I have spent the last four days mostly singing ‘Bwrw glaw yn sobor iawn’ and ‘Dua gi bach’ with my grandson.
I also made a big effort to speak Cymraeg while staying in rachub for four days.
I spoke to a woman about the Welsh language and learning welsh.
I spoke to a young woman about cycling on Ynys Mon.
I spoke to an older man about cycle paths.
I spoke to a woman about Welsh classes.
I spoke to a lovely engine driver about repairing engines!
I spoke to a young man about his new business and his voluntary work setting up the Penrhyn Quarry railway.
these people were all poor, unsuspecting strangers!
I sung Cymreag nursery songs over and over and over to my grandson and
I read some bedtime stories in Cymreag.
Listed like this, I feel quite proud.
At the time I felt very nervous, especially when I couldn’t understand everything that was said back to me and I did that nodding and smiling thing whilst hoping I wasn’t looking totally stupid!
I didn’t! The engine man was very patient with me. He taught me the word ‘repair’. He was lovely. He let us go into the engine shed when it was closing, and when I started talking in my stilted Cymreag he was very kind and talked through what he was doing. I didn’t understand much, but it felt ok. I think he appreciated that I was trying hard! And my grandson was super cute, so that helped
Oh, I this as a tip! To get really nice, patient conversation yn y Gymraeg, take along a really cute grandson. If, like me, you don’t have one, you can always borrow! However, I’d likely need to borrow a great grandson! (Is that wyr mawr, @aran?).
Diolch, everyone for cheering me on.
To be clear for anyone who, like me, thinks everyone on this forum is brilliant at speaking Cymraeg and I’m the only one stumbling along, I should make it clear these conversations were not smooth, confident, brilliant utterings on my part. They were very much stop-start-oh-'eck conversations:blush:
The easiest was with a young woman who spoke better than me, but not confidently. (She claimed to have been lazy at school!).
The hardest to understand was with a woman from Ynys Mon. She said a lot, and I thought I’d completely misunderstood her (so I did a lot of nodding and smiling). Later, she spoke to me again in English, and I checked if I’d understood her and I had!
The nicest was with the railway man, though I probably only understood about 10% of what he said.
The most uncomfortable was with a man who seemed a bit bleh about me being a learner.
And of course, my wyr was the cutest by a long chalk.
I’ve heard you speaking some time ago and you spoke just fine. As it’s some time ago I bet you’ve improved in time and even if conversations were start-stop thingys, what then. It was conversation. Try to pretend among stops you do that you’re trying to remember something or you’re thinking harder about the thing then your speaking “partner”. I have no doubt the conversations will go smoother and smoother each time you start one. It’s brilliant you started conversation in Welsh about not such daily topics (like repairing engins etc …) at all. Many would not gather that courage. You did just well.
Thats it - conversation. While working in a forest West of Llanymddyfri last week I met a farmer who engaged me in a 20 minute conversation in Welsh. Unlike most who realise their English is much better than my Welsh and revert to English, he stuck to Welsh. OK, a lot of the Lefel 1 stuff I thought I’d mastered in the past couple of months faltered, through my digging in the dark recesses of my brain for the right words to keep talking about everyday stuff. But a couple of things he said I didn’t get so he just repeated himself but louder Somehow it worked. One of the problems I’ve always encountered that makes learning Welsh different from places like Japan where people don’t do English but terrible grammar can be forgiven. The North Wales lads I work with always use English with and I feel I have to be grammatically very good before I could use Welsh. Emails and texts I do in Welsh though.
Great to hear of franhunni’s and other experiences which are reassuring. Great to have found SSIW - I’ve tried classes that were 1 step forward 2 steaps back half the time.
Well done with the farmers! I gave you railwayman, you raised me farmers. Any more for any more
I’ve been inspired by my faltering chats to get back on with the lessons with a bit more focus. It’s not always easy to keep motivated in the privacy of my own small world, I find.