If I’m A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here has sparked your interest in the Welsh language here are our top ten favourite Welsh words that might come in handy during a stay at The Forge… and are also quite easy to pronounce!
Welsh is a phonetic language, which means you say it as it looks. So here goes…
Helo [hel-or] – Hello
Let’s start you off with something easy! Very straightforward to pronounce and we find that it is almost impossible to sound glum with the sing-song intonation of this word!
Croeso [croy-soh] - Welcome
You will probably see this written on signs as you cross the border into Wales. People in Wales are big on offering a warm welcome so ‘Croeso’ means so much more than just a word on a sign. We like to open our arms up wide and share with you what we love so much about our country.
Pabell [pab–ell] - Tent
A pretty important one for anyone embarking on a glamping or camping trip in Wales! If you wanted to ask ‘where is the tent?’ you would say “Ble mae pabell?’
Gwely crog [gwe–lee crog] – Hammock
Absolutely love this expression! The literal translation is ‘hanging bed’ which pretty much sums up one of our favourite features of The Forge. As well as being the perfect place to sunbathe during the summer months, we have recently discovered that they are blissful spot to read a book, set up next to the log burner in our big cabin, Drewyn.
Seren [ser-en] – Stars
On a clear night, you will be dazzled by the stars you can see from The Forge. Being in a dark sky area of Wales we have very minimal light pollution and huge skies, offering the best place for some ‘syllu ar y ser’ or ‘stargazing’.
Pili pala [pilly-pala] – Butterfly
My kids’ favourite word! We are lucky to have many species of butterfly here at The Forge and, as our rewilding project matures, we are seeing lots of new types each summer. It is very easy to while away a lazy summer afternoon lying on the bank of our hill fort seeing which ones you can spot.
Broga [brog– a] – Frog
Another common visitor to The Forge, you are very likely to see frogs during your stay, especially if you are staying in Arenig bell tent which backs onto wetland. Try rolling the ‘r’ of ‘broga’ to get the full pleasure of saying this word!
Defaid [dev-eyed]– Sheep
We couldn’t leave sheep off the list – especially as so many of you will have met our friendly pet sheep as part of our farm tours this summer. One sheep is a ‘dafad’ and the plural is ‘defaid’, and a quick factoid for you: sheep outnumber people three to one in Wales!
Diolch [dee-olch] – Thank You
As we never stop telling our children, it’s a small word but it goes a long way! If you are feeling very grateful you can say ‘Diolch yn Fawr’ (‘big thank you’) or ‘diolch yn galon’ (literally thank you in the heart – calon being heart, meaning ‘thank you very much’ or ‘heartfelt thanks’).
Malws Mefys [mal-oos mev-is] – Marshmallow
And we have saved our absolute favourite word to last. Who couldn’t enjoy saying this wonderful expression – for us it brings together everything that is good about glamping and the Welsh language. Soft, sweet and pure joy in your mouth!
So why not give them a try next time you find yourself in Wales or talking to a Welsh speaker. Our co-founder Sheena is a born and bred North Walian and is a big supporter of making the Welsh language more accessible to everyone.
You might also be interested to know that Sheena’s grandparents, both Welsh speakers, actually worked at the now-famous Gwyrch castle in Abergele. Margaret Davies worked in kitchens in the big house and Dafydd was a groundsman. Every time we watch I’m A Celebrity we try to picture what life would have been like for them in the 1930s. I often wonder what they would have made of the current celebrity spotlight on the place they knew so well….
But it doesn’t stop at Gwyrch Castle… According to some recent family tree research, Sheena’s family has actually lived in Denbighshire since at least the 16th Century only about 20 miles from where The Forge stands today.
Wales may be just a small country and the language sometimes may seem incomprehensible but by taking an interest and trying out a few words here and there, you are helping to keep the culture, history and identity of our fiercely proud little nation burning bright!