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How to say: Clydach

Host Host | 12:28 UK time, Monday, 14 August 2006

Catherine SangsterA guide to words and names in the news, from Catherine Sangster of the BBC Pronunciation Unit.

"Today's pronunciation is the Welsh town Clydach, for which we recommend the pronunciation KLID-uhkh (kh as in Scottish "loch").

"This recommendation, for use in English-language broadcasts, is based on the local Welsh pronunciation and was researched with a number of local sources."

(Click for a guide to our phonetic pronunciations (PDF).)


I always have trouble with "Ambwlans", Catherine.

Any ideas?



  • 2.
  • At 12:21 PM on 15 Aug 2006,
  • Philip wrote:

What nonsense !! Who on earth told them that the letter 'y' in Welsh is pronounced that way ?

Surely 'klud' is the correct way to say the first syllable ?

And the guide above appears to suggest [please correct me if I'm wrong] that the second syllable is pronounced 'Ugh!'. Again this is nonsense. Just think how a German would pronounce 'Ach!' and I think you are bang on the button.

You asked 'various sources' - were they all English ?! Rant over..

You say your pronunciation guide is based on English words, but you break this in example: prununciation. shuhn is not an English word and uhn is not a valid sequence of letters! I assume you're trying to represent schwa with uh. THis is an excellent example of why using a modified IPA would be clearer.

  • 4.
  • At 09:15 AM on 16 Aug 2006,
  • Jim wrote:

Yep, it would be pronounced by Welsh speakers - and is generally pronounced on the Welsh local news - as KLUH-dach, with the schwa sound for the 'y' and a clear, open 'a'.

However, things are often not what they seem down South. If you asked the way to Creigiau (near Llantrisant) pronouncing it 'correctly' as "CRAY-gee-eye", you'd get bemused looks. Because of the long influence of English in the region, it's generally pronounced 'CRY-ger' even by some Welsh speakers.

  • 5.
  • At 09:46 AM on 17 Aug 2006,
  • Philip wrote:

Sorry, itchy trigger finger there..

It is 'CRAY-gee-aye' as in 'Aye Aye, me 'earties'...

But a confession..even I will often pronounce 'Port Talbot' with the second word sounding like 'Tall, but..[not as tall as]'...

Maybe I've lived in England too long..

  • 6.
  • At 03:07 PM on 17 Aug 2006,
  • Anthony James wrote:

The pronunciation unit have got it wrong on this place name.

Maybe somebody should speak to Huw Edwards about this because Clydach is always pronounced KLUH Dach - whether you are a Welsh or non-Welsh speaker.

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