Once Again Lost In Pronunciation – Welsh This Time

Consider the following:

ch a non-English sound as in Scottish ‘ch’ in ‘loch’

ll a breathy ‘thl’ sound that does not occur in English

u a short ‘ih’ sound, or a long ‘ee’ sound (Cymru-pronounced ‘kumree’)

😵 😵 😵

I am wading with delight into the pages of book 1 of another recently discovered medieval mystery series – the Gareth & Gwen Medieval Mysteries by Sarah Woodbury. And I am feeling a bit exasperated with the pronunciation.  It’s hard!  And if I do try to pronounce properly albeit in my head, I get painfully distracted.

Can anybody relate?

But never mind if I continue to pronounce Cymru as ‘sim-roo’.  Don’t laugh.  What matters is to find out who is behind King Anarawd’s death.  (W as a consonant, it’s an English ‘w’ as in Llywelyn; as a vowel, an ‘oo’ sound as in Bwlch – but how will I know when to use wot? Bugger that.  We’ll never find the culprit at this rate).

Oh and, you ask why the “Welsh This Time” in the title?

Because my very first venture into medieval mysteries was no less than with Sister Fidelma of Cashel, a dalaigh or advocate of the law courts of seventh-century Ireland.  And there, whilst doing some medieval CSI-ing, you also come across the likes of –

ai pronounced like ‘aw’ in law (dalaigh = daw-lee)

ia pronounced like ‘ea’ in near

ea pronounced like ‘ea’ in bear

and such other charming mind-bogglers as dh before a broad vowel is like the ‘g’ in gap, dh before a slender vowel is like the ‘y’ in year.

(But I do love my medieval mysteries ❤ )

~  Paardje 💋

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