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10.2 Alphabets

The Welsh alphabet has 29 letters whereas the English alphabet has 26.
The differences include:

  • digraph letters that occur in the Welsh alphabet: ch, dd, ff, ng, ll, ph, rh, th
  • letters of the English alphabet that are not in the Welsh alphabet: k, q, v, x, z.

Digraph letters are composed of two characters, but are treated as a single
letter. The full Welsh alphabet is therefore:

a, b, c, ch, d, dd, e, f, ff, g, ng, h, i, j, l, ll, m, n, o, p, ph, r, rh, s, t, th, u, w, y

These differences result in two main issues that need to be addressed:

  • the sort order is different from the English alphabet and is further
    complicated by the presence of digraph letters
  • for a text string, the character count will likely be different to the
    letter count.

Welsh vowels can also be modified by diacritic marks, e.g. â, ô, ŵ. This issue
will be covered in the discussion of character sets (section 10.3).
 

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