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  1. TheFedoraPirate
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    TheFedoraPirate Contributing Member

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    Anyone out there Welsh?

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by TheFedoraPirate, Apr 8, 2009.

    When developing a certain character I needed an apparently "unpronouncable" name so I went with the name "Hwmffre", a Welsh equivalent to "Humphrey" ... and realized I know jack all about the Welsh. I've read the wikipedia entries but they don't quite have all the details I need for characterizing this guy believably as Welsh. Soooo, anybody out there with advice? Common idioms, colloquialisms, specific curses, etc., anything would be helpful.



    ((Also, anyone know if Strygalldwyrr is an actual Welsh surname? Some internet site said so but I haven't been able to find collaborating evidence.))
     
  2. othman
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    othman Member

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    Well, the majority of welsh names actually mean something much more so than most other names so, if your character is welsh with welsh parents who wanted to give him a welsh name then you may want to go more with the meanings than how pronounceable as actually welsh names are pronounceable they can just be hard to guess the spelling.

    Welsh surnames

    "From Roger Zelazny's Amber series, Strygalldwyrr. Or however you spell that.

    That's not one of these, it's just Welsh."


    Aside from googling Strygalldwyrr nothing but that snippet came up, I also tried Cuil but nout came up then, either.
     
  3. That Silly Welsh Guy
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    That Silly Welsh Guy Senior Member

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    I'm Welsh :D

    Yeah, as far as I am aware Strygalldwyrr is NOT a Welsh surname. It ends in two 'Rs' for one, which never happens. It honestly depends what you want to know (feel free to PM me with an specific questions you may have and I'll do my best to get back to you ASAP) but one or two things to start you off ...

    'bore dda' - good morning
    'prynhawn dda' - good afternoon
    'noswaith dda' - good evening
    'nos dda' - good night
    'sut wyt ti?' - how are you?
    'pam?' - why?
    'ble?' - where? 'ble mae ... ?' - where is (insert something)?
    'sut?' - how?
    'pwy?' - who?
    'cysgu yn dda' - sleep well (can also be made into a question by just placing a ? at the end ...)
    'hefyd' - also
    'eto' - again
    'bach' - a diminutive attached to the end of sentences so for example 'dda iawn, bach' - 'well done, darling/love/other diminutive to that effect'
    'twp' - stupid/thick/dumb (meant in the colloquial sense 'that boy is twp')
    'dw'n' as opposed to 'rydw i'n' - 'I'm' as opposed to 'I am' ... 'dw'n' is more widely used in the North, but South/West Walians are using it more frequently now.
    bechgyn - boy
    merched - girl

    Uhmm, I could go on and on and on but I'm conscious of the fact that I'd just be throwing meaningless phrases/words at you. I'd like to extend and offer of help to you however, if there's anything you want to know specifically either PM / leave a comment here and I shall do my best to translate a given phrase for you or whatever; you tell me what you want to know and I'll be gladly obliged to tell you.

    Oh and in regards to your character being called 'Hwmfree' I suggest you use something else like Ioan, Myrddin or Siarl maybe? They're some of the more Celtic male first names that are in modern day circulation. Hwmfree is just a 'Welshing up' of an Anglican name. I suggest the following site for male/female first names: http://www.amlwchhistory.co.uk/data/malefirst.htm - I use it all the time myself.

    If you need any help, give me a yell :) Hope this helps.
     
  4. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    Welsh Guy, thanks for the web link--I was looking for a name for a jinn which had a kind of fiery meaning, but not too devilish. Something like Kay might do the trick, perhaps? I didn't want something with complicated spelling!
     
  5. That Silly Welsh Guy
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    That Silly Welsh Guy Senior Member

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    Kay is good, yes - damn that god of fire!. I'd personally go with the 'K-A-I' spelling though, but that be going against your not wanting odd spellings.
     
  6. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    I also prefer the other spelling really, but as I live in Turkey, I'm very aware of difficulties with names when books are translated--I'm of course getting ideas way above myself here, dreaming of writing a teen worldwide bestseller *sigh*. The translations of Harry Potter and Twilight (urgh!) are v. popular here. Not that I would stoop to writing a blatantly commercial blockbuster...
     
  7. TheFedoraPirate
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    TheFedoraPirate Contributing Member

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    Hm, are there any traditionally Welsh names that to the average English speaker would appear to lack vowels but is actually simple/common when pronounced? I liked "Hwmffre" since it appears problematic as it takes most of the word to get to anything most English speakers would see as a vowel but given it's pronounced like a common English name I was hoping that'd help the reader keep track of it easier.

    Also, are there any Welsh specific idiomatic phrases when speaking in English? Where I'm from (the southern U.S.) it's common to say, "I'm fixin' to ..." when they mean "I'm about to ..." same with "ya'll" in place of "you all", so if I wanted someone to appear southern I'd use things like that to show it. Any Welsh equivalents (not of those phrases specifically but just common Welsh idioms in general)?
     
  8. That Silly Welsh Guy
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    That Silly Welsh Guy Senior Member

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    Hrm if you're looking for that kind of thing - what about Bleddyn? It's not so popular in my generation, but it's a name of my father's generation up in the valleys but people get confused by it's pronounciation - they thing it 'bled-din' when it's actually 'BLETH-in'. Or what about 'Cian' - that's often pronounced 'Ki-an' when in fact it's 'KEE-an'. Gruffydd 'GRIF-ith' ?. I dunno, I just suggest you take a look at that site I've posted... that'd be your best bet and if you like a name that doesn't have a pronounciation I'll be willing to try and phonetisise (sooo not a word :p) it for you.

    The only ones that come immediately to mind are the use of the word 'like' as a conjunction/other 'linking' word as in 'that film is, like, the best thing I've seen in ages!' and another South Walian common adjective is 'lush' as in 'oh, I love your jumper - its' lush.' Of course we don't mean it as being 'verdant' just as 'pretty/lovely/other adjectives to that effect' and 'blates' is used replacement for the word 'blatantly' as in 'blates obvious that she fancies you'. I'm not too sure about any West/North Walian ones to be honest. Other than those two or three examples you could get away with using some British slang as well, just m kae sure it's not too regional - some research would be handy.

    Sorry for not beign very much of a help, but I've gotta run. If there's anything else you want specific help with then let me know :]
     
  9. TheFedoraPirate
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    TheFedoraPirate Contributing Member

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    No, no, you've been very helpful :)

    I notice that site lists Wmffre, which is essentially the same thing but without the 'H' and pronounced close to the same. So would that work or is that still too much a Welsh-ified English name?
     
  10. That Silly Welsh Guy
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    That Silly Welsh Guy Senior Member

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    Technically speaking, yes it is. But seeing as how the orginal Celtic settlers (so therefore the 'typical' Welsh names of the time also) got driven out by the invading Anglo-Saxons - it's probably inevitable that hyou're gonna end up using a Welsh-ified English names 'cause names such as Bleddyn and such only came back into circulation, for want of a better word, when the small mining towns took interest into thier culture and history. So yeah, go with Wmffre I reckon - it's not at all common in the modern day but it obviously depends on what time period you're choosing to set it in.
     
  11. TheFedoraPirate
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    TheFedoraPirate Contributing Member

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    I see, well it's fantasy and the character is a mage so I guess it's okay if he has an unusual name.

    Thanks, for all your help. :)
     

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