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Translation Station: Good Afternoon, Good Evening and Good Night!

Francesca looks at what the Welsh phrases in the Valleys series mean

Someone asked me a while ago about the Welsh phrases used in the Wartime in the Valleys series. Although it's implied that my characters are speaking Welsh much of the time, I've been careful to use only a few expressions to add a flavour of the area and the time.

Some research I did suggested that, during that time in history, ninety per cent of the people in Merthyr Tydfil, would have been speaking Welsh. Since 'Dorcalon' (or Abertysswg, in reality) is not far from there, it's fair to assume that a good proportion of the people there would have spoken Welsh too.

I'm not a Welsh speaker myself, though some of my mother's ancestors were, but it's been fascinating learning a little along the way. My mother had a few phrases, of which my favourite has to be 'Ych y fi!' You have to hear it said to appreciate how much it evokes what it means, which is Ugh! But to give you an idea, it's something like 'uh-ch ah vee', where the ch is a guttural sound at the back of the throat.

Hope that helps anyone wondering what the odd word or phrase means.

As Truman Burbank (sort of) once said in The Truman Show , 'Bore da, and in case I don't see ya, prynhawn da, noswaith dda a nos da!'

Hwyl fawr!

Published by Hera Books

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