Monday, 12 November 2012

W is for Cymru

I was doing a round-the-world-in-music thingy wasn't I? A quick catch up, we have so far heard from Argentina, Ghana, France, England, Iceland, Japan, Yemen, Brazil and Thailand. Today it's Wales for W. The Cymry themselves prefer Cymru of course, and who am I to argue? Given that the noun Welsh is merely a Germanic word meaning foreigner it must be particularly galling to use.

It seems a bit silly really to use any name for a country other than the name that its inhabitants use. Though to do away with all these other names would be to lose some linguistic biodiversity I suppose. Just had a quick check of the countries so far, the only initial that would change would be J for Japan, becoming instead N for Nihon. Too late now though, and sorry Cymru, I need the W.

To my slight shame I am monoglot, I find the thought of other languages (and language in general) fascinating but lack the capacity for the sustained effort it must take to thoroughly learn another language. I'm determined to learn German and I suppose, given that I sometimes spout off about running away to live in Cymru, Cymraeg wouldn't be a bad one to learn either.  Oh, and Klingon of course.

The three years I spent in Lampeter left very few linguistic traces in my brain. Dim Parcio - No ParkingDisgo Heno! - Disco Tonite!  That second one is related to my favourite fragment, the road sign depicting a bent, elderly couple in Welsh (sorry) bears the word Henoed, that is, people in the evening or twilight of their existence.  Very poetic.

And so finally, the track. It's by the Super Furry Animals, it's from their album Mwng, which is sung entirely in Welsh.

Super Furry Animals ymaelodi a'i ymylon


  1. I can say Good Day, Good Evening, Welcome To Wales and Merry Christmas. There's lovely.

  2. Was all this vocabulary acquired at once? Working as a Christmas elf just over the border perhaps?