A passable imitation of it is thl (e.g. Llangollen = Thlangothlen). The vowels
a, e, i are pronounced as in the Continental languages (ah, eh, ee), o almost
as in English, and u is a kind of wide sound, the nearest approach to it
in English being i as in fit. When used as a vowel (more often than not)
w is pronounced oo; y is invariably a vowel and is equivalent to the
Welsh u in the last syllable of a word and to u (as in but) in other positions.
The circumflex (A) is often used to denote a long vowel. The letters
j, k, q, x, and z do not occur in Welsh. In combination the initial
letter of a word is often transmuted; thus d and t interchange; also f and
b, and f and m. This change of letter often corresponds to a change of
gender. In pronunciation the accent is always on the penultimate, except
in a few cases when it is on the last syllable.
The following list of Welsh words occurring in the names of places
will be useful. Aber, mouth of a river, confluence of rivers; afon, river;
bach, bychan (fern, fach, fechan), small; bedd, a grave; bod, a dwelling;
bryn (fryn), hill; bwlch, pass, defile; caer (goer), fort; earn, carnedd,
cairn, heap of stones, rocky mountain; cefn, back, ridge; clogwyn, precipice;
crib (pi. cribau), comb, crest; cwm, valley (comp. combe); din, dinas, a
fortified post; drws, door, passage; d« (ddu), black; dwr, dwfr, water;
eglwys, church; ffynnon, a well or source; glyn, glen; gwy, water; gwyn,
wyn (fern, gwen, wen), white, fair; llan, church or church-village (lit. en¬
closure); llyn (pi. llynnau), lake; maen, faen, vaen (pi. meini), a stone;
maes, foes, a field; mawr, fawr, vawr, great; moel, foel, bare, bald; mynach,
monk; mynydd, mountain; nant, brook, valley (also common in this sense
in French Switzerland); newydd, new; pant, a hollow; pen, top, head; pitlyll,
spout, cataract; plds, palace, mansion; pont, bont, bridge; porth, borth,
port, harbour; pwll, pool; rhaiadr, waterfall; rhiw, steep, slope; rhos, moor;
rhudd, red; rhyd, a ford; sych, dry; tal, front, high, head; tan, under;
tomen, a mound; traeth, beach; irwyn, a point (lit. nose); twll, a pit; ty,
a house; tyddyn, a farm; uchaf, highest, upper; y, yr, the; yn, in, into;
ynys, island; ystrad, vale.
If an opportunity presents itself, the traveller in Wales should not
fail to attend an Eisteddfod (pron. eistethvod; lit. a 'sitting'), or gathering
for competition in music, literature, etc. The best is the National Eisteddfod,
held once a year; but the local 'Eisteddfodau' are also interesting.
The following is a small selection of the most recent, the most
interesting, and the most easily accessible topographical and other
books relating to England and Wales. Bulky works, such as county
histories, and older books of which the value is mainly antiquarian
have been purposely omitted. Numerous other works of local in¬
terest are referred to throughout the text of the Handbook.
A full list of British topographical works will he found in the 'Book
of British Topography' by John P. Anderson (Satchell & Co., London, 1881),
and a judicious selection of accessible books is given in 'The Best Books'
by W. Swan Sonnenschein, which contains 50,000 titles (2nd ed., 1890).
The asterisks indicate publications of special interest and importance.
'England: its People, Polity, and Pursuits, by T. H. Escott (new ed., 1885).
Our Own Country, with 1200 illus., published by Cassell & Co. (6 vols.;
The Land We Live In, by Wm. Howitt (3 vols., 1854-56).
The British Isles, translated from the French of J. J. E. Rectus and edited
by E. G. Ravenstein (1887).
Notes on England, by H. A. Taine (from the French; 1872).
English Traits, by R. W. Emerson.
One Hundred Days in Europe, by 0. W. Holmes (1887).
England, Without and Within, by R. G. White (Boston, 1881).
Passages from the English Note-Books of Nathaniel Hawthorne (2 vols.;