I’ve been away from the forum and from practicing Welsh for more than a year. I dropped it at a point where I was getting very busy with a project at work and of course, that was the thin end of the wedge. It didn’t help that I didn’t know a single Welsh speaker in Ottawa. I have moved since then and I now live in Stratford, Ontario. Today I was returning to Stratford through the tiny village of Shakespeare and stopped at a little store that I like that sells British food and knick knacks (tea, biscuits, chocolates, T-shirts, calendars, mugs - that sort of thing). What should I hear on the sound system but a Welsh song, followed by somebody actually speaking in Welsh! It turns out that the woman behind the bar had tuned in a local radio station from Anglesey, and that Welsh is her first language. You would have to know rural south-western Ontario to realize how amazing that is. You’ll hear German spoken in Perth County. There are plenty of Mennonites who have never given it up. Welsh? Not so much. I hadn’t actually intended to drive through Shakespeare, but took that route at the last minute. I asked her if she knew about Say Something in Welsh, and she gave me an odd look and said “What would you like me to say?” I then explained that it was a really great website where people learn to speak Welsh. I tried out the only Welsh sentence that I could dredge up from the depths of my memory, which was “Dwyn prynu llaeth” (sorry for the spelling. I’m not much beyond a phonetic level) and my (small) triumph was that she immediately understood! So, this chance meeting was what it took to get me back to SSiW. I am looking forward to starting Level 1.
Fantastic! And, as the shop doesn’t sell milk, and you’ll obviously be returning there to practise your Welsh, come back to the forum if you need to learn how to say. ‘Can I have two calendars, a mug and a box of chocolates, please?’
So you are already a Welsh speaker Edmund! Good on you for giving it a go again and welcome back onto the Forum. You are only a 3-hour difference from some of us here in Vancouver—closer still to several other Canadian and American SSiWers.
Stratford eh… We lived in Owen Sound when we first emigrated, so one of the highlights of summertime was to head to Stratford to see the brilliant productions of Shakespeare’s plays with the likes of Maggie Smith in some great roles. We’d shell out on good tickets, but camp on the agricultual show-ground, then emerge from our tent dressed to the nines to the amusement of the caretaker/groundsman.
All the best with your Welsh!
Welcome back Edmund!
Another development since you’ve been away which you could find useful is the Welsh Speaking Practice group on Slack. It gives people wherever they are in the world a chance to speak to other learners and those more fluent via the web (audio and video), and is invaluable for those who don’t live very close to many other Welsh speakers.
There are more details here
Welcome back @edmund and hi @MarilynHames. I grew up in southern Ontario used to go to Stratford every summer. I too remember seeing Maggie Smith (as Cleopatra for one!) So many memories of that wonderful theatre. And I remember driving home on Sundays and seeing the Mennonite families driving their horse and traps to church.
Maybe we might meet up on Slack one day?
How far had you got to before your break, Edmund?
About the middle of course 1.
Right, great - in that case, yes, starting at the beginning of Level 1 will be the best bet for you - some bits will be the same and give you a slight head-start, but there’ll be plenty of new stuff too, from the very beginning…
You are right Aran—on two counts…
This past week I had the perfect window of time to review the whole of Level 1 and kept thinking ‘Is it just me, or is this even better than I remembered?’ I also found it very helpful to do the whole Level—it was both relaxing and encouraging because I could respond quickly and spontaneously.
So Edmund, while you will be tackling this at your own pace, you will probably find things ‘coming back’ to you and that is proof that the language is ‘in there’ so you really can trust the process as you move forward.
Oh and about Slack—it is a fantastic addition, so hopefully we can talk when you are ready to give it a go.
Are you on commission?
I think I will wait until I have achieved a couple of levels. One day, though …