Session 1

Language notes

The verbs occurring most frequently in Welsh sentences are made up from a verb noun (e.g. cerdded - walking) combined with an appropriate form of     'bod' - 'to be'.  

The simple present tense for neutral unstressed sentences such as 'I am walking to the town' is:
                    singular                             plural
1st person   Rydw i'n cerdded            Rydyn ni'n cerdded 
             or    Dw i'n cerdded 
2nd person  Rwyt ti'n cerdded            Rydych chi'n cerdded
3rd person   Mae e/o/hi'n cerdded      Maen nhw'n cerdded 
The 3rd person singular may use 'e' (South Wales) or 'o' (North Wales) for 'he' or 'it' (masculine), and 'hi' for 'she' or 'it' (feminine).

For stressed sentences, different forms are used, for example: 'Are you staying or going?'  'I am staying.'  The word order is changed to place the stressed word at the beginning of the sentence:
                         singular                       plural
1st person        Aros ydw i                Aros ydyn ni
2nd person       Aros wyt ti                Aros ydych chi
3rd person        Aros ydy e/o/hi        Aros ydyn nhw

Another example would be:  'Dafydd is the winner' (not someone else)
                        Dafydd ydy'r enillydd

By putting the stressed word at the start of the sentence, the word order has changed from the normal verb-subject-object pattern to become subject-verb-object.  
Notice that the 3rd person singular form of 'bod' has changed from mae to ydy.

Questions use similar patterns, combining a verb noun (e.g. gweithio - work) with a form of 'bod', and use 'ydy' in the 3rd person singular:
              singular                               plural
1st   Ydw i'n gweithio?               Ydyn ni'n gweithio?             
2nd  Wyt ti'n gweithio?               Ydych chi'n gweithio?
3rd   Ydy e/o/hi'n gweithio?        Ydyn nhw'n gweithio?
Negative forms insert the word 'dim' - none.  For example, 'I am not buying a car', etc. would use the forms:
                     singular                               plural
1st    Dydw i ddim yn prynu             Dydyn ni ddim yn prynu 
2nd   Dwyt ti ddim yn prynu             Dydych chi ddim yn prynu 
3rd    Dydy e/o/hi ddim yn prynu     Dydyn nhw ddim yn prynu 
An alternative structure for producing a negative sentence is to use the word 'nad' or 'nid' before the verb:  
                singular                                     plural
1st    Nid ydw i'n prynu                      Nid ydyn ni'n prynu 
2nd   Nid wyt ti'n prynu                      Nid  ydych chi'n prynu 
3rd    Nid ydy e/o/hi 'n prynu             Nid ydyn nhw'n prynu


Treigladau in Welsh can change the initial letters of many words, including nouns, adjectives and verbs, under a variety of circumstances according to grammatical rules.

The most frequently used treiglad is the treiglad meddal, or 'soft mutation'.  This affects certain consonants and produces specific changes at the start of words.  In the list which follows, all the nouns shown are feminine. 

The examples of the nouns following 'y' (the article 'the') demonstrate the rule:  
    A soft mutation usually occurs after the article 'y' in the
    case of singular feminine nouns. Exceptions are 'rh' and 'll', 
    where the normal mutation is not applied after 'y'.

        p  becomes               priodas      -     y briodas         the wedding
        t becomes                 telyn          -     y delyn             the harp
        c becomes                canolfan    -     y ganolfan        the centre
        b becomes                byddin       -     y fyddin            the army
        m becomes               modrwy     -     y fodrwy           the ring 
        d becomes dd              derbynfa   -     y dderbynfa      the reception 
        ll becomes                 llinell         -     y llinell              the line        
        rh become r                  rhestr       -      y rhestr             the list
        g is lost                         gwawr      -      y wawr              the dawn

Note that there is no soft mutation with masculine singular or any plural nouns:
          bwrdd (m)    -   y bwrdd  the table         ci (m)  -    y ci    the dog
          priodas (f)  -    y priodasau   the weddings
          byddin (f)    -   y byddinoedd  the armies

A common situation requiring a soft mutation is when adjectives follow feminine singular nouns.  For example:
      mawr  large                        pont fawr    large bridge (f)
      cyffyrddus  comfortable    cadair gyffyrddus   comfortable chair (f)
      llwyd   grey                        gwylan lwyd   grey seagull (f)

The rule applies to multiple adjectives, for example:
      cadair fawr las gyfforddus wag    large blue comfortable empty chair

A soft mutation is not applied after a masculine singular, nor any plural noun.


The word 'to' in English can be translated in different ways in Welsh, depending on the circumstanes:

The action of going to a place or organisation uses 'i':
          Rydw i'n mynd i'r dref heddiw.
          I am going to the town today.
          Rwy'n ysgrifennu llythyr i'r ysgol.
          I am writing a letter to the school.

The action of going to a person uses 'at':
          Mae'n mynd at y deintydd.
          He is going to the dentist.
          Mae'n anfon yr arian at yr adeiladwr.
          He is sending the money to the builder.

The Welsh word 'at' appears in many idioms, for example:
 at ddant  - to one's taste
         Bydd y cynllun at ddant pobl leol.
         The plan will be to the taste of local people. 

at ei gilydd - on the whole, generally
         Roedd y côr, at ei gilydd, yn hapus gyda'r perfformiad.
         The choir were generally happy with the performance.

at wasanaeth - for the use of
         Mae'r llungopďwr at wasanaeth staff swyddfa yn unig.
         The photocopier is for the use of office staff only.

tuag at - towards
         Mae'r dorf yn symud tuag at yr orsaf reilffordd.
         The crowd is moving towards the railway station.

Translate the sentence:

Wales is a small country but there are many interesting places to see.

Suggested translation: (a number of alternatives acceptable)


The set of icons below was randomly selected, and has been used to write a story.

You are invited to translate the story into Welsh.


confused   dryslyd  adjective;  engineer  peiriannydd  noun (m/f);
pylon   peilon  noun (m);  design  dyluniad   noun (m);
structure  strwythur  noun (m);    gorge  ceunant  noun (m) ;  
footbridge  pont droed  noun;

Dewi wants to go out to the countryside for some physical exercise.
He feels confused because of a problem at work.
He is an engineer and he must design a footbridge to cross a deep gorge.
It has been a difficult problem.
He packs his walking boots and some food for lunch, then he sets off on his bike.
He leaves his bike at the top of a valley where the track becomes too steep, then he continues on foot.
When he comes over the top of the hill, he sees a huge electricity pylon in front of him.
He suddenly realises that the shape of part of the pylon is ideal for his bridge design.
He takes photographs of the structure, then he returns to his bicycle feeling very content.

Translate the sentence:

Dewi wants to go out to the countryside for some physical exercise.

Suggested translation: (a number of alternatives acceptable)

Create your own story in Welsh

Click the button to randomly select a set of story icons:

Use of Welsh

Jones Hardware

Jones Hardware is a small store in a town in south Wales. The business has a web site advertising its products and services. The web site includes a 'Find us' section with a map and directions for customers arriving from different directions. You are asked to provide a Welsh translation of the route directions.


motorway traffordd noun (f);  roundabout cylchfan noun (f);
junction   cyffordd  noun (f);   industrial estate ystâd ddiwydiannol  noun; 
Merthyr Tydfil  Merthyr Tudful;

Translate the sentence:

Travelling from Cardiff.

Suggested translation: (a number of alternatives acceptable)


Write four or five sentences in Welsh to describe the picture:

Understanding Welsh

Read the article, then write sentences in Welsh to answer the following questions:

In what county are the gift tokens available?

At what time of year do the businesses want gift tokens to be used in local shops?

What fast food can be bought with a gift token?

What lessons can you pay for with a gift token?

What outdoor activities can you pay for with a gift token?

Galw ar bobol Meirionydd i gefnogi siopau lleol dros y Nadolig

Mae grŵp o 18 o fusnesau ym Meirionnydd wedi dod ynghyd er mwyn annog pobol i siopa’n lleol dros y Nadolig. Maen nhw wedi lansio cynllun tocyn anrheg gall pobol ei wario mewn amrywiaeth o siopau ym Meirionnydd. Rydyn ni`n gwybod pa mor bwysig ydi cefnogi busnesau bach annibynnol sy’n asgwrn cefn i’n cymunedau.

Mae’r tocyn anrheg wir yn cynnig rhywbeth arbennig ac yn dangos yr amrywiaeth o ran talent a busnes sy’n bodoli o fewn ein cylch. Y peth gwych ydi gall y tocyn anrheg fynd tuag at neges wythnosol, neu fyrgyr, neu sesiwn dysgu Cymraeg, llesiant, neu i fynd am dro efo tywyswyr profiadol ar y fferm, trwy’r goedwig, neu i fyny’r mynydd. Mae’n ddelfrydol fel anrheg Nadolig.

Mae`n rhaid i ni weithio efo’n gilydd fel hyn yn ein trefi a phentrefi…. dyna ydi’r ffordd ymlaen.

Enter each section of your story in Welsh in the boxes below: