Why is Mae pronounced Mah?

In school we were taught to pronounce it My - is it a North vs South Wales thing or were my teachers wrong?

It’s a local thing to where Iestyn comes from - it’s like how in Yorkshire and Lancashire you’ll hear “all right” said as “reet”, or in Scotland “can’t” as “cannay” or “canna”. If you want to use the Cymraeg equivalent of Received Pronunciation, then your teachers were right.


I can’t bring myself to say ‘Mah’ or ‘Cymrahg’. It sounds totally wrong to my ears, so only copy Iestyn if you come from his area!!

Ah, that’s what I guessed, thanks!

But Aran and Cat also say (I think) the “ae” dipthong (I first wrote “dipthing”, which is actually better…), as something like “aah”, at least in some places, and at least to my ears (which admittedly functon a bit like cotton-wool a lot of the time).

Personally, I have long ago stopped worrying about exact precision when it comes to Welsh pronunciation - that way lies madness… :slight_smile:

Some days it’s “neshi ddim” and “mish Ebrill” , and other days it’s “nes i ddim” and “mis Ebrill”. Go with the flow, peint arall plis a peid a phoeni…


Just to confirm: The shortening of “mae” to “ma” is a common southernism - I don’t think you’ll hear it in the north at all. Mae will always be understood everywhere, and I’ve never been misunderstood using “ma”.

The only point to note for those preferring “mae” is that “he is”, taught as “ma fe” on the southern course, is mae e (no f) if you use mae. It’s a tiny point, and no-one wil complain / misunderstand etc if you say mae e, it’s just a bit more difficult to say, and sounds a tiny touch uncofortable to my ear.


Oh Iestyn, I owe you a grovel!! When saying he is, I actually do tend to use something akin to ‘ma fe’, because ‘fe’ is easier in that case!!!