South Wales Welsh sounds

I’ve recently moved to Cardiff from North Wales. I started learning NW Welsh there and now I’m going to try to learn SW Welsh as I’m working for a local charity and feel it would benefit me to at least try. I’m already noticing differences and wondered if anyone could help. I’ve been blind since birth so my hearing is extremely good. I’ll say now that I don’t read Welsh, so please please excuse my dodgy spelling, I’m not being disrespectful of the Welsh language, just spelling things phonetically. I’m hearing “Cumraag” with a hard A sound, and I’m sure up North it was “Cumrige” with a definite I sound like you’ve have in the word “ride”? have I been mishearing the NW version all the time - or is SW different? Also, are there any courses/meet ups in the Canton area of Cardiff where you can practise? Thanks heaps in advance and sorry for the long message :slight_smile:

S’mae Nicki?

There is nothing wrong with your hearing, you have correctly identified a difference in the way the word Cymraeg is pronounced between the North and South. Have you listened to any of the Southern lessons on the site? They are a great way to compare the differences in sounds between the two broad dialects. Of course there are lots of regional variations too, so its not quite as straightforward as a simple North-South divide!

Best of luck with your studies!



Hi Stu :slight_smile: thank goodness it’s not my hearing. I started the first lesson today, the other thing that immediately me was the word “hofi” for like. Up north we’d say “Likio” even the “O” sound is different to my hearing. I’d like to learn in a group ideally, as it’s quite difficult learning by yourself, because you have no idea if you’re saying it wrong. I work with visually impaired people and they’d notice any differences. :slight_smile:


If you copy the way Iestyn and Cat pronounce the words you will not be led astray. You will be amazed by the SSIW method, it is truly the best way to learn to speak Welsh and to cultivate a really natural accent.

I am studying Northen Welsh myself, and so would also use licio rather than hoffi!



What Stu said.

And just to say don’t worry about licio/hoffi. You will hear “lico” at least as often as “hoffi” down 'ere in the South!

Remember that in a lot of ways the courses are “Aran course Welsh” and “Iestyn course Welsh” as much as North and South. The differences don’t automatically translate into “North” or “South”, and both are Welsh Welsh!

thanks Owain. I don’t have a problem with the accent at all, having grown up in Wales and being blind it’s something I’ve always been able to grasp.

Bora Da Nicki,
You wanted to know about some possible “Meet ups” in Canton (Treganna) and here are a couple I know about:
Every Monday night, about 6pm to 8pm there is a WCoffi and Cwych" in The Chapter Theatre and if you go on the Menter Caerdydd website you can get all the details of that and some other activities.
Every Friday morning in the school term times there is a brilliant coffi and sgwyrs in the Oriel Canfas - next road to Chapter. This is run by Lynda Newcome who is a teacher and is a great help although it is all very informal with lovely, friendly people who have a great sense of humour which I find essential!!
Finally, I really sympathise with you as although I live near Cowbridge - not a great deal of Welsh spoken there - I have a lot of friends in North Wales and go there regularly for two or three days at a time and have always said I have to learn two languages not one!!!
I hope this is of some help and please come back on the forum to let me know how you are getting along.


Hi Nicki,

The SW and NW pronounciation of Cymraeg are different, you’re not mishearing. You’ll soon get used to the differences between the two dialects and once you get an ear for both you’ll realised they aren’t as different as you think!

There are two SSIW meet-ups in Cardiff. The weekly meet-up is every Monday evening at the Mochyn Du in Pontcanna (not far from Canton) and a monthly meet-up at Coffee #1 on Wood street ( near Cardiff bus station) at 10.30 am every third Saturday of the month.

Hi Carolyn and SJ, thanks so much for the Cardiff meet up info. Another cheeky question then, being as we’re getting on so well giggles do either of you go to the Monday night meetings? I’d feel heaps less anxious if I was with someone for the first time, as, although I’d have my guide dog with me - she doesn’t talk giggles I also find Chapter quite daunting to be honest, as it’s so big. I hope I’m not overstepping the mark by asking :slight_smile: I am going to do another part of the lesson later, I feel so much confident having this forum.

Hi NIcki,

I don’t go to the Mochyn Du anymore as I’ve moved away. But they are a great bunch of people at all stages of learning. I would suggest going to the Mochyn Du purely because it will be quieter than Chapter on a Monday evening and the group is smaller, so less daunting for a newbie. Alison, who is on the forum, organises the Monday nights at the Mochyn Du. If you’re thinking of attending, send her a message and she’ll look out for you arriving. :slight_smile:

Hi Nicki!

Seems to me that you are getting on famously with this Welsh stuff - the little differences between north and south will very quickly seem just that (although at first, yes, they look mountainous!), and if you are already taking tentaitive steps into real Welsh speakerdom, then you are going to find the rewards of speaking Welsh are massively more than you’ve ever expected.

Do go along to the Mochyun Du meetings - I can vouch for them being really friendly and welcoming there, and Alison, particularly, is a gem. The beauty of the Mochyn Du as well is that there is plenty of incidental Welsh - ie, you’ll hear people not in the SSiW group speaking Welsh around you.

I hope you really enjoy it: I’m sure your guide dog will be bilingual before you know it…



well, my guide dog won’t be able to take me on Monday nights, as I’ve been told to not work her on unfamiliar routes. But, I have enrolled in a Welsh evening class in Canton - I start tomorrow. I’m also extremely impressed by the assistance I’ve had from the lady at the Welsh learning centre )or whatever it’s called) at Cardiff university. Really looking forward to my first class. I’ll still keep up with the SSIW lessons, but feel I need extra help, as I’m a little unconfident at the minute, and this will help me to feel braver :slight_smile:

Pob lwc Nicki, feel quite shamed at my pathetic learning attempts, inspired by yours. Another resource in the capital city is the Central Library. The Cymraeg section is on the 4th floor but has full access, I don’t know off-hand if they have audio books but just could be Hwyl!

Oooh, audio books in Welsh would be nice. I never thought of looking for those. Also, please, both of you, remember that you’re doing far better than you think you are.