Day 1 - Letters and sounds
Hello and welcome! So glad to have you here. Let's begin by learning some letters and sounds. You will notice as you go through each day that there will be many varied recordings with dialects from all over Wales. This is exactly how you may hear Welsh spoken all over the country so you can get a good idea of its variety.
The Welsh alphabet is phonetic and some combinations of letters form sounds. You will notice, that some letters in this course have different colours. These colours are there to remind you of the sounds that are specific to the Welsh language.
Some Welsh alphabets include the letter 'j' and some do not. Well, truthfully, the letter 'j' is not a Welsh letter, but since it has its influences from the English language, you may see it crop up in places, like with the name 'Jac' for example.
The pronunciations below are recorded by Deian Owen from Llanberis in north Wales.
/ɨ̞, ɨː, ə/
Now lets put these letters into context and see how they sound within some Welsh words. It's a good idea to practice them out loud, some of them may be quite tricky! Don't worry about their meaning yet, let's play with sounds first.
The pronunciations below are recorded by Harry (who is 13) and Ben (who is 16) from Anglesey in north Wales.
Day 2 - Greetings
And today let's learn some words and phrases. One thing to note is that some words and phrases may appear slightly different depending on where you are in Wales.
For example we say 'sut mae' for hello in south Wales, but in north Wales its 'su'mae'. However, there are actually numerous ways you can say hello - 'helô' and 'haia' are also some alternatives.
Another thing we will learn throughout these lessons is formal and informal phrases. For example, a more informal, shorter version of 'sut mae' is 's'mae'. Often you may just hear 'Wyt ti’n iawn?' which is an informal way to ask your friends or family how they are doing ('iawn' translates to mean 'ok' or 'very').
The pronunciations below are recorded in the Ceredigion (mid-western) dialect by Iestyn Jones.
Sut wyt ti?
How are you?
'Hwyl' literally means 'fun', which is how we say goodbye in Welsh. You may want to add 'i ti' which means 'to you', and is often used between friends. A more formal version, when speaking to someone you may not know so well would be 'hwyl i chi'.
Hwyl i ti
Every greeting in Welsh begins with 'da' or 'dda' which actually means 'good'. Feminine nouns go hand in hand with 'dda' and masculine words - with 'da'. Some letters in words mutate too to 'soften' the sound. We will explore that more in the coming lessons.
Bore da i ti
Good morning to you
Prynhawn da i chi
Good afternoon to you
When introducing yourself, in Welsh we say the name first. The sentence structures are a little bit different in Welsh, but we will learn more about that later too. And just a small note, 'croeso' can mean both - 'welcome' and 'you're welcome'.
The pronunciations below are recorded by Delyth Evans-Hughes from Pentraeth in Anglesey, north Wales.
Beth ydy eich enw chi?
What is your name?
Draig dw i, a chi?
I'm Dragon, and you?
Jac dw i, dw i'n flewog
I am Jack, I am hairy
Dw i'n hapus
I am happy
Dw i'n drist
I am sad
And that's it for this lesson! We will look into sentence structures and word mutations a lot more in the coming lessons. And do not worry, we will address the difference between 'dw i' and 'dw i'n' too. It will make sense in the end!
Day 3 - Numbers and counting
It's lesson three already! Today, we will learn about numbers and how to count in Welsh. You will notice that there will be some mutations in how some numbers change their spelling, which will be important to keep in mind and remember. But first, let's count from 1 to 10!
The pronunciations below are recorded by Rhodri ab Owen in a Cardiffian / Carmarthenshire dialect.
When it comes to numbers greater than 10, in Welsh we add how many tens it is at the beginning. For exmple, if we want to say '11', we say 'one ten and one' and so forth for the rest. Notice the mutation of 'deg' (ten) when it becomes 'dau ddeg' (twenty).
Un deg un
Un deg dau
Dau ddeg un
Tri deg un
Pedwar deg un
Pum deg un
Chwe deg un
Saith deg un
Wyth deg un
Naw deg un
Cant ac un
Now let's try to count things. In Welsh, we do not use the plural form of the word after a number. The below would literally translate to 'three sheep'(singular version) and 'three bull'. You will notice that 'tarw' has now become 'tharw'. We call this an aspirate mutation and the 't' mutates into 'th' in this case.
Remember, we also have feminine and masculine nouns. There isn't really an easy way to determine which is which, so it's something that just needs to be learned. But let's look at how the number 'two' changes below (as well as the word 'tair above'). As 'sheep' is a feminine word, 'dau' mutates into 'dwy' and 'tri' becomes 'tair'. The masculine word 'tarw' just keeps the good old 'dau' and 'tri' versions.
Notice the mutation of 'ddafad', this will happen with a few words. For example, coffee in Welsh is 'coffi'. For 'three coffees' we say 'tri choffi' (aspirate mutation: 'c → ch'). 'Two coffees' becomes 'ddau goffi' (soft mutation: 'c → g'), same as with 'dau darw' (soft mutation: 't → d').
Ok, hope you got your head around these mutations! But don't worry, we will learn more about it in the lessons to come. Now let's do some easy sums. Can you work these out easily though?
Cant rhannu â phedwar
A hundred divided by four
Un lluosi â thri
One multiplied by three
Pump adio saith
five plus seven
And you have come to the end of the lesson. Has this one been a difficult or a fun one so far? As we keep going, it is a good idea to do some further learning with more words and phrases. For example, see if you can do some sums with different numbers to really learn and memorise them.
Day 4 - The edible lesson
Croeso, It's lesson four! Today we will explore food, what you may like to eat and what you may not like to eat. Let's begin with some basics and then we can move into building sentences and even ask some questions.
The pronunciations below are recorded by Beth Jones in a north Walian dialect.
Now let's introduce those words into sentences. We are using the expression 'dw i'n' as we are referring to a state of being or an action.
Dw i'n hoffi yfed dŵr
I like to drink water
Dw i'n hoffi mefus
I like strawberries
Dw i'n bwyta cinio
I am eating lunch
Let's look at how to say what you may like and may not like. Saying 'please' in Welsh may appear like a bit of a mouthful - 'os gwelwch yn dda', but let's practice! Its literal translation is - 'if seen as good', and you will find quite a few interesting expressions like that in Welsh.
You may see 'dw i' written as 'dwi'. The latter, 'dw i' is a more formal way of writing, however the former is more casual.
Y cawl, os gwelwch yn dda
The soup, please
Ydych chi'n hoffi bwyta caws?
Do you like to eat cheese?
Dim diolch, dwi'n fegan
No thanks, I am a vegan.
The expression for 'no, I do not' in Welsh is 'nac ydw'. 'Ydw' means 'yes' but it also stands for 'I am' or 'I do'. In English we say 'no' or 'yes', however in Welsh we say 'I do' or 'I do not' in this case. However, there are many ways of saying 'no' in Welsh, and that depends on what you are saying no to.
The pronunciations below are recorded by Elin Tudur, originally from Cardigan in west Wales.
Nac ydw, dw i ddim eisiau reis
No, I don't want rice
Dw i ddim yn mwynhau ffrwythau
I don't enjoy fruit
Ydw, dw i eisiau pasta, diolch
Yes, I want pasta, thank you
To say 'or' in Welsh it's 'neu'. And to say 'and' it's simply just 'a'. 'Ydych chi' stands for 'are you' or 'do you', depending on context. It is also the more polite and formal expression, as we already learned in the previous lesson.
You will often find in Welsh that some words may have a different spelling. This may depend on where you are in Wales. For example, to say 'lemon' in Welsh we can either say 'lemwn' or 'lemon'.
Te a choffi
Tea and coffee
Dych chi eisiau lemwn neu oren?
Do you want a lemon or an orange?
Below we are also looking into the plurals. The singular word for 'fruit' in Welsh is 'ffrwyth', but the plural becomes 'ffrwythau'.
Sudd ffrwythau, hefyd
Fruit juice, as well
You will notice a little caret accent on the letters 'ŵ' and 'ŷ', like in the word below. In Welsh, we call this 'to bach' and it means that we should pronounce that sound a little longer.
And that's all for this lesson! What are your favourite foods to eat? See you if can find how to say them in Welsh and combine them into the sentences you have already learned.
Day 5 - Out and about
Wyt ti’n iawn? It's lesson 5 already! Today we will look at how to say where you are going, as well as the all important phrases you may need while out and about. We will be picking up the pace now and learning full sentences.
The pronunciations below are recorded by Rhys ap Trefor in a north Walian dialect.
Dw i yma
I am here
Dw i'n dod o..
I come from..
You may notice that for the above, one of the expressions starts with 'Dw i' and the other with 'Dw i'n'. We use 'i'n' when we are in the process of doing something (before an adjective). But we use 'i' for anything that's to do with a noun or when we are describing ourselves. Can you remember where you saw these different expression in the previous lessons?
In Welsh, we have several ways of saying 'I am going to..' when referring to a place. Whenever we are talking about going to a place, or a town, we use 'i'.
Dw i'n mynd i fwthyn
I am going to a cottage
But if we are going to visit a person for example, we use the word 'at', just like the example below. In the south of Wales, we would call our Gran 'Mam-gu', but in the north of Wales it's 'Nain'.
Dw i'n mynd at Nain
I am going to my Gran's
In the example below, you will see see that for 'to meet my friends' we use the expression 'mynd i'. That is because the sentence structure is a little different and we are adding in an action word after 'mynd'. Another thing to note here is that in the south of Wales, we would say 'meet with' - 'gwrdd â', so it's - 'Dw i'n mynd i gwrdd â ffrindiau'. However, in north Wales, most would say 'gweld' (see) (which takes on a soft mutation (g → -) and becomes 'weld'), instead of cwrdd ('meet').
Dw i'n mynd i weld ffrindia
I am going to see friends
Another thing to note is that some town and cities may have Welsh names. We will have a look at a few right now, but is there a town you would really want to visit in Wales? Can you find out what it is called?
Notice the nasal mutation (c → ngh). So 'Caerdydd' becomes 'Nghaerdydd'. 'Yn' mutates to 'yng' when the word before it has this nasal mutation.
Now, let's mend together all the different parts we have learned to form longer sentences. As these recordings are based on the north Walian dialect, for the question of 'are you...' we begin with 'da chi'n'. However, the southern version would be 'Ydych chi'n..'.
Da chi'n mynd i Gaerdydd yfory?
Are you going to Cardiff tonight?
Another thing to note is that we also have different ways of saying 'in'. We use the word 'mewn' when describing something non specific, like 'in a'. But we say 'yn y' when describing something more specific, like 'in the..'
Lle dach chi'n byw?
Where do you live?
Dw i'n byw yn y pentra
I live in the village
Dw i'n mynd mewn trên
I'm going by train
Notice how below 'Cymru' mutated to 'Nghymru' (nasal mutation: c → ngh). When used in cojuction with 'yn', some letters change and transform into an altered form. 'Yn' changes to 'yng' when the word that comes after it starts with 'ngh'. Words undergo these sort of mutations in sentences when we are describing something.
The pronunciations below are recorded by Gemma Morgan in a south Walian dialect.
Yma, yng Nghymru
Here, in Wales
You will also notice below that we say 'mae'r' in one of the sentences and 'mae'n' in another. 'Mae'n' here simply means 'it is'. However, the ''r' in 'mae'r' stands for 'the'. You may remember that we use yn / 'r to say 'the'. Which one we choose depends on vowels or consonants in the words surrounding it. So, in this instance we must use ''r', because the word before it ends with a vowel. If, the word before 'the' ends with a consonant and the one after it begins with a consonant we use 'y' (for exmaple: Dwi’n gweld y car - I see the car). However, if the word before 'the' ends with a consonant but the one after it begins with a vowel, we use 'yr' (for example: Dwi'n gweld yr adeilad - I see the building.)
Mae'r castell yn agos
The castle is near
It is huge
Dw i'n gweld y car
I see the car
Dw i'n gweld yr adelaid
I see the building
In Welsh, there are seven vowels (remember 'w' is a vowel because of how it is pronounced): a, e, i, o, u, w, and y.
Now let's look at some differences in expression you may see in north Wales and south Wales. For example, the word for 'where'. You may have noticed previously, Rhys, who is from north Wales said 'lle', but in South Wales, we say 'ble', so it's a matter of a slightly varied sound.
Y siop newydd
The new shop
Ble mae'r siop fara?
Where is the bakery?
Pryd mae'n cau?
When does it close?
There are some words in Welsh that may have several meanings. Let's look at the word 'aros'. It can mean 'to wait', however, it also stands for 'stay', depending on the context.
Nac ydw, dw i'n mynd i aros yma
No, I am going to stay here
Dw i'n aros am y bws
I am waiting for the bus
And that's it! Hopefully you've learned some useful words and phrases that you can build more upon. Do you have a preference for learning more north Wales or south Wales expressions? Does one seem harder than the other?
Day 6 - Telling the time
Diwrnod 6 (day 6)! Wow, you are more than half way through! For this lesson, we will dedicate our full attention to learning about the time and see structure sentences, hefyd (do you remember what this word means?).
The morning (am)
The afternoon (pm)
The evening (pm)
The night (pm)
In Welsh, time is of a feminine origin, so when we use the expression 'mae hi'n', 'hi'n' means 'she' and 'mae hi'n' stands for 'it is' in this instance.
Faint o'r gloch ydy hi?
What time is it?
Mae hi'n hanner nos
Mae hi'n amser gwely
In Welsh, we say 'wedi' when the clock is 'past the hour' (for example quarter past twelve) and 'i' when the clock is 'to the hour' (for example five to one). Do you remember all the numbers from the previous lesson?
Chwarter wedi wyth
Quarter past eight
Am ddeg munud i bump
At ten minutes to five
Hanner awr wedi naw
Half past nine
Now let's group some words together to form sentences. Can you make up some of your own sentences too?
Am faint o'r gloch dych chi'n codi?
At what time do you get up?
Am faint o'r gloch dych chi eisiau brecwast?
At what time do you want breakfast?
Am hanner dydd
When it comes to telling time, there are some mutations in how we say the numbers in Welsh. For example, the sentences below are something to keep in mind when telling the time. This mutation happens due to the feminite form of the nouns. Can you spot which words mutate?
Ugain munud wedi pump
Twenty minutes past five
Tri munud ar hugain wedi pedwar
Twenty three minutes past four
Okay, we are done for now! Hope you have learned some valuable things in this lesson. We have stumbled upon some mutations of words and also learned some useful phrases.
Day 7 - Nature and animals
This lesson will be all about the animals and nature. Let's begin with some basics and then we will dive into some more interesting facts about the Welsh grammar.
The pronunciations below are recorded in the south Walian dialect by Daniel Mathias.
Dw i'n gweld anifail yn yr afon
I see an animal in the river
Dw i'n gweld bryn mawr
I see a big hill
Let's learn a little more about sentence structures in Welsh. In the sentence below, you will notice that 'a new rabbit' becomes 'a rabbit new'. We structure sentences a little different in Welsh than what you may be used to.
A new rabbit
Notice how the sentence below literally translates to 'has the farmer ten duck'. We say 'ten duck' even though there are many ducks. Important to remember that we always use singular nouns after numbers in Welsh.
In Welsh, the verb, a word that describes action always comes before an adjective. So if we were to literally translate the sentences below it would be something like: 'is having the farmer ten ducks' and 'is hearing Jack the bird'.
Mae gan y ffermwr ddeg hwyaden
The farmer has ten ducks
Mae Jac yn clywed yr aderyn
Jack hears the bird
Now for a fun part - can you read these words out loud and guess what they mean? Another sound to add to your sound library is 'si'. In Welsh we pronounce that comnbination of letters as 'sh' if it's at the beggining of the word.
And for the last part, let's look at some activities you may want to do when out and about. Notice also how we will be learning plurals too. The word for one singular whale in Welsh is 'morfil', but several whales, a plural form becomes 'morfilod'.
Dw i eisiau nofio yn y cefnfor
I want to swin in the ocean
Dw i'n caru'r coed
I love the woods
Dw i'n mwynhau gwylio'r morfilod
I enjoy watching the whales
Dw i ddim yn hoffi hwyaid
I do not like ducks
Mae gen i dair hwyaden
I have three ducks
Another lesson done! We are very swiftly coming to an end of our lessons. Make sure you spot all of the new words and phrases introduced in this lesson. Can you try and replace these phrases with different activities and animals?
Day 8 - Days and seasons
In this lesson we will cover a lot of new things, so buckle up! Let's begin with days of the week. In Welsh, all of the days of the week begin with 'dydd' which means 'day'.
If you want to say 'Sunday night' for example, just replace 'dydd' with 'nos' which means 'night'. So Sunday night would be 'nos Sul' and so on.
The pronunciations below are recorded by Daf Tudur, originally from Bangor in north Wales.
In Welsh, all of the months and days are of a feminine form and we add 'mis' at the beginning of each month. "Mis" just means 'month', so instead of just saying 'June' for example, we say 'month June'.
The pronunciations below are recorded by Gwenllian Jones from Dyffryn Nantlle in north Wales.
Mae mis Mai yn y gwanwyn
May is in the spring
'Bydd' is the future form of 'bod' (which means 'to be'). And 'sut bydd' simply means 'what will/how will it be'.
Sut fydd y tywdd ym mis Mai?
What will the weather be in May?
Mi fydd hi'n boeth
It will be hot
What comes after spring? It's summer! Let's say, it is summer right now when you are taking lessons, so let's look at making some weather comments in the present tense.
Mae mis Mehefin yn yr haf
June is in the summer
You will notice here we are using 'wyt ti'n' to ask 'are you..?'. This is when we are referring to someone in a non-formal way, maybe talking to your friend. "Dych chi'n" is a more formal plural version of this phrase. Do you remember this from previous lessons?
'Mae'n' is the feiminine form of 'it is', since, don't forget, we refer to the weather in the feminine form in Welsh.
Wyt ti'n mwynhau'r tywydd
Are you enjoying the weather?
Mae'n boeth heddiw yn dydy?
It's hot today, isn't it?
And on to autumn. Now here, you will notice that 'mis Hydref' (october) and 'hydref' are almost the same! It is important to address each correctly in order to be correctly understood. We need to make sure that all months of the year are written with a capital letter. Also, notice how we say 'yn yr hydref' to mean 'in the autumn'. If we wanted to say 'in october' we would say 'ym mis Hydref'.
Mae mis Medi yn yr hydref
September is in the autumn
When is your birthday? Can you reconstruct that sentence below to include your own birthday? 'Penblwydd', made up of two words: 'pen' and 'blwydd' means 'birthday', but its literal translation would be 'year end'. Notice how it also undergoes a slight mutation when accompanied by 'dy' (your).
Mae hi'n bwrw glaw heddiw a bydd hi'n wlyb yfory
It is raining today and it will be wet tomorrow
Pryd mae dy benblwydd?
When is your birthday?.
Y cyntaf o fis Medi
The first of September
And last, but not least it's the winter months. Let's see how we can put together some festive sentences.
Mae mis Rhagfyr yn y gaeaf
December is in the winter
Does it snow in winter where you live? And do you celebrate any other festivals over the winter months? You can incorporate it in the sentences below.
Bydd hi'n bwrw eira yfory
It will snow tomorrow
Nadolig Llawen a Blwyddyn Newydd dda!
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Byddwn ni’n bwyta cinio rhost
We will eat a roast dinner
Phew, that was a lot to learn! Hope you have enjoyed this lesson and will find these phrases will come in handy throughout the year.
Day 9 - Colours
Croeso i ddiwrnod naw! (Welcome to day nine!) In this lesson we will learn about colours. Do you have a favourite colour? If it's not any of the ones below, can you find out what your favourite colour is called in Welsh?
As we have discovered before, there are some words that differ depending on where you are in Wales. You may hear the word 'purple' spoken differently - either 'porffor' or 'piws', as below. 'Porffor' is a word you may see more commonly in learning material and is spoken more in the south, however, 'piws' is used more in west, mid and north Wales.
The pronunciations below are recorded by Angharad Davies from Llandovery in Carmarthenshire (Llanymddyfri, Sir Gaerfyrddin in Welsh).
Beth yw eich hoff liw?
What's your favourite colour?
Let's learn about some mutations that colours undergo in Welsh. The colour 'glas' (blue) softens and loses the 'g' becoming 'las' when used with a feminine word, such as 'sgert', as you can observe below. Notice how 'ci' (dog) is of a masculine origin, so we say 'du' (black). Can you guess a feminine version of 'du'? It would we 'ddu'.
Sawl anifail anwes sy gyda ti?
How many pets do you have?
Mae gen i cath las a ci du
I have a blue cat and a black dog
Mae gen i gwningen lwyd, mae hi'n flewog
I have a grey rabbit, she is hairy
Also, 'coch' mutates to 'goch' in the feminine form. Notice the sentence structure below. 'You have' comes at the end in Welsh, so we would translate the sentence below as 'coat red you have'.
Another useful thing to know is that in south Wales we use the word 'nawr' to mean 'now' but in north Wales it's 'rŵan'.
Mae cot goch gyda chi
You have a red coat
Ydy hi wedi gwisgo'r esgidiau gwyn?
Has she worn the white shoes?
Ga i ddau goffi du nawr?
May I have two black coffees now?
And here we are at the end of our ninth lesson! Can you spend some more time making different sentences with these new words that you have learned?
10th DAY - Let's write a story!
For our last lesson, we are going to do something super fun! We are going to write a full story with all the words and grammar you have learned over the nine lessons. This is an ultimate test, as you notice the letters are no longer colour coded. Were you able to memorise them by now?
Notice in the sentence below, we can say 'mi' to go with 'i', but it is an optional addition that we use when making a positive statement that is not a question. This is especially common in the north-west Wales.
The pronunciations below are recorded by Delyth Evans-Hughes from Pentraeth in Anglesey, north Wales.
Mi glywais i'r stori
I heard the story
Yn gyffrous iawn!
Bore da a i Gymru! dw i a dw i'n . Dw i'n byw yn , ond dw i yn heddiw. Dw i'n gweld yn yr afon. Mae'n heddiw, ond bydd hi'n bwrw eira yfory! Mae'n ddydd .
Dw i'n mynd i gwrdd â'r ddraig am . Mi glywais i fod, mae'n flewog ac yn gwisgo coch! Mae'n byw ar bryn mawr mewn glas yma. Byddwn yn bwyta dau ac orennau i frecwast. Am hanner dydd byddwn yn mynd i nofio gyda . Diolch yn fawr am hyn a hwyl!
And that is it folks! Have you enjoyed learning Welsh? If so, let's write some more stories together. 💛