Browsing Category: Wales and Great Britian

Welsh Wednesdays | Welsh Books

A discussion on Welsh books, or books related to Wales.

Today, for Welsh Wednesdays, Llinos and I will be sharing about Welsh books. It’s obvious that I am obsessed with both Wales and books, so it only makes sense that I would have a shelf solely dedicated to Welsh history and culture.

A discussion on Welsh books, or books related to Wales.

I have many history books…I have about two and a half shelves full of them. Most of them have to do with medieval times, especially medieval Britain. That was, after all, my emphasis in my history major. So, of course, that also includes Wales, and is also part of the reason I decided to study Welsh.

Welsh books

As you can see, I have a Welsh dragon, or Draig Cymraeg. I also have my Welsh grammar books and dictionaries to help me practice my Welsh. La Morte D’Arthur is included in that because I’m in the school that yes, Arthur was a real historical figure, and yes, he was in fact, Welsh.  Then, stacked, are all my history books: one specifically is a short history on Wales, itself. But, the rest all have to do with Wales as part of Great Britain.

I also have a Welsh Book of Mormon:

Welsh books

The Book of Mormon is the scriptures that sets Mormons apart from other Christians. We believe it is another testament of Christ. It has been translated into numerous languages across the globe, including Welsh. However, the translation was done in the mid-1800s, and trying to read its style of Welsh is like an ESL learner trying to read Shakespeare! It’s an older, more formal format and is grammatically pretty difficult. But, it’s great to learn the spiritual and religious Welsh vocabulary.

I also have a few Welsh books that I will give Rhys when he is older.

Welsh books

The first is actually a Welsh book for Welsh boy scouts! I can’t wait to use it when Rhys is in Scouts! The second is a picture book about Welsh princes, one of which is Rhys’s namesake!

And, of course, I’ve done book reviews on both The Castle of Llyr and Born to Treason, novels that take place in Wales and have to do with Welsh history or legends.

What Welsh books or books about Wales have you read?

Join Llinos from the Lilac Linnet and Tayler from The Morrell Tale on the last Wednesday of every month for Welsh Wednesdays!

Tayler from The Morrell Tale.com

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

Welsh Names | Welsh Wednesdays

Rhys is a Welsh name with Welsh etymology. It means enthusiasm, but it's heritage and history goes far beyond that one-word definition.

I have always, always been interested in etymology. Even as a little kid, I loved looking through the big baby names books and looking to see what my favorite names meant. So, after I became obsessed with Wales and all things Welsh, I knew that I was going to use Welsh names for my children…all I had to do was convince my husband!

Rhys is a Welsh name with Welsh etymology. It means enthusiasm, but it's heritage and history goes far beyond that one-word definition.

Rhys was an all-time favorite Welsh name of mine. It is easy to say, sounds smooth, and has a proud heritage. Many princes and warriors have been named Rhys in Welsh history. The most famous of all is Prince Rhys ap Gruffydd. He held Wales together while the Norman kinds, especially ruthless Henry II, tried to bring Wales under their rule. Rhys stood up for the rights of the Welsh and kept them united. He ruled most of Southern Wales. Prince Rhys was a smart tactician and politician. He was very witty and wise. He also is the ancestor of Henry VII, who began the Tutor Reign.

Rhys is also in many fantasy books and videogames. They all happen to be red-headed warriors. Well, I knew I wanted my son to be a red-headed warrior who was proud of his Welsh heritage, as I am. It helps to now know that Justin’s family tree includes many Dark Age Irish, Scottish, and Welsh kings and princes, including King Arthur himself!

When I brought up to my husband my burning desire to name our firstborn son Rhys, he was ok with it. Mainly because one of his favorite characters from his favorite series of videogames, Fire Emblem, had a red-headed warrior healer named Rhys.

The true etymology of Rhys is “enthusiasm”, and our son Rhys definitely has an enthusiasm for life!

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Some other famous Rhyses are John Rhys-Davies (Gimli on Lord of the Rings) and Rhys Ifans the actor.

We have decided to have Welsh names be part of all our kids’ names, either the first or middle name. If this baby #2 happens to be a girl, we already have a name picked out: Irish first name and Welsh middle name.

Do you have any Welsh names or know someone who does? What is it and what does it mean?

Make sure you check out Llinos’s post to see what her very Welsh name means!

Join Llinos from the Lilac Linnet and Tayler from The Morrell Tale on the last Wednesday of every month for Welsh Wednesdays!Tayler from The Morrell Tale.com

Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

Welsh Folklore and Mythology | Welsh Wednesdays

I’ve always loved folklore and mythology. So it comes as no surprise that I love the Welsh mythology and folklore.

Instead of give one long story, I’m going to talk about a few that I really like.

King Arthur

Did you know that Arthur is Welsh? Yes he is! His father, Uther Pendragon  (Wthyr Pen-Draig) was an actual ancient Welsh king. Pendraig (or Pendragon) became the name of a prominent Dark Age/ Medieval Welsh royal house. Plus, Arthur’s name is Welsh–“arth” means “bear” in Welsh, and he was known as “The Bear” in many legends and tales. There are many, many ancient Welsh prophecies about Arthur. And, Nennius, a famous medieval scholar and historian, claimed that he was. (Also, my son Rhys is a descendant of Arthur!) Avalon is derived from Welsh meaning island of the apples…and in stories, Avalon did have apple orchids! Also, many believe that the Welsh town of Caerleon is where Camelot was.

Merlin

If Arthur was Welsh, then Merlin definitely was Welsh. In fact, it is more agreed upon that Merlin was a Welsh “prophet”/”soothsayer” than that Arthur was real or Welsh. Merlin, which has the Latin root, “Mer” meaning “from the ocean” (which it was believed by some that he was washed upon the shores as a child), actually is derived from the Welsh name, Myrddin (pronounced: mer-then) Emrys. If any of you have ever watched the BBC series, Merlin, the druids and Mordred call him “Emrys.” It is believed that Merlin grew up in the shadow of Snowden, Yr Wyddfa. I hiked there, and I could just feel the majesty and power, imagining that Merlin grew up where I walked.

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Black Cauldron and the Chronicles of Prydain

Have you ever seen of or heard of the Black Cauldron? It was actually a Disney movie that came out in 1985, and although it was PG, it was seen as too dark and scary, so they quickly vaulted it, but then it was released again for a short time in the 90s. So, I grew up watching it and loving the story of heroes with magic swords, princesses with magic, fairies, witches, and other mythical creatures fighting against magical evil warlords. It wasn’t until college, when I was studying Welsh, that I learned the Black Cauldron is actually part of the Mabinogion (the collective Welsh folklore compiled in the 12th century).

I’ve also started to read the Chronicles of Prydain…the series that goes in depth with the story of Taran and Eilonwy.

 

And, of course, there are always the dragons, fairies, elves, wizards, and other typical mythological creatures that go with any Celtic lore.

Make sure you check out Llinos’s post to see her favorite Welsh folklore and mythology.

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Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

Welsh Wednesday | Learning the Welsh Language

Learning Welsh was more fun that I ever expected.

I always knew that I wanted to learn a Celtic language when I went to college. I was naive enough to believe that it would be easy and accessible–it’s college, they have all the languages taught there, right? Thankfully, I was lucky enough to go to BYU, which offered Welsh. By one professor. Who went to South Wales on a mission for the LDS Church when he was in his early twenties. He had fallen in love with the culture and wanted to learn the Welsh language (he spoke English on his mission). Then, he got hired by BYU and started teaching.

Learning Welsh was more fun that I ever expected.

There were about 5 people in any of my classes (BYU only offered 101, 102, 201 study abroad, and 305 reading/translation/choir). I mean, why does an American need to know Welsh, a dying language in its own country?

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But, it was so much fun! We used workbooks shipped over from Wales. We watched documentaries. We found Welsh videos to help us practice dialogue (like the videos you would use in high school Spanish class).

When I went on Study Abroad, we took two weeks out of the time there to enroll in a very intensive Welsh course for adults. Most of the adults who were in this class took it every summer. Either, they wanted to connect with their past and genealogy, or they wanted to help their children who were in Welsh immersive elementary schools with homework. We were the only Americans. They could tell by our accents. They asked the same question: “Why does an American want to learn Welsh?”

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For me, it was my obsession with medieval Britain, and the fact that I am about 1/16 Welsh. I do have a lot more Danish and Swedish blood in me, but I’ve never felt an affinity for those cultures.

This course was grouped together by levels. My Welsh professor even attended, to keep his language skills intact. He would always do the level below the fluent level. I remember the most anxious time my friends and I had…we were in level 3 out of 8. But, there was always an hour in which the different levels were paired together to help practice conversation. We were paired with the 8’s! The fluent speakers! But, I remember how smoothly the Welsh rolled off my tongue when I spoke to this nice old grandpa. He was so patient, always smiled, and never once talked down to me or patronized me. He even complimented me!

When I got back to BYU, I took the 305 class. We read different articles in Welsh and translated them. We did the reverse for recipes and interviews. Then, we got a special assignment! There was a Welsh minister (not Mormon), who wanted a Welsh hymnal for his congregation. So, we began to translate his hymns for him. We also started translating some LDS hymns for the LDS Church to have in their database. Then, one day, he came to America and we were able to meet him.

The LDS Church has a program they run on BYUTV every Sunday called Music and the Spoken Word. It is a half hour devotional program, basically. And, this week, their music was gong to be the songs this minister had written. He was to be their special guest, and we were to be his +1’s. It was so excited to hear the music that we had helped translate. It was also so much fun to be recognized by the program for what he accomplished for this Welsh minister!

red — coch (coke)
blue — glas
yellow — melyn (melon)
orange — oren (or-in)
purple — porffor (pour-for)
green — gwyrdd (gwerth)
pink — binc (bink)
black — du (dee)
white — gwyn (gwen)

Where is the goat? It’s time for milking
Off among the craggy rocks
The old goat is wand’ring.
Goat white, white, white
With her lip white, lip white, lip white
With her tail white, with her tail white
With her tail and flank white,
White, white, white.
(On repeat increase speed of melody
AND follow with all preceding colors).
2. Goat black, black, black
With her lip black, lip black, lip black
With her tail black, with her tail black
With her tail and flank black,
Black, black, black.3. Goat red, red, red
With her lip red, lip red, lip red
With her tail red, with her tail red
With her tail and flank red,
Red, red, red.

4. Goat blue, blue, blue
With her lip blue, lip blue, lip blue
With her tail blue, with her tail blue
With her tail and flank blue,
Blue, blue, blue.

Oes gafr eto, oes heb ei godro?
Ar y creigiau geirwon
Mae’r hen afr yn crwydro.
Gafr wen, wen, wen,
Ie fin wen, fin wen, fin wen,
Foel gynffon wen, foel gynffon wen,
Ystlys wen a chynffon,
Wen, wen, wen.2. Gafr ddu, ddu, ddu,
Ie fin ddu, fin ddu, fin ddu,
Foel gynffon ddu, foel gynffon ddu,
Ystlys ddu a chynffon,
Ddu, ddu, ddu.

3. Gafr goch, goch, goch,
Ie fin goch, fin goch, fin goch,
Foel gynffon goch, foel gynffon goch,
Ystlys goch a chynffon,
Goch, goch, goch.

4.  Gafr las, las, las,
Ie fin las, fin las, fin las,
Foel gynffon las, foel gynffon las,
Ystlys las a chynffon,
Las, las, las.

Welsh Wednesdays--the last Wednesday of every month! Come learn more about the Welsh history, culture, and language!

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Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.

Welsh Wednesday | Castles of Wales

One of the most significant and well-known things about Wales is its castles. When I studied abroad in Wales, I visited many, many castles throughout Wales, England, and Scotland. It was some of my favorite memories about my study abroad. I loved exploring the ruins, imagining the history within the walls.

Today, Llinos and I will be sharing about our favorite castles in Wales.

Caerphilly and Conwy Castles, and Usk are some of the coolest Welsh castles.

Caerphilly Castle

Caerphilly Castle is one of the largest castles in Wales. Is is located in South Wales, and was built in the 13th century as a defense against the Welsh “rebels”. It has a large moat around it. Throughout it’s history, there are many battles that have taken place around it, as well as in it. The most well known is during the English Civil War in 1642. Cannons were shot at the towers, so many of Caerphilly’s towers are broken and leaning. Around the castle today, there are recreations of different medieval weapons and a recreated Great Room.

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Conwy Castle

Conwy is a city in north Wales. Edward I built it in the mid-13th century as he defeated Wales. He fortified it by building a large wall around the city. Today, the remains of this wall are very apparent throughout the city. The city kind of was built out of and around the wall, lining backyards and houses. This was also one of the strongholds used by Owain Glyndwr (basically the Welsh version of Braveheart) during his 14 year rebellion. It is large, has beautiful towers for lookouts and archers, many historic tales of intrigue, rebellion, and betrayal within the walls. And, it is built right on the sea, giving you an amazing view of both the sea and the city itself.

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Usk Castle

Usk is one of my absolute favorites. Usk Castle isn’t owned by the government, so it isn’t really kept updated. It was allowed to fall into ruins and have nature reclaim it. It is privately owned, and to view it, you literally go into their backyard. Today, it has a very Secret Garden feel and look to it. Usk is located in the South East of Wales, near the border of England. It was one of the first Norman castles built in Wales, and became a Marcher Lord stronghold–Marcher Lords were basically nobles put in charge of different strategic points on the border of Wales to keep an eye on the Welsh. One of my favorite battles of Owain Glyndwr happened near this castle: the Battle of Pwll Melyn.

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Which one of these castles is your favorite?

1 – un (een)
2 – dai (die)
3 – tri (tree)
4 – pedwar (ped-wahr)
5 – pump (pimp)
6 – chwech (**gutteral** kquake)
7 – saith (scythe)
8 – wyth (oith)
9 – naw (now)
10 – deg (dayg)

January – Ionawr (yawn-hour)
February – Chwefror (**gutteral** kway-fror)
March – Mawrth (maurth)
April – Ebrill (ey-brelth)
May – Mai (my)
June – Mehefin (me-hev-in)
July – Gorffenaf (gorf-in-av)
August – Awst (aust)
September – Medi (med-ee)
October – Hydref (huh-drev)
November – Tachwedd (tahk-weth)
December – Rhagfyr (rahg-veer)

Monday – Dydd Llun (deeth lthleen)
Tuesday – Dydd Mawrth (deeth maurth)
Wednesday – Dydd Mercher (deeth merk**gutteral**ker)
Thursday – Dydd Iau (deeth eeyai)
Friday – Dydd Gwener (deeth gwen-er)
Saturday – Dydd Sadwrn (deeth sad-urn)
Sunday – Dydd Sul (deeth seel)

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Tayler is a work at home mom. She does free lance articles and dabbles in graphic design and virtual assisting for bloggers. She spent 3 years as a history and English teacher. Her passions are her husband, two children, history, reading, nature, and her Savior, Jesus Christ.