Llongyfarchiadau, but you can’t just leave it like that - what was the joke?
Polite warning - it’s not the cleanest joke ever.
I was meeting a friend of a friend of a friend who’d kindly agreed to a two hour chat, and we were discussing Great Political Scandals of our time (anything to avoid actually getting to know people!) I couldn’t remember the name of the guy I wanted to slag off, so I said “The one who had the… beth ydy’r gair am ‘threesome’?” He replied “Dwi’m yn gwybod, dw i ddim wedi cael un byth yn y Gymraeg!” *
*What’s the word for threesome? I dunno, I’ve never had one in Welsh!
A couple of things this week - firstly I visited a Welsh medium school for a meeting and conducted the conversationalist with the receptionist totally in Welsh. Secondly I went to a barbecue with lots of Welsh speakers present and managed to have a number of conversations.
I’m in Fishguard again today with Welsh speaking tarmacking gang from Lampeter… All in Welsh and my ear is tuned in to them this time, which is great. Bach (a little) goes after everything.
Everything is shortened with them, but they mentioned that “Cymraeg yn dod”, as in - Your Welsh is coming along.
Today I went into a couple of libraries to ask about putting up posters on their noticeboards about Nia’s day in Llandudno on 13th July and did it all in Welsh. 6 months ago, short of “croeso”, “dw i’n hoffi coffi” and “diolch”, I spoke not a word of Welsh, let alone hold a conversion with strangers in a local library. So, thank you very much indeed to everyone at SSiW @aran, @Iestyn, @Dee @Nia.Llywelyn etc… It is a great feeling. Onwards…
SSiW Days Out - monthly
I went to a one day festival/Concert. I was wearing a Cymru T shirt and for the first time ever I spoke welsh with someone without telling them I was a learner. We chatted 4-5 minutes and I understood pretty much every word or at least knew what he was saying. He appeared to understand me and answer correctly my questions. It felt like he didnt notice I was a learner as its the first person who chatted away to me without telling me I was doing well (in English) or switching to English. It was a surreal and beautiful moment chatting away in welsh in the middle of a field full of English people and another small step on the ladder.
I’m going home to Wales for 3 weeks in August. I cannot wait to have some breakthrough moments to tell you about - I’ve just started Level 2 of the 12 month course and cannot wait to use my Welsh every day instead of sporadically here in the USA.
Not speaking breakthrough but listening and understanding.
Recently, I temporarily stopped doing SSiW after challenge 16, it was just too much, more stress than fun and I felt quite low for doing the same mistakes again and again. I started doing Duolingo to fill some gaps in vocabulary and I’ve been also learning from other sources - youtube, songs etc.
One of my favourite ways to learn a language is to watch tv shows or movies (with English subtitles at first and with foreign language subtitles as soon as possible). So we were watching Craith every other day, with my husband. He doesn’t want to learn welsh but is willing to watch it in Welsh with English subtitles with me.
So we did every episode with English subtitles together and a day later I watched it again with Welsh subtitles, pausing as needed.
At the beginning, I was depressed that I can’t tell apart positive and negative sentences with all that shortenings. But it only took an episode or two to get used to it.
I was also a bit depressed that I can either focus on listening or pause almost every sentence and focus on understanding. I did mostly the second. But then I realized my brain somehow managed to do both and now when we watch it with my husband (we still have one episode to go), I realised I can understand huge chunks of it, even when I don’t focus on the subtitles.
Today (yesterday) I was going to our post office and there was a new guy. It didn’t occur to him that I don’t speak Welsh and he said several things mostly to himself (not requiring my answer, he was just trying to find out how to process prepaid packages) and I was shocked because I understood 80% of what he said. I also overheard two other small talks and understood most of them. I know I have to get out of my comfort zone and talk to people (which is something I am uncomfortable with in any language) but at this point, being able to understand feels good.
BTW I got back to SSiW today (like really today, after midnight), did challenge 17 and had huge fun doing it. I am a bit ahead with vocabulary but I absolutely needed to practise putting sentences together and it also filled some gaps for me (like using “it” as an object). I feel I have the energy to finish level 1 quickly and I am really happy about my learning now.
Stupid one but it felt good!
I saw a bike advertised for sale in Welsh on Facebook and seem to have pulled off a reasonably complicated Messenger conversation with the seller. Hooray! Unfortunately I’m collecting the bike tomorrow and she’s going to suss out my incompetence immediately when I forget my own name in a panic. It was fun though!
I was playing this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5x8uFGwmbqM and part way through I decided to try and listen to the words to see if I could understand anything and to my absolute flabberghastedness I understood it all. I am so used to switching off when Welsh is spoken - this is all turning me upside down. Of course the song is very slow and the words are simple. But still…
Well that was unexpected!
We went to the Open Gardens event in Llanmadoc today. Beautiful gardens and fantastic weather.
The second garden we visited was an allotment and I realised that I had no knowledge of gardening vocab.
I asked the man who was proudly tending his allotment what the welsh word for vegetables was. (Llysiau)
What followed was a lengthy conversation about vegetable growing on Gower.
I was pleased to be able to chat with him in welsh reasonably comfortably. It turned out he was a retired welsh teacher.
He pushed me hard to converse in welsh and I felt completely able to do so although my vegetable vocab is severely lacking.
I came away glowing.
I tried to make a comment on my grown up daughter’s frend’s FB in English. The usual smartphone typos made my intended witty comment look a bit wierd…
I changed to Welsh and she saw the funny side.
My smartphone interprets most of my typos as Welsh anyway…
Today I had a mini conversation with the postman. Yay!
Since moving to Cardiff I’ve been having small dribs of conversations - mostly diolchs/s’maes and ordering drinks and food etc. However, I got almost three hours of conversation in on Monday at two separate ‘clonc’ groups - everyone was so friendly and I learned so much. Despite finishing level three, I am still only really comfortable with the past and present tense when referencing myself, but I can see that the practice in the conversation groups really cements it in my peanut brain! This time some forms of “bod” got cemented too which feels like a mountain as its a tricky one!
Hi Clare, I’m not very active on the forum and just come across your message about Nia in Llandudno. Is there any more info?
Nia is doing a day pit in Llandudno on Saturday starting at 10am meeting in the Causing Table at the Great Orme. This is a link to the timetable on the forum. Let me know if you find it or not and I’ll try to do it manually for you.
It should be a good day. There a few people coming already. I’m not sure if I need my bucket and spade though!