Funny, isn’t it! I started getting my lower case ‘d’ and ‘g’ mixed up in upper secondary school after starting learning Russian. To this day, I frequently write g when I mean d, eventhough I haven’t written in Russian in years!
Yes. When I was more into it, I kept reading P as ‘r’! Sometimes my brain genuinely had a jam where I actually couldn’t remember which was which for a second or two!!
I was just looking at my e-mails on my laptop, when an advert popped up alongside - I saw it out of the corner of my eye. It took me quite a few seconds before I could work out what it meant.
‘Do you want dewy skin?’, it said. ‘Dewi?’, I said out loud. Why would I want skin like St David?
Oh no, that’s not right, it must be a mutated tew(y). Why would I want fatt(y) skin?
Then the light dawned, oh dew, in English, as in the early morning thing on grass. No, don’t want skin with water droplets over it either.
I laughed out loud, literally!
I am a glutton for the Saturday night BBC4 foreign language slot, usually mysteries, cop shows etc, It’s where Y Gwyll turns up as Hinterland after its been on S4C. Anyway, currently it’s a slightly odd Spanish series about a successful lawyer of very dubious morals who is suspected of murder, having lost his memory. I know no Spanish and am totally dependent on the subtitles unless a character is English speaking. The last episode I watched, I suddenly realised my brain was auto-rendering the subtitles into Cymraeg! It was a weird experience! Obviously, this did not happen if I didn’t know the words in Cymraeg, but I was surprised at home much was popping up!
I took some outing money and stamped the person’s card “PAID”. Then I thought “Oh dear, I shouldn’t have done that.” (I am in England.)
When, after several years, a friend still asks why you speak Welsh and not a ‘useful’ language. This week hasn’t been great for other reasons and for a while, I found myself thinking that maybe I should just pack it in after all. Until I called my dog up while holding an English conversation with another dog walker. She asked ‘Is that Welsh? It must be lovely to do that’. She then asked the dog (in English) if he understood Welsh. He didn’t reply.
My peripatetic hairdresser asks Toffi if she is bilingual, She doesn’t answer either!
Sorry it’s a tough time - hang on in there, Andy. And remember, even if you move away from Welsh for a while, it will always be there for you to come back to…
No, I’m sticking with it. The point of the story is that we all get a bit of “that’s just weird, why do it?” from time to time. Best to put it down to ignorance and plough on even if it hits you on a bad day. My dodgy Welsh has embarassed me no end of times but it’s strange how a throwaway comment from a monolingual person can get up your nose the most. Listening to Radio Cymru this week tells me I’m not alone😀
Even if the question from your fellow dog walker was meant nice and positive, your dog was right not to reply. Sometimes, we “hoomans” should learn from our animal’s wisdom. See, these people who react strangely or even badly to your learning and speaking Welsh in truth reveal a lot about themselves. Their negative comments have nothing to do with you. This friend who still asks you why you speak Welsh and not a “useful” language has never experienced the magic of Welsh - it’s his loss. Some people do just blurt out what comes to their minds, without reflecting on the effects their words may have on others. Most of them do not even talk from experience…and their words reveal how limited their imagination and empathy are.
Please, don’t let such people and ignorant comments take away your joy about Welsh! Dogs have an unfailing instinct for what is “right”, and if he listens and reacts to your Welsh, all is good in the world.
I got this a couple of days ago at work from a colleague. “Why on earth…?” I just smiled and held my hands to my face in a ‘narrow-minded/narrow-sighted’ gesture. The point was well-taken and all were happy. Wish you a better week!
Thanks v much. Well done, good effort! I’m thinking about getting something like a business card made which says
- Yes, it’s true. I was born and brought up in England
- My Dad’s side were Welsh. I’m the only one left
- I only have the language now
- Rwan ta, cau dy geg.
That should do it.
You have the language, and with the language, the Welsh soul. It’s impossible for you to abandon it, anyway!
Am neges hyfryd, diolch o galon😀
You’re being very kind…diolch yn fawr iawn! Dw i ddim yn siarad a deall Cymraeg yn dda eto achos dw i newydd ddechrau dysgu Cymraeg. Well i fi ymarfer a gwella…a cofio nawr (I don’t speak and understand Welsh well yet, because I’ve just started learning Welsh. I’d better practise and improve…and remember now)!
You know you are learning with SSiW when you answer the radio before the other person gets a chance.
I switched on Radio Cymru and recognised the tune of “How great Thou art”, although I’d never heard of, or seen the Welsh translation.
Anyway, true to form, I blurted out “Mor fawr rwyt Ti” just before the singer had a chance to beat me to it.
Your partner – who still isn’t learning Welsh – sees/hears someone on Rownd a Rownd say “Dw i isio siarad efo chdi” and turns to you and says “I want to talk to you.” And then adds, “You and your bloomin’ Welsh.”
And also when your child – who still isn’t learning Welsh – names his cuddly monkey Gareth, after a fancied resemblance. (It’s really not very marked, but I was amused.)