SSi Forum

'I want to be a Welsh speaker because...'


I’m hoping she can speak with me and correct my mistakes as she becomes more fluent haha.


Because I am from North Wales, but grew up in an English speaking area near the English border (Gresford) and have since moved to USA for work, and I have felt a massive need to go back to the language and speak. I could speak as a child, but now it’s all rusty and mostly gone


I suspect it will come back faster than you think, Matt-Oliver.


I’m a proud Welshman and should have taken the time in school to learn what is a beautiful language.


I want to be a Welsh speaker because… I want to hold conversations with people in the language they choose, and I want to chat with my son Sam in the language he uses at school.

In terms of changing my life… I’m hoping it will make me feel like I belong to Wales even more!


One of the most interesting aspects of learning Welsh, from my perspective, is a sense of connection to the people, history and culture. What’s surprising is I’m an American who has never been to Wales. Until I discovered Welsh ancestry, I knew two things about Wales (location on a UK map, and Dr. Who if filmed in Cardiff). Now I know so much more and it’s because of wanting to learn Cymraeg and the amazing people on this site. For me learning the language has impacted me and I’m on the other side of the Atlantic. I can only imagine how it must be to live in Wales. I hope both you have a similar experience as me.


I was never fluent as a child, I’m 37 and I did the typical school welsh. My family is from Bala which is a very welsh speaking area, my nain never learnt English in her life as she lived in a village near bala her whole life, and when she passed in 1996 she only knew a few words. That’s is the rarity though.


That’s really interesting - I’m impressed you’re learning Welsh when you’ve never visited Wales, whereas I’ve lived here for 23 years and I’m just getting started!

I was born in England but moved to Wales for university, and have been picking up little bits of Cymraeg by ‘drip feed’ for a long time. SSIW is giving me the scaffolding to build sentences/conversations around the vocabulary I know.

What’s great is that in my field of work - I work for a charity that partners with every university in Wales - I come across so many people who use Cymraeg perfectly naturally as their first language, so for me this is about being able to hold conversations with people as freely as possible.

Finally, check out this guy:

Jerry Hunter was born in Cincinnati, but is now a fluent Welsh speaker in a high-level job at Bangor University. I met him recently and he has a fantastic American/North Wales accent!


I want to be a Welsh speaker because I’m from Gwent and I feel cheated by history out of my native tongue.


On the plus side -
The Gwent accent and sentence structure, even in the English language, will give you a short cut to learning Welsh.


Because I live in an 88% Welsh-speaking area and don’t want to be that immigrant refusing to learn the language. I am an introvert (borderline sociophobic), I don’t need to be part of the community but I want to feel connected somehow to Wales (I wasn’t born here and I am fairly new here but I’ve chosen Wales and specifically North Wales because I love it here).

Why the SSiW method:
I don’t want for my Welsh to be like my English. I can understand anything in English (including movies and some harder to understand accents), I can read in English (any book), I can write reasonably well, I can think in English, I dream in English (sometimes) but my spoken English is way behind. In fact, so much behind that it can look like I can’t speak English. It gets better in longer conversations or after one beer :slight_smile: but normal short daily encounters when quite often someone is surprised by my accent and don’t understand me and throw me off balance or I start to stutter, these are quite bad.
And I don’t want this to happen with Welsh. I want to be a Welsh speaker, not Welsh listener, reader, writer, dreamer, whatever :slight_smile: I am using SSiW to make speaking my dominant language skill.


A friend once rang to say he was lost on the way to my house. “Can you give me directions, I’m at the services.” I asked which services, he went to look at a sign and said “Gwasanaethau”…


I’m a second-generation adoptee who spent almost 40 years knowing nothing at all about where my family came from - one year ago, I could go back in time no farther than 1955. I am finally able to find out about my family history using genetic genealogy now that I have done a DNA test and my birth-mother’s adoption records have been unsealed following her passing almost three years ago. In the process, I have found I have Welsh ancestry - though it is impossible to say how much because of the way the regions are broken down. I’ve always had an interest in languages - especially ones that have been around a long time - so the opportunity to learn those that my ancestors spoke (now that I have an idea who they actually were) was too exciting to miss! Of the languages I have started learning, it is Cymraeg that feels “right” somehow and I have felt inspired and stayed motivated… and as I learn more and more about Welsh culture, it matters less and less to me what that percentage might be from the DNA test, it has taken hold of my heart and I’m proud of my Welsh heritage. I guess I’m hoping that learning Cymraeg will help me feel more connected to my ancestors and to parts of myself I am only now learning about, but I am also hoping that it will help me meet new people and have new experiences I never could have anticipated before I began this journey.


I grew up in the Rhymney Valley and having never learnt to speak Welsh I have always felt robbed. But also, I am now national director for CVM Wales and I believe that to do this role well I really do need to speak Welsh fluently :smiley:
The one thing it would change in my life is that I will be able to enjoy speaking in my mother tongue with the many Siaradwr Cymraeg who I now live amongst here in North Wales.


I want to support my children when they start Welsh medium school. And understand if they’re plotting anything naughty together :rofl:


I’d like to be a Welsh speaker because I want the folk I know in Llan Ffestiniog to know their country, heritage and language are worth the effort to learn for me! To be able to converse even at a basic level would be quite wonderful.


Oh, yes! That is such a wonderful way of describing it. I’m not from Wales nor have I had the opportunity to visit yet, but as I am uncovering my Welsh ancestry and learning about the language and culture it has so often felt like I was finding something that was there inside me all along. Thank you for sharing.


I grew up in Gwent and, like yourself, feel robbed. Now putting an old wrong right.


It is a wonderful way of putting it.


A friend had broken down in Wales (car, that is) so he rang the AA. “Where are you?” they asked. He looked outside at the sign. “Somewhere called Gwasanaeth” he replied. “Ah, that’s Welsh for ‘services’” the lady on the other end told him.

Such simple, honest mistakes are simple, honest mistakes.