I've started! Welsh alphabet - please?

As someone very new - only on day 3! - first try of using forum. Notes with today’s email very helpful re: not returning back again, but practise and then go forward! 3rd lesson really brought home how reusing things without having to keep repeating previous lessons :slight_smile: And I get the value of speaking and listening - it makes good sense. I’m feeling it!
But… as someone who’d like to be able to read things - and who is noting vocab list post session - is there a link for the Welsh alphabet you’d recommend? Please. Did look online, but seems to be slight disagreement re graphemes…
Enjoying sessions thus far - hoping I can join a local meet up once I’m further on.
PS.You were recommended to me in Aberystwyth when dropping daughter off to start uni :slight_smile:


Shwmae @ann-6 first.

To be fair, I would not recommend to search for any alphabet as solely letters are spoken a bit differently as they might appear in the whole word or structure. You can help yourself with the “vocabulary list” which link is beneath the particular lesson. I’d also recommend not to read the list before you do the whole lesson first. Reading in early stages of learning when you don’t quite grasp the sound of the language or the words can be prety disturbing.

Oh, and the disclamer: All said above is not my invention. The invented was already here made by @aran, @Iestyn, @catdafydd and @CatrinLliarJones. I’m just parrot repeating the things because I know by myself they’re 100 % working.

But, for the comfort of yours, you should have something like recorded alphabet so you’d have the sound of it aswell. Let me search something for you …

Well, here you go. I believe this is something you want, isn’t it?

Pob lwc a chroeso ar y fforwm!

Tatjana :slight_smile:


Thank you :slight_smile:
Yes, I’ve quickly realised the value of just speaking and listening for the lesson - which makes sense, as it’s what I’m used to doing with little ones. Looking at the vocab afterwards made me curious though - especially as ultimately wanting to read… So I’d wondered about something giving the phoneme that goes with Welsh alphabet graphemes… In our school (English), we have different graphemes with a picture for the phoneme they represent for the little ones - and when they get older, a known word with the relevant sound in it and underlined.
But maybe I’m curious too quickly? Much speaking and listening to do! - thank you so much for replying :slight_smile:


Speaking as a layman, I cant see anything wrong in itself with knowing the alphabet. Just be aware that as with any language, some of the letters have alternative pronunciations.

I agree with Tatjana. However, I will add, it was helpful for me to learn how letters are pronounced in general because as you learn words outside of SSiW it’s important to have an idea of how they should be pronounced. For example, in SSiW we learn the word diddorol meaning interesting. That’s a great adjective to know but in my everyday English I use ‘exciting’ (cyffrous), too. Without having some knowledge of letter pronunciation, cyrffrous would be confusing for me. In English ‘C’ can sound like a ‘K’ or ‘S.’ In Welsh it’s always a ‘K’.

What has helped me immensely to learn new words is a Welsh Dictionary. I have two, but my goto is Moden Welsh Dictionary edited by Gareth King from Oxford press. Buy used or new. It’s a great reference because you will also learn how to pronounce diphthongs, ‘ae’ ‘ai’ ‘au’ oe’…etc.

I know others in the forum think learning to read Welsh before speaking can somehow impair your ability to learn to speak and understand because of the differences in pronunciation between Welsh and English, but I don’t necessarily agree with that. Before I started with Ssiw (or even Duolingo) the first thing i did was learn to pronounce the letters of the alphabet using some excellent videos by Welsh Plus. If you search for Welsh Plus on Youtube, you’ll find a whole series of videos that introduce both north and south variations on pronunciation as well as the common vowel combinations.


I learnt the alphabet before starting SSiW, with the same videos mentioned by @stephenbranley, and I found them very good.

Actually I wasn’t very interested in reading. I just wanted to be able to identify the sounds I was not familiar with (found out they were LL, CH, RH, Y) when I heard them.

I can only say for me it was helpful!
(I would also add that doing the challenges I didn’t read at all, not even the vocabulary until I completed level 1 because it was confusing -but I think everyone has to find their own balance!)


Thank you all for your help. It’s the how letters are pronounced/graphemes representing sounds that I was really after. And your dictionary recommendation is now on my ‘future helps’ list @delawarejones!
Really appreciate your comments and recommended videos @stephenbranley - the first one looking at long and short vowels was like a light bulb moment :slight_smile: - can identify with youngsters at school with their English short & long vowels! Thank you too @gisella-albertini - I’ve now got the means to find my own balance :slight_smile:

I am going to second the recomemdation for Welsh Plus. I have flund that to be one of the best Welsh Imstructiinal videos on You Tube and I feel it compliments SSIW very well.

The visual aid also helped. I fully know an F is prounced with a V sound but seeing the word hped me to stop expecting things to have English spellings. I am not going to admit how much some mutations through me when I saw them versus heard them until I started seeing the words as they were pronounced ^^

On another thread, it wasalso reccomemded to look at lyrics of songs "

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Thank you - it’s pronunciations I was thinking to get my head round.

That’s good to know - visuals definitely help me remember things. And song lyrics another interesting thought :slight_smile:

In that case, I would definitely just follow the course and you will pick up the sounds as you go. Otherwise you will end up trying to take in too much at one time.


(just because as with English some of the letters such as Y have more than one possible sound and also again as with English there are slight regional variations to the sound)

There is a potential confusion in the meaning of the original question, and initially, I must admit I took it to be a question about what were the names of the letters in Welsh, as opposed to how they were pronounced (in words). Two very different things. It obviously turned out to be a question about how the letters were pronounced, and not what were their names.

However, it might occasionally be useful to know what the Welsh names are.

I should think most Welsh learners in the UK at least know that, for example, S4C is pronounced in Welsh as “ess pedwar ec” (or “eck”). But I for one would have little idea as to the names of the other letters in Welsh. However, google came up with this:

What I am referring to is the Name in the 2nd column, although it does refer to an alternative system. To be honest, that table is not 100% helpful, as it doesn’t really tell you how to pronounce the name of the letter “a”, which I assume in that case is just the way the letter “a” is normally pronounced (two variations shown), but it’s a start.

Another version:


Slightly better in some respects, but also not perfect IMO.

Much more useful:

(How did I find that? Google found a post in this forum, which in turn pointed to the old SSiW forum which had a link to it! Very useful! :slight_smile: )

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I hadn’t thought about letter names, to be honest - but can see they have their uses! As a new learner, I’m not - or wasn’t - one of those who
“at least know that, for example, S4C is pronounced in Welsh as “ess pedwar ec” (or “eck”).”
Something else to learn…


Reading your question got me interested indeed adn all the replies have certainly been interesting and helpful!
This started me looking at various things online and came across the Welsh Plus and I have to say even though I am still very new at learning to speak Welsh I found it extremely good with both N & S explanations! I have saved the link to my favourites to use in conjunction with SSIW which I am loving and have got myself into a great rhythm and I have not missed a day of practicing and listening!

Sorry if I have gone off piste a bit but what I was trying to say is that we all learn at different speeds and in different ways which with as I have found, perseverance has paid dividends for me.

Diolch yn fawr iawn

Glad answers helpful to you too @dai-alun-hughes - I definitely appreciated them. The resources I’ve used most from above are the Welsh Plus pronunciation videos - really helpful in helping the vocab lists & other written material make sense - and the Modern Welsh Dictionary by Gareth King. The latter made more helpful by knowledge from the videos as, for me at least, hearing the sound is better than just a description of what I’m aiming for!

SSiW is a great way to learn and also a very friendly, supportive and slightly crazy community - welcome to the family!

I’ve been writing fantasy stories in a setting based on the British Isles, and long story short, found myself doing research for a Welsh setting. I was staring at a rough pronunciation guide, trying to work out how this confusing-looking language worked, for a while before I actually heard the language. So if we’re discussing “doing things backwards from what’s recommended”, I’m the mascot. :roll_eyes:
Of course, the original plan was “do some research for the story so I don’t drown”. But it somehow evolved into a growing obsession, giant YouTube playlists, and me creating an account here. I don’t have control of these high fantasy characters, they gained control of me. Dratted Wales and its addictive nature… :laughing:

Hmm, I didn’t know that. You learn something new every day, I guess. (files it away in my brain’s database)

@meowmocha Wow that sounds amazing! I think I’m in the same boat when it comes to being addicted to the Welsh language, for the last 8 weeks I have spent time every day doing my challenges and looking up other things too. Good on you though, well done :slightly_smiling_face::+1:

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@mikeellwood thanks for that, yes that is being stored somewhere in my brains database too. :slightly_smiling_face::+1:

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