SSi Forum

Breakthroughs: Does anybody have small successes/breakthroughs speaking Cymraeg they want to share?


#1003

I’ve just completed Level 1 and am starting to use my Welsh - I often find myself thinking of replies in Welsh (so far, these have mostly been English conversations - but it’s a start!).
I also wrote half a message yn Cymraeg to one of my dear friends who is a first-language Welsh-speaker - and she said that my, “Cymraeg yn dda iawn”! I can’t wait to see her in person and have our first conversation in her Native tongue :grinning: BUT THAT’S NOT ALL… I’ve written my very first song IN WELSH!!! To be fair, I wrote it first in English many years ago, but (as it is being re-recorded) I’ve decided I’m going to sing it in Welsh. It’s called Lliwiau Enaid. Translating the lyrics into Welsh was a great experience… I confess, I did use an online dictionary and translator more than once, but I knew more of the words than I thought I would. There were some interesting changes in the process - in the original version I sing “…with the colours of my soul” and in Welsh it’s now “…gyda lliwiau fy enaid” (“with my soul’s colours”), which I preferred. All I hope now is that I haven’t written anything offensive by mistake… If anyone fancies looking over the words I would be ever so grateful :pray: Can’t wait to record the vocal this week - WAIT! … I’d completely forgotten about the proper pronunciation as well! Must do something about that, seeing as it matters more in a song to HEAR the correct word rather than SEE it, doesn’t it? :wink: Perhaps this particular success is slightly premature…


#1004

Not at all - llongyfarchiadau! I look forward to hearing it when you upload it!


#1005

Did anyone else here help out with the face to face Cymraeg survey about Health?

Anyway, I had a phone call on my work mobile this evening and for some sad reason I felt like answering it. It turned out to be a follow up from the survey - really polite and great fun :slight_smile: Although I understood every word, it took me a while to tune into the subject matter of the questions. The caller did try to help me with a bit of English, but I wasn’t having any of that :hot_face:

Hopefully, the chap on the phone wasn’t on time based commission. We got there in the end :slight_smile:


#1006

@marianne-williams That’s a really great achievement in such a short time! Da iawn ti! Well done! Challenges 13-15 are notoriously hard - there are mentions of those challenges elsewhere, and I remember the experience well as I learned them rather recently myself. Dal a ti! Keep it up! :grin:

That is lovely, thank you for sharing.

I have been listening to podcasts yn Gymraeg a lot lately, mainly the Pigeon one from the BBC. I have listened to one episode in particular more than the others because I like the subject matter as well as the personalities and voices of the participants… and most of all the fact that even on the first listen I felt like I was understanding at least 15-20%… I haven’t finished Level 1 yet, so I was feeling pretty good. Then, I listened again and again, and every time I listen I find more words I already know - and I even find myself learning new words based on their context! Being able to sit there and listen to people talk about music, the caste system in Nepal, having lots of tattoos, and learning Welsh. I sometimes found myself laughing with them as I understand the humor of the situation!

Dw i’n hapus iawn gyda feint dwi wedi dysgu yn barrod! Diolch yn fawr iawn!


#1008

Not a breakthrough speaking as such – more writing – but a success I wanted to share. I did a year of Mediaeval Welsh back in the day, of which I remember mostly just the experience of looking up every single word of Pwyll Pendefig Dyfed in the glossary until eventually one or two of them stuck. And so, when this drive to use word of mouth to recruit new subscribers started, it occurred to me that some present-day Welsh mediaevalists who are not Modern Welsh speakers might like the idea of a course that would rapidly get them speaking Modern Welsh, if only I could let them know that the course existed.

So I tried emailing someone I used to know from back then, who’s still in the same department (though now much more senior), and got no reply; I tried emailing the student subject society address, and got no reply; I tried a friend, who’s a mediaevalist at a different university, and she tagged some contacts, but nothing seemed to come of it. And then I found someone in the department whose bio mentioned (a) a couple of publications written in Welsh and (b) the fact that he’d at some point taught Modern Welsh… so I mailed him in Welsh… and got a reply back saying “Thank you very much and I shall share your message with all my students.” (In Welsh, of course.)

They still might not be interested, mind you, but at least they’ll know :slight_smile:


#1009

I started the 6 month course two years ago; having no background in Welsh, coming from England and not having any relatives in Wales i decided the best way for me to learn was a course like SSIW’s and moving to Wales. I have a lot of friends i met through my time in university, all from South Wales, all of whom are welsh-speaking, although, you’ll never find them speaking to each other in cymraeg as it’s not the language of everyday life in the south. I moved to Kenfig Hill Sept 2017 and slowly began my learning. I took an evening class in Bridgend, really felt I was progressing a lot faster than everyone else and eventually when I was the only person left in the class (sadly very common occurrence for welsh courses) I made the choice to go it alone.
Meanwhile, summer 2018 was coming, level 2 of the 6 month course was up and I managed to get a space on the Bwtcamp course with Iestyn in Tresaith.

I rocked up, incredibly late - someone drove into the side of my truck whilst en route to Tresaith. After a lengthy conversation with the police, insurance and cyclists who caught the whole scene on their camera(!) I made it to bwtcamp but was incredibly nervous. I felt like all the welsh i’d learn in those few months has left my head with the crash.
Turns out it hadn’t! What a week! I was praised by a lot of people on my speaking ability given my short learning period. I recommend everyone go to a bwtcamp if at all possible. It helped my speaking skills immeasurably. The early morning swims and the dolphin spotting wasn’t too bad either.

I had to leave bwtcamp early on the last day as i was driving to Stonehenge with 3 of my friends to work a friend’s wedding. I picked up my friends in Kenfig Hill in my courtesy car and felt entirely different in my ability to speak welsh to them. I refused to change back to English for a long section of the drive, after an entire week of cymraeg it felt really odd and unsatisfying to have to revert back to my english mothertongue.
Obviously driving through England to work at a wedding for non-welsh speaking people, i had to deal with changing back to English.
But my breakthrough came that evening. I had a 1 1/2 hour conversation entirely in cymraeg with one of my friends after work finished. Not one word of english. I even corrected and helped my friend with a couple words she had forgotten. I had gone from token ‘sut wyt ti?’ conversations a week before to having full-blown, two-sided chats with my best friends in another language that I hadn’t know not a year ago. It felt amazing!!

Sorry for the essay, I know i’m no writer but it was a great week and I wanted to share. Albeit very tardily. Unfortunately i’ve since moved to Australia and i rarely get a chance to practice Welsh anymore. But planning on moving back home before the year’s out and then I want to work on getting to fluency. Diolch