Skip to main content

Welsh language

While studying at Cardiff, Wales' thriving bilingual capital city, there's plenty of opportunity to learn Welsh and experience a vibrant Welsh language culture.

Welsh for All

The Welsh language is one of Europe's oldest living languages. You don't have to learn Welsh to study here, but it can give you the opportunity to meet new people, have fun and learn about Welsh culture.

You can take advantage of one of our free Welsh language lessons for students via our Welsh for All scheme.

Culture, societies and clubs

Many of our societies and clubs welcome not only Welsh speakers, but Welsh learners and anyone interested in the Welsh culture and language.

Some of these include:

  • Undeb Myfyrwyr Cymraeg Caerdydd: this 'union within an union' represents the rights and well-being of Welsh language students within the wider Students' Union.
  • Y Gym Gym: the 'Welsh society' arranges social events, trips, inter-collegiate events and it also has its own sporting teams.
  • Clwb y Mynydd Bychan: the club arranges social and extra curricular events for those studying Medicine and Healthcare Sciences at the Heath Campus.
  • Cymdeithas Iolo: cultural and literary events.

The main purpose of the society is to bring anyone that has an interest in Welsh events together, to take advantage of Cardiff's prosperous Welsh culture.

Esyllt Lewis, President, Cymdeithas Iolo

Beyond the University

You can experience Welsh language music and culture at gigs such as those in Clwb Ifor Bach (often called 'Welsh Club') and at Cardiff's annual Tafwyl held during one weekend every summer, drawing over 40,000 people to the grounds of Cardiff Castle.

If you're looking to play sport and keep healthy Clwb Rygbi Cymry Caerdydd has Cardiff based rugby teams for men and women. Clwb Cymric also has football, netball and hockey teams.

Accomodation for Welsh speakers and learners

Those wishing to immerse themselves amongst Welsh language speakers and learners can also apply to stay at one of our reserved flats.

A brief overview of the Welsh language

Welsh is a Celtic language which is similar to Cornish and Breton and is regular and phonetic (although until you learn the phonetic sounds 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.

A few useful Welsh phrases

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