Recent Holiday


I have just returned from a month’s cruise in the sunny Caribbean! At the start of the cruise I was delighted to see on the information notices, that one of the regular lecturers on board was born in a small village in North Wales and attended the local grammar school. This was followed by a most impressive CV covering many varied professional activities during the intervening years until his recent retirement. Ardderchog – he didn’t yet know it but he was to be designated my personal tutor for a whole month. Who needs just a week at Bwt Camp? A gog – just what I wanted. Both my parents hailed from y gogledd. As soon as I had identified him I approached him to let him know of the unexpected enjoyment that he was about to experience on the cruise between his lectures. “Bore da Dr.Jones. Sut mae. John Francis dw i. Mae’n bleser mawr dy gyfarfod di. O le yn y Gogledd wyt ti’n dod? PAUSE. “ I’m afraid that I must stop you there – I don’t speak Welsh!” I just could not believe it – and still can’t. I was tempted to jump overboard but it was only the beginning of the cruise. The moral of the experience is ‘never assume’. There is a consolation of sorts of course – the daily practice lessons back home in the cold winter.


I’m afraid I disagree - always assume! It’s a shame your hopes were dashed, but there was absolutely no reason for you to be embarrassed (easy to say after the fact of course) and besides, you never know - such an experience could just spur him on to try and learn Welsh!


I agree with @siaronjames. ALWAYS ALWAYS assume they do, otherwise you will miss valuable opportunities.
NEVER EVER apologise if they don’t.
if you went to France and spoke to a native French person in French only to discover they didn’t speak the language, you wouldn’t be embarrassed, you’d be perplexed as to how come a French person living in France doesn’t actually speak French?!
I think if only we could get our heads around this, even more people would start to reclaim Welsh in Wales. (I am just using France/French as an example).
In Wales, we should speak WELSH.


How much Welsh had you taught him by the end of the cruise?


I wasn’t embarrassed; just dumbfounded (and perhaps somewhat annoyed because of my anticipation) that a native from a small village in the gogledd didn’t speak the language! In the past many would not have spoken English.


Yes, but it could be a generational factor, not a geographical one. If he hadn’t long retired, he could well be of the generation that, despite being from a Welsh-speaking area and maybe family, was encouraged not to speak Welsh. It wasn’t that long ago that that was the case.


Please tell me that you don’t mean this literally. :slight_smile:


Of course not - just stated in jest and in the hope that he would prove to be amenable to a chat and a panad. I don’t know what I have started here but everyone seems to be taking it far more seriously than I had intended, merely a tale of some amusement!


How very frustrating! I would absolutely have presumed the same. Do you remember which village? I’m guessing it must have been fairly east…


I’m thinking “local grammar school” might have been key here. I’ve heard many a story in Llandysul about the local grammar school - that apparently half of Wales attended at some stage judging by the number of people that tell me that - and how although the students and staff were mostly Welsh-speaking, English was very much the language of education. He may have been subject to that kind of influence unfortunately.


You are correct Aran. I didn’t recognise the name and can’t remember it but I believe it was somewhere in the Wrecsam area.