Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Ab-ber-gell-lerrr

Now I've lived here a bit I've become a bit more sensitive to pronunciation of various Welsh words.

Abergele is pronounced by the English (and most Welsh come to think of it) as Ab-ber-gellee. However, the Welsh way takes into account that only two letters of the Welsh alphabet can change the way they are said - y and w - and then under only certain circumstances.

Being a playful soul, I like to interchange between the two pronunciations of Abergele as I see fit. (Except in my other half's hearing) I frequently do this when on the phone to some call centre, the operator asks me first to spell 'Pensarn'...and then 'Abergele'...and just to give them icing on the cake I like to say Clwyd (cloo-id) rather than Conwy. I spose its my revenge for the time that a guy from Wales stated his address as 'Pryswylfa' and almost caused a circuit in my brain to explode as he tried to spell it.

The local news, if read by a Welsh person, always always always pronounce it Ab-ber-gell-ler. Somehow it doesn't sound as pretty as Ab-ber-gell-lee, but as it means 'mouth of the river Gele' I suppose I should try and be more careful and say it right. After all, I'm sure scousers would be a little affronted if we called it Lyverpool. Or maybe there are just so many of them in North Wales they don't give a stuff. And maybe I shouldn't either, considering that they also give Rhyl a lovely pretty ring 'rrrrrril' (i.e. barely pronouncing the l) and Rhyl sure ain't pretty (not just yet, maybe a few million quids will make a difference. Didn't do Jackie Stallone any good though. miaow.)

Lastly. Why is it Cymru is pronounced cum-ree, but cynt pronounced kint? You decide.

1 comment:

Oli said...

Clwyd doesn't exist - it hasn't for the lst 10 years!

As for your Cymru / cynt question - you are looking at is for an english point of view. I guess its similar to asking why bough is pronounced Boff, but Toff isn't spelt Tough!

Cymru is a noun, and so doesn't have to follow any rules - just like Nike does not rhyme with Bike!

Hope you like my new site!

Oli