Section One - Grammar and Spelling
There are 28 letters in the Welsh alphabet and it is a phonetic language. Therefore, there are specific letters for sounds which are not to be found, for instance, in English, e.g. ll, ch. And being a phonetic language, only c is used to convey the k sound, for instance. U is a vowel in Welsh (similar to the German umlaut). W can be either a vowel or a consonant.
1. Accents: These are used in Welsh to indicate a change in the position of the stress - normally on the penultimate syllable - and in the length of a vowel. The most common accent is the circumflex, which lengthens a vowel which is normally short. The word then will have a different meaning, e.g, tan (under), tân (fire); gwen (white - feminine form), gwên (smile). They are used with both lower and upper case.
2. Genders: Welsh has two noun genders: masculine and feminine, but no neuter. Some adjectives also have masculine and feminine forms which are used according to the gender of the nouns as in French. The gender of nouns is also an important consideration in the 'mutation' system peculiar to Celtic languages, in which the initial letters of words 'mutate' in particular circumstances, e.g. feminine singular nouns mutate after the definite article, but masculine singular nouns do not. (See notes on mutations later).
3. Word order: The noun normally precedes the adjective, apart from some notable exceptions like 'hen' (old), e.e. hen ddyn (old man) causing a mutation even in plural nouns and masculine singular nouns. This happens also in poetic instances.
4. Cases: There aren't any in modern Welsh. Some numerals also have masculine and feminine forms which also have to 'agree' with the gender of the nouns. These might appear strange as you might get dau (masculine two) and dwy (feminine two) in the same sentence.
5. Plurals: There are many ways of forming plurals in Welsh but the most common is the adding of the suffix 'au' to the singular form, e.g. llyfr - llyfrau. This is not always as simple as it looks since the adding of 'au' sometimes causes a change in the vowel of the word stem, e.g. drws - drysau. Other common plural forms are formed by adding - 'iau', 'ion', 'od', 'i', 'oedd'. 'ydd' generally becomes 'yddion'. Some words change a vowel to form the plural, e.g. porth - pyrth, fforc - ffyrc.
Other languages mostly take the plural form of the noun after a numeral or ordinal. But Welsh uses the singular of the noun, as the numeral/ordinal is considered to be an adjective, e.e. deg merch (ten girl).
6. One-letter words: There are many common one-letter words in Welsh, including 'y' (the definite article), which becomes '’r' after a vowel and 'yr' before a vowel, and 'a' the Welsh word for 'and'. There are also common one-letter prepositions - i, o and â.
7. Capitalisation: The use of upper case is generally as in English, but care should be taken not to run an English spell check or Microsoft's autocorrect in case a Welsh 'i' is corrected to an upper case 'I'. Office 2000 now has Welsh as one of its language options.
In general capitalisation is the same as in English. As for headings, titles and bullets, the same pattern as that of the English document is used. However, one- or two-letter words in Welsh titles sometimes look better in lower case, e.g. Daily News - Newyddion y Dydd.
8. Apostrophes: The apostrophe is used as in English, for instance, that is, to indicate the elision of two vowels.
Section Two - Punctuation
Welsh punctuation generally follows the same pattern as English, but should not do so slavishly. Helping to clarify the meaning should be the main consideration.
Section Three - Measurements and Abbreviations
1. Measurements: Both Imperial and metric measurements are used.
Decimal points and thousands separators, same as English text.
Currency: same as in English, except for C (ceiniog) for P (penny).
Times and dates: the same abbreviated forms are used as in English.
However, if the date is written in full in English, e.g. 25th, the abbreviations which refer to the English 'th' vary greatly according to the number and can be af, il, edd, ydd, ed, eg, ain.
When the time is expressed in whole words, the equivalent Welsh wording is used, e.g. noon = canol dydd, midnight = canol nos.
N/a = Amh (Amherthnasol)
No. = Rhif or rhifau (would not abbreviate)
e.g. = e.e (er enghraifft)
i.e. = h.y.
Q&A = C ac A (Cwestiwn ac Ateb)
WxLxHxD = hyd x lled x uchder x dyfnder (would not abbreviate)
D.S. = N.B.
O.N. = P.S.
Etc. or 'ac ati' (Ayb should NOT be used) = etc.
DG = UK
UE = EU
The only abbreviations of measurements which might look strange would be those used for Imperial distances and weights:
Tr (troedfedd) = Ft
Mt sg = square metre
M (milltir) = mile
Ps (pwys) = lbs (pounds)
C (ceiniog) = pence (lit. penny)
However, since these words are becoming less familiar, it is generally likely that they would be written out in full.
Section Four - Hyphenation
1. Hyphenation: Hyphenation is quite common in Welsh. Compound words are often formed with the following prefixes ail/ad/dad/di/prif/cam/ and if the remainder of the word is one syllable, then a hyphen is used, e.g. Ail-ddweud (to repeat, literally to re-say). In other words, it is used to indicate that the stress is not on the normal penultimate syllable. This happens very frequently in placenames, e.g. Pen-bryn and Penbryn, Llanycil and Llan-y-coed. Hyphens are also used within words to separate a 'd' from a 'dd' (e.g. hyd-ddi).
2. End-of-line hyphenation: The rules for this are as follows: