Spoken v Written Welsh

Google translate gives the Welsh for “I will probably see you again later” as “Mae’n debyg y byddaf yn eich gweld eto yn nes ymlaen” which seems rather pedestrian. What actually would an Ogledd say for this?

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Loads of different ways this general idea might get phrased…

Wela i chi eto wedyn, debyg…

Tebyg wna i weld chi eto wedyn…

Probably less likely to have ‘eto’ in there than ‘again’ in English, just feels a bit redundant…


written completely phonetically, as i’m not worried about spelling just yet, i’d say

‘welai di wedyn, mae’n debyg’

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Apologies if this is the wrong thread for this question , but here goes…

When was the Welsh we have today arrived at?

In centuries past, the way English words were spelled was varied. You can see it best in the way placenames’ spellings have morphed over the years. Moreover, if you listen to the language as spoken by Chaucer and Shakespeare you’ll see how it has changed.

It’s still changing - much to the chagrin of some - with textspeak and teentalk, for example, as well as the rise and fall, and changing meaning, of individual words. Pronunciations have changed as well in some cases.

What is the situation with Welsh’s history?

Pretty much the same type of thing. I can recommend this book - it gives a good overview

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Hello Siaron,

I’ve been on Amazon and it doesn’t seem to be available. Moreover, I’ve just come back from a short holiday in Y Felinheli and I couldn’t see it anywhere. However, I’m both patient and determined, and I’ll track it down.

Having just spent three full days in North Wales, I’ve used my - very limited - Welsh in earnest. One chap said that I said it in an English accent, though I pronounced it well. Another person said that the Welsh as spoken in South Wales would be slightly different. Even if I wasn’t learning it, I’d find this interesting.


There appear to be some on eBay :grinning:

One thing you’ll certainly find in North Wales (probably in the rest of the country too, but noticeably up here) is that sometimes however well you pronounce something in Welsh, the born & bred locals will still know straight away that you’re not from the area! :wink:

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BookDepository has it - I just ordered a hard copy, and there is a proprietary format ebook version available as well.

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Thanks Louis!!

I spoke a bit of Welsh while I was away, which I was pleased with.


Thanks for that…and you’re exactly right, Siaron.

I used a little Welsh while we were away, albeit it mostly the same phrases repeated to different people. I took particular delight in asking for coffee with milk, because I think I’ve mastered the pronunciation of milk. Some people commented that my pronunciation was very good although one guy in Bangor said that I had a Welsh accent.

So, in the same way I can place English speakers from their accents - certainly by region, though not necessarily to specific places - can you tell a native Welsh speaker’s place of origin?

And is the metropolitan Welsh of Cardiff - with it’s media and political types - driving any changes taking place within the language?

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)[quote=“david-ball-1, post:11, topic:13440”]
can you tell a native Welsh speaker’s place of origin?

Eventually your ears do tune in to some accents, mostly the more distinctive ones of course (I’m thinking Ffestiniog in particular!), but it takes considerable time (and travelling to experience them) for a learner’s ear to do so, I think because we have more to think about before we even get to ‘which accent’!

It’s a very long time since I’ve been to Cardiff, but I do know a considerable number of ‘gogs’ working down there in media and politics (I also know a considerable number of ‘hwntws’ doing the same up here :wink: ) so I’d be surprised if there weren’t changes taking place although I would imagine it’s quite a slow, subtle change.

That should have said that one guy said that I had an English accent!!

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Bangor and Carms and Swansea are ok to recognise in Welsh or English. Mainly because I here them a fair bit and they are distinctive.

Going back to regional toning down, Id say only up to a point.

As an example, today I was corrected by a Gwent local for pronouncing Tyllwyd in a Glamorgany way, and I dont even think that he was a Welsh speaker. Although I could be wrong as he did pronounce the ll.

Is it easier to speak Welsh with as near a Welsh accent as can be achieved by a Londoner or do the pronounciation of the words automatically create a Welsh accent?
Even if i were speaking Welsh i wouldn’t want to cause offence.


Hi Betty,

You won’t cause offence. If you say the words you will be speaking Welsh! After that we are all individuals - and that is a good thing!

Rich :grimacing:


Hi Betty, I notice that you joined 2 days ago so are still in the early stages of learning (I assume). I see two ways to answer this …

  1. If you want to speak Welsh with a natural accent I would listen very carefully and try your best to do an impression of the voice you hear in the lessons and really, really, try not to read any Welsh at all for as long as possible. This technique has produced some very natural sounding speakers.

  2. If you’re not bothered about speaking Welsh in your own accent then don’t worry about it and rest assured that no-one will be offended because at the end of the day learning and speaking Welsh is an amazing thing you’re doing. Those that do take offense would take offense at everything anyway so not worth your worries.


Hello @betty-heath
I cannot speak on behalf of native Welsh speakers. But as an outsider, one thing I think I can notice more easily than English-natives( because one’s own accent is always the hardest to detect!): a lot of learners but also a lot of very fluent and proficient speakers have an English accent when they speak Welsh!
But I’ve seen them doing just fine in interactions and conversations with 100% native speakers -not to mention so many guests and callers I hear on the radio, debating about very complex topics.

This also leads me to believe that the pronunciation of the words does not automatically create a natural Welsh accent! :grin:
I see @gruntius has shared a tip about it, that’s interesting|
I don’t know anything about this topic - and actually I’m curious to hear feedbacks about my Italian Welsh accent next week, when I’m going to have the chance to embarrass myself speaking Welsh more than I think I can do! :scream:


I heard a lovely chap on the radio yesterday morning who was a Scot talking about Burns Night - hearing Welsh spoken with a Scottish accent was lovely! I also had a tutor at university who was from Northern Ireland, so spoke Welsh with a strong Irish accent - also charming :slight_smile: (And then of course there are my American, Argentinian, German etc., etc. friends who all bring their own accents to the language.) Unavoidable, I’m sure. But everyone’s delighted to be conversing through the medium of Welsh - that’s the important thing.


A lot of the young people here in Cardiff have an accent that might sound a bit English, but it is their own particular brand of Welsh - “Cymraeg Glantafiaidd” I’ve heard it called (Ysgol Glantaf is one of the big Welsh-language secondary schools here in Cardiff).