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Language and pronunciation in Wales and Scotland

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Language and pronunciation in Wales and Scotland

Old Jul 26th, 2011, 07:04 AM
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If you come to Aberdeen and you greet a shopkeeper, it's traditional to say "Aye, aye, fit like 'i' day". The response could well be "Tchavvin'"

Does that help?


(Warning-Do not try this at home)
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Old Jul 26th, 2011, 08:46 AM
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Yes of course, Cymru am byth is always welcome anywhere in Wales.

Also, maybe you should get yourselves a Welsh Rugby shirt, you will become instantly Welsh. (Set fire to an English Rugby shirt and you will get adopted)


Muck
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Old Jul 26th, 2011, 11:05 AM
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Don't listen to BigRuss. While it's probably true that Scottish Gaelic is dying, Welsh is not. Welsh is very much alive and well.

In all parts of Wales, there are Welsh speakers, and in the North, there are many communities where you can go days without hearing any English. It's true that everyone in Wales also knows English, but not everyone (especially in the North) is as comfortable in it as in Welsh, and many people don't like speaking it.

It's also true that almost everyone in Germany speaks English, too, but that doesn't mean that learning some German before you go would be a bad idea. Politeness is never out of place.

You wouldn't be seen as pretentious if you learned a little Welsh.

Pawb lwc i ti! Dw i'n gobeithio bydd dy daith di'n diddorol iawn. Diolch am dy eisiau dysgu tipyn bach o'r Gymraeg.

Best of luck to you! I hope that your trip will be very interesting. Thanks for your interesting in learning a little Welsh.
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Old Jul 26th, 2011, 05:37 PM
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sheila: I will pass until I study some more. ;-)

It is interesting that there are many more websites, apps, etc. dedicated to Welsh than to Scots Gaelic.

Diolch y'all!!
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Old Jul 27th, 2011, 01:54 AM
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ThePilgrim: Your cat's been walking over your keyboard again!



Dr D.
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Old Jul 27th, 2011, 03:45 AM
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Kirkcudbright gets me every time.

www.pronouncenames.com/pronounce/kirkcudbright
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Old Jul 27th, 2011, 06:14 AM
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"Kirkcudbright gets me every time."

as might Milngavie http://www.pronouncenames.com/search?name=Milngavie

But first we have to get the OP through London and places like Leicester Sq, Grosvenor Sq, the Thames, The Mall, Holborn, Southwark . . . .
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Old Jul 27th, 2011, 06:49 AM
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"It's also true that almost everyone in Germany speaks English, too,"

No it isn't.
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Old Jul 27th, 2011, 02:10 PM
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janisj: I will be easy in London. I have three places I want to see: Westminster Abbey, the British Museum and the Tower of London. I will not need to pronounce "lay-chester" and "gross-ven-or"...;-)
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Old Jul 27th, 2011, 04:21 PM
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"I will be easy in London. I have three places I want to see: Westminster Abbey, the British Museum and the Tower of London."

Ah -- but the Tower is dangerously near Southwark and Holborn is useful for the Museum
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Old Jul 27th, 2011, 05:50 PM
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Back to my research then...;-)
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Old Aug 2nd, 2011, 04:02 PM
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Almost the only Gaelic word that most Scots use regularly is "Slainte", literally "health", when raising a glass. Pronunciation is something like slanzhe with the "zh" coming out as a softer version of "sh" so the end of the word is similar to "lozenge".
In the Western Isles and a few of the inner isles shopkeepers etc will appreciate it if you try a few basic phrases such as "tapadh leibh" (TApa leiv", the "ei" sounding almost like it does in German) for "thank you", and "madainn mhath" (MAtain vaa) for Good Morning.

The only way to get the correct pronunciation of Scottish place names is to ask locally. This is because they could be derived from Gaelic, Norse, lowland Scots, English, occasionally French or Saxon, but most often no-one really knows.

The most important rule of Scots Gaelic pronunciation is that nearly everywhere that people still use it in everyday life they pronounce the word itself as Gah-lig rather than Gay-lic.

In Gaelic speaking areas people will appreciate any interest you show in the language and its culture.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2011, 05:40 PM
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Tapadh leibh. It is interesting that it is much easier to find information on Welsh than Scots Gaelic on the 'net. I will look for something that will help with the sound of Scots Gaelic.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2011, 10:43 PM
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Last night, BBC TV was showing an episode of Paul Murton's "Grand Tours of Scotland", following a 19th century guidebook, and it showed him practising Gaelic in Skye. Or rather, looking for someone who would understand if he asked for directions to the Post Office, and he only found two: one was an incomer shopkeeper who was in her first year at the Gaelic College, the other a local man who said he didn't really speak Gaelic "But better than you!"
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Old Aug 3rd, 2011, 01:51 AM
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I will not need to pronounce "lay-chester" and "gross-ven-or"...>>

it's probably me being thick, but "lay-chester?"

"Grosvenor" is "Gro'v'ner" BTW.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2011, 02:59 AM
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>>it's probably me being thick, but "lay-chester?"
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Old Aug 3rd, 2011, 03:15 AM
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oh, Leicester! as in "Lester" Square.

is the Jordan reference aimed at me, perchance? are we talking brains or her other attributes?

[oh, i AM slow - just got it!]
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Old Aug 3rd, 2011, 05:16 PM
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annhig: As I started this whole thing... I was teasing about the pronunciations of those words... I promise not to actually say anything out loud I do not know how to pronounce. ;-)

I have found some iPhone apps with Welsh lessons, but nothing in Scots Gaelic. I am working on that /u/ in "look" and "book" though.
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Old Aug 5th, 2011, 01:59 AM
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east - your tongue was clearly too far inside your cheek - which will make pronunciation even more difficult.

your trip will be interesting if you are going to avoid saying ANY place names.
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Old Aug 20th, 2011, 04:30 PM
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Eastenderusvi -- I was in your shoes about two years ago, preparing for a trip to Wales and wanting at least enough Welsh to pronounce place names correctly. I've since fallen in love with the language and have been back twice more so I could spend time exclusively speaking Welsh. Now I speak, I read, I write, I Skype...and all because I wanted to know how to say place names. So beware -- you never know where a casual interest may take you!

The resource I suggest is a free downloadable audio course (available in southern and northern flavors):
www.saysomethinginwelsh.com
The guys who created it won an award for it a couple of months ago from the Western Mail (daily newspaper in Wales). It won't teach you specifically how to pronounce placenames (though you'll get comfortable with the sound of 'll', which in truth is not that hard). But it will give you a sense for the sound of the language, and the ability quite quickly to assemble some useful non-tourist sentences of your own, should you want to give it a try. The free intro course is quite long (35 half-hour lessons). There's a web forum as well, plus an intermediate-level course (not free).

You may also enjoy listening to Radio Cymru online:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/radiocymru/
Hit the little green speaker to hear a live stream.

I agree with ThePilgrim that Welsh speakers generally react very positively when a visitor is interested in Welsh, and making some effort in it, even just to say thank you (= diolch).

Pilgrim -- Cymry Cymraeg wyt ti?
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