Here’s butler Edmund Blackadder’s opinion on the :
“You need half a pint of phlegm in your throat just to pronounce the placenames. Never ask for directions in Wales Baldrick, you’ll be washing spit out of your hair for a fortnight.”
It’s a very funny programme so we’ll forgivethis slight (he’s just as rude about the , and Germans, so we won’t take it to heart).
This is another matter that arises out of the marked differences between English and Welsh. Although both use the Roman alphabet, the letters are tied to different sounds in Welsh. One frequent gag about Welsh is that the language has no vowels. In fact Welsh has seven while English has five. It’s just that some letters that represent consonants in English, sometimes represent vowels in Welsh – such as w and y. Welsh also makes use of diagraphs such as Ll, Dd and Ch, which represent just one sound. If you read something written in Welsh and try to pronounce the letters as you would in English, it would be hard to imagine how they could be said without a myriad of facial contortions, and as Blackadder said, a fair amount of mucus.
But if you know what the letters mean, it’s actually easy. Take this name: Bedd Gelert
Very difficult to get your tongue around if you pronounce the letters as they’re said in English. But if you read them as you would in Welsh, it’s easy: Beth Geh-leart.
However, you needn’t take my word for it. The best way to prove that Welsh isn’t an ugly language it just to play a sound clip. Here’s the very non-ugly Katherine Jenkins with a taster: