Unless you’re a true-blooded citizen of Wales, there’s a 100% possibility that you cannot get to pronounce these Welsh town names right. A country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, its history begins with the arrival of human beings in the region thousands of years ago. The earliest known human remain discovered in modern-day Wales is a jawbone whose owner lived from way back 230,000 years.
Aside from its old history and culture, what interests me the most about Wales are town names that are very challenging to pronounce, let alone to spell. Just imagine living in a town where its name does not have a vowel but you can still say it because that’s how it is.
Welsh Town Names Are Impossible To Pronounce They Will Blow Your Mind
I am slightly relieved that the Welsh capital is Cardiff (which is very easy to pronounce and spell), I can’t get over the fact that the majority of the town names ended up like how they currently spelled and how they literally exist in the dictionary. Every time I type in the name, I started to feel disappointed that my Google Chrome spell check plugin won’t even give me a hint of getting them spelled incorrectly (with the red line)
Here are seven (7) of the most peculiar and somehow a few of the most unusual and difficult to pronounce Welsh town names:
This village of around 400 inhabitants and a community population of 1,739, it has for centuries been an area of livestock farming. The name Crymych translates into English as “crooked stream”.
Llanddewi Brefi (Welsh pronunciation: [ɬanˈðɛwi ˈbrɛvi]; approximate pronunciation: cland-dewi brevi)
Another village and community of approximately 500 people in Wales, Llanddewi Brefi translates “Church of David on the [River] Brefi”. You can find a church, a chapel, two bars and a village shop for this largely Welsh-speaking town.
Plwmp (pronounced as Ploomp)
It’s even hard to search for information about this place, all I know that Plwmp is pronounced as “Ploomp”.
Tywyn (/ˈtaʊ.ɪn/; Welsh: [ˈtəʊ.ᵻn]), formerly Towyn)
The largest town in the south of Wales, Tywyn is a seaside resort town. It is famous as the location of the Cadfan Stone, a stone cross with the earliest known example of written Welsh. The name derives from “beach, seashore, sand-dune”.
Ynysybwl (Welsh: Ynys-y-bŵl [ənɪsəˈbʊl])
Ynysybwl is a village in Wales situated roughly 24 km north-north-west of the nation’s capital, Cardiff. ‘Ynys’ means ‘island’ or ‘river meadow’ in Welsh, however, there is uncertainty over the meaning of the name of the village.
Ysbyty Ystwyth (approximate pronunciation: Esb’ti Esw’th)
Ysbyty Ystwyth is a small village in Wales where its church and the parish of the same name were the property of the Order of the Knights of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem. ‘Ysbyty’ in the name means “hospital” in Welsh.
Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch (IPA: /ɬanvairpʊɬgʊɨngɨ̞ɬgɔgɛrɨ̞xʊɨrndrɔbʊɬɬantɨ̞sɪlɪɔgɔgɔgɔx/); watch the video below for the Welsh pronunciation.
A large village and community on the island of Anglesey in Wales. The long form of the town name is the longest place name in the United Kingdom and one of the longest in the world at 58 characters. Letters “ch” and “ll” in Welsh, however, are treated as a single letter, the name consists of 51 letters in the Welsh language.
It may be a mouthful to say, but actor Naomi Watts has no problem to mention it on a televised interview with host Jimmy Kimmel. Here’s the video:
It is alternatively known as Llanfairpwll or Llanfair PG. It is originally called Llanfairpwllgwyngyll and the long form of the name was invented for promotional purposes in the 1860s. In English, Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch means “Saint Mary’s Church in the hollow of the white hazel near a rapid whirlpool and the Church of St. Tysilio of the red cave.”
Welsh town names are basically an explosion of consonants that are impossible to pronounce.
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