A ridiculous idea - I need help!

Monday October the 15th is Shwmae, Su’mae day, an international day of speaking Welsh. Everybody is encouraged to start their conversations with a cheery Shwmae, which raises the profile of the language. A great idea.

This year, for the first time, SaySomethinginWelsh is sponsoring the day, and I thought it would be a great idea to do something special to celebrate all the amazing stuff that you SSiWers are doing, and all the extraordinary work that you put in to learning our (our = yours and mine) language.

Did I say special? I meant stupid!

I am currently working on a plan to do a 24 hour Shwmaeathon. I am going to run a 24 hour hangout (well, 4 x 6 hour hangouts actually) and encourage Welsh speakers from around the world to come online and say Shwmae. I hope that most of you by now know that when I say Welsh speakers, I mean anyone who speaks Welsh, whether that’s a 50,000 word vocabulary, or a few halting sentences. In other words, you!

I’m going to run it through our Welsh Speaking Practice board on Slack, because, well, it’s Welsh speaking practice isn’t it?! So hopefully, it will encourage a whole load more new and long-term speakers onto the channel, and I’m looking for ideas that will help me make it work. I’m also going to use the opportunity to collect sponsorchip money for our local Welsh-speaking community leisure centre

What I would really like before the 24 hours begins is to know that I’ve got people all around the world, and all around the clock willing to speak to me as I slowly break down under the influence of sleep deprivation and RedBull! I’m thinking of running it from 03:00 on the 15th, which will be 14:00 on the 15th in New Zealand, then run around until 03:00 on the 16th, which will be 19:00 in Vancouver, 16:00 in Honolulu. (I think - pleasee let me know if I’m wrong!)

So, please let me know below if and when you would like to take part in a hangout. If it’s quiet, we can have a conversation. At peak times, or if you’d prefer, then conversation could consist of literally “Shw mae, Pwy wyt ti?” > “Shw mae? Bob dwi o Dimbyctŵ” > “Shw mae, Bob? Braf cwrdd â ti” > “Diolch” and away you go. So it’s available to anyone at all - Even if you learn your lines parrott fashion, I’ll try to stick with those two opening sentences for everyone, so you knwo what I’c going to ask and you know what your answer is. Then we’ll take it from there for people who want to speak more.

Now, I’ve only spoken about it here, so I can still back out, especially if you all think it’s a rubbish idea… fingers crossed…


goes and checks diary I’ll be at home that day, so I’d love to pop and say “Su’mae!”

If you do go ahead I’ll publicise it amongst my Welsh class members and the people who go to the Wednesday casual chat in Caffi T H Roberts in Dolgellau on Wednesday mornings.


Brilliant idea! As someone who’s taken part in stupidly long marathons in the past, I think it’s not a great idea, healthwise, for you to try to host it for 24 hours. Why not have an open hangout link, and get people in pairs to volunteer to host it for an hour or two through the 24 hours? (Two people because that would guarantee as a minimum that they would be talking to each other!) I’m sure a 24-hour S’maeathon would still get sponsorship, as long as there was enough support for us to guarantee to keep it live for 24 hours. If you agree, put me down for the 5 -6 (or 7) slot, as I’m an early riser!


I support Bronwen’s suggestion of having shifts with multiple hosts.

If people who have learned Welsh (or improved their Welsh) using SSiW took turns to be hosts, that means no one makes themselves ill attempting the whole 24 hours and reinforces the point that people can learn Welsh and become confident speakers.


One more thought - how about asking for sponsorship for the number of people who S’mae over the 24 hour period?


One of the daftest ideas I’ve ever heard - I LOVE it. :laughing: :clap:
In fact I’d be willing to rejoin Slack for the occasion - my WSP membership may still be active.
Being retired, I shall be busy doing Llareggub as usual on Monday 15th October so I’ll let you @Iestyn choose a time slot for me between10 am and midnight (Ystrad Meurig time).


Great idea, I’ll play but I may have to sort out something around Slack. I love stuff like this and I do have a bit of previous, last sponsored stunt was running 10k in our kitchen - a lot of 180 turns😳


I’m planning on joining a walk that day, so it’ll have to be an early slot for me. Happy to co-host with Bronwen at 5am if you go down the shared hosting route, or join a hangout at 5am or 6am if you decide to stick to your crazy guns and do the whole thing. If I’ve got the energy after my walk and there’s space, I might even pop back in the evening to see if you’re still alive!


How about a Slackbot? :robot:


Now that I’m thinking of it, it sounds like a fun thing to build. I have seen bots consume large amounts of text and use a Markov Chain to randomly select words to generate paragraphs with hilarious results. There is also Inspirobot that uses a neural net trained from random texts to generate “motivational” slogans paired with random images. A Welsh version would be fun.


Brilliant idea Iestyn! Please include me in. We’ll be on Australian Eastern Summer Time by then, so early afternoon-ish here


Iestyn’s first ever hangout, and its a 24 hour one! Superb!

I’ll be there!


This is brilliant! I would definitely like to come on and say Shwmae! I’ll have to give you a better idea of what time when it gets a little closer…I have to go to work on that day, and it’s 5 hours earlier here than in Wales.


For siaradwr Cymraeg in the United States and Canada, based one the table below, add the hours to your time zone to determine the current time in Wales. When Iestyn is downing his first Redbull of fortitude at 3AM, it’ll be 7PM on the West Coast and 10PM on the East Coast. I suspect we can help fill in some of those odd hours when Wales is properly sleeping. :grinning:

East Coast +5 hours
Central Time +6 hours
Mountain +7 hours
West Coast +8 hours


Well, we’ll be in Napoli on International Su’mae Day, and I don’t know how well it would work there: could I get “Come stai” to sound like “Shmae”? But it does make it all that bit more international I suppose…
If I can connect over the waves I’ll try and stick my head in to the hangout for a couple of minutes. Great idea and pob lwc Iestyn.


I expect everyone except me knows what a Slackbot could do, but just in case not, could you explain in words of one syllable? Thanks!


I decided not to ask, as I assumed I wouldn’t understand the explanation! :joy:


Slackbots live inside Slack, and set up responses per specific input - so you could have a Slackbot that would notice every time someone said ‘hello’ in a thread, and would then post ‘Are you looking at ME?!’ [or, indeed, more sensible stuff]. :slight_smile:


Dee had to get rid of the one on SSiW slack that said “selecta” every time anyone did a post including the word “bo”.

But I thought Iestyn’s plan was for a hangout i.e. live video conference, not a Slack channel?


This is looking good - diolch bawb!

Especially, diolch to Bronwen and Margaret for high-lighting the health side of the challenge.

I’m not going into the 24 hour thing with my eyes closed. I used to do road rallies, which are generally over-night jobs on a Saturday night. This would usually mean going to work on Saturday morning (7.30 start, so out of bed at about 6), then rushing home at 1 or so, going to bed for about an hour, but usually not really sleeping, then driving somewhere, navigating a car for 120 miles round the lanes using an OS 1:50000 map, then having breakfast at about 5 while the results were sorted out, then driving home and finally getting to bed at about 10. It wasn’t unknown for me to work Sunday morning as well if it was a local event, and I was likely to be home in time for an hour or two of sleep before work. Rare, and exceptionally painful!

But that’s one of the two big reasons for going 3 til 3 rather than midnight to midnight. I’ll be able to get a good 4 hours sleep before a 3 o’clock start, even from my normal 10 o’clock bedtime, which means I’ll be fresh enough. I’ll be careful on the weekend, and schedule a gentle day or two afterwards as well, amd Bob, as they say, is a close friend of your parents…

The 24 hours is essential to be able to go “around the globe”, and I think having oen person doing it makes for an interesting story for media attention. The thing with publicity and getting attention to things is to tell a good story, and while “talking to Welsh speakers all around the world” is good in itself, the “how many people can one person say shwmae to in 24 hours” is an additional hook. In fact, running 3 til 3, and taking it outside of Shwmae Su’mae day actually adds to the power, because we’er doing it “for our international audience” - not something that many Welsh speaking activities have to cater for.

And talking of hooks, I love the thought of a 10k in your kitchen, Andy. That’s one that I may have to steal!


I’ll be (close to) Napoli all weekend, but unfortunately flying back to Torino on 14th evening. Otherwise we could have organized quite an unusual international connection! :slightly_smiling_face: