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The interactive map that shows you how to pronounce Welsh placenames

17 Jun 2024 3 minute read
Interactive map of Welsh placename pronunciations

Happening on the Welsh version of Wikipedia has led one man to create a brilliant online tool that allows people to learn how to pronounce Welsh placenames.

Dafydd Elfryn has created Map Llais (Voice Map) which features more than a thousand audio files of placenames in Wales, pronounced in local dialect.

It has become a great resource for many visiting Wales and those already living here.

“The idea first came about when I found the Wikimedia site of Welsh placename pronunciations,” said Dafydd.

“The Welsh Wicipedia team had done the hard work of going out to communities to record and compile the placename pronunciations.

“These sound files were then uploaded onto the Wicimedia site, where they are free to use.”

Inspired by what he found, he quickly came up with the idea of an interactive map that would allow the resource to realise its fullest potential.

“When I stumbled on the list, I immediately though that this data would be great displayed on an interactive map,” he said.


Since he started creating the tool, it has grown in size and popularity.

“At the start of the project, only a few areas had been collected,” said Dafydd. “I started with Gwynedd and Môn, since I know this area a bit better, so it was easier for me to map them out.

“After some trial and error to get things working, that first version went live around 2020.

“As more place names became available, they were added. As of today, there are just over 1,200 locations mapped out.”

Since its launch Dafydd has been contacted by people from across the globe.

“Hopefully, the map is a useful resource for anyone interested or curious about Welsh place names,” he said. “I’ve had messages from visitors to Wales using it to learn the names before coming on holiday, and some from America using it whilst researching their family tree.

“I also hope that it can help in some small way in keeping Welsh place names alive in a time where so many of the old names are being replace by ones that have no connection to the original ones.”

Looking ahead Dafydd says there is still plenty to do and has ideas of how to develop the map.

“As for future plans, there are a few missing places that I’d like to fill.” he said. “I think that adding geographical features like mountains, lakes and rivers etc would also be useful.”

Access Map Llais HERE

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Daf Roberts
Daf Roberts
26 days ago

This tool should be at the top of the BBC Wales news and traffic reporters’ training list. Their pronunciation of place names is average at best.

Dai Rob
Dai Rob
26 days ago

A good venture!

Anyone with an interest in Welsh place names, I would encourage them to look at & consider joining The Welsh Place Names Society/Cymdeithas Enwau Lleoedd Cymru

They do some fantastic work protecting & mapping Welsh place names!!

26 days ago
Reply to  Dai Rob

Great team but they need to encourage use by not charging to view helpful info

Dai Rob
Dai Rob
26 days ago
Reply to  Phil

Hi Phil….what info are you talking about, specifically?

Richard Thomas
Richard Thomas
22 days ago

Excellent idea. We need to give people a helping hand to get pronunciation right. An English speaker (be it one from either side of the border)will mangle Welsh names at first, so help them out. Even a monoglot Cornish person (if they existed) would mangle Welsh names due to the continued existence of V and F sounds articulated in Cornish as they are in English spelling. A bit of help goes a long way. The more people learn, the more they enjoy and feel a positive contribution. That way they’ll have the confidence to use the Welsh name going forward,… Read more »

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