Welsh is an ancient Celtic gaelic language, of the same family as Cornish and
Breton gaelic. Scots and irish gaelic are of a slightly different root. To illustrate
the differences, my mother who spoke Welsh before she learnt English, could
understand the Breton tongue, but was lost with the Irish gaelic!
Today around 20% of all people in Wales speak Welsh fluently, so the language
is very much a living language. The visitor to Wales is unlikely to have to
speak any Welsh, but an understanding of the language will make your trip more
The spoken language is lyrical and flowing, poetic in sound. But the written
language is difficult to come to grips with. Here are a few aids to understanding
the Welsh alphabet does not have the letters - j, k, q, v, x, z
it has one "f" pronounced as "v" in English and "ff"
pronounced as "f" in English
a "dd" pronounced as "th" in "then"
a "ll" , nice one this, put your tongue on the top of your mouth
remember that long Welsh place names are not really long, but are a number
of words joined together - a bit like in German