyl fawr
  • Do you speak Welsh – Wyt ti’n siarad Cymraeg?
  • What’s the Welsh for…….. – Beth ydy’r Cymraeg am…..
  • Where’s the toilet please? – Lle mae’r toilet, os gwelwch yn dda
  • I love you – Dwi’n dy garu di
  • Happy Birthday – Penblwydd Hapus!
  • With chips please – Efo sglodion os gwelwch yn dda
  • A pint of ale – Peint o cwrw
  • And a glass of white wine – a gwin gwyn
  • May I have – Ga’i I
  • sunshine – haul
  • rain – glaw
  • slow – araf

And don’t forget that the ch sound in welsh isn’t pronounced as in cheese but as in a harsher ch sound that comes from the back of the throat. Similarly, the double sound (ll) is made by lifting your tongue to the back of your top teeth and forcing the air out either side. The word for me (i) is pronounced ee rather than like the English I, and a double dd is pronounced as a softer d sound, similar to the th sound in English.

So, why not learn a few Welsh words for your summer holidays in Wales, with our handy guide to essential Welsh! And if there’s any word you come across and don’t understand then just ask one of our staff to translate it for you!

Wishing all our guests and customers a very happy Welsh holiday!

Now you know what that means!!