Sounds a great idea.
I am driven to learn it. I will better understand the people and culture from whom and which I am descended, although I live half a world away.
I want to be a Welsh speaker because it was my Grandad’s first language and part of my heritage.
I never got the chance to know him fully as he died when I was a toddler, but having spent all my childhood holidays and adult life visiting the family on the Llyn Peninsula, I’ve always wanted to be able to speak Welsh for as long as I can remember.
I hope that when I am a Welsh speaker i’ll feel that I’ve closed the gap in the circle and gained a deeper connection to my family and my heritage.
Croeso, Andrewrees! I can relate to this as well. Never be to Wales and live in the United States (not quite half a world away) and figured knowing the language would give me a better understanding of my ancestry. I’ve met many amazing and helpful people at SSiW.
Okay, so mine is very long and is more than one sentence, but…firstly, two years ago, there was a big push in work for staff to learn Welsh. I like learning generally, am keen on learning languages (always been envious of other European countries where speaking multiple languages is the norm), and as I’d been living in Wales for nearly 20 years, it seemed a good time to start learning (although 2 years later, having completed Mynediad and Sylfaen courses I’m still not very confident in speaking, so hoping SSiW will change that).
I’m not Welsh myself, and have no Welsh family, however, what Aran said in his excellent book about being denied a language that should rightfully have been his did resonate to some extent. My father was Irish (as were three of my four grandparents), although my father was not from the Gaeltacht (though he was from Galway). (I was born and raised in London, but have lived in Cardiff for 20 years). All he had was the odd half-remembered phrase of Irish learned at school, and he seemed to view learning it as some form of punishment. When I was a child, one of his friends (who was from the Gaeltacht, a proud Connemara man) was desperate to teach me Irish properly. My dad was adamant there was no point, it would be a waste of time as it was a “useless” language, so his friend settled for telling me the odd phase or word here and there. When I started researching my family tree, I found that all my great-grandparents were able to speak Irish. I feel sad, as I feel that my grandparents and my father should have been Irish speakers (and if this was the case, both my mother and I would also have been bi-lingual), and it makes me sad that my dad thought it was a pointless language, as it does now when I hear non-Welsh speaking Welsh people describe Cymraeg in similar terms (as happened in a restaurant the other day - had to bite my tongue and avoid going over to their table to have a word…)
Sorry, that was very long! But essentially I want to be a Welsh speaker as I feel I’ve lost my own family language, but would like to connect with the language of my adopted homeland. Also, I’ve been listening to Radio Cymru a lot and LOVE Welsh language music, so what I would like to achieve is to be able to understand the lyrics to the songs I’ve started enjoying listening to
That’s wonderful @markjones-1.
I’ve always lived in Wales yet I appreciate that very same sentiment. Before I retired I had to travel around the UK (and sometimes further) in my work and was often asked the same question. When the answer is “sorry, I don’t” it is easy to feel bad. Now of course you can rattle off your Welsh to them. Da iawn ti
Thanks for the links. Its wonderful to hear more music by welsh bands. I’ll look out a bit more by Cowbois
What a powerful piece of writing - thank you for sharing it, Jenny
I was born in Wales and have been trying to learn the language for most of my life. I hope that when i have learned Welsh I will be able to speak it with my Welsh friends and even teach my English friends a word or too!
I want to be a Welsh speaker because I was born in Wales (Colwyn Bay) and did learn until I was 13yrs old but now live in the USA and want to re-learn.
When I am fluent (not if) I will feel I am respecting my ancestors and am speaking a language that must be preserved and used daily.
I like the “when-and-you-mean-when-not-if” attitude. It is shoring me up just at the point I fear I might crumble…
I want to be a Welsh speaker because I want to enhance my skillset and increase opportunities available to me. I hope it will help me feel connected to my heritage and the country in which I live.
Because my children are in welsh medium school and I have always wanted to be bilingual!
I want to be a Welsh speaker because of how interesting the language is! Despite being very far away from Wales but located in New South Wales, Australia. I hope to use this language on a visit to Wales someday and online!
I want to be a Welsh speaker because I want to speak the language of my homeland and to ensure the ancient language not only survives but flourishes. I was denied the opportunity to learn it in school in the 1980s in Newport and I have finally started to fulfill my dream to speak my own language.
I am looking forward to proper conversations in Welsh with my first language neighbours.
I want to be a Welsh speaker for three big reasons: I no longer want to feel excluded in my native country and I’d like to understand Welsh culture in a more immersive way; I want to participate fully in my childrens’ Welsh medium education (I’ve facilitated in the creation of 3 new Welsh speakers, yet I’m not one of them!); and I want to talk to my friends in Welsh!
But my personal story is that I returned to my native Wales (after living and working successfully in Sydney, Seattle, Bordeaux, Rome, Florence, London and Geneva) latterly in a hotshot job in the US, director of a big successful global dotcom, thinking I’d easily get a job. I’d managed teams of up to 60 people in a business that had operations in 42 countries and I spoke four other languages. Surely that’d count for something? But no. Every time I got headhunted for something, I was told that at that senior level, they couldn’t hire me, as I didn’t speak Welsh. Eventually it led to good things - setting up my own, successful business. But the idea that I was unemployable is bad news on both sides - so I decided my children would never face having similar doors closed in their faces if they to wanted to remain in Wales, they are fully bilingual -and finally, I’ve got round to learning, too. The thing is, I love Welsh and love the idea of speaking it.
I want to be a Welsh speaker because I am training to be a primary school teacher and I aspire to teach in Wales when I am qualified! My family is half Welsh and I feel very connected to the culture as my partner is Welsh too, so I want to be able to inspire the children in my class with the language and the culture
When I am a Welsh speaker, I hope a head teacher somewhere in the South will appreciate the work I have put into the language and my enthusiasm and see me fit to teach in their school!
I want to be a Welsh speaker because my husband and I will be traveling to Wales to walk Offa’s Dyke. Our learning goals are humble but we hope to be polite in Wales (and particularly on the trail) while we are traveling there.
That’s a lovely goal! Have fun on the trail, and as it passes near Machynlleth, get in touch if you fancy a cuppa and a short chat in Welsh!
We’re just North of you in Queensland. I want to visit Wales again but this time use my Welsh.