|The pronunciation of Welsh place names.|
|The visitor to Wales cannot fail to be puzzled by many of the place
names. Most areas of Wales have names derived from the ancient Welsh language
and pronunciation can be seem baffling. We present here a few hints which
might help if you ever find yourself asking for directions. The place
names below are linked to .wav files and with a bit of luck (and a relatively
modern browser) if you click on them, a little audio player window will
open and a quiet voice will pronounce the words. Thanks to Luke Sanderson
of Chepstow (and anonymous female collaborator) for the recordings.
The original files were supplied in CD quality sound but we have changed
the format to 8 bit mono in order to keep the file sizes low. You could
download the files to play them when off-line.
Visitors to Wales will see many place names which start with "Llan".
This prefix is nowadays taken as meaning "Church of" and Llanbedr thus
means "Church of St. Peter". The "Ll" sound is one of the most difficult
for non-Welsh speakers to master. T. J. Morgan and Prys Morgan in their
Welsh Surnames offer the following guidance:
"The tongue is held in the l position and breath is forced out between
the side of the tongue and the upper teeth ...".