I have completed Course 1 and am now moving through the New Level 1. In both course I struggle to decide how to say “dd” as in:smile:
Am I hearing “th” or “v” - should I be saying
thithorol, methwl and bythaf yn
vivorol, mevwl and byvaf yn
or nothing at all like any of these?
The official way to pronounce ‘dd’ is a voiced ‘th’, as in ‘this’ and ‘the’, not ‘thistle’. As to whether you actually hear ‘th’ or ‘v’, these sounds are quite similar, and particular through digital playback, they may be hard to distinguish. In a noisy pub, none would know
Just to clarify Louis’s terminology (only because it confused me when I first came across it), ‘voiced’ in terms of a letter sound means that you make a noise with your throat. ‘Unvoiced’ means you make a noise with just the air flowing through your mouth.
So, for example, an L in welsh is voiced because the sound is made by a combination of your throat and the position of your tongue in your mouth, while an LL is unvoiced because it is made simply by assuming the tongue position and forcing air through the gaps and out of your mouth.
Now apply this to DD and TH, and you’ll hopefully see what Louis means.
I know it’s good to be right about the exact sounds you’re making, and this is a common question because it does cause some confusion, but I’d like to emphasise how unimportant the difference is between th and v with a story.
I ran bootcamps this year, and one person on one bootcamp had quite a mix up between f (v) and dd (th). I didn’t notice this until he answered some questions on the forum sometime after bootcamp, and gave incorrect phonetic spellings. In other words, after a week of speaking with him, I hadn’t notice that he often used “v” instead of “th”.
Now you know the difference, and when you find out the speelings of some words, there will be a bit if “Oh, I hadn;trealised that was how it’s said / spelled”. You will become a more accomplished Welsh speaker. But don’t spend a single second worrying about which is which, because no-one else will notice…
Thank you for the feedback. I love the freedom to choose between how unimportant it is in spoken context and wrestling with the unvoiced and the voiced. Language learning rocks!
Oh yes - for linguists, it’s vitally important, and there’s technical jargon, and big important differences everywhere.
For “just” speakers - anything goes!
Decide which you are!
(Probably, if you’re like me, decide which you are at any given moment / situation…!)
Thanks for this! We have been having a lot of trouble trying to decide if ‘dd’ was a ‘v’ (like it sounds in a lot of the words in the course) or a ‘th’ (like it says in the pronunciation guides all over the internet - which I now feel we should have checked sooner)!
We’re on lesson 16 in course 1 and I was having a slight “Oh no!” moment - we’ve learnt it all as ‘v’, right from the first occurrence of ‘ddim’.
@Iestyn, I’m relieved to hear you say it’s not that important, but maybe it’s something you could clarify if you ever re-record, or something to add to the course notes right at the start?
This can be tough at the best of times - sounds are slippery things!
We’re starting work at the moment on a whole bundle of extra bits and pieces to help guide people through the initial stages, and since plenty of people don’t look at the course content material, this will definitely be front and centre
So glad I searched on here and found this thread.
I had made up a rule in my head that dd what the voiced “th” and the end of words/syllables e.g. newydd and v at the start of words/sylabbles e.g. ddim and ddechrau
Dw i newydd ddechrau was definitely dw i newyth vechrau
Then in level 1 challenge 5 I met “ddiddorol” and was starting to hear sometimes vithorol sometimes thithorol ( the second dd was always th though).
I’ve gone back and listened to a few sessions with the sounds up as I was 100% sure ddim was vim and now I can just about hear the “thim”
I’m glad it doesn’t matter in speech as what people hear will differ and glad there isn’t an extra more complicated pronunciation rule.
Now will just try to unlearn saying vim for ddim but not sweat over it.
The McGurk effect is amazing too.