Tudur Owen outlines the importance of Welsh place names

21 June 2023

In a series for S4C social media platforms Tudur Owen believes Welsh place names belong to everyone - including people who live outside Wales.

The six short films have been created as part of the popular Cynefin series, and are published following a heated debate in the media about the decision of the Brecon Beacons National Park not to use their English name.

By outlining the origins of six place names including the Bannau Brycheiniog, Llandysul, Great Orme, or Gogarth in Welsh, Llandudno, Betws-y-coed and Penychain near Pwllheli, Tudur hopes to encourage people to treasure and use the Welsh names.

The six films which have been produced for S4C by Rondo will be available to watch on S4C's YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and TikTok platforms.

In order to spread the message about the importance of Welsh names as widely as possible, Tudur has also prepared English versions of the films.

Tudur Owen said:

"I'm passionate about Welsh place names. I think they're important not only to tell us where we are, but also who we are. More often than not, there's a good story behind a Welsh name - there are centuries of history to start with.

"It's important to keep a hold of them because we see them disappearing and see them as some kind of symptom of the threat there is to society as things change.

"I try not to preach too much but these are our names, and they belong to everyone - including people outside Wales. They are part of the history of the British Isles after all - something to be treasured and protected.

"As people watch these short small films I hope they will then be able to decide for themselves, because I think it's a mistake to dictate and legislate and force people to use them. People have to use the Welsh names of their own free will."

Llinos Wynne, S4C's Factual Content Commissioner, said:

"The debate over the use of Welsh place names has been a hot topic recently, and so Tudur, who is so passionate about the subject, is the perfect presenter for the films.

"It is also important that this content is available to non-Welsh speakers as it has such a valuable contribution to make to broaden understanding of the origin of our place names. Through our social media platforms we hope that these films will reach as wide an audience as possible."

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