SSi Forum

What are the challenges for Welsh societies in America/Canada?


#1

As I said here, I was inspired by what Donna Lloyd Jones had to say at NAFOW about the need to appeal to a younger audience, and to find ways to increase the sense of connection for 3rd or 4th generation Americans/Canadians with Welsh heritage.

But I don’t think for a moment that five days in Washington gave me any more than the most cursory of glimpses into your world - so to help fine-tune SSiW decisions about what we can do to help, I’d be hugely grateful if you could tell us about the challenges you face - either as individual learners over there, or as people involved in running local Welsh societies or meetups, or NAFOW itself…

And if you could also tag anyone you can think of who could help contribute to this thread, that would be great! I’ll start the ball rolling with @tahl @delawarejones @atomic_newt @AnnaC @lewie @Sionned @Allison @maeganlanger @joanie @silverpepper @gerriparry :slight_smile: :stars:


#2

For me it’s the sheer lack of people with whom to chat in Welsh. The miles between us didn’t help


#3

Aran
If you want me to send you the already transcribed email list, let me know
Susan Davies Sit
Welsh Soc Western New England
WelshWNE@gmail.com


#4

Thank you for answering Susan. This is helpful for me. Are there other challenges that have been difficult to overcome? Also, what things went well?


#5

Susan, that would be fantastic - maybe when we have some specific help to offer…:slight_smile:

Very interesting about the practice partner thing - have you tried the Welsh Speaking Practice? To what extent does/doesn’t that help? :star2:


#6

Aran could you please ask Dee to resend me the link to all the challenge Monday emails please. I want to figure out where I am and what I missed doing (Sentences and sound board etc) and catch up too.
SUSAN DAVIES SIT


#7

If you click on ‘Learn’ up at the top there and then (when you’re over on the lesson side of the site) click on it again, you’ll see the link for your course - click on that and you should be in the control panel, where you should be able to browse through everything you’ve done… :slight_smile:

Alternatively, I think going to https://www.saysomethingin.com/welsh/6mws will do the same thing for you, if you’re logged in… :slight_smile:


#8

My Florida Gulf Coast Welsh Society in Sarasota is a mix of Canadians, Australians, Americans and Brits. It’s well run and lively… pub crawls, gymanfas, outings, a float in the St. Patrick Day’s parade, etc. But very few speak Welsh. Those that do tend to be elderly. We are caught in a time warp…Wales as it used to be. That’s why SSI is so valuable; a window on Wales as it is now.


#9

For me, I currently live in Texas, and there is most certainly a lack of Cymraeg speakers here. So for me, my only choices are to try and speak as much to my toddler daughter as possible so she hears and eventually understands it (and learns to speak it herself) and interacting online.

In that, I also have to learn to read Cymraeg and write in it because that is generally how the format works.

Which in turns means access to Welsh media. S4C won’t let us near it for most of the things I would enjoy or be able to use, and the same with the BBC.

What is actually available here in the States, and what could we start?


#10

I started a Welsh conversation group here in DC with two other people, and it’s grown from there. Is there a local Welsh society? That’s a place to start, to see if there’s just one other person who wants to meet monthly. Advertise here, too, with the name of your city in the title of the thread – you’d be surprised how many people find us that way, and come.

Have you found the Radio Cymru podcast Pigion (“selections”)? It’s edited-down excerpts from Radio Cymru shows, with intros written specially for adult learners. Can be a little overwhelming, but still a good contained way to hear Welsh in the wild and pick up a few things!

The podcast (also available thru iTunes & etc.): https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02nrvyj/episodes/player

Vocab pages for each episode: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/radiocymru/authors/d7e8c1da-d12b-3421-a95e-2ab4c9f7623d


#11

Uh…actually, @wirehead, I have super-good news. You’re in Austin, according to your bio? Take a look here. Other Welsh learners local to you, looking for folks to practice with!

https://texaswelshsociety.org/


#12

I had no idea! I actually just have a mailing address from there (but I am physically in TX at the moment). This is certainly something worth travelling to Austin for. There is like, one Celtic shop in the entire state (and it’s in Austin). Much more Czechs and Germans in this state. So very pleasantly surprised and thankful for the heads up!

I guess I should go back. The last time I was there was almost a year ago. I bought a cilt, and now I’ve lost about 70lbs (32kg) so I need a new one. :stuck_out_tongue:


#13

Hello. I think you might be able to access S4C and suchlike if you use a VPN. It is provided as a very inexpensive service and greatly enhances your privacy online. I know using a VPN anywhere in the world let’s you watch iplayer content as if you were in the UK. Or listen to BBC Radio Cymru. Perhaps it can do the same to access S4C. Google ‘VPN services review’ to find out the best service for you. It is quick and very easy to set up and use. Good luck!


#14

I know you’re keen to help, but could I just politely request that you be a little careful about recommending things like VPNs to get around broadcasting restrictions? While it’s an individual choice what people do, it’s not always legal and we would prefer not to be seen as promoting anything that could be illegal.

Thanks for understanding :slight_smile:


#15

Whoops. I had no idea that a VPN could be legally dubious.

My apologies.

We Learn.


#16

Hey folks, I’m on day 5, challenge 3, south wales version here! I live in the Tallahassee, Florida area, but I’m moving to Asheville, North Carolina this year. I did some research and couldn’t find any Welsh societies or groups in either location. That’s going to make it harder to practice for sure. I could always get a group started, but the biggest challenge is finding people in the first place. Maybe I’ll make a big sign and see if folks show up.

Even then, the parts of the American South that I’m living in and that I’m moving to are mostly made up of Anglo-Celt descendants of settlers from several centuries ago. There aren’t many bilingual people, let alone polyglots. I think I’ll have to stick with video chatting until I travel to Wales or Patagonia.

It would be helpful if we had a member map on this site so, if anyone volunteered their location, we could know that there were folks nearby.


#17

“Fel mae’n digwydd” such a map does exist:
https://www.saysomethingin.com/welsh/info/map
And here’s the thread for the people to volunteer their info:


#18

@mikeavi are you aware of this online chat opportunity? East Coast Time Zone Meetup Beginning


#19

Hi! I live in Tampa Florida! I am part of the East Coast Time Zone Meetup Beginning. We meet on Thursday nights online at 7:00. @delawarejones can give you all the details. We would love to have you!!


#20

Hey, everyone! Y’all are awesome - this is such a welcoming community! Thank you for the links to these threads. Unfortunately I can’t make the Thursday evening calls due to work, but those hours should change soon. And KellyMoore, I’d love to come down as well once my hours change - I love the Tampa area.