To aid all readers of my Pendyffryn: The Conquerors series and my first novel, Traitor’s Daughter, I include a Glossary of Welsh Words (Geiriau Cymraeg) that are used in each of the books (six in all to date). The Glossary is the final section of the book (both digital and print) but I thought having the Glossary accessible someplace else would be of help. Therefore, I’m including it here and also on my website, lilydewaruile.com, so these words are readily available at any time.
The Glossary also includes a pronunciation guide. Readers are surprised when they see words like pendefig or hafodydd, how easy they are to pronounce. Some words, such as Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, are difficult even for me, but these words are not in my books!
Here then, is the entire Glossary section from my latest paperback edition of Revival: Book IV: Pendyffryn: The Conquerors. Not all of the words are in all of the books and some words in other books in the series have additional words, but this will help readers get a quick start on learning the wonders of the Welsh language!
Glossary of Gymraeg (Welsh Words)
In most instances, the following words are used so their meaning is explained within the context of the story. I have taken a few liberties with the plural, adjective and possessive forms of some words. Welsh follows the Latin & other Romance languages noun/adjective (as in vin rouge/ vino rosso /gwin coch) rather than the Teutonic adjective/noun (red wine) but to do that in a book written in English would be a step too far. I wanted to use some Welsh to give some flavour of the language Caryl and her friends speak. As in Invasion, Book 1 of this series, Christophe Maides is conversant in the Celtic language, having a greater facility for linguistics than his close friend, Jehan-Emíl deFreveille.
Welsh also employs a similar form of expressing ownership: the object is dominant and the owner is subordinate: her cloak is ei chlogyn hi. Caryl’s cloak is clogyn Caryl. For the purposes of this story, I have used the English possessive construction of adding ‘apostrophe s’. I simplified the mutations that occur in specific juxtapositions of words starting with certain letters, such as in ei chlogyn hi: ei designates (in this instance) female when followed by hi. If followed by ‘e’ then the mutation is male and is ei glogyn e. These mutations are the aspirate and soft mutations, respectively. There is also the nasal mutation which replaces the beginning consonant with an ‘ng’, ‘ngh’, ‘m’, ‘mh’, ‘n’, or ‘nh’ when the word is proceeded by ‘yn’ (and a number of other instances that I won’t mention!) as ‘c’ becomes ‘ngh’; ‘g’ becomes ‘ng’; ‘b’ becomes ‘m’; ‘p’ becomes ‘mh’; ‘t’ becomes ‘nh’. Caryl refers to her husband as fy ngŵr.
You can hear how these words are pronounced at http://translate.google.com/. The emphasis is always on the next to last syllable, as in most Romance languages. Below, I have used some English words to illustrate the sounds. ‘S’ is always an ‘es’ sound, never ‘z’. ‘R’ is always rolled. ‘CH’ is always aspirated as in ‘loch’, never as in ‘choo-choo’ or ‘k’ as in the Italian ‘che’. ‘DD’ is pronounced as the ‘th’ in ‘with’. ‘TH’ is the ‘th’ sound as in ‘pith’.
Many double letters (dd, ll, th, ph, ng, etc.) are considered a single letter in Welsh and follow their closest single letter (d, l, t, p g etc.) in the Welsh dictionary.
Welsh vowels are the same as in Italian, open and full—one of the reasons why Welsh is called the language of heaven. Welsh also has more vowels than English, not only “and sometimes Y and W”: AEIOUYW.
Arawn: the lord of the underworld (AHR-ow*n) *as in ‘ouch’
Baban: infant (BAH-bahn)
Beudy: Dairy, Milking Parlor (BAY-dee)
Blodyn: flower (BLOW-din) – also a term of endearment
Buarth: farmyard (BEE-ahrth)
Caer: fort (CEYEr)
Calan Gaeaf: beginning of winter/All Hallow’s Eve (CAH-lahn GEYE-ahv)
Calan Gwanwyn: beginning of spring (CAH-lahn GWAHN-win)
Cariad: love (cahr-EE-ahd)
Carthen: blanket (CAHRth-en)
Cawl: Meat (Lamb) Stew (COWl)
Cromlech: burial tomb (CROHM-leCH – CH as in loch)
Cymraes: Welshwoman (CUHM-rice)
Cymro: Welshman (CUHM-row)
Diawl: Devil (DEE-ahwl)
Duw annwyl: Dear God (DEE-you AHN-noo-eel)
Gelyn: enemy (GEL-en – G is always hard as in ‘gas’)
Gwraig: wife (GOOR-eyeg)
Gŵr: man/husband (GOOr)
Gwyl Dewi: St. David’s Day, March 1st (GOO-eel DOW-ee)
Hafod(ydd): small dwelling(s) (HAH-vod(iDD), DD is pronounced as in ‘with’)
Mam: Mother (MAHM)
Meddyg: medic (MEDD-ig, DD is pronounced as in ‘with’)
Menyw: woman (MEHN-you)
Merch: girl (MEHRch – CH as in loch)
Mwydyn: worm (MOOee-din)
Pendefig: prince/nobleman (pen-DEHV-ig)
Pennaeth: chieftain (PEN-eyeth)
Pryfyn: insect (PRUH-vin)
Saeson: Saxon (SIGH-son)
Titw: small bird/tit (TIT-oo)
Trwsus: trousers (TRUE-sis)
Tylwyth: family/clan (TUHL-ooeeth)
Uffern: hell (EE-fehrn)
Uwd: porridge (IEWD)
Ystad: estate (UHS-tahd)
Don’t be shy! Welsh is the language of heaven and of singing. In fact, singing in Welsh is the best way to learn the pronunciation. To get you started, here is a link to a wonderful folk song that I’ve sung in public at a St. David’s Day event while my lawyer played her harp! Morfa Rhuddlan means the Marsh of Red Land (literally). It is a lament for the deaths of Caradog and all his Welsh warriors in a battle with Offa in 796AD, the words were written by Ieuan Glan Geirionydd. A number of harpists have recorded the tune, but it is the words/poetry of the song that capture the true pathos of the history of Cymru (Wales).
If you have time, please listen to the other songs that Thomas L. Thomas sings, you will recognize some of the tunes which have become theme tunes for films and much more. If there is anything that can explain my love of Welsh, Wales and the Welsh people, it is the music they have created that speaks so eloquently to the heart.
Some of the best parts of this novel were the details about cutting. I had no idea such an activity existed – being a city girl who loves the ‘idea’ of riding, with very little real experience. Roberts’s knowledge and understanding of the sport aspects of cutting are evident and made it all the more fascinating.
The romance between Jackson and Alexandria satisfied all the criteria for a good romance and I was happy when Alex made the right choice for her. Jackson is the perfect hero.
Since Roberts is one of my co-writers at Amazon Montlake and a personal acquaintance, my policy of not star-rating books by people/writers I know applies.
However, I recommend this book to readers who enjoy modern/contemporary cowboy romances, readers who are interested in horses and horsemanship, as well as readers who like big business/office romance truly something for everyone.
In fact, my daughter-in-law, a horsewoman and owner, may very well enjoy this book – I will tell her about it.
On the 30th of October 1485, Henry Tudor was crowned Henry VII. On the day of his coronation, historians claim that he created the first permanent armed body in England to serve the monarch—the Yeoman of the Guard.
The Tudors were Cymry (Welsh), hailing from the southwest county of Sir Benfro (pronounced sheer benvro) and were known as the Tudors of Penmynydd.
The Yeomen were chosen from among the Tudors’ own countrymen and this select body of soldiers eventually evolved to set the precedent and standard for the Welsh Guard, renown for their bravery and dedication to serving their contry.
This was also the period at which Cymru (Wales) lost its final vestiges of independence from the English crown (until recent decades) since the king was a Welshmen (Cymro). The crimes of Edward I were not forgotten, nor were the efforts of Owain Glyndŵr during the reign of Henry IV to rid his country of the tyranny of the English yoke.
Once on the throne, the Tudors did as all power-seduced individuals do, they abandoned their supporters in favor of their grip on wielding power over others and the most expedient path to dynasty in spite of Henry VII’s desperate brutality. Despite Elizabeth I’s granting William Williams Pantycelyn the responsibility of translating the Bible into Welsh, the Tudors ceased to be Welsh, though they held the title of the monarchs of England and Wales.
Two devastating events occurred on the 21st of October in the 1960s in Cymru:
1965: The Tryweryn Reservoir, which was built to hold water for the needs of Liverpool, England, was officially opened. This reservoir is held in the highest contempt in Cymru because it required the destruction of the entire village of Tryweryn, a small community in the north.
1966: One year following the destruction of a Welsh village, another village suffered one of the tragic events of the 20th Century. When the colliery tip collapsed on the Pantglas Junior School in Aberfan, 116 children and 28 adults were killed. These images are all available on the Internet (Images of Aberfan Disaster) from media archives such as the BBC, The Sun, Nuff.ox.ac.uk, South Wales Evening Post. I remember this as one of the pivotal events of my childhood.