A fantastic Welsh weekend!

It is not often that things come together so perfectly as they did on Friday and Saturday.
I didn’t purposely intend to have a Welsh weekend but that was what we had!
Owain and I organised a meal at the Sosban in Llanelli to celebrate both our birthdays (there are only 6 days between us) and asked friends if they wanted to come along. In the end there were 9 of us.
For me Friday started with an intense Uwch lesson from 9am- 1pm dim Saesneg o gwbl! I then met up with Owain and 3 others at Swansea railway Station and chatted in Welsh and English on our journey to Llanelli, got in the taxi, carried on chatting in Welsh where the taxi driver spoke Welsh too! Arrived at the Sosban and yay the staff spoke Welsh too!
Needless to say we had a fantastic time in a lovely venue great service and wonderful tasty, quality locally sourced food.
The icing on the cake was the company. I am privileged to know and be friends with a great bunch of people, 3 who speak welsh fluently and work with the language and others from our welsh group, their great company and wit made my night!
After a very late night came Saturday and time to go to Tŷ Tawe for their Cyrfe Mawr- a Welsh beer and cider festival. Entertainment was provided by Lowrie Evans, Gwilym Bowen Rhys and Huw Chiswell and everything in the welsh language. With my favourite real ale- Gower Power on tap, I had another fantastic day yn yr iaith Cymraeg!


Sounds like you had a fabulous time Tricia! Those times when you can live your life through Welsh are very special ones, and need to be celebrated!


Yes - great to hear. I only wish that we had more people in Swansea / Llanelli, so that you could live all of your life through Welsh!

Give us a couple of years…

Oh yes - and penblwydd hapus to you both!

Thanks Stu and Iestyn for your lovely comments!
I agree with you Iestyn that this should be the norm rather than a special occasion and maybe one day…
Though from my perspective this relatively short journey in this wonderful language has taken me from ’ how can we practice speaking Welsh, we don’t know anyone who can’ to where I am today with a great circle of Welsh speaking friends!
Where else will this journey take me?!

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That’s brilliant, Tricia.

Cheeky question time - what is the one thing, or the one group of things that you have done that you think is responsible for your success in building a Welsh speaking circle of friends?

Oh that’s difficult as it was organic mostly! Though starting the weekly group and keeping it sustained has helped.
Otherwise with first language people, one I have known for many years and only recently changed to speaking Welsh with, well since I did the 5 minute conversation with him for the Conolradd exam.
Other people I have met through the pub quiz on a Monday and meet at other times, again the switch to using Welsh had been recent. We have gone to Welsh language gigs in Pontardawe or Carmarthen and tŷ Tawe and socialise too.
We don’t segregate those groups of friends. some of the people from the Welsh group have got to know some of the first language people by those social events or just meeting up in the pub. And my friend who did the welsh conversation for the exam, comes to the Welsh group and socialises with the Welsh speakers too.
This is very difficult to explain as it has been an organic process, and not a planned strategy!
But so much needs to be said for those first language friends in that they have so much patience and enthusiasm for us Welsh learners. I realise how lucky I am!

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That’s lovely, Tricia - diolch.

I’m asking, because so many people seem to have a problem becoming a part of Welsh stuff (not breaking into the Welsh language community, per se, but just getting out of the safe “class - learners’ meet-up” bubble.) From what you’ve written, you’ve “just” spoken Welsh more and more, expanding out of the meet-ups by meeting new people and doing stuff with them. It coues down to the quote on the “Golwg 360 in Tricia Birthday Shocker” thread (or whatever it was called… :wink: ). You saw Welsh as the glue to bind, not the reason to meet. That in itself is a huge insight - diolch eto!

Another quick one. How have you changed the language of relationships from English to Welsh? That’s a huge stumbler for some. (Sorry - i’m not badgering you <well, I am, I guess!>, and you don;t have to answer. Just what you’ve achieved is astounding, and I’d love to help others achieve it too!)

Thanks Iestyn! I have to say I loved hearing the first language perspective of my birthday bash and put in such a beautiful way!
Ok where do I start? My relationship with Dave, who did the Canolradd conversation with me started many years ago. At the time he worked for the Welsh translation unit for Swansea council. When we started learning Welsh about 10 years later and knowing that we needed to practice speaking Welsh I don’t think I even considered him, probably because I never heard him speak Welsh.
That has changed over the past 4 years. Though Owain and I started learning Welsh at the same time our paths took a different route. As Owain already had a huge amount of knowledge of the Welsh language, doing the SSiW courses turned him into a Welsh speaker overnight! Or so it seemed and he would speak to Dave in Welsh, so I have got used to him speaking Welsh and gradually understood him more and more. I probably didn’t say much in Welsh during those occasions, not so much feeling intimidated more likely feeling phased by it and lacking confidence.
That changed when I asked if he would do the Canolradd conversation piece. He was surprised how much Welsh I knew and since then he speaks Welsh to me and I to him and I like that fact that he corrects me when needed!

With Alun, I met him through the pub quiz. I heard him speak Welsh and I butted in and said oh ti’n siarad Cymraeg! Dw i’n dysgu Cymraeg etc!
When the Ffrindiaith started I saw his name up on the list of speakers and realised that he was interested in helping Welsh learners. So I asked him if he would be my Ffrindiaith. Though we didn’t know how to go about it as we already knew each other,we knew we had to change the relationship to Welsh speaking one! I have extended the the Ffrindiaith to sending emails to each other in an attempt to improve my writing skills.
I think the important thing is to grab opportunities when they come along.
I hope that answer your question! I don’t think there is a formula apart from just using the language!

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Brilliant - that’s perfect.

Can I quote you on stuff when I’m talking to new speakers about how to “come out”?

Diolch yn fawr.

Of course you can! A Diolch i ti hefyd!

I’m not sure what happened there!