Of Wales & The Welsh

An Eclectic Mix of Information, Data, Facts, News, Politics, Views & Opinions

WELSH, as a Language

WELSH, as a Language

>Side Bars<
The Top Bar >PAGES<


WELSH, a Language …

Posted by:
Greg Lance – Watkins



The Main Web Site:




frequently we hear the mantra ‘the aim is to have 1 Million Welsh language speakers by 2050’ what never seems to be explained is WHY. Surely the purpose of language is communication and clarity of communication. Everyone in Wales can communicate as they speak the common language of Wales and the Welsh, namely English.

It is hard to see any logic in the huge costs incurred in forcing the tiny minority language on the indisputable majority of the Welsh peoples. The disruption in education in Wales is massive and at great cost, cost that the peoples of Wales can ill afford as so many of them live in strained economic circumstances with 1 in 4 homes struggling to survive below the poverty line!

The costs of this foolish and as yet unexplained aim to force Welsh on people and produce documentation and jobs into a faux bi-lingualism seems in any understanding of common sense to be a gross folly, in fact, an obscene irresponsibility!

I can empathise with feelings of loss when one moves beyond the borders of the place of ones nationality, as I too have forgotten the languages I have learned, mostly badly as with many supposed self proclaimed Welsh language speakers, though I have never lost my own language English, unlike my cousin who having moved to Germany with total immersion in the German language found he had lost his English & had to relearn the language of his childhood!

Having had the privillege of extensive travel I have learned many languages all of which I forgot as I learned the new language where I lived. The languages vary as a result of my homes from Urdu, Hindi, Gujeratti to Arabic, a little Cantonese & some Malay – I have also forgotten the languages German, Swiss German, Dutch & Italian some Portuguese and a bit of Spanish most I spoke poorly but sufficiently to cope with everyday life some to conversational level.

I learned French at school & was hopeless at it & never mastered it despite time in France, and 10 years in South Africa did absolutely nothing towards my learning Afrikaans just as 30 years in Wales & I never learned the language, in fact I very rarely heard it used, sometimes not for months on end.

French failed with me largely due to compulsion! Afrikaans was never an option for me as foolishly the Afrikaaners had weaponised their language & would not infrequently refuse to use English which clearly they were able to speak and it was the language of apartheid, which I abhorred – It is foolish for many (particularly some Welsh Racists) to insist on compulsion as it is the fastest way to kill a language as it breeds divisions, resentment & often hatred.

It is important when considering the compulsory imposition of Welsh as a language that it was imposed by the Regional Assembly which has absolutely no mandate morally for its actions, and has proved catastrophic for Wales and the Welsh since its unjust imposition in 1997 when fewer than 1 in 4 of the Welsh electorate voted for the creation of A Regional Assembly for Wales.

In 1997 the ‘Yes’ vote was indisputably rigged in many ways, and even then only obtained a 0.3% majority it was well within the margin of error.

Fewer than 1 in 5 of the peoples of Wales voted to increase its powers in the 2011 referendum. It has no real mandate from the Welsh people …

Forget, at one’s peril, that compulsory Afrikaans in schools was the foundation cause of the SOWETO riots that led to the fall of the South African Government!

Let us look at the history of this regional language, which is little used in a modern world in a truly bi-lingual manner even within the region! Can there be any moral justification for doing so much damage, creating such divisions even hatred and squandering so much public money on trying to force the Welsh to not only speak this old language but to actually use it, as few do so today:

Welsh: a brief history of a language

It’s believed that the Welsh language was born around 1,500 years ago.

Primitive Welsh was around as far back as 550AD. After that, what’s become known as “old Welsh” was used mainly between 700AD and 1100AD.

Then, a period known as “middle Welsh” was spoken until the 15th century, before what’s known as “modern Welsh” became the norm.

In fact, according to James Fife’s The Semantics of the Welsh Verb, written in 1990, the Welsh bible, which was translated in 1558, is seen as the “bulwark of the standard language during the intervening centuries and even today is held up as a model of proper Welsh”.

But what is now considered to be “proper Welsh”, and how much of a division is there?

Fife goes on to say that “it is fairly entrenched in Welsh spoken minds that the main division is between the gog (north Walian) and the hwntw (south Walian)”, before adding that “Welsh as a first language exists in a number of fairly inter-intelligible dialects… it is traditional to make a major dialect break between the Welsh of north Wales and that of the south at an axis running roughly from the mouth of the Dyfi River eastwards towards Shrewsbury”.

(Image: Mirrorpix)

But it doesn’t seem to be that simple. There are clearly divides in spoken Welsh within both north and south Wales – splitting up the different dialects into a more complicated and fractured picture.

Dr Iwan Wyn Rees from Cardiff University says that although different versions of the language have traditionally been represented by isoglosses – lines on a map marking an area with a distinct linguistic feature – his work has shown that Welsh dialects are very much on a continuum and that transition zones are found between the main varieties of Welsh.

“Welsh is not unique in this sense,” says Dr Rees.

“In England, geography has always played an important role in the difference between dialects, and it’s the same in other countries as well.

“But, in England, very often linguistic variation has a social dimension to it as well. In Welsh I think the geography is more obvious; when you hear a news presenter speak, for example, you can tell if they are from the north or the south of the country.”

It’s nothing new that people from different parts of the country speak in a different way. In fact, the differences in Welsh dialects and their areas of origin were broken down more than 100 years ago.

In 1913, J. Morris-Jones divided Wales into four distinct dialect areas.

They are categorised as follows:

Gwyndodeg – north-west Wales

Powyseg – northern mid Wales and north-east Wales

Dyfedeg – south-west Wales

Gwenhwyseg – south-east Wales

Further to this, part of Dyfedeg is also known as ‘Iaith Sir Benfro’ which has been categorised because, according to author Ceri Jones, “it contains a sufficient number of unique, distinctive features to justify inclusion here as a separate dialect in its own right”.

So what is the major differences between these five areas of Wales?

In the north of Wales, in the Gwyndodeg area, if you spotted a fox in your back garden, you’d probably call it a “llwynog”.

This would also be the case further south, in the Powyseg area.

However, in the other three regions that cover south, south-west and south-east Wales, a Welsh speaker would refer to the animal as “cadno”.

This table gives further examples (sourced from Dweud Eich Dweud by Ceri Jones).

North-west Wales North-east Wales and northern Mid Wales South-west Wales South-east Wales Sir Benfro
Out Allan Allan Mas Mas Mas
Grandmother Nain Nain Mamgu Mamgu Mamgu
Milk Llefrith Llaeth Llaeth (pronounced ‘lla’th’) Llaeth (pronounced ‘lla’th’) Llaeth (pronounced ‘lla’th’)
Hedge Gwrych Shetin Clawdd Perth Claw
Handkerchief Hances Hances Nicloth Neisied Nicloth
Boy/Lad Hogyn Côg Crwt Crwt Rhocyn
Lane Lôn Lôn Lôn Lôn Feidir
Fox Llwynog Llwynog Cadno Cadno Cadno
Now Rwan Rwan Nawr Nawr Nawr

It’s clear that, despite there being differences within different parts of Wales, the biggest change does come between north and south.

But it also shows it’s possible to have five different Welsh words for the same thing, and the use of each is fully dependant on where you live or where you learnt the language.

Take the pretty innocuous English word “hedge”. In Welsh, there are five different ways to describe the fairly mundane object, depending on where you are.

In north Wales, the word “gwrych” is used (which can be lengthened to “gwrychyn” in Anglesey). Further south, in the Powyseg region, the word “shetin” is used. To the west in the Dyfedeg area, the word for hedge is “clawdd”, and in Sir Benfro that is shortened to “claw”. In the south-east, in the Gwenhwyseg area, it’s “perth”.

Here’s another example: in north-west Wales, you’d use the word “hogyn” for boy (or lad). But in north-east Wales and a little further south that might change to “côg”. Across south Wales, that would be “bachgen” (or, less formally, “crwt”) but in Iaith Sir Benfro that would be “rhocyn”.

The Welsh Government wants to attract one million new Welsh speakers

Dr Rees believes dialect areas are actually becoming less rigid, due to modern patterns like relocating for work or family reasons.

“Recent socio-linguistic studies have shown that the concept of social networks can play an important role in the dialect that we use,” he said.

“In the past you had Welsh speakers that tended to stay in their area for most of their lives. However, what we see now is that we have more Welsh speakers who will leave their local area so their networks are more likely to include speakers from other parts of the country.

“The main dialect borders between north and south are still very strong but you can still find more local dialects too – a recent pilot study on Pembrokeshire Welsh found that pupils in schools are still embracing some of the most well-known dialect features of this area, but that other local characteristics are being replaced by features found over a wider region.”

‘Regional dialects have been neglected’

Would a language be stronger if it only had one strand? What if everyone spoke “the same Welsh”?

Nearly 900,000 people speaking in total unison could solidify their spoken words so that they become even more prevalent in modern life. If you hear something over and over again, you tend to learn it and use it. Is it possible that the variation in the Welsh language prohibits, or at least dissuades, some people from learning Welsh?

Dr Rees says the opposite is true, and that variation and a sense of tribal belonging can only harness the power of the Welsh language and breathe more fire into it.

After all, the Welsh Government has set a target of having one million Welsh speakers in 32 years time. The strength of dialects will play a key role in whether or not that milestone is reached, according to Dr Rees.

“I find that people who are genuinely proud of their dialect are more likely to speak Welsh and be passionate about it,” he said.

“The main problem in Wales, I think, is that a lot of speakers are not confident in their language.

“I think schools and the national curriculum could do more to raise awareness of the fascinating diversity that we have in Welsh – to make young people realise that their dialects are completely valid, and that the standard language is just one variety of Welsh which is useful for some contexts, but not essential for every conversation.

“I would also like to see more use of the different dialects in the teaching of grammar and literature. If people became more aware of dialect differences in Welsh, including the new varieties emerging in Welsh-medium schools, it could definitely increase their confidence. Of course, increasing speakers’ confidence in Welsh is essential if the Welsh Government wants to achieve their target of one million speakers by 2050.

“I think it’s fair to say that regional dialects have been neglected by the education system in Wales. If there was more emphasis on this then pupils would be more interested in their own dialects and how they differ from other varieties.

“Having different forms of Welsh is certainly a positive thing for the future of the Welsh language, and more needs be done to celebrate this diversity.”

In his 2001 book, Dweud Eich Dweud, Ceri Jones argues “it is important that dialect differences are not overstressed”.

He goes on to say: “All spoken varieties of Welsh are variations of the same basic core, and the difference between the spoken Welsh of north and south Wales is generally akin, for example, to the difference between the spoken English of England and the United States.

“Certain forms of pronunciation, words, phrases and sayings may differ but they are still part of the same language.”

I say “nawr”, you say “rwan”. I say “llaeth”, you say “llefrith”. Ond, yn y diwedd, ry’n ni gyd yn siarad Cymraeg.

With thanks to article CLICK HERE

For more detailed background to Welsh as a language,
its history & background today: CLICK HERE

For a greater understanding of the future of Welsh as a language one would be well advised to consider the outcome of compulsion in the field of minority languages and the squandering of over a £Billions a year in promoting, teaching and compelling the use of Irish in the Irish republic – even with the added incentive to avoid the use of English by direct rule by the largely undemocratic EU and its centralised dictator committee as explained in some detail here:

Considering the validity of Welsh as a language it would be unwise to do so without considering the ‘opinions’ emanating from Swansea University:

Here is the etymology from Dr. Gramadeg.  I’m shocked at how much was wrong with this.  Way too much red pen!  Welcome to Penguingate!  I’ve put my comments on the document, as you can see, so it’s easier to go through.  I’ve occasionally put a word in to clarify or to show up the obvious but by and large, we’re dealing with Norman and Mediaeval French which was a bit different to today’s French.  Norman-French was a lot more like vulgar Latin.  As I don’t have access to those exact words I haven’t written them in.  I might be able to get hold of something here, which would be fascinating.

To understand how and which words came into the Welsh language it helps to understand how the English language developed as it’s pretty much similar.  Some words would have come from the Romans like basic goods which were traded  – maybe gold made an appearance here – I’d need to look at some old texts to clarify that, or later on with the French.  It is also likely that that the same process of Latinisation of the Celtic Languages occurred in some areas as happened with Gaulish under the Romans.  After this the Anglo Saxons and Danes began to settle in Britain and this is the beginning of the English language.  More like Scandinavian or Dutch than today’s German.  Then we have the Viking influence.  Then finally there is French.  Then we have Latin for academic and ecclesiastical purposes and some Greek and other languages later on but this is a very small proportion.

As a general rule, the words for things come from Germanic sources (that includes the Vikings) and thinking and feeling words from the French.  So, household items, body parts, and husbandry came from the Germanic/Scandinavian.  Sea-faring terms would have come from the Vikings.  The French brought words for the military, culture and the arts, religion and education.  Latin would have been used in academia and religious writings but more everyday words like church (eglwys) would have come from the French.  This is also pretty much the same rule for the Welsh language.  It also makes sense that the same words would have come from the same sources at around the same time.

As I’ve said I have somewhat of a different list already but mine is larger and more comprehensive so it will take a bit more time to get it together.  People who wish to learn or brush up their Welsh invest a lot of their time and money and trust in the teaching they are getting.  From what I have seen, generally, I think they are being very badly let down.  If one Welsh institution is turning out something as poor as this then it wouldn’t surprise me if it’s not the only one.

I’ve also just managed to get my hands on “Owein” edited by R L Thompson.  This is a very good, scholarly work from 1971, commenting on an old text.  In his introduction, Thompson is open to French, Latin and Germanic influences, regarding both narrative and loan-words into Welsh.  What a difference!

Gair Cymraeg / Welsh Word Cyfieithiad / Translation Iaith Benthyg / Borrowed Language Tarddiad ac Ystyr / Etymology and Meaning Cymru / Cymry Wales / Welsh peopleBrythoneg / Brythoniccombrogi = com (rhagddodiad sy’n golygu cydwladwr) + brogi (gŵr o’r un wlad)
combrogi = com (prefix which means compatriot) + brogi (fellow countryman)

  1. combrogosWales / Welsh Wales / WelshGermaneg / Germanic

I’m unsure about this.  I’m thinking of Cambria.  Here is an alternative definition which makes sense.

Northumbria. Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Norðhymbre , which lay north of the river Humber (Latin Humbri fluminis , c.720), an ancient pre-English river name of unknown origin. Related: Northumbrian . The Northumbrians seem at times to have referred to the Mercians as Southumbrians .

Eingl-Sacsonaidd / Anglo- Saxon (Hen Saesneg / Old English)Walh (ll. Walha) = (rhywun o dramor / rhywun estron / siaradwr iaith Geltaidd)
(foreigner / stranger / Celtic speaker)

Waelisc = ([pobl] Brythoniaid / Britons)

Wēalas = (tir y Brythoniaid / the Britons’ land)

Lladin / Latin

Welsh Word /

Gair Cymraeg

Translation /
Origin /
Use in other languages / Defnydd mewn ieithoedd eraill
abad abbot (eg) enw gwrwiadd

masculine noun(the key should be in English eg n.m. consistent with translation.

abbatem / abbāt  Mod.Fr abbé Norman or Medieaval Fr. abat = Hen Gernyweg (Old Cornish)
abbas = Llydaweg Canol (Middle/Medieval Breton)
achos cause / reason (eg) occāsiō Fr
addoli to adore / worship / idolise (be) adōrāre Adulari
*ansicr / uncertain???!!!!
addurn ornament / decoration / adornment (eg) adorno Fr adorn = Catalaneg (Catalan)
adorno = Portiwgaleg (Portuguese)
aml numerous / many (ans) amplus Fr ample
angel angel (eg) angelus ángel = Catalaneg (Catalan)
angel = Slofeniad (Slovenian)
ángel = Sbaeneg (Spanish)
angel = Swedeg (Swedish)
angor anchor (eg/b) anchora Fr or Norwegian anker (viking inf) ingor = Hen Wyddelig (Old Irish)
anifail animal (eg) animalium Fr aneval = Llydaweg Canol a Diwedd (Middle and End of Century Breton)
arf arm / weapon (eg/b) arma Fr arvov = Cernyweg Canol (Middle Cornish)
arm = Hen Wyddelig (Old Irish)
asen donkey / female donkey (eb) asina Fr – biblical? asen = Hen Gernyweg (Old Cornish)
asen = Llydaweg Canol (Medieval Breton)
astud attentive / concentrated (ans) astutus > sy’n dod, o bosib, o’r ffurf Ffrangeg (which possibly comes from the French word) astut agree, so this should be in the French words section astut = Llydaweg Canol (Middle Breton)
aur golden (ans) aurum Fr or L
barf beard (eb) barba Fr barf = Hen Gernyweg (Old Cornish)
barv = Llydaweg Canol (Medieval Breton)
bas shallow / shaol (ans) basus Fr bas = Hen Ffrangeg (Old French)
bas = Saesneg Canol (Medieval English)
bendith blessing (eb) benedictio / benedictum
braich arm (eb/g) bracchium Fr brech = Hen Gernyweg (Old Cornish)
braç = Catalaneg (Catalan)
braccio = Eidaleg (Italian)
bresych cabbages (ll) brassica Fr braisech = Gwyddelig (Irish)
cadair chair (eb) cathedra Fr cadar = Llydaweg (Breton)
cathair = Gwyddelig Canol (Medieval Irish)
cathaoir = Gwyddelig
cadira = Catalaneg (Catalan)
cadeira = Portiwgaleg (Portuguese)
cadwyn chain (eb) catēna Dutch Keten
camp feat / achievement (eb) campus [maes brwydr / battlefield] Fr
canghellor chancellor (eg) cancellārius Fr canceller = Catalaneg (Catalan)
kancelár = Slofaciad (Slovakian)
capel chapel (eg) capella Fr?  But not Latin capella = Catalaneg (Catalan)
kapela = Croation
kapell = Swedeg (Swedish)
kapell = Norwyeg (Norwegian)
carchar prison (eg) carcerem Fr carhar = Cernyweg (Cornish)
castell castle (eg) castellum Fr kastell = Llydaweg (Breton)
cau hollow / empty / sunken (ans) cauus Cave  Fr?
caws cheese (eg) cāseus OE cese from Dutch cáis = Gwyddelig (Irish)
kaas = Iseldireg (Dutch)
cell cell (eb) cella Yes
cloch bell (eb) clocca Fr cloch = Cernyweg (Cornish)
cloche = Ffrangeg (French)
glocke = Almaeneg (German)
klocka = Swedeg (Swedish)
coch red (ans) coccum   cochineal?
corff body (g) corpus Fr corf = Cernyweg (Cornish)
corp = Gwyddelig (Irish)
creadur creature (eg) creātūra Fr
cwmwl cloud (eg) cumulus Fr
cyff trunk [of tree] (eg) cippus Fr coffre It, cavo queff = Llydaweg Canol (Middle Breton)
cyllell knife (eb) cultellus Fr – It coltelio
cyson consistent (ans) consonus Fr coson = Hen Lydaweg (Old Breton)
dewin wizard / sorcerer (eg) divinus Fr
diafol Devil (eg) diabolus Fr diabhal = Gwyddelig
duivel = Iseldireg (Dutch)
diavol = Rwmaneg (Romanian)
diablo = Sbaeneg (Spanish)
disgybl learner / pupil (eg) disciplus discebel = Hen Gernyweg (Old Cornish)
draig dragon (eb) dracō Yes drage = Norweaidd (Norwegian)
dysgu to learn (be) discō Maybe.  Latin was language of education
effaith effect / consequence (eg/b) effectus Fr
eglwys church (eb) ecclesia Fr eglos = Cernyweg (Cornish)
eclais = Hen Wyddelig (Old Irish)
église = Ffrangeg (French)
eisiau to want (be) exisgŭus (to demand) Fr exiger
estron foreign / alien / stranger (ans + eg) extrāneus Fr estren = Cernyweg (Cornish)
estrangeiro = Portiwgaleg (Portuguese)
etranger = Ffrangeg (French)
estranger = Catalaneg (Catalan)
ffa beans (ll) faba Maybe, could also be from old French? fav / fao = Llydaweg (Breton)
faf / fa = Cernyweg (Cornish)
ffenestr window (eb) fenestra Fr fenêtre = Ffrangeg (French)
venster = Iseldireg (Dutch)
ffrwyth fruit (eb/g) fructus Fr
gramadeg grammar (eg) grammătĭca Maybe.  Again connected with education
lleidr / lladrad thief (eg) / theft (eg) llatrō Fr lladre = Catalaneg (Catalan)
ladrón = Sbaeneg (Spanish)
llyfr book (eg) libr(um) Fr liuer = Hen Gernyweg (Old Cornish)
llythr letter (eg) littera Fr
Mai May (eg) Mensis / Maiius Mai = Ffrangeg (French), Estoneg (Estonian), Rwmaneg (Romanian)
Maj = Swedeg (Swedish)
meddyg doctor (eg) medicus Yes methek = Cerynyweg Canol (Middle Cornish)
mil thousand (rhif / number) mīlia Possibly maybe Fr mila = Basgeg (Basque)
mil = Catalaneg (Catalan), Sbaeneg (Spanish)
modd way / mode / means (eg) modus Fr
nerfus nervous (ans) nervōsus Fr
nifer number (eg/b) numerus annoverato It Old French? nyver = Cernyweg Canol (Middle Cornish)
orgraff orthography (eb/g) orthographia
pab pope (eg) pāba Fr
pabell tent (eb/g) papilō Yes, maybe Old French puball = Gwyddelig (Irish)
padell pan / dish / bowl / skillet (eb) patella Fr It padiglione padel = Hen Gernyweg (Old Cornish)
pechod sin (eg) peccātum Fr peche pechet = Llydaweg Canol (Middle Breton)
peccad = Hen Wyddelig (Old Irish)
pêr pears (ll) pira
perygl danger / peril (eg) perīculum Fr perigo = Portiwgaleg (Portuguese)
periklu = Maltese
pericolo = Eidaleg (Italian)
plant children (ll) planta Fr
plu feathers (ll) plūma Fr plume = Ffrangeg (French)
piuma = Eidaleg (Italian)
pluma = Sbaeneg (Spanish)
plygu to bend / bow (be) plicō Fr plier plygye = Cernyweg Canol (Middle Cornish)
pobl people (eb) populus Fr pobyl, pobel = Cernyweg Canol (Middle Cornish)
pobl = Llydaweg Canol (Middle Breton)
pont bridge (eb) pons Possible depends on how prolific the Romans were at bridge building.  Otherwise French pons = Hen Gernyweg (Old Cornish)
pont = Ffrangeg (French)
porffor purple (ans) purpura Possible.  The dye did come from the romans porpra = Catalaneg (Catalan)
post post (eg) postis Fr
* Gw. hefyd (see also) see also what?
post Saesneg Canol (Middle English) & Hen Ffrangeg (Old French)
prif principal / prime / main (ans) prīmus Fr
priod proper / right / approriate (ans) prīvātus Fr appro(priate)
pysgod fish (ll) piscātus This may be an indo european word that was already in Celtic lexicon pesce = Eidaleg (Italian)
pescado = Sbaeneg (Spanish)
sach sack / bag (eb/g) saccus OE, Norwegian.  Also in French but my guess it came from the Viking/Saxon sach = Llydaweg Canol (Middle Breton)
sac = Catalaneg (Catalan)
sac = Ffrangeg (French)
säck = Swedeg (Swedish)
sant saint (eg) santus sant = Catalaneg (Catalan)
santo = Eidaleg (Italian)
santo = Portiwgaleg (Portuguese)
sarff serpent (eb/g) sarpans *ffurf llafar (spoken term) Fr
sebon soap sāpōn Fr savon sabó = Catalaneg (Catalan)
savon = Ffrangeg (French)
jabón = Sbaeneg (Spanish)
segur idle / lazy (ans) sĕcūrus segnis  Fr
selsig sausage (ll) salsīcia Maybe silsicq = Llydaweg Canol (Middle Breton)
salsitxa = Catalaneg (Catalan)
senedd parliament *cymharer cymharu! (compare)
a Hen Ffrangeg (Old French) = sened Fr
sillaf syllable (eb) syllaba Fr
sych dry (ans) siccus Fr suho = Croatian
suchy = Pwyleg (Polish)
sucho = Slovak
seco = Sbaeneg (Spanish)
synnwyr sense / wisdom (eg/b) sentīre Fr
tafarn pub / tavern (eb/g) taberna Fr *mae nifer o’r ieithoedd Ewropeaidd yn defnyddio’r cystrawen hwn / A number of European Languages use this form:
taverna = Catalaneg (Catalan) a Croatian
taberna = Sbaeneg (Spanish)
tavernă = Rwmaneg (Romanian)
taverna = Eidaleg (Italian)
terfyn boundary (eg) terminus Fr
ton wave (eb) tonn Norwegian – donning tonn = Gwyddelig (Irish)
trist sad (ans) trīstis Fr tristis = Llydaweg (Breton)
tríst = Gwyddeleg (Irish)
triste = Ffrangeg (French)
ysbryd ghost / spirit (eg) spīritus Poss.  Ecclesiastical
ysgol school (eb) schola Poss Fr but skole Norweigian.  However education came with the French
ysgrifen a writing (eb) scrībendum could also be French
ystafell room (eb) stabellum also stue Norwegian
ystyr meaning (eg/b) historia Fr

Ffrangeg / French

Gair Cymraeg Cyfieithiad Tarddiad Defnydd mewn ieithoedd eraill / Use in other languages tŵr towertour túr = Gwyddelig

No French section to speak of.  Similarly no Old English or Norwegian influences.

There follows a list of compound words which I haven’t included as these are not concerned with word origins.

Saesneg / English

Gair Cymraeg / Welsh Word Cyfieithiad / Translation
abacws abacus Latin!
ambiwlans ambulance
bacwn bacoun Saesneg Canol / Medieval English
blanced blanket
bws bus
cacen cake
car car No!  This word is considered to have come into English from the Celtic!
catalog catalogue
cerdyn card (+yn)
coffi coffee
crac crack Fr
criced cricket
cwpan cuppe Hen Saesneg (Old English)
dawnsio to dance (verb) Fr
desg desk
drama drama
e-bost e-mail
ffôn phone (telephone)
garej garage
inc ink Fr
lico to like (verb)
losin sweets (lozenge)
modern modern
mwg mug Norwegian
natur nature Fr
neis nice
papur paper Fr
portread portrait
potel bottle Fr
pŵr power Fr pouvouir?
rygbi rugby
seiclo to cycle
sianel channel
siglo to shake (shiggen) Medieval English / Saesneg Canol
siocled chocolate
sioe show
siop shop
siwgr sugar
siŵr sure Fr sicre or Dutch seker
smwddio to iron (to smooth)
syrffio to surf
te tea
teledu television
tost toast

Dylanwad Cymraeg ar Saesneg / The influence of Welsh on English

Gair / Word Diffiniad / DefinitionTarddiad / Origin corgiCi bach sy’n frodorol o Gymru (Sir Benfro a Sir Aberteifi)

A small dog which originates from Wales (Pembrokeshire and Cardiganshire)cor (dwarf) + ci (dog) Possible.  This dog has been in Wales since 10th C and came over with Flemish weavers and Norse settlers so cor could come from kort or short.  Ci comes from the Latin


Gair Cymraeg = pengwin

pen + gwyn = white head * tarddiad ansicr (uncertain origin) Oh dear!  Have you ever seen a penguin with a white head?  There are several supposed origins to this word.  Pinguis (fat) in reference to the Great Auk which occured in Spain and Portugal.  It was also recorded in English (pronounced pin wing) and also the Welsh sailors referred to “penguins”.  The Great Auk is classified as Pinguinus impennisIt’s possible that the Latin word was assimilated into English and Welsh languages respectively.  If it was an original Welsh word I think it would have kept the proper spelling!

It’s possible that the present continous does come from the Celtic Dw i’n cerdded/I am walking.


Beak – Bacc


Possibly gown


This would also include place names but I haven’t gone into this here.

Then just to add to the confusion within the figures for those who claim to be able to speak Welsh there are as we have shown, some major variations by area – However we have not considered utterly different dialects that still classify as Welsh language – Consider:

Gwent Welsh – the once common dialect that has almost disappeared

“Everyone thinks that we aren’t a very Welsh area, but it couldn’t be further from the truth”

A Welsh flag before a Six Nations match at the Principality Stadium, Cardiff
A Welsh flag before a Six Nations match at the Principality Stadium, Cardiff (Image: Adam Davy/PA Wire)

A largely forgotten Welsh dialect is being brought back to life in Newport, where it was once widely spoken.

Gwenhwyseg, the dialect of Welsh native to South East Wales, is being brought back into people’s lives on social media thanks to a Twitter user dedicated to spreading awareness of it.

“Everyone thinks that we aren’t a very Welsh area, but it couldn’t be further from the truth,” says Y Wenhwyseg, an anonymous Twitter account based in Newport. “Most of the place names and how they’re said locally are all based in the Gwenhwyseg dialect.”

Gwenhwyseg, unique to South East Wales , is once thought to have been the most widely spoken form of Welsh in the country but has since all but disappeared from people’s memories.

Y Wenhwyseg wants to draw people’s attention to this largely forgotten aspect of Gwent’s Welsh-speaking history, promoting the language through posting a ‘ word of the day ’ and highlighting the differences between itself and standard Welsh.

Dr Dylan Foster Evans, Head of Cardiff University’s School of Welsh, explains the historical significance of Gwenhwyseg: “In the early twentieth century it was the commonest form of spoken Welsh . But as Welsh declined as a community language in the South East, Gwenhwyseg gradually disappeared from most of its former area.”

Beyond spreading awareness on social media, Y Wenhwyseg is also working on publishing learning materials for the dialect so it’s easier for people interested in learning it to find resources.

Gwent Welsh words

English Welsh Gwenhwyseg (Gwent Welsh)
to walk cerdded cered
to play chwarae wara
canal camlas cnel
to say dweud gweud
window ffenestr ffenast
shoes esgidiau sgitsha
to do gwneud nithir
aunt modryb bopa
to speak siarad wilia
chair cadair catar

“We’re writing a dictionary, and writing a study book to show how it works,” explains Y Wenhwyseg.

There are also plans to bring people together in person to learn more about the dialect and get the chance to use it with one another, encouraging people to engage with the local history of the area.

Explaining why its connection to the communities in Gwent, Dr Dylan Foster Evans adds: “It’s an important part of the heritage of South East Wales and it was, for a long time, the language of the coal-mining and iron-working areas. There’s a rich literature connected with Gwenhwyseg that is well worth celebrating.”

Y Wenhwyseg originally learnt about the language due to memories of older members of the family speaking it: “I had a grandmother that spoke Welsh around the house. Not a lot, but she would from time to time.”

After Y Wenwyseg began learning the more standardised form of Welsh taught in schools across Wales, they realised the Welsh they had grown up with was something slightly different: “I would sit in classes thinking ‘that’s not the right word’, but didn’t know why it didn’t sound right.”

Still in the early stages of writing their dictionary, Y Wenhwyseg explains that finding source material to work from can be difficult due to the fact that the dialect was primarily a spoken one, but that progress is being made.

“Luckily, things were written down as well as spoken,” explains Y Wenhwyseg. “Personally, I’d like to get word lists for things like ingredients translated and in use.”

With the Welsh Government currently trying to encourage one million Welsh speakers by 2050, the point has been argued that encouraging individuals to take pride in regional dialects, such as Gwenhwyseg, would help this target to become a reality.

Speaking to WalesOnline shortly after the announcement of the Welsh Government’s Cymraeg 2050 initiative in 2017, Dr Iwan Wyn Rees of Cardiff University said:

“I find that people who are genuinely proud of their dialect are more likely to speak Welsh and be passionate about it.

“I think schools and the national curriculum could do more to raise awareness of the fascinating diversity that we have in Welsh – to make young people realise that their dialects are completely valid, and that the standard language is just one variety of Welsh which is useful for some contexts, but not essential for every conversation.”

This article was written by Sian Burkitt a trainee journalist & first published at CLICK HERE

You may wish to study the facts regarding the Welsh language further: CLICK HERE

IF you are interested in the Regional Assembly’s presentation of data, minded of the stranglehold of the crachach on such data and the need to justify the disproportionate squandering of money, on the tiny minority language, taking note of the pejorative title clearly based on AEsopian use of English  CLICK HERE

Interestingly in Wales only 0.6% of callers to NHS Direct choose the Welsh_language & online to NHS Direct only 0.1% choose Welsh. Clearly, the language of Wales & the Welsh is English.

It would seem that in Wales only around 1% of the population use the Welsh_language when using bilingual ATMs Clearly, the primary language of Wales & the Welsh is English.

In Wales, only 3.4% of family forms & 2.9% of individually filled Government forms are completed in the Welsh_language! Clearly, the language of Wales & the Welsh is by choice English.

6.5% of children in Wales are claimed to speak the Welsh_Language, in reality, ALL children in Wales have been compulsorily taught the language so the education system clearly, at great cost, has totally failed 93.5% of pupils!

The stated aim of an extremist minority in Wales is to try to get 1 Million people to speak Welsh whatever the costs & the damage, I have asked repeatedly WHY – how will it benefit Wales & the Welsh – Even the risible Eistedfodd is failing with insufficient attendance & profit

On a somewhat different note, perhaps someone can help me!

I have for some years been trying to ascertain, and failing totally, to establish how many books are published in the Welsh language per annum, that are not published with a subsidy nor by the parochial academia, and their titles & authors also how many of each has sold to members of the public – shall we say initially for the last 10 years.

I am beginning to attribute my failure to ascertain, an answer, to this relatively simple question to the very real possibility that the number, akin to the audience of most S4C programs, is so tiny as to be embarrassing – could it be, like many S4C programs zero!

In the light of all the facts, sadly it doers look very much as if compulsion and the efforts to force this withering minority language on the majority will, if it has not already, prove to be the final nail in the Welsh language’s coffin.


in the interest of accuracy material in the main text in blue was written by someone other than myself.

When in black text the wording ‘Welsh Language’ means the ‘Language of the peoples of Wales’ and is therefore the majority language ie ‘English’

The ancient language of parts of Wales, varied as it is, as spoken by a tiny minority in Wales is called ‘Welsh’ or ‘the ancient Welsh language’

Posted by: Greg Lance-Watkins
tel: 44 (0)1594 – 528 337
Calls from ‘Number Withheld’ phones Are Blocked

All unanswered messages are recorded.
Leave your name & a UK land line number & I will return your call.

‘e’Mail Address: Greg_L-W@BTconnect.com

Skype: GregL-W


>Side Bars<
The Top Bar >PAGES<
I try to make every effort to NOT infringe copyrights in any commercial way & make all corrections of fact brought to my attention by an identifiable individual

Please Be Sure To
.Follow Greg_LW on Twitter.

Re-TWEET my Twitterings

& Publicise

My MainWebSite & Blogs

To Spread The Facts World Wide



The Main Web Site:


Create your website with WordPress.com
Get started
%d bloggers like this: