Welsh Language and Literature

The National Library of Wales
The library offers the kinds of information visitors need, but also various indices and databases of library materials. Be sure to visit the Digital Mirror, which showcases some of the library’s holdings, as well as special exhibits like this one on the Archietecture of Wales and this exhibit on the Treasures of the Library.

The Welsh Language Board
Pay particular attention to their overview of Welsh and Welsh speakers, and the section on Welsh for adult learners.

Introduction to the Welsh Alphabet and Language
This brief overview on the Britannia site is one of the best introductions to Welsh spelling and pronunciation I’ve seen.

Cymdeithas Madog
This site is maintained by Cymdeithas Madog, the Welsh Studies Institute of North America, Inc., a tax-exempt, non-profit organization dedicated to helping North Americans learn, use and enjoy the Welsh language. The Welsh learning material includes essays about Welsh and learning Welsh, an essay on the Welsh alphabet, a bibliography of material for learners, simple stories in Welsh, reviews of Welsh textbooks for learners, humor, and some JPEG images of Wales. There’s an excellent essay by Alun Hughes on How to Use a Welsh Dictionary; it’s not as easy as you might think.

History and Status of the Welsh Language
This brief introduction was first created as an appendix to Mark Nodine’s Welsh course, but has subsequently taken on a life of its own. It hasn’t been updated recently, but it is still worth reading if you are new to Welsh.

A Welsh Course
This course by Mark Nodine is suitable for beginners. This is a really rich and well-designed site, with lots of links well worth checking on a regular basis, but it does use frames. Don’t miss the dictionary and spelling checker. Most of the course is available via anonymous ftp. Check out the file ftp://ftp.cs.brown.edu/u/man/welsh/README.etx for details.

Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru
The GPC, the Welsh equivalent of the OED, was begun in 1921 by the Board of Celtic Studies of the University of Wales to produce the first standard historical Welsh dictionary, Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru—The Dictionary of the Welsh Language has been published in parts since 1950, and the final part was published in 2002.


This is really a collection of three excellent and scholarly sites by Jeff Davies. It includes Y Beirdd, an interesting site on poetry from its earliest beginnings in Wales. The site, temporarily down while it is being revised, includes excerpts from the Book of Aneirin, the Black Book of Carmarthen, and even the Welsh Triads. Don’t miss Jeff’s Hanes Cymrus, the History of Wale, offers primary sources in the form of early Welsh historical documents, like the Latin text of the Annales Camriae, and a number of interesting links.

Medieval Welsh Literature.
This useful topical survey of Medieval Welsh literature to c.1400,including Arthurian Studies is “A personal guide to University of Wales Press publications” with commentary by Dr. Rachel Bromwich.

Culwch ac Olwen
Professor Christopher Grooms used frames to create this glossed Welsh excerpt of “The Tale of Dillus the Bearded” from Culwch and Olwen which includes helpful vocabulary and notes in English. His whole site is worth your time; don’t miss his extensive Welsh language, history and literature bibliography.

Gwenllian’s Poetry Primer
An Introduction to Welsh Poetic forms by Katherine L. Bryant. Written by a member of the SCA, this site offers a good survey of Welsh poetic forms, and explains some of the intricacies of Welsh meter and scansion in very straightforward language.

The Maldwyn Index to Welsh Poetry in Manuscript
An index to every Welsh poem in manuscript written before 1830, including first and last lines, authors, and subjects.

Y Lolfa Publishers of Welsh Books
Y Lolfa published the very first Welsh textbook I used when I started learning Welsh at fifteen.

This Welsh language “inforamtionary” site from Harry Campbell is about why, what, and how to learn Welsh.

Nick Davies’ interesting Welsh web log or “blog.”

Data Wales
A site produced in Wales, in English, with lots of links. Data Wales attempts to imitate the Parish Magazine (local history and local knowledge).

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