July 27 – Welsh...in Argentina?

Posted on July 27, 2020

If you ever go to southern Argentina, you may happen on a very clear, twisty river called Chubut River. That name comes from a Tehuelche word that means "transparent."

But the river had another name: "Afon Camwy." And that name means "twisting river." 

And that name is Welsh!

You may know that Wales is pretty darned far from southern Argentina. However, on this date in 1865, settlers from the British isle arrived in the rugged Southern Hemisphere region. 

They settled, they built, and they ended up thriving.

And even today, Welsh is spoken by some people in that region; several towns have Welsh names and feature tea houses.

Speaking of Welsh names...they're sometimes odd. In English, the letter "y" sometimes acts as a consonant and sometimes acts like a vowel; the same is true in Welsh, but the letter "w" is always a vowel! 

It's a lovely region!
The southern region of Argentina
is called Patagonia.
The name of the Welsh colony was Y Wladfa. Some of the towns founded by settlers from Wales include Trelew, Dolovan, and Trevelin. Other Welsh place names in Argentina include Dyffryn y Merthyron, which translates to Valley of the Martyrs. I bet most people use the Spanish name, though: Valle de los Mártires!

Since Argentina's official language is Spanish, the first
language seen on this sign is Spanish. However, the
sign is translated into both Welsh and English, as well.

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