The Welsh word for Wales is Cymru which comes from the Welsh name for the people of Wales, Cymry.
Mae Cymru yn wlad mor brydferth.
Wales is such a beautiful country.
Both words are descended from the Brythonic word combrogi which means compatriots. It is suspected that it came into use sometime before the 7th century and was used to describe not only the people of modern Wales but also northern England and southern Scotland. The names Cumbria (a county in England), Cambria, and Cumberland are all derived from the same word.
The word for North Wales is Gogledd Cymru whereas the south is referred to as De Cymru. Gorllewin Cymru and Dwyrain Cymru are West and East Wales respectively.
Fun fact: The word ‘Wales’ derives from the old English Wealh (singular) / Wēalas (plural) which in turn derives from the Proto-Germanic walhaz, the word used to refer to any inhabitant of the Western Roman Empire. The Anglo-Saxons who invaded Britain used the word to describe the Britons and the plural form came to describe the name of their territory, Wales.
How to Pronounce Wales in Welsh
Cymru is pronounced [ˈkəmri] in the south and [‘kəmrɨ̞]* in the north. For those of you who cannot read IPA, it sounds a bit like kum–ree. You can hear the correct northern pronunciation by listening to the audio samples in the video below.
*To learn about the difference in pronunciation between [i] (south) and [ɨ̞] (north) in Welsh, check out the video below.
If you want to say “in Wales”, things become a bit tricker due to the hard-to-pronounce mutations: yn (in) + Cymru = yng Nghymru. You can refer back to the first video to hear how to pronounce it properly.
Dw i’n byw yng Nghymru ers dwy flynedd.
I’ve lived in Wales for two years.
As for “to Wales” and “from Wales”, simply mutate Cymru into Gymru and place the prepositions i (to) and o (from) in front.
Dw i’n symud i Gymru i weithio.
I’m moving to Wales to work.
Dw i’n dod o Gymru.
I come from Wales.
Useful phrases featuring the word Cymru
- Well done, Wales! = Da iawn, Cymru!
- Wales forever! = Cymru am byth!
- Good luck, Wales! = Pob lwc, Cymru!
- I love Wales! = Dw i’n caru Cymru!
- Made in Wales = Wedi’i wneud yng Nghymru
- Come on, Wales! = Dewch ymlaen, Cymru!