SSi Forum

Were you nervous?


I just walked into a shop in Bala and had a conversation, albeit a bit slow, in Welsh for the first time in many many years, and the first time since starting to learn again.

I was so nervous. Is this normal for everybody and do you get over that?


Well done, brilliant!

And to answer your questions… yes and yes!


I find speaking Welsh terrifying!


Bala was the first place I attempted speaking Welsh as well. It was a few years ago now and using half-remembered school Welsh. I can’t wait to go back there with a lot more Welsh under my belt now. I think I will still feel terrified though for a while. My daughter insisted I ordered our meal in Welsh when we were in a Caernarfon cafe last summer. We very nearly didn’t eat because we argued about it so much. However, I managed it and it’s such a good feeling isn’t it, to know you were understood? Well done!


I’m very nervous with strangers but my neighbours accept my limitations more easily and try and help.
I live in the Bala area and when I first visited there about 17 years ago had zero Welsh and thought that many of the shopkeepers were just being awkward and refusing to speak English. When I finally moved to the area and my Welsh speaking doctor asked me if I had thought of learning the language I said that I felt very uncomfortable as the locals seemed reluctant to speak to me in English. He smiled and said, ‘Do you realise that most of the locals speak Welsh every day and find English difficult as they are not so used to using it’. I had a complete turnaround in my understanding and realised that as the incomer I should respect their language, which is why I joined SSiW in June 2019. Now I have fallen in love with the language and hope to become more fluent.
If I’m not prepared to challenge myself with Welsh I can’t expect them to speak English. I think that the trick is to recognise that you will make mistakes, treat it as a game and enjoy it - maybe you will make someone’s day by giving them a laugh.