SSi Forum

Is learning Welsh a waste of time?


Thanks, Aran - I’ve sent you and @annmoore privately my “Grumpy Old Man” explanation (although it won’t be new to you.) :smile:


I just finished another story from Lois Arnold’s “Ffenestri” and I enjoyed it… something I couldn’t have done were I not learning Welsh, so I don’t consider it a waste of time!

Incidentally, it’s when I write things like “were I not” that I realise how little Welsh I know… I wouldn’t know how to start a construction like that in Welsh!


Don’t worry, I am sure it won’t share anyone else post.


Time well spent…

I was once asked to write down all the comments or quotations that had had the most positive impact on my life, then to time myself as I read them out loud.

Taking this to mean those real ‘aha’ milestone, life-affirming, life-changing moments like the times someone said ‘I know you can do it’, or a doctor announced ‘The surgery went well’—in total, they added up to less than two-minutes, and I consider myself one of the lucky ones.

Sadly, most of us also experience negative comments too, so have to develop strategies to handle them approoriately, but bottom line—every time we open our mouths we have a chance to contribute to someone else’s well-being and happiness, so why not?

I’d far rather spend my time learning how to ‘Say something (kind) in Welsh’ than waste it saying something negative or hurtful in English. Hopefully, one day I’ll SSiW that will be one of those positive life-changing comments that someone else will hold on to.

What are some of those Welsh words, or phrases, or comments you treasure that we could store in our repertoire to encourage someone else?

To all of you who have said something helpful and encouraging here on the Forum that has kept me going ‘Diolch yn fawr iawn!’



What a beautiful post, Marilyn - diolch o galon :slight_smile: :star2: :heart:


I had this question posed to me the other day at work (they all were open minded but were kind of baffled that I was learning welsh “do you have family from there” etc) and managed to change their views about learning small “useless/dead” languages like Welsh, Basque etc. I think the bit that resonated the most with them is that it’s the first language for a lot of people, and denying that their language is useless is pretty rude etc. Plus the whole “if you go to France I bet you at least try to learn some words so as to be polite? Of course you all do, why would welsh be any different?” made people agree.

So much so, I even think that one of my Welsh colleagues has started dabbling in learning! I think he was shocked at how much I can say in relatively short time when compared to his gcse lessons in the early 90s!


‘Diolch o galon’ Aran–not only for your lovely response, but for one of those marvellously encouraging expressions that I want to ‘collect’ to use myself. :slight_smile::smile:


Croeso mawr iawn :slight_smile: :slight_smile:


And if you are feeling even more deeply about it, you can add a “waelod” to it, when it becomes

“diolch o waelod calon”. (“Thanks from the bottom (or depths) of (my) heart”).

(One more for the collection).

I think I’ve read or heard Aran use that variation.


Beautiful–I love it!


Nothing that gives your brain a really good work-out is ever a waste of time.


Even if it were (and a whole new window on the world is NOT by any reasonable definition a waste, but even it it were) so what? What’s it to them?

Your time is yours. Your language(s) are yours.

Anyone who thinks otherwise can go whistle.


…whether it be Dixie or Dysgu :grin:


An Italian teacher once asked me why I was learning Welsh and not Italian. I said, “Italian? What’s the point? Nobody speaks it :D”


What was their response to that?!


Well, I was being very tongue-in-cheek when I said it. My point really was that Italian isn’t spoken a great deal outside of Italy, but nobody would ever ask “Why on earth are you learning Italian?” in the same way they ask about Welsh.

My (slightly) more serious response to “Why are you learning Welsh and not Spanish/Italian/German?” is “I visit Wales all the time; I have no immediate plans to visit Spain/Italy/Germany!”.


That’s a good point about the Italian response, and you are right, no one would question you!

I say the exact same thing as well and there’s not really much one can respond to that!


Reminds me of the first time, ever, that I said ANYTHING in Welsh to a native. Before I had started to learn the language, my wife and I were walking along a country lane outside Betws-y-Coed (the forest lane running parallel to the A5 and heading to the Fairy Glen, for those who know it). As we passed some workmen repairing the road, I smiled and wished them “Bore Da”: about the only thing I knew in Welsh. They were so delighted, and replied with a torrent of Welsh. I told them that “Bore Da” was my limit, but they were still so genuinely happy…
Waste of time? I rest my case.




Marilyn, would you mind if I quoted from this in a post I’m planning for Facebook? :slight_smile: :star2: