Launch of Place Names App Tro
On Friday morning, 5th of July, a new app, Tro was launched at Plas Newydd, Llangollen. Tro is an extended reality app of native place names.
The idea for creating an app of landscape names was introduced following discussions at the end of conferences held by Mynyddoedd Pawb at Glan-llyn, Urdd Outdoor Activity Centre. Mynyddoedd Pawb, Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB and Galactig are responsible for the app. Welsh Government’s Cymraeg 2050 grant was secured to support the project, this grant is given to projects with the potential to contribute towards the Government’s aim of having a million Welsh speakers in Wales by 2050. The project also collaborates with Menter Iaith Sir Ddinbych and us here at Menter Iaith Fflint a Wrecsam.
Offa’s Dyke National Trail
Tro includes part of the northern section of the Offa’s Dyke National Trail from Prestatyn to Chirk. After downloading the app and whilst on the path, your phone will vibrate in your pocket when it is within the catchment area of a particular place, it is then possible to look at the view through the mobile phone’s screen. As you look through the screen, the place names will appear in the correct locations. You can hear how the place names are pronounced by a variety of local voices as you place your finger near the selected place name on screen. You can also learn more about the various names and locations, their meanings, their history and relevant legends by placing your finger on another small symbol next to any name.
Support was received by Hywel Wyn Owen and permission to use the books Dictionary of the Place Names of Wales, Hywel Wyn Owen and Richard Morgan and Placenames of Flintshire, Hywel Wyn Owen and Ken Lloyd Gruffydd as information sources for Tro.
The app has been intended for the outdoor industry, local people, schools and visitors of all ages. The area of Clwydian Range and Dee Valley is the pilot area for this project. Tro should prove to be a useful resource for introducing the Welsh language and all its wealth to everyone; place names will be the key to this.
Increase the awareness of Welsh heritage
Mynyddoedd Pawb have been campaigning to raise awareness of Welsh heritage in the outdoor industry in Wales for several years. Mari Gwent from Mynyddoedd Pawb said:
“The app should stimulate interest in the Welsh language, increase the feeling of belonging within local communities, and create interest and raise awareness amongst visitors about the richness of our local heritage, and thereby bring educational and economic benefits to the specific areas.”
The Minister for the Welsh Language, Eluned Morgan, said:
“We have an ambitious plan to grow the number of Welsh speakers to a million by 2050. To achieve that, we need to make it as easy as possible for people to use Welsh in their day to day lives. That’s why making sure people can use digital technology through the medium of Welsh is vital.
“I’m very pleased the Welsh Government has been able to help fund the new TRO Mynyddoedd Pawb app being launched today, which is an incredibly exciting innovation. It will allow keen walkers to explore Welsh place names across the beautiful landscapes in north-east Wales in mixed reality on their digital device, all through the medium of Welsh.”
Visit the website Tro.cymru for further information and to download the app.