Pronunciation issues

We used to have various threads from time to time on the hen forwm (nothing to do with poultry) about pronunciation difficulties, especially with “ll” and rolled "r"s.

A difficulty I often have is not specific sounds, but combinations of sounds, probably because one sound is asking me to put my tongue in one place, and the other sound is asking me to put my tongue in abother and the movement of the tongue required is at first unusual for an English native speaker.

An example from a word I encountered yesterday (in a real Welsh conversation) was “cysylltiad” (plural “cysylltiadau”, masculine for grammar bugs (“pryfed gramadeg”?), meaning “connection” **, as in: “what connection do you have with Wales?”.

I had to look it up when I got home, and I found the combination of the “ll” and the “t” awkward, somehow.

However, in that case, I just repeated it about 20 times (not very SSiW-ish perhaps), and that seemed to do the trick. That doesn’t always work though.

**[ cf. “cysylltu” to connect, to get in touch. ]

Good word Mike, i think as an aid to memory that word can have pont in front of it, will try to remember next time we speak.

Cheers J.P.

I am having trouble understanding on some words whether it is a ‘v’ sound or a typical ‘th’

Not overly crucial but bugging me all the same.

And another note, I can’t win. Went to start a topic to ask about it, I get a pop-up saying there is another thread about the same thing. So now I go to post in this thread, and another pop-up says ‘no, its very old, do you really want to post here?’ gah.

I have the same problem (with hearing the difference between ‘v’ and ‘th’, that is). I find listening to the word in the various contexts and sentence patterns that are in the exercises tends to straighten it out for me though.

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The one that got me for ages was ‘ardderchog’ - going from the tongue at the front for the ‘dd’ then the back for the ‘ch’. Took me about a year to be able to say it without tripping up.

And today, for some reason, the word is ‘hyfedredd’ - I keep trying to start it like ‘hydref’ and then getting all tangled up.


This is very common. You’re not alone.

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And with the “r” there as well (which we tend to swallow in English, but not in Welsh), makes it even trickier.

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I use the cheat’s way out for ardderchog. I say gwych :slight_smile:

(Subtleties of language are lost somewhat on me ;))


At least it’s not just me then. Its going on the to-do list to find out for sure at some point along this adventure.

Hearing can be a problem, yes. I have it too. That’s why I love quite many times to have words written infront of me, maybe just to establish are those more words or just one, for example. No particular word or structure though … Some are easier to hear and say, some harder … :slight_smile:

And … pulling old topic out of the storage rather then having more of the same kind I like more. Those things discussed on here can never be too old to bring them up again, don’t you think so, and the forum can be tidier. :sunny:

I’m having some troubles with understanding where the stress should go in a word. Sometimes, when I listen to the native speakers and try to copy their pronunciation, it seems like all the vowels are stressed. It makes the language very beautiful and melodic, but I’m afraid that I’m mispronouncing most words just beause I can’t figure out where exactly the stress is.

Stress normally happens on the next to last syllable. So, in the ardderchog example, it would be arDDERchog.

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Thanks a lot! I probably get confused because the vowels that are not stressed can sound very long and full-quality too, which doesn’t happen a lot in other languages I speak.

You remind of of the interesting question of why, if Welsh has a special symbol - circumflex or to bach - to mark long vowels, it is not used consistently? This would be a relatively simple and painless “spelling reform” to make, so I wonder why it is not done. But there may be good reasons known to the guardians of the language.

I was wondering the same thing

I have trouble hearing the difference between ‘s’ and ‘ll’

Me too, because sometimes it is not present in words where it should be present, like hen. Maybe it’s some historical tradition?

I alaso have trouble pronouncing mh, nh and ngh. I am sure there’s a correct way to say them but I don’t know it, and the textbooks are vague on this subject.

So do I. I evidently had such huge problems that I put more of my “brain space” to how I should pronunce them instead of where to put them so I’m in troubles now … :slight_smile:

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Oh yes, the problem is they’re also the sounds that only happen in mutations( So it’s already difficult anough to figure out where they should be.
Have you found a way to pronounce them?

No, not me … If I’m (let’s say) somehow good with “ll” I’m bad, bad, bad with those. three (or whatever in count).