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Twist your tongue to pronounce the longest town name

10.06.2019

English is one of the most universal languages in the world. With that English characters are phono-semantic compounds, you can even spell a word without knowing its meaning. However, you might get stuck in the longest town name in the world, which is a Welsh name with 58 characters.

town name.jpg 

Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch in Wales is said to be the longest town name around the globe. The town name has originated from a shorter name: Llanfairpwllgwyngyll. Dating back to the 1880s, to attract tourist, a local tailor added the rest of the syllables to make it a 58-character long name.

When translated into English, it means “St. Mary’s Church in the hollow of white hazel near a rapid whirlpool and the Church of St. Tysilio near the red cave”, which is still lengthy. 

With 58 characters and being written in Welsh, the town name is not easy to pronounce. The staff at the local tourist information office also pronounce the name perfectly as they have been asked about 30 times a day to pronounce the name. 

Here are some tips to help you pronounce the Welsh name:

ž   Pronounce exactly what the characters are spelled.

ž   A single Welsh F is pronounced like letter V in English, and a double F is pronounced like F in English.

ž   A single L is pronounced like L in English, and a double L is pronounced like L in English.

ž   CH is pronounced with the tongue back in the throat.

ž   Y is pronounced as an“ee” sound and a “uh” sound when at the end of the word.

ž   W is pronounced as an “oo” sound.

ž   “Bws” is pronounced “boos” and “beer” is pronounced “cooroo”.

 

Now it’s your turn. Give it a go to twist your tongue and see if you can do it. Take a deep breath before you start the challenge.



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