How do you say ‘Eglwyswrw’

Eglwyswrw

© Copyright ceridwen and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

I remember, with a pleasing glow of satisfaction, the look of surprise on a stranger’s face when, in a conversation through the car window that occurred because we were well and truly lost in narrow lanes between Newport and Cardigan, I pronounced Eglwyswrw so that he understood me. This was clearly a rare experience for the resident of a village whose name presents the visiting English with difficulties. It was as if I had passed a test. From that moment our relationship subtly and significantly changed as he revised his estimate of my IQ upwards and my Irritation Factor downwards. It’s a moment I have treasured ever since.

I can now offer you the possibility of that same, rewarding, self affirming experience: click here for enlightenment.

That treat came to you courtesy of John Ball’s admirable attempt to educate the foreigner in the pronunciation of Welsh place names. Click here to access the full list which, I have noticed, does not include as many N. Pembrokeshire names as it should. These locally useful places are missing:

  • Mynachlogddu
  • Llanychaer
  • Scleddau.

I suggest that foreign visitors look for a local informant on their visit to Dinas and then, as all language teachers will say, it’s practice and more practice.

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About bookvolunteer

I'm passionate about books, about Oxfam and about making the world a better place. When I'm not filling the shelves in Oxfam Wilmslow, I might be found reading the books I've bought in the beautiful surroundings of North Pembrokeshire.
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5 Responses to How do you say ‘Eglwyswrw’

  1. offmotorway says:

    Brilliant! I’ve long needed that kind of help with Welsh place names – thanks!

    • Have you any idea why suddenly lots and lots of people want to be able to pronounce Eglwyswrw? This post gets a steady trickle of views but recently hundreds – many from the US. I’d be interested to know why.

    • Neil says:

      It’s because it has just broken British weather records by having rainfall on 82 consecutive days.

      • It’s odd how this post on the pronunciation of Eglwyswrw sporadically gets a lot of attention from all over the world. There was a flurry of activity in February last year. I had assumed that maybe Eglwyswrw featured in a quiz book of some kind. The rain has now stopped I hope. Dinas (not far away and similarly very wet) looks as if it might have a dry day or two this week!

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