O'r Parsel Canol

Sunday, 22 April 2012

A. Lloyd James, School of Oriental Studies

 Bûm yn pori heno mewn llyfryn a oedd gan fy nhad,  gwaith wedi'i gyhoeddi yn 1934 gan y BBC. Rhan o gyfres Broadcast English ydyw (rhif IV), sef Recommendations to Announcers regarding the Pronunciation of Some Welsh Place-Names, gan A. Lloyd James, 'University Professor of Phonetics at the School of Oriental Studies in London', gwr a fagwyd ym Morgannwg a Sir Gâr. Dyn a hanner, a barnu wrth y ffilm fer hon a wnaed yn y 1940au. Er gwaethaf ei siomedigaethau cynnar (gradd trydydd dosbarth mewn Ffrangeg yng Nghaerdydd), fe aeth o nerth i nerth wedyn ac arloesi ym maes ffoneteg yn arbennig — Ffrangeg, Profensal, a llu o ieithoedd Affrica a'r Dwyrain. 

Ond diwedd trist iawn a ddaeth, fel y dywed yr Oxford Dictionary of National Biography: 'On 11 August 1914 Lloyd James had married Elsie Winifred (1888/9–1941), daughter of Luther Owen, a professional musician, of Llanelli. She was a fellow of the Royal Academy of Music and well known as a violinist. Their only child, David Owen Lloyd James, joined the staff of the BBC. The marriage was a particularly happy one until during the stress and anxieties of war Lloyd James fell a victim to depressive insanity. Fearing separation from, and hardship to, his wife, he took her life in 1941 and his own, in Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum, Crawthorne, Berkshire, on 24 March 1943. He had been a man of much sociability and highmindedness, with a passion for punctuality and a scrupulous regard for truth.'

Ond dyma flas ar waith yr awdur eofn yn siarad yn ôl yn 1934 cyn i droeon yr yrfa ei oddiweddyd : 'The mountain strongholds fell; but the place-names inflict ignominious defeat upon the Saxon even to this day'.  'In the days when news was an affair of the printed page, the strangeness of Welsh place-names was little more than a harmless joke, enjoyed by Welshmen and Englishmen alike. They were read in silence and no harm was done. It was not necessary to be able to pronounce Welsh in order to read that matters of importance were happening at Criccieth [sic], or that a champion town-crier had come out of Penrhiwceiber. So long as the Englishman was content  to read these names in silence, all was well'. 

Ond at y gwaith mewn llaw:  'a BBC announcer is in a very different case. He, alas, must pronounce them. . . .  he cannot read his news-bulletin or his S.O.S. message in silence, much as he would like to . . . . .. With French, German, Italian, Spanish, even Hindustani perhaps, he may at some period of his life have had a nodding acquaintance. Welsh is, as a rule, completely unknown to him, and when a racehorse named Llanrwst does things on the turf that call for public mention, an announcer's brow may well be sad . . . . even Przemsyl, with its e, is more in harmony with the general lay-out of European orthographies than Ynysybwl, which has none of the customary five vowel letters of the Roman alphabet'. 

Mae'n treulio hanner tudalen ar y posibiliadau ar gyfer Llanelli gyda'r 'voiceless lateral fricative consonant' (sef yr -ll-). 'If the stranger will place his tongue as though he were going to make an ordinary English l and then blow hard, the walls of this particular Jericho will crumble before the blast'. Mae'n trafod holl fater dweud enwau lleoedd Cymraeg yn Saesneg (Llai/Llay; Cydweli/Kidwelly, etc.). 'An English announcer, who while reading a news-bulletin in English, pronounced Aberdare as [aber'da:r] would be laughed at in Aberdare, and throughout the Principality'. Mae'n diolch i lu o bobl, gan nodi, 'I should like also to acknowledge the help I have received from the schoolmasters and stationmasters who provided the pronunciations of the few names that were unknown to any of us'. Loving the Swónzy, Lámfy, Gwín-kă-gúrwenRewábbon, a Reedamooin y mae'n eu rhoi ochr yn ochr â'r ffurfiau IPA (Gwyddor Ffonetig). 

O.N. Yn gweld fod AbeBooks yn gofyn £175.00 am un arall o'r gyfres hon  gan y brawd A. Lloyd James.  


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