I went to my first Welsh conversational group yesterday! I often freeze up when people speak to me in Welsh but I managed to speak a bit and everyone was really nice and friendly. Definitely want to do it again
That’s the barrier broken! I’m still very elementary in my Welsh abilities, but I’ve been texting and speaking to a friend in Welsh much more readily now that I know I won’t get laughed at for making mistakes.
I had a very unexpected, very on the hoof, conversation with a visiting native Welsh speaker this morning here in Geneva. I didn’t have all the vocab I would have liked to use but was told that my Welsh was impressive. It was in a crowd and I was helping out with catering so totally taken by surprise but I’m so thrilled to have been able to use my Welsh without thinking about it too much. This lady has even agreed to practise with me! I’m buzzing!
Wow!!! That’s so cool! Well done!
That buzzing feeling! If only we could bottle and sell it!
I listened to the Scarlets game on Radio Cymru today - and understood a lot of it, including the final score!
Ooooooooo… I just closed my eyes and sang along with Postman Pat from start to finish with no mistakes, not even the tricky bits! It’s the first time, and I normally read the Welsh subtitles. Wooh-weeee my brain is buzzing!
I’ve been learning Welsh on Duolingo for the last two years and are able to understand simple sentences or to pick up some words while listening to Radio Cymru.
But until last week I have never spoken Welsh with someone before and I’ll be forever so grateful to @sasha-lathrop for encouraging me to stutter some Welsh at her
I was so excited about even that little bit of Welsh I spoke that I answered to @BronwenLewis about her request to talk to 100 new Welsh learners and talked to her a bit on Monday.
Actually talked, even if was intermixed with English! And she too encouraged me to simply say what I could and I did without having second thoughts about making mistakes or making a fool of me
I’m not sure this is a success/breakthrough, per se, but it seems the most suitable place for this post.
I went to my Grandma’s funeral today, at last. She passed away almost 4 years ago, but the relatives who had the means to hold the small family service waited until today to do it. Their decision made it possible for me to make a decision of my own since I’ve been speaking Welsh for less than a year - I spoke Welsh over my grandmother’s ashes in farewell today at the cemetery.
Like my ancestors, her family left Wales for America a long time ago (I am her adopted grand-daughter, but she always told me love is thicker than blood). She was born JoVeta Powell, and though we are thousands of miles from Cymru, when I spoke to her in Welsh about carrying on her mission of love and then dropped a handful of earth over her… I mean, how can I begin to type here what that meant to me?
Tomorrow, October 26, would have been her hundredth birthday, and although I am pretty sure she never heard so much as a word of Welsh in her life, I feel like it is something else we share deep within, nonetheless.
I am at a loss for words - Thank you to all those wonderful people among you who have helped in ways large and small to help me get to today.
I’ve ticked off two of my original 3 reasons for learning Welsh
Last night I saw two of my favorite Welsh music groups, Bwncath and Fleur de Lys and I understood both the lyrics of the songs and the chit chat between songs as well (for the most part at least, not 100% obviously)
As for connecting with people here, I actually went to this gig as a 5th date with a lovely man I met through speaking Welsh he’s really patient and wonderful with my learning, and he proudly tells people about how I’m learning (including to his friends and family who are all first-language Welsh like him). We’re also going to see Los Blancos in Caernarfon on Friday with all his friends (first meeting ) so let the Welsh music and conversations continue!!
Huge hugs to you Sasha! What a special moment and I’m sure your grandmother would have been incredibly moved by that
Thank you Deborah! It meant a lot to me to be able to do that - not least to find the confidence, and I am so glad I did! I hope she would have liked it - no, I’m sure she would have loved it. Best of all, my little nieces were there to hear it. They’re six, and I’ve been teaching them words here and there.
Yesterday when the phone rang my brain was thrown off balance as I hadn’t anticipated hearing Welsh. I was buzzing as I realised I was able to work what the caller was saying rather than freezing. Unfortunately our sgwrs group was being cancelled because of illness but I was able to offer my sympathies and wish her a speedy recovery yn Cymraeg. One small step for some but a giant leap for this dysgwr!
Beautiful, simply beautiful
I wear a dysgwr lanyard to work and after a few months someone finally spoke to me in Welsh. Wasn’t prepared i managed to say one thing wrong and dw i eisiau i fi ymarfer mwy ar ôl nadolig. Been so busy with work and was so not prepared could’ve chatted for ages but not in Welsh. Brain did freeze a bit. Chuffed that it happened and looking forward to the next opportunity. Better to be sudden so I don’t get chance to get nervous.
Well done, Jen For what it’s worth, I have found that the thing that has helped me most to gain confidence, is just taking every small opportunity to say perhaps a short sentence. That, and not being put off by my mistakes.
It’s not exactly “speaking” but still Cymraeg:) I’ve always wanted to read books on folklore - reading was actually my aim at the beginning - but whenever I opened books like Ystên Sioned (collection of ghost and other folk stories) I’d feel totally lost - the verb form looked completely different from the colloquial forms, there were no English words at all (we might dislike it, but it helps when Welsh speakers through English words into their speech), and generally the 19th century Welsh looked incredibly difficult. So I would feel discouraged and close the book. Yesterday I gave it another try, after about half a year (of almost not studying at all, just reading and occasional chats) and well, I don’t know what happened but I could understand almost all of it and I felt so very happy:)
I attribute it all to reading, though being the lazy person I am I probably don’t get the most from it, since I rarely use the dictionary and often guess meanings of words or just skip them and go on reading.
I was walking up the hill to Llŷn Llech Owain to do the Park run/walk this morning and fell into conversation with an older Cymro gent, who, after a bit, asked if I was a Gog. That always makes my day. You speak Welsh, but not quite like we speak it round here.
Listening to Bore Cothi this morning I realised I understood the competition question so after much prevarication I decided to phone in. That was at 11:17. It’s now 12:04 and I’m still shaking! A delightfully helpful lady was very patient with me, despite me having to ask her to repeat a couple of things. She seemed genuinely pleased to hear from a learner and encouraged me to keep at it. She even said my Welsh was very good - it’s not but it’s getting better all the time. If you’d told me when I started on this wonderful journey that I would have the courage to do what I’ve just done I would never have believed you. My reward, apart from the sheer enjoyment learning Welsh is giving me and all the people I have met along the way, was to hear my name and where I live (the very beautiful Llanrhaeadr Ym Mochnant) mentioned just before the end of the show. Elated! Dal ati pawb!