Hello, everyone! I am just now embarking on learning Welsh, in honor of my beloved Welsh Grammy - my mother’s Ma, who did not talk about her heritage but there were certain things that she loved, such as the Welsh food, like the Welsh pasties and that sort of thing. But she did not speak Welsh to me or around me. I have done quite a bit of my genealogy, which has been confirmed by DNA, and I am about half Welsh, with the rest of it being mostly Cornish, English, and Irish. I live in the U.S., I am in my late 60’s, disabled, and likely will never get to Wales, but I still really want to learn the language and learn more about my heritage. Some people wonder at the practicality of this, but it’s my retirement, and I figure I can decide what I want to do with it, right? Any advice for someone who does not have ANY Welsh speaking support?
With a subscription to the full course, plenty of Welsh speaking support is available to you through online tutors and there are also online chat groups you can join (and of course this forum for written help!). All this support is optional, and some people are nervous at first at using online groups so put off joining in with them, but my advice would certainly be to make full use of them as soon as you can.
There are learners (and speakers) all over the world, including lots in the US - although it’s a huge country, there may even be people near you that you don’t know about yet!
If you’d like to give a live class a shot before you commit to paying a provider (whether that’s SSIW or DysguCymraeg), I can really recommend the Duolingo Events hosted by Richard - he’s great. It’ll help to get some experience on Duolingo first, of course, but you don’t have to pay anything for it (it’s all free, including the Zoom classes and the app). There are also plenty of regulars who attend his events so making friends or recognising faces over the weeks can really help with nervousness.
Once you’ve got some conversational Cymraeg under your belt, I can also recommend the Clwb Cardiau Post - it’s a postcard club where you can write short messages in Cymraeg to send to people around the world. I’m new to it myself, but having that tangibility really helps you to feel connected.
With both groups, I’ve met (and/or seen) a lot of American people, so like Siaron says you’re certainly not alone! Best of luck with taking the plunge
I won’t be paying for a subscription. I am a disabled senior lady and do not have the money.
We have two groups on Slack - one is for people subscribed to the course where extra tutor support is available but the other one, WSP (Welsh Speaking Practice) is free for anyone to join and you can chat with people at all levels all over the world, in fact there is a channel within the group especially for those in the Americas (which makes arranging chats in compatible time zones easier). To join the WSP group, you just need to request an invite from email@example.com .
However, the actual SSiW course does need a subscription I’m afraid.