Caernarfon: A World Heritage Site

The Language of Heaven

Iaith y Nefoedd

Welsh is a Celtic language and is more closely linked to Breton than either Scots or Irish Gaelic. It has been used as a written language since AD600, which makes it one of the oldest languages, especially when you consider that two of the most widely used European languages - French and German - were not used until 300 years later.

Unlike English, Welsh is a phonetic language and therefore easier to pronounce than it might at first appearance. What will strike you about sign-boards in Wales is the number of double letters and the lack of vowels - dd sounds like th in English asin the. For ll put your tongue as for the English l and breathe out hard!

Other pointers are... f sounds like v, ff sounds like f, w sounds like oo; y sounds lik i. The language is complicated by mutations in certain situations. Various guides to the languages are available in local book shops.

Bore da - Good morning

Prynhawn da - Good afternoon

Noswaith dda - Good evening

Nos da - Good night

Hwyl - Cheers

Useful Welsh Phrases

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