Typing Welsh Characters and Accents. The Welsh Circumflex

Typing Welsh characters and accents can present a small problem to the Windows PC user, but this is easily overcome.

Most Welsh alphabet characters are 'standard', except that all the vowels can take a circumflex, or to bach.

In addition the letters w and the y in Welsh, can also take a to bach, or circumflex, caret, like so....

ŵ and ŷ

The caret accent in Welsh is called a "to bach" which literally means "little roof".

It looks like a Chinese hat and is equivalent to the French circumflex.

The caret is this character ^.

What does the Welsh caret, cirumflex, or to bach do?

The addition of the caret, circumflex, or to bach in Welsh, causes a longer pronunciation of the letter.

It stretches out the vowel.

So the letter a without the to bach is pronounced as in 'Welsh English' man, ban, can or van....

Adding the to bach makes it longer, more like maan, baan, caan, or vaan...

Contents on this Page

  1. Typing the Welsh Caret in 200 Words a Day! Programmes
  2. Doing the Welsh Caret in Microsoft Word
  3. Doing the Welsh Caret in Microsoft Outlook
  4. Making your own Shortcut of the Welsh Caret in Microsoft Word

Typing the to bach, or Caret in your 200 Words a Day! Learn Welsh software course

Your 200 Words a Day! Learn Welsh course uses certain keystrokes to get the caret above the vowels and the letters w and y [w and y] = ŵ and ŷ.

How to type the Welsh Circumflex, to bach or caret on the Vowels:

Ctrl+^ - (â Â, ê Ê, î Î, ô Ô, û Û, ŵ and ŷ )

Here are the instructions for typing a to bach, a Welsh Circumflex, on the Welsh vowels a, e, i, o, u when using your Learn Welsh 200 Words a Day! course.

  1. Hold down the Ctrl key then press the Caret key (usually Shift 6 as the caret is just above the number 6 key).
  2. Release all keys simultaneously.
  3. Type the appropriate letter a, e, i, o, u, w and y (in upper or lower case as appropriate)
  4. That should be it! Typing Welsh characters and accents made easy!

Typing the Welsh Circumflex Using standard Microsoft shortcuts or commands

The Microsoft shortcuts have an added complication for the person typing Welsh characters, in that the w and y use a different system, as they are not 'standard' characters.

How to type the Welsh Circumflex, to bach or caret on the Vowels:

Ctrl+^ (â Â, ê Ê, î Î, ô Ô, û Û)

Here are the instructions for typing a to bach, a Welsh Circumflex, on the Welsh vowels a, e, i, o, u on your Windows PC keyboard.

  1. Hold down the Ctrl key then press the Caret key (usually Shift 6 as the caret is just above the number 6 key).
  2. Release all keys simultaneously.
  3. Type the appropriate letter a, e, i, o, u.

Typing ŵ and ŷ are a little different in a Microsoft document or .doc file

The two Welsh characters that cause a little extra bother are the Welsh letter w and the Welsh letter y when they have a circumflex over the top of them. ŵ and ŷ.

Typing Welsh characters, or accents/letters w and y is done as per the following:

  1. Open a new document
  2. on the Menu Bar click Insert/Symbol:
  3. a grid with lots of characters appears.
  4. - the letter w plus to bach [ w ] is the first character on row 12, the y with to bach [ y ] is character three
  5. - select the character & press the insert icon
  6. Now copy the character into your Word Document

Typing the ŵ and ŷ in Outlook Express or Microsoft Outlook

Accented characters created in emails using Outlook Express/Outlook are usually transmitted without any problems.

The exceptions are the Welsh letters w and y with a caret above them, or circumflex above them.

ŵ and ŷ

The reason for non transmission is technical (these characters are not in the ASCII character set) but it's still possible to send emails which include these two characters.
  1. Start a new e-mail
  2. Click the Format icon and ensure that the setting is Rich Text (With setting of Plain Text, the characters are lost in transmission)
  3. Open a Microsoft Word Document containing a character ŵ and ŷ plus to bach [w and y]

    or Open a new document,

    and on the Menu Bar click Insert/Symbol: a grid with lots of characters appears.

    - the letter w plus to bach [ ŵ ]is the first character on row 12, the y with to bach [ ŷ ]is character three

    - select the character & press the insert icon

  4. Now copy the character from the Word Document and paste it onto your e-mail

Making and keeping your own Shortcut for the Welsh ŵ and ŷ in Microsoft Word

To Create a Shortcut key to type the character ŵ or ŷ

1) On the Menu Bar, select Insert/Symbol
2) Select a font e.g. Arial Unicode MS
3) Click the ŵ character with to bach (1st character on row 12)
4) Click the Shortcut Key icon near the foot of the Symbol window.
5) In the Customise Keyboard, click the new shortcut key box, holding down the Ctrl key, press the caret key (caret is shift+6 on U.K keyboards)
Release all keys
Press the “w” key
Click the Assign button
Click Close
Repeat the procedure to assign a shortcut to ŷ
The caret above the w or y is now obtained using a Microsoft type shortcut

First press Ctrl+Caret
then press the required letter a, e, i, o, u, w or y

to produce the following: - â ê î ô û ŵ ŷ

Unicode Characters and html characters

The Unicode html character numbers are:

ŵ = 373
ŷ = 375

To write them you need to write:

&#xxx;

replacing the xxx with the relevant number.

There it is!

"ŵ and ŷ - How do I type the Welsh letter w and Welsh letter y with a circumflex, to bach, or Chinese Hat" all explained!

As you can see typing Welsh characters is not entirely problem-free but these techniques will help you overcome any difficulties.

Remember for super-dooper accelerated Welsh vocab learning the 200 Words a Day! Learn Welsh system is 5 times faster than traditional learning systems.

Now you know about typing Welsh characters - check out the info on typing all manner of foreign characters.


200 Words a Day! Learn Welsh - Typing Welsh Characters
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Exceltra, 32 Alverton, Great Linford, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, MK14 5EF, United Kingdom
© 2005-2009 Typing Welsh Characters and Accents

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