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The Welsh government has said it wants to increase the number of Welsh speakers to a million by 2050. The plans irritated some anti-Welsh detractors, who seem to believe the language is only spoken when English people walk into a Welsh pub. With our help, you, too, can scare monoglots in your area! Here are some Welsh words and phrases (with pronunciation) that you might find useful.
Starting strong, a simple: “Hello, how are you doing?”
“Welcome to Wales!” Never let it be said the Welsh aren’t welcoming. A favourite on novelty tea towels.
Its literal meaning is “over the dishes”, but it means over the top. You know, like when someone gets really angry about bilingual Welsh road signs.
“Yuck!” Use it when your Tinder date tells you all Welsh people are stupid.
The Welshest word on the planet. It means “whirling” or “merry-go-round”. Use it when told for the umpteenth time that Welsh has no vowels – then point out it has more vowels than English does.
Let’s put an end to this once and for all: “popty ping” is not microwave in Welsh. It is not a thing. It is a joke. If you do need to heat up some traditional cawl, be sure to put it in your meicrodon.
“Cheers!” A good thing to say just before downing your fifth pint of Brains when England wins the rugby.
Some Welsh words just make more sense – such as smwddio, which means “ironing”. Because what do you do when you iron clothes? You SMOOTH them – just as it sounds.
A word with no direct English translation. It means a longing for a home, or a time that felt like home. This isn’t homesickness, it’s a deep yearning for somewhere that may not quite exist as you remember it. Remind us again why English is supposedly superior?
The perfect phrase to deploy the next time someone tells you Welsh is a made-up language. It pretty much means: “My good fellow, you are clearly an idiot, but I wish you good day. Oh, and by the way, all languages are technically made up.”
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Welsh Secretary demonstrates UK Government commitment to language in meeting with incoming Commissioner