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Upstate New York Welsh
Welsh Heritage in Western, Central, and Eastern New York State

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Welsh Language Tools for Genealogists

As you research your Welsh roots, you may come across Welsh language records and documents. The Welsh language can be difficult to speak, read and write. Word mutations, sentence structure and various grammatical rules can cause us a lot of grief. You do not need to become proficient in the Welsh language. You need just enough skill to extract basic information from a genealogical source. Try these simple language tools to help make basic sense out of Welsh death, marriage or birth notices or gravestone inscriptions. Caution: Use a combination of translation, dictionary and mutation tools for best results. It is recommended that you have a full translation done by a qualified Welsh-English translator at the Association of Welsh Translators and Interpreters.

  • Get Started
  • Family Search Guide to Welsh Language
    An excellent aid for understanding aspects of the Welsh language that can impact genealogy research.

    Some Basic Welsh for Family Historians
    "Some Basic Welsh for Family Historians" by M. Auronwy James (Chapter 9 in Welsh Family History: a Guide to Research by John Rowlands, Sheila Rowlands) is the place to start. Includes easy to follow information about mutations, sentence structure, alphabet and history of the language. Most useful is the glossary for commonly used words and phrases related to family relationships, life events, migration, places, occupations, months and days, and more. Also see, Chapter 7: Welsh Surnames and Chapter 8: Welsh Place Names. Purchase Welsh Family History: a Guide to Research in the Welsh Heritage Shop.

  • Mutations and Grammar
  • Welsh Word Mutations
    http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Welsh/Mutations
    A quick and simple introduction to three types of Welsh word mutations. Mutations are changes made to the beginning of words depending on the word before it and what role the word plays in the sentence.

    Welsh Mutations App for Apple iOS Mobile Devices
    itunes.apple.com/au/app/welsh-mutations/id505305901?mt=8
    An application to help Welsh language learners gain confidence in the mutation system. It comprises of a reference of the 3 types of mutations and three sets of questions to practice the mutations. Requirements: Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation) and iPad.Requires iOS 5.0 or later. Price: $0.99 | Updated: 07 April 2012 | Version: 1.1 | Size: 0.2 MB | Language: English. Seller: Jamie Roberts 2012 Jamie Roberts - Qrios Solutions.

    Searching Lexicon - Mutation Conversion
    www.cs.cf.ac.uk/fun/welsh/LexiconForms.html
    Find the base word for a mutated word. When you translate from "Welsh to English" using "Whole word" mode, the lookup engine attempts to undo any mutations before looking up the word.

    Welsh Grammar Rules
    www.bbc.co.uk/wales/learnwelsh/pdf/welshgrammar_allrules.pdf
    An 87 page guide from BBC Cymru Wales - Learn Welsh.

    Welsh Learners' Pages
    www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~scrol/pws/tudalennaudysgwyr.html
    Easy summaries of Welsh grammar and mutation rules

    Ninnau's Guide to the Use of the Welsh Dictionary for Beginners and Others
    A very useful guide/word list to mutated words. Compiled by Robert A. Fowkes and published in 1990 as paperback, this guide is out-of-print and hard to find but this site appears to be selling it www.gwales.com/goto/biblio/en/9780000777881

  • Dictionaries
  • Geiriadur On-line Dictionary
    Welsh-English / English-Welsh online dictionary from the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David.

    Older Welsh-English Dictionaries
    Nineteenth-century dictionaries available at Internet Archives.

  • Machine Translation
  • Google Translate
    Translate Welsh to English text--as a start. Not perfect but will provide a beginning translation that you can tweak if needed with dictionaries, mutations and grammar tools, and a human translator.

  • Word Lists
  • Common Words and Phrases on Welsh Headstones and Memorial Inscriptions
    A master list of words, phrases and quotes on Welsh headstones, memorial inscriptions and other documents. Compiled by Lludw Y Maes from a knowledge of the Welsh language, dictionaries and other lists from Cymdeithas Hanes Teuluoedd Gwynedd Family History Society, the Family Search Page and the Association of Family History Societies of Wales.

    The 1911 Census Householder's Schedules in Welsh
    Association of Family History Societies of Wales compiled this helpful guide for translating Welsh Schedules to English, specifically the 1911 Census but the word lists can be very useful for all the census years. Covers: alphabet and mutations, names and surnmames, relationships, occupations, birthplace and address, etc.

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    © Barbara R. Henry