Teach yourself some Welsh by reading this account of the Wales vs. Portugal soccer match


Did you know that hanner amser means “half-time” in Welsh? We didn’t either—until we followed a link from a colleague and saw this:

Half time in Welsh

Wales just played Portugal in the Euro 2016 semi-final, and the Guardian liveblogged it both in English and in Welsh. (Why not Portuguese too, one might ask.) The two blogs are not copies of one another, but by switching between the two and doing some guesswork you can pick up a handful of words of Welsh.

First are the ones that are obvious loan-words from English: goalie, commentary, chants, laptop, action, and the ever-useful blydi hell.

Blydi hell

It’s also easy enough to pick up the names of the two countries just from the title of the live-blog: Cymru v Portiwgal, or “Wales v Portugal.” From that we can also learn the word for Welsh, Cymareg, which is in one case preceded by ffans, which indeed means “fans”:

Screen Shot 2016-07-06 at 4.19.44 PM

At the beginning of each update is the word Munud, followed by a number. That is the “minute” of the match!

There are also a host of words that are not identical to the English, but are close cognates that you can identify from the context. Peint, for example, means “pint,” and comes in the phrase “peint o Superbock,” the last word referring to a not-great Portuguese beer. (Also revealed: “o” means “of.”)

Screen Shot 2016-07-06 at 4.26.33 PM

We also find the phrase “beer dispenser o Superbock.” The Welsh appear to use the English “beer dispenser” to mean “tap”—which is pretty straightforward.

Screen Shot 2016-07-06 at 4.36.02 PM

Wales lost 2-0, so you probably shouldn’t expect the Guardian to liveblog the Euro cup final in Welsh.

Here’s your soccer-Welsh vocabulary review:

Welsh English
hanner amser half-time
goalie goalie
commentary commentary
chants chants
laptop laptop
action action
blydi hell bloody hell
Cymru Wales
Portiwgal Portugal
Cymareg Welsh
ffans fans
munud minute
peint pint
o of
beer dispenser tap?
Superbock Mediocre Portuguese beer
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