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Pronouncing "Cymraeg"

Postby Carole » Wed Mar 05, 2014 10:48 pm

How is the "ae" pronounced in "Cymraeg"? On the course it is sounding to my ears like the vowel sound is a long "a" as in the English "park", but from memory of hearing (Southern Welsh) family say it I had thought it would be a long "i" as in the English "eye".

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Re: Pronouncing "Cymraeg"

Postby Craig F » Wed Mar 05, 2014 11:08 pm

I hear it as a i-a diphthong. Long 'i' morphing into a sort of 'a'. Not a sound I ever hear in English, at least here in the US.
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Re: Pronouncing "Cymraeg"

Postby Sionned » Wed Mar 05, 2014 11:44 pm

Strictly speaking, it would be "ah-eh" (said quickly as a dipthong). But almost every region has its own slightly different pronunciation - everything from "ahhg" to "eye-g" and a lot of sideways ways of saying it. Say it as you hear it said and you will be just fine.
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Re: Pronouncing "Cymraeg"

Postby hewrop » Thu Mar 06, 2014 12:18 pm

Round these parts (Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire and further South) the "ae" is sounded as the long a in park. So Cymraeg is usually pronounced as Cumraag, traed is pronounced as traad. I've noticed, however, that where the "ae" appears in the first syllable, (eg Aeron, aelod) the diphthong is pronounced as "eye". Aberaeron, being the mouth of the river Aeron, is invariably pronounced as Aber-eye-ron.

Remember that Welsh is no more subject to regional variations in pronunciation than any other language and any attempt to find a "correct" pronunciation is likely to be frustrated/ing.

I still haven't been able to persuade my Derby wife (after 36 years) that my pronunciation of "bus" and "bath" is "correct". I shall probably give up soon. :lol:
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Re: Pronouncing "Cymraeg"

Postby Catrin Lliar » Thu Mar 06, 2014 1:51 pm

In the north you are likely to hear Cymraeg as [come+rah+ig] or [come+rah+egg].

I'm familiar with two Southern pronunciations - [kum+rahg 'kum' as in Kumbaya] or [kum+rah+egg].
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Re: Pronouncing "Cymraeg"

Postby MikeEllwood » Thu Mar 06, 2014 7:51 pm

At the beginning of the regular Pigion podcast, Dafydd Meredydd (as it usually is) in his standard introduction always includes the word Cymraeg within the first few words, and I was listening to this and trying to decide how it was really said.

At first I convinced myself that it was (as I had imagined) "come-r-eye-g", but on further listening, I decided it wasn't quite that, and was closer to one of Catrin's representations above, or somewhere in between.

i.e. the "r-eye-g" sound sort of flattens into closer to "r-ah-g", but not exactly that.

I get the impression that Dafydd Meredydd speaks Northern, but I don't know if that's definitely the case.
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Re: Pronouncing "Cymraeg"

Postby Carole » Thu Mar 06, 2014 10:55 pm

Diolch everyone, it sounds like I was hearing more or less correctly then. I've just gone back and listened with new ears to Lesson 1 and think I can detect more of a dipthong sound rather than a simple long "a" but it's quite difficult to catch the precise sound. I'll copy it as well as I can but I won't worry about it.

Cheers!

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Southern Course 1, Lesson 21

Corrections and suggestions of better ways to say things are very welcome!
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Re: Pronouncing "Cymraeg"

Postby Sionned » Fri Mar 07, 2014 1:34 am

Carole wrote:I'll copy it as well as I can but I won't worry about it.

That's the ticket! The SSiW watchword (watch phrase?) is DON'T WORRY! You are definitely on the right track!
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Re: Pronouncing "Cymraeg"

Postby hewrop » Fri Mar 07, 2014 9:47 am

....... and remember that from this and other threads on pronunciation the messages are that
1. there is a wide range of pronunciations of "ae" and other sounds throughout Wales,
2. it would be a brave or misguided person that said that one was correct and others were wrong,
3. when you consider the variations in English and many/most other languages, this should hardly be surprising.

As Sionned and Bob Marley advise - "Don't worry. Be happy" :smile:
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