Lost in translation; prepare yourself for the Welsh!

Originally published on The Tab: CLICK HERE for total readership information.

Note from the author: ‘I am so tempted to do a similar piece featuring the differences between British and American colloquialisms! This was a fun article to write and really sends me back to my dawning days in tabloid journalism.’

The Welsh language has been called many things; dying, gibberish, a load of letters thrown against a wall by a blind monkey. In reality, some of our most famed terminology is in fact English, but you have to say it in a very specific way for it to make sense.

This article will outline everything you need to know about Welsh, whether you’re a Welsh student about to attend an English university, or an English student traveling all the way to the land of dragons for your education.

We're not all this special.. well, the ones in uni aren't.
We’re not all this special.. well, the ones in uni aren’t

Key words and phrases

Hiya – eyee-ahh

Synonyms included ‘hello’ ‘hi’ and ‘alright butty’

‘Ooooh hiya Stacey! Howa yew?’

Bangin’ – ban-genn

To be excellent

Here / Ear

Cardiff – ‘yah’

Swansea – ‘yer’

Llanelli – ‘yuh’

Used in context, it should sound like: ‘Oi! Come by yer / yuh / yah they’ve got sheep!’

I’m not being funny [like] – I’n no’ bein’ funn-ee [lie]

Said before something serious, which will be hilarious to most English people. You’re not supposed to laugh. This is very serious. It’s also imperative that you don’t pronounce the ‘M’ in I’m. It has to be an ‘N’.

‘I’m not being funny like but I saw her kissing him by Joe’s Ice Cream.’

In a minute now – i-nah-minu’e-naaaw

Literal translation: ‘I will be there imminently’

‘Oh butt, I’m only in Skewen I’ll be there in a minute now’

Hanging – ‘aaaangen

To be disgusting

‘That new club on Wind Street is facking aaaaangin.’

See also: ‘umpin, muntin’, buzzin’, gompin’

‘I was in Neath right, and it was aangen’

In Sandy Lane they wash their dishes in the bath. It's aaaangin.
In Sandy Lane they wash their dishes in the bath. It’s aaaangin

Pearler – purr-laah

Found only in Swansea.

Meaing: Someone that you’re laughing at while under the impression that you are laughing with them

Example in Popular Culture: Rita Ora. Neither funny nor clever.

‘That bloke’s a proper pearler like’

Cwtch – Cu-t-chh

A little more than a cuddle, a little less than a snuggle.

Not to be confused with cotch, which is some London shit.

‘Gis a cwtch like’

A very hungover cwtch after a night on the town
A very hungover cwtch after a night on the town

Tooth – ‘Tuuu-th’

There is no ‘OO’ in the Welsh pronunciation of tooth. It’s ‘UH’ sound.

‘My tuth been hurting it has’

Blotto – Blo-tt-oh

To be so pissed you can’t stand

‘I were down Wind Street and I got absolutely blotto, I did.’

'Last night was bangin', I'll just sleep yer a while'
This is where you sleep when you’re blotto

Mitching – Mi-chen

To ditch school

‘Is ew mitching yeah?’

Welsh Grammar:

Words such as:

  • Like
  • Ini (in-neh)
  • Butt

can be added to the end of any sentence and it will still make sense

Welsh people are like Yoda in that their sentences may not come out in the right order.

For example: ‘I was in Peppermint and I fell over I did like.’

Subtle Welsh racism to avoid (only around girls from Swansea, rugby players and anyone from Port Talbot)

We’re not all from the Valleys.

Never bring up Thatcher. Ergh.

No matter how many times you bring up sheep, someone has said it before.

Rugby is a contentious topic. If you bring it up around the wrong person, they’ll have no shame in physically fighting over it, especially after this year.

Don’t compare Swansea to Cardiff.

Extra hints and tips

Welsh students going to England:

  • You will never find a night out as cheap, messy or as enjoyable as Wind Street. England just doesn’t know how to do nights out like Swansea does.
  • All English students will assume you’re thick so just get a little violent from the off and they won’t give you grief.
  • You will always have a friend in anyone from North England
  • Nowhere in England is as beautiful as Gower

English students going to Wales:

  • Be understanding and ask your new flat / house mates to speak slowly to begin with.
  • Make sure you go on a night out on Wind Street. What happens on Wind Street, stays on Wind Street. Except clap.
  • Never go to Cardiff on an international day unless you can handle your drink and don’t have claustrophobia
  • Visit Gower. It’s beautiful
  • If you see something weird, just go with it.
Just a normal day on Sandy Lane
Just a normal day on Sandy Lane

English students with a Welsh flat / housemate:

  • Bridgend is a shithole. No matter who tells you something to the contrary, they’re lying. It is basically the worst place ever. It should be twinned with Mordor it’s such a dump. Be nice to people from Bridgend because they’ve never been lucky enough to live somewhere nice.
  • NEVER start a fight with someone from Swansea or Neath.
  • If you can’t understand a word then ask. Don’t smile and nod or make fun because it’s embarrassing for you.

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