Welsh language

The Welsh language is one of Europe's oldest living languages. You don't have to learn Welsh to study here, but it can be fun. Take advantage of Cardiff University's free Welsh language lessons for students via our Welsh for All Scheme.

Welsh is a Celtic language which is similar to Cornish and Breton and is regular and phonetic (though unless you can speak some Welsh you won't know how to pronounce a word just by looking at it).

You may have already heard of the village on the island of Anglesey, North Wales with one of the longest place names in the world: Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch But locals know it as the far shorter, 'Llainfairpwll'.

Under Welsh law the Welsh language has equal status to English in Wales which means you'll see both languages on road signs, printed information etc. It is also spoken by about 20% of the population of Wales. There's a small population in Patagonia, Argentina that speak Welsh and some parts of Canada.

Pobl Caerdydd stand at Tafwyl 2014
Pobl Caerdydd's stand - Tafwyl Festival 2014

Cardiff and the Welsh language

Students can study a variety of subjects in Welsh -from Zoology to Music. The Students' Union has its own Welsh language club, the 'Gym Gym' with a variety of social events for all students and in particular Welsh speakers and learners. You can also visit Yr Hen Lyfrgell (The Old Library in English) in town, a new Welsh language centre which includes a cafe to learn more about the language and take part in various activities. Cardiff's annual Tafwyl Festival a free annual event held in Cardiff Castle every July, is also a great way to learn more about Welsh music, culture and the language.

Siarad Cymraeg?

Here are a few Welsh basics to get you started:

WelshEnglish phoneticMeaning
Bore daBore-e dahGood morning
Sut wyt ti? Sit woo-eat tee? How are you? 
DiolchDee-all-chThank you
Hwyl Who-eelBye