As part of the growing effort to record Welsh place names on Wikipedia, Menter Iaith Môn is embarking on an exciting project to protect the names of beaches and rivers on Anglesey so that they can be remembered forever and welcomed to new digital uses.
Like the Welsh language, the beaches are treasure on Môn, and for many of Anglesey’s visitors as well. It is therefore important that we introduce the Welsh names to the visitors, and that the pronunciation is available to learn on the web.
The 2017 Anglesey National Eisteddfod launched the WiciMôn scheme, and set the challenge of recording the voices of people from all over Wales pronouncing the names of their home villages in their own accents. The data was collected and entred into the open Wikipedia encyclopedia and fed into the relevant articles. This data was used, during lockdown, by Dafydd Elfryn to create an interactive map of Wales highlighting these names.
“When I came across this record collection on Wikipedia, I immediately thought of translating the place names into an interactive map, making an interesting little project. Combining the names with Ordnance Survey’s Open data, I first mapped the names of Anglesey and Gwynedd. After sharing the map on Twitter and Facebook, several comments praised the voice data, and its usefulness. That prompted me to map out the rest of the voices to fill in the map. The response has been great, with Welsh speakers, learners and non-Welsh speakers interested in hearing how places are supposed to sound. ”
WiciMôn needs you again, by seeking the contributions of local residents to record the names of beaches and rivers, to ensure that the Welsh language is accessible to all.
Nia Thomas, Chief Officer of Menter Iaith Môn, explained:
“With more and more people choosing to spend their holidays in Britain, we are well aware that the beaches on Anglesey offer sanctuary to many who wish to have a few days off. Today, through the heavy influence of social media, the English names are becoming popular on these beaches, Silver Bay, Cable Bay, Newborough Beach to name a few. By digitally recording Welsh names, we are making Welsh more accessible to our visitors, and it is a practical step that we as Welsh speakers can take to encourage the use of these names.”
The public can contribute by following a tutorial video from WikiMôn below. The video explains how to digitally upload the recordings, so everyone is welcome to take part.
Contact Aaron Morris, WikiMôn Officer with Menter Iaith Môn, firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.