15

Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres: all of Gaul is divided in three parts... but there were twice the number of languages.

There were 2 main waves of Celts into Britain and Ireland.  The first spoke Goidelic and this branch of Celtic is called q-Celtic.  These people may have come over during the Bronze Age; this became the Gaelic spoken in Ireland, the Isle of Man, Scotland and Manx.

Later on came another wave around 500 BC and these people spoke Brythonic and we classify this branch of the language as p-Celtic.  This dialect became Welsh and Cornish in Britain and Breton on the European continent.

Now I've seen some Celtic names... how do you pronounce them?

Welsh
Letter
Usually
Sounds Like
b
b
c
c as in card
d
d
dd
th as in the
f
v
ff
f
g
g as in get
ng
as in sing
ll
hold your
mouth as if
saying l, but
breathe over
the sides of
your tongue
as if saying l,
but breathe
over the
sides of your
tongue
ph
f
r
r (but with a
slight roll)
rh
hr (aspirated)
s
s
si
sh
th
th as in
thought
v
can be v or u
ae, ai
like eye
au
like the letter
a in fate
aw
close to crown
ei, eu
like tee or like
eye or like pay
oi, oe
like coil
ow
like Owen
wy
oo then ee
Irish
Letter
Usually
Sounds Like
b
b
c
c as in card
d
d or j
f
f
g
g as in get
r
may be rolled
bh
w or v
ch
like Loch
dh
like ch but
with g or y
mh
w or v
ph
f
sh
h
si
sh
th
h
ae
like say
ao
like fee
eo
like hoe
ia
like see a
ua
like fluent
Scottish
Letter
Usually
Sounds Like
ch
aspirated K like
the German ach
qu
silent in some
proper nouns
r
rolled
b
b at the start of
a word, p later
on
bh
v
c
like card at start
of word, else
like chk
dh
like gh or yet
fh
silent
g
g at start of
word, k
elsewhere
gh
voiced version
of ch or y
mh
v
p
p or hp
sh
h
t
t or ht
th
h
d
d or j (like let)
si
sh

Ywerddon & Iwerddon
In Welsh Ywerddon means fairy land and Iwerddon means Ireland. Coincidence?

Nemeton - the celtic word for sacred grove/trees.  How do we know? There was a Latin glossary which specifically defined it, but you can also see it in place names like Drunemeton, Nemetobriga, Vernemeton and Medionemeton.

A passage on the words for Magic - from Lewis Spence's Magic Arts in Celtic Britain*
"...we find that the noun employed to describe the spoken word of Magic, or the spell, among the Gaelic-speaking Celts of ancient Scotland and Ireland was Bricht, which has been equated with the Icelandic bragr, "poetry", that is "magical rhyme".  A term commonly used among the Gaels to denote any magical act, or sleight of sorcery is Druidheachd, which only too readily reveals the actual source of its inspiration.  The word Eolas, "knowledge", is also frequently still in use as signifying magical potency..."
*many of these older sources need to taken with a "grain of salt", but still have some valuable information.  I do not know enough yet about these languages to properly evaluate the statement; so I left it to you to judge for yourself!

 

 

 

 
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