View Full Version : Welsh English: Dialects of Wales

Friday, July 1st, 2005, 06:25 AM
Welsh English refers to the dialects of English spoken in Wales by Welsh people. The dialects are significantly modified by Welsh grammar and nouns, and contain a number of unique words. In addition to the distinctive words and grammar, there are a variety of accents found across Wales.

John Edwards has written and spoken entertainingly about a specific form of Welsh English—that found in the south-east area of Wales—as Wenglish. Some people, generally outside Wales, use the same word to refer to any form of English spoken in Wales.


Some of the features of Welsh English are :
* Use of /χ/ (the voiceless uvular fricative) in loch, Bach, etc.
* Dropping of h in some varieties, making house sound like ouse. See h-dropping.
* Distinction of /w/ and /ʍ/ in wine and whine. See Glide cluster reduction.
* Distinction of /yː/ and /ɪʊ// in muse and mews, dew and due, blue and blew etc.
* Use of the Welsh ll sound /ɬ/ (a voiceless fricative 'l') in Llwyd, llaw etc.
* Distinction of /iː/ and /ɪə/ in meet and meat, see and sea etc.
* yod-dropping is not present after any consonant, thus threw/through, chews/choose, and yew/you are distinct. The first pairs have the diphthong /ɪu/.
* Distinctive pitch differences giving a "sing-song" effect.
* The distinction between horse and hoarse is preserved.
* Overpronunciation of vowels is common in strong valleys accents.
* Distinction of /oː/ and /oə/ in rode and road, cole and coal.
* Light rolling of r's
* Distinction of /e/, /æɪ/ and /eɪ/ in vane, vain and vein.
* Distinction of /oː/ and /oʊ/ in toe and tow, sole and soul etc.

H-dropping is a colloquial term used to describe the dropping of initial in words like house, heat, and hangover in many dialects of English, particularly in English accents like Cockney.

Influence of the Welsh language

As well as straightforward borrowings of words from the Welsh language (cwtsh, picking to rain), grammar from the language has crept into English spoken in Wales. Placing something at the start of a sentence emphasizes it: "furious, she was". Periphrasis and auxiliary verbs are used in spoken Welsh, resulting in the English: "He do go there", "I do do it", particularly in the so-called Wenglish accent. Welsh redirects here, and this article describes the Welsh language. ...

Regional accents within Wales

There is a very wide range of regional accents within Wales.

The accents of North Wales are markedly different with "Scouse"-like Liverpool accents in Queensferry and Flint to the very distinctive accent of North West Wales. Here the R is rolled extensively and the vowels are pressed to the back of the throat, especially the letter U which is pronounced as a guttural ee. The accents of some individuals from some of the more rural communities have been likened to German accents by visitors from England. North Wales is the northernmost region of Wales, bordered to the south by Mid Wales. ... Scouse is the accent or dialect of English found in the northern English city of Liverpool and adjoining urban areas of Lancashire and the Wirral region of Cheshire
The accents of mid-Wales, especially North Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion, are gentler in nature than either the "valleys" or the Northern welsh accents and are, by repute, one of the more beautiful British accents to listen to.

* Talk Tidy (http://www.talktidy.com):John Edwards, the inventor/populariser of the term "Wenglish" and his books and CDs on the matter.
* Some thoughts and notes on the English of south Wales (http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/wal/Thoughts.html) : D Parry-Jones, National Library of Wales journal 1974 Winter, volume XVIII/4

source (http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Welsh-English)

Friday, July 1st, 2005, 08:11 AM
Oi Frans,
my Brother in Law was a Welsh Man, when he speak to me in his Idiom, i can`t follow. He speak very fast!
Very Crazy is it, when Welsh Man sing :D, i ever think they have no Bullocks ;), but it is only the Headvoices like a Kastrat!

Friday, July 1st, 2005, 10:29 AM
I think that such corruptions of English should be crushed and replaced with Received Pronunciation. Thanks for this interesting information.

Friday, July 1st, 2005, 12:55 PM
Either that or English in Wales should be eradicated altogether ;)

Interesting that Ranganroek mentioned about how quickly the Welsh talk.
I met some Welsh girls on holiday a few years back. I found it very difficult to understand their accent. they told me they had to speak slow so that the English could understand them. When I asked them out of interest to talk at their normal speed, I found it much easier to understand them :)