A Quick Question

I’ve just finished the first course, and I’m starting to work my way through the vocab units. I was just wondering when I should start to look at my reading skills, and how I would get started developing them?


I’ll start with how; the people who made the mynediad/sylfaen (et al) course also have a series of six books aimed specifically at learners, which are a really good place to start. Also, books aimed at very young children will typically have simple enough language that you should be able to understand most of it. As your vocabulary improves, you’ll be able to start reading more advanced books. Steer clear of books aimed at kids over the age of six or so - those books tend to have language just as complex as you’d find in adult books.

As for when, now is as good a time as any. Since you’ve finished the first course, your pronunciation should be good enough by now that reading words you haven’t come across before shouldn’t cause your spoken Welsh any problems.


Thanks, that’s really helpful! :smile:

S4C with Welsh subtitles. You link the sounds with the writing that way.


Ok, thanks. I’ll try that too.

Although watch out for when the subtitles don’t match what was said!


Thanks a lot, @Karla for asking this question, I was wondering myself where I could find something to read in Cymraeg. From my previous experience, I know that reading helps me a lot to learn new words and collocations and sometimes even expressions. But the problem is: the news and the books written for native speakers are (obviously) too complicated for me at the moment.
@hectorgrey, you mentioned that there are some graded readers aimed at learners, maybe you know some of the titles of these books as well so I could look for them? Or maybe you know some titles of good books for children to look for? Diolch!
I’ve come across two books (which, by the way, are freely distributed on the internet) in Cymraeg with short stories. They are not so difficult to understand, aimed at children and that have a Welsh-English dictionary under each story. But the only problem is - both books were published in the 19th century:)

It’s hard to browse for books when you’re not in Wales. Luckily for me I do go to Wales and randomly buy books in charity shops. It’s not easy looking for books on Amazon, though searching for ‘Welsh Language Version’ will turn some things up. There is a series of books, ‘Stori Sydyn’ that are worth looking out for and you can search for Stori Sydyn in Amazon. If you are a kindle user you’ll find that some of them are available on Kindle and you can of course get a free sample before you commit to buying a whole book.
gwales on the web is an excellent place to buy books, and you can search by genre. Many of the books in the learner section may mention that there is a vocab list on each page.
And you could subscribe to Lingo Newydd, it’s bimonthly and has various articles, with a vocab list.


Here’s also Ylolfa which offers e-books too but as far as I establish they’re mostly in ePub format. But I believe kindle can read that kind of formats too (or similar readers for that matter).

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I am reading e-friendiau at the moment which is beginner level and well organised so that the vocab develops through the book.
It is a much better match for me than my toddlers books where I have to look up lots of words.


Thank you!

Just to add to what @pollypolly said, one other nice series is “Nofelau Nawr” which are specifically for adult learners and in modern colloquial Welsh. They are relatively short, and also most pages contain some vocabulary help, although they don’t totally spoon-feed you - I found that approximately half the “difficult” words on any page were given, leaving you scope to work out the meaning of the others from context (or if that failed, then you’d have to look them up of course). Quite a nice compromise, I thought. The series isn’t very large, but those I’ve read have all been very good.

I got all mine from Amazon UK (probably actually all from Amazon “marketplace”, for not much more than the postage cost). Not sure how that would work for you though.

As for finding Welsh books on amazon, I recently discovered a new (to me ) trick (may be due to a change in the layout I think they made) - again, this is for Amazon UK:

Shop by “department”, and go to “books” (or “Kindle books”).

Looking at the leftmost column, scroll down, down, until you see “Language” - then click on “see more”: - click on “Welsh” and dyna chdi! (over 14,000 titles in “books”, which is admittedly not as many as a lot of other languages**, but it’s not to be sniffed at. (I think that includes Kindle books as well).

And there is some very handy free software called “Calibre” which can convert just about any e-book format to just about any other.

** - Edit: Just had a closer look, and there are, for example, over 20,000 books in Catalan, nearly 23,000 in Afrikaans, and nearly 20,000 Finnish, all of which I’d think were fairly “small” languages. At the other end of the scale, there are a staggering 2 million in German, and almost as many in French!


The “sin” of Amazon (any Amazon) is that postage is so expensive that phisical books are almost unreachable to me. You pay twice as much per postage then you pay per book so I deliberately stiked Amazon out despite I have acount there. All other sellers like Ylolfa, Gwales and what’s more to them have much more reasonable postage and if you find anything on eBay even better. Most of sellers have “economy” shipping what mostly means postage is free or really minimal one. Kindle books on the other hand are accessable to me only via amazon.com. It’s a bit ununderstandable that I can’t buy kindle through amazon.co.uk and we’re all in EU. …

Did you maybe took a look at how many Slovene books you can find on Amazon @mikeellwood? I bet there are not even 100. :slight_smile: (however hope to be hugely mistaken for that part)

2,639 in the US store. :wink:

Thanks everyone, you’ve all been tremendously helpful! :smile:

I’d like to point out https://palasprint.com/, which is a truly lovely place to visit in person, but they do have a web presence. While wandering the streets of Caernarfon on bootcamp a bunch of us spent a very enjoyable while (an hour? I’m not sure) in there chatting to the lovely lady. I suspect (although I don’t know) that dropping a mail there might be a good way to pick up a couple of suggestions.

I’ll throw the Blodwen Jones series into the mix (starting with http://palasprint.com/siopa/isbn/9781859027592-bywyd-blodwen-jones) - it’s a bit of nonsense, but it’s very accessible (even I can read it with help from a dictionary, and my Welsh reading is hopeless).

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Thanks, I’ll definitely have a look at both.


Yah, but I’ve jsut rememberred that when I last time browsed those books in Slovene, there were 3/4 not in stock at all not even by individual seller. So, yah … I’m not sure how many would you really manage to buy in reality.

Hope dies last so one day this would be very well masterred skill. :slight_smile:

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None in Amazon UK apparently. The following is what I see:

Afrikaans (22,990)
Arabic (23,323)
Armenian (2,189)
Bengali (2,942)
Bulgarian (7,593)
Catalan (29,556)
Chinese (134,244)
Croatian (5,711)
Czech (13,536)
Danish (51,250)
Dutch (93,763)
English (39,533,711)
Esperanto (307)
Finnish (19,124)
French (1,986,479)
German (2,183,046)
Greek (102,985)
Hebrew (20,208)
Hindi (7,295)
Hungarian (34,928)
Irish (2,129)
Italian (870,841)
Japanese (124,161)
Korean (14,556)
Latin (94,781)
Lithuanian (11,869)
Norwegian (15,939)
Persian (2,195)
Polish (141,471)
Portuguese (131,969)
Romanian (17,874)
Russian (934,973)
Spanish (765,904)
Swahili (750)
Swedish (42,586)
Tamil (1,058)
Turkish (114,952)
Urdu (6,882)
Vietnamese (1,316)
Welsh (14,437)
Yiddish (6,042)

(It’s interesting to note the large number in Latin (including “Harrius Potter”), but also the relatively large number for “small” languages like Danish. Readers in German, French, Spanish and Russian are extremely well served, oh and of course, English… ).


So THAT’S how you search for Welsh language on Amazon. Doh! (that’s a Jennings Doh not a Simpsons Doh - showing my age) Let me at that book list, or maybe I should resist till I have worked my way through some previous purchases. I do admit to having started and given up on two grown-up books, but I will return to them one day. On the other hand I did stumble across one grown-up book which I started reading while snacking solo in a cafe with no dictionary, and it was weird, I seemed to immediately tap into the subconscious flow from the author and I just felt my way through it.