Article on BBC Cymru Fyw - immigrants learning Welsh

Yesterday in the London Welsh Centre we happened to bump into a young Hungarian chap who spoke some Welsh (and understood quite a lot more). He said he’s been learning from “whatever he can find on the Internet”, but hasn’t so far tried SSiW: naturally, he got an immediate and thorough SSiW-ing from the assembled horde, so it’s possible that he may show up here in due course.
He also said that he’d done some research on non-English immigrants to Wales learning Welsh, which had got reported on BBC Cymru Fyw, and it makes for quite an interesting article:


Come to think of it, amongst my learner friends, those who are from outside of the UK seem to be amongst the quickest learners and probably the least inhibited. Some without any lessons at all :slight_smile:

In general, their reason for learning Welsh is that they live in Wales - difficult to fault that one. :smiley:


Maybe it’s because they’ve already had to throw caution to the wind to learn one language (English) and so are less inhibited with a second? Exposure also helps, I find. When I’ve been in France for a few days I find I worry a lot less about getting things wrong and I concentrate more on being understood.

I’m heartened to see that immigrants see the benefit in learning Welsh. It’s a shame that many Welsh people (and so many English!) do not.


Wow, this is amazing to hear! Dw i wedi ddechrau dysgu cymraeg when I discovered SSIW this summer before visiting Cymru, a dw i’n dysgu yr iaith o Hwngari achos my family is magyar and I’m trying to become a citizen (unfortanately, I didn’t get to grow up with the language). It’s great to be learning such different languages one from the other, but I mix them a lot when I practise speaking to myself and I always thought I would be hopelessly out of luck looking for someone who spoke both cymraeg and Hungarian! Perhaps I’ll start a thread about the differences between the two…


We’ve had some approaches from Cymdeithas yr Iaith and organisations that assist refugees and asylum seekers, as many of those come from countries where being bi- or multilingual is commonplace. When they realise Welsh is spoken here, they consider it a natural step to learn it as well as English. We’re looking forward to welcoming some of them on board!


While I don’t know much Hungarian, from what I did manage to pick up, they are very, very different languages - probably due to Hungarian coming from so far east.
One of the only similarities I can think of is ‘s’ making a ‘sh’ sound in Hungarian and in words like ‘siarad’ in Welsh, but maybe there are others! :slight_smile:

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