Request A Phrase [Archived Material] Grwp Y Gymraeg

Request a Phrase

What small bits and pieces of Welsh would help you in everyday communication? How about in emails or letters or chatting with friends, to add a taste of Welsh?

Here are some to begin with - add more or request translations at your leisure.

Note that many of the phrases will have different forms for the familiar and the formal "you". This corresponds to the difference in French between "tu" and "vous" or the German "du" and "Sie", etc.

Exactly like in these languages, the formal "you" ('you, sir/madam') has the same form as the plural "you" ('you all').

Dear X. Annwyl X.
Hello there! Helo 'na!

How are you? Sut wyt ti? (familiar) Sut ydych chi? (formal or plural)
How are you? Sut mae? (informal, though avoids the ti/chi distinction)
How's it going? Sut mae'r hwyl? or Sut mae pethau?

Excellent! Gwych!
Fantastic! Ffantastig!
That's great. Mae hynny'n ardderchog.

Congratulations... Llongyfarchiadau...
... on the birth of your child ... ar enedigaeth eich baban newydd.
... on your graduation raddio
... on passing your driving test. ... ar lwyddo yn eich prawf gyrru (form.) / ...dy brawf gyrru (fam.).
... on passing your exam(s). ... ar lwyddo yn eich arholiad(au).

Happy Birthday Pen-blwydd hapus.
Happy Wedding Anniversary Pen-blwydd Priodas Hapus
Happy Christmas. Nadolig Llawen

Oh dear. O diar.
Bloody hell! Blydi hel!

That's terrible. Mae hynny'n ofnadwy.
Nonsense! Lol! / Rwts! / Nonsens!

Thanks (very much) for... . Diolch (yn fawr) am...
...replying so quickly ... ymateb mor gyflym.
...the message. ... y neges.
... the email. ... yr ebost.
... that. ... hynny.
... the lovely present. ... yr anrheg hyfryd
... a great party. ... barti gwych.
...your kind words ... dy eiriau caredig (fam.); ...eich geiriau caredig (form./pl.)

Did you hear? Glywaist ti? (familiar) Glywsoch chi? (formal or plural)
Did you know? Wyddost ti? (fam.) Wyddoch chi? (form. or pl.)
I didn't know Wyddwn i ddim.
Thanks for letting me know. Diolch am roi gwybod imi.

Speak to you again. Siaradwn eto. / Cawn air eto. (two options, neither is fam. or form.)
Let's stay in touch. Cadwn mewn cysylltiad.
See you soon. Wela' i di cyn bo hir (fam.). Wela' i chi cyn bo hir (form./pl.).
Looking forward to hearing from you Yn edrych ymlaen at glywed gen ti (fam.) / gennych chi (form./pl.).
Remember me to X Cofia fi at X (fam.) / Cofiwch fi at X (form/pl.)

Bye for now. Hwyl am y tro.
All the best. Pob hwyl.
Best wishes. Cofion gorau.
Warm wishes. Cofion cynnes
Lots of love Llawer o gariad
Yours sincerely. Yn gywir

If you're wondering how these might sound, take a visit to our Pronunciation group - or if you're still stuck, ask a specific question. Somebody will certainly help you.


Replies to This Discussion

Reply by Ceri Shaw on May 6, 2009 at 10:57am

Gwych!! Diolch am dweudd wrthyf i. Pob hwyl:)

Reply by Suzie Morris on May 6, 2009 at 11:32am

My biggest problem is saying the words themselves, which is hard to do over the internet. Perhaps some phonetic pronounciation for all the phrases you posted????

Reply by Ymwelydd anfynych on May 6, 2009 at 1:05pm

I don't think phonetic transcriptions of Welsh phrases are the best way to go about pronunciation, since Welsh is pretty much a phonetic alphabet in itself, and 'approximations' using English spelling conventions are usually dreadful (have you seen the video of people trying to pronounce 'Llanfairpwllgwyngyll...' using the 'phonetic transcription'?). There are sounds in Welsh which don't exist in English, and in any case, English orthography is all over the place anyway (and American English has totally different vowel sounds)!

The best thing to do is to take half an hour or so to learn the sounds of the letters, and then you'll be closer to a correct pronunciation than any English approximation could get you (reading with a 'reader's' pronunciation is dead easy - Welsh is, in this feature, almost a classical language). Admittedly, the intonation, etc., is something which can't be taught so easily, and a natural, colloquial accent will obviously take a bit more time, too.

We could possibly open a 'pronunciation' discussion thread where we could go through the basics. There, if any phrase caused particular difficulty, it could be dissected.

IPA is occasionally useful, but it is of course most helpful to hear the sounds. Maybe sound files could be added.

Reply by susanne mcguire schultz on May 8, 2009 at 9:50pm

how about if we just write in welsh...? Do children in wales now have to learn the language along with english? is welsh some kind of mixture of some english & some old french?
sue schultz

Reply by Ymwelydd anfynych on May 8, 2009 at 9:55pm

Two questions: why the "have to"? (is it a problem?) and what's with the Old French? (the English I can just about understand).

Reply by Ymwelydd anfynych on May 6, 2009 at 5:19pm

I've started the promised thread here.

Reply by Brian y Tarw Llwyd on May 6, 2009 at 5:33pm

Can I get some help in this forum with a translation? Not sure this is the correct spot, but I'll throw it out anyway. The Louisiana cajuns have a phrase: Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez, which means "Let the good times roll." After "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure", people were saying "Party on, dudes!" which is roughly equivalent. Is there a phrase in Cymraig which expresses this sentiment? I am sure there must be more than one, since the Welsh have had centuries more experience in partying than we've had here in the States.  I'll settle for one good one, please and thank you.

Reply by Ymwelydd anfynych on May 9, 2009 at 12:31am

This is proving difficult!

Reply by Brian y Tarw Llwyd on May 9, 2009 at 6:06am

I am a patient man, and since you are attempting to do me a favor, I will be extra patient! hehe There must be some idioms or colloquial expressions that express the sentiment... these would not necessarily translate via a dictionary, I would guess. Happy hunting!

Reply by Ymwelydd anfynych on May 12, 2009 at 8:43pm

Everybody I have asked so far has been stumped. The best suggestions I've had have been:

Sesh amdani!

Mae hi'n amser Steddfod!

Mae'r cwrw'n hanner pris!

Bygro pob dim - enjoiwch ych hunan!

but there's something a little askew here!

Reply by Brian y Tarw Llwyd on May 12, 2009 at 9:05pm

Stumped? hmmm... that brings up an observation. Robert MacNeil, in his PBS series The Story of English, talked at one point about English, esp American English, being inventive. I wonder if those of you who can read and speak Welsh might have to invent something to fit the bill here. If you do, please pass it along, as I am likely to find numerous occasions to use it... and if I don't, I'll invent some. hehe
btw, would you be so kind as to translate those phrases for me? One or 2 of those just might do. Diolch!

Reply by Ymwelydd anfynych on May 12, 2009 at 9:20pm

you have a go first, with your dictionary, and I'll help you if you get into any trouble.

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