How has everyone been practicing/developing/making use of Cymraeg over this rather unusual summer - and through the spring that led up to it?
Ceredigion has no Eisteddfod Genedlaethol till next year; weekly chats in the pub may be happening again for some, but are not yet looking sensible for many of us; lots of other possible trips, visits or activities have been postponed or moved online.
Are you one of the many SSIWers who have been benefiting from all the great stuff organised through Slack and so on?
Have you been video-chatting more generally since lockdown started, and is some of that yn y Gymraeg?
Has your local meet-up moved online at all?
Have you taken advantage of the easing of lockdown to visit Cymru (if you live outside it) and use your Welsh?
Have you insisted that your household spend every Tuesday in Welsh only? Plentyn heb Gymraeg; plentyn heb ginio …
Maybe you got furloughed, and took on reading the Mabinogion in the original Middle Welsh (or just decided to tackle your very first novel for adult learners) …
I’ve tried a few things to keep my Welsh alive and lively while mainly stuck at home in England, despite our little Côr Cymraeg Coventry not being able to meet , and the forced cancellation of a couple of planned Cymraeg-only weeks with friends . (We moved those weeks online - anyone who is or was part of either is welcome to comment below on how successfully …)
I’d love to hear: What have you tried, enjoyed and learned in this new situation? What went well, what nearly went well, and what just didn’t really work at all?
Our local Welsh chat group that normally meets on a Wednesday morning in TH Roberts cafe in Dolgellau have been chatting online via a Skype group since lockdown started. I suspect we will continue to do so for quite a while yet as though the cafes opened indoors this week, the town is busy with tourists and therefore the covid risk is probably the highest it’s ever been.
One advantage of using Skype is that our tame native speaker can type out any words that we didn’t know and they remain available for reference after the chat is over.
I only had a month of Furlough, but in that time I loved all of the Slack video meetings. also, not strictly Cymraeg but helped me to understand it - I studied SSiManx and LearnGaelic’s Scottish Gaelic video course.
On a related note, I parked outside a friends house yesterday, which is in a very (sub)urban area - better known for tax discs than Cymraeg - and ended up speaking for half an hour with their first language neighbour
I’ve carried on with my few weekly Skypes yn Gymraeg, and added an extra one with the Macheteers, and that’s kept my Welsh ticking over. I still find that I’m losing words though, so larger group chats and events with Welsh-speaking friends have really helped. I miss the face to face stuff, and especially the Eisteddfod so the AmGen online has been a great substitute: I recommend you check it out if you haven’t already - you can even walk round the Pabell Celf!
I haven’t made it onto Slack during covid times, and I really should. There seems to be a lot going on, and I’ve talked to a few people who use it all the time and get a lot out of it.
This is an excellent idea! Have you thought about a job in the Education Ministry?
I’m sad I’m not at the Eisteddfod this week, getting a proper immersion, but I have kept up a few virtual meetups - not every week but hopefully enough that I’ve not forgotten everything I’ve read a bit more too, and while Pobol Y Cwm and Rownd a Rownd were on I used to watch one over lunch. I recently tried a new series on Clic, Dirgelwch Y Llun which I’m quite enjoying but it turned out to be in French with Welsh subtitles, which is a whole different challenge and not sure it’s one improving either language to be honest!
I used to listen to a fair bit of Radio Cymru on my commute so I’m missing that, and also really missing my weekly trips to the Welsh centre and the Llon-dain meet-ups.
We went to Tyddewi the first week holidays were allowed in Wales and spoke no Welsh at all - if it’s still allowed I’m hoping to get to Pen Llyn with a friend in September so will vow to do better then!
Our very small local group has gone to meeting just for a short time once a week online, which has been great and helped a lot to keep my morale up. And I have been reading more yn y Gymraeg too - definitely good for expanding vocabulary. But I am desperately missing the opportunity to visit Wales - to see the sea and to speak ‘Welsh in the wild’.
OUr weekly Oxford meetups have moved online and have been working pretty well, on the whole. We’ve been using Zoom as it’s more straightforward than Slack, especially for those who are less tech savvy (only problem seems to have been audio not working sometimes but that’s been easily solved by exiting and immediately logging in again)
We had been hoping to arrange with Nia an SSiW day out in Oxford in June but of course that’s been scuppered for now.
I’ve listened to a lot of Radio Cymru whilst working from home. I re-listened to the Dulliau Chwyldro podcast, and found I understood a lot more than when I originally listened to it a few years ago. I’ve started listening to the Haclediad. I’ve got through a few Welsh books, and I’ve found some online yoga classes yn Gymraeg.
I’ve been less successful in terms of speaking Welsh. My weekly Welsh classes carried on online until June, so that kept me going until then. I’ve joined the occasional online meet up, but not that regularly. The online offerings from Tafwyl and the Eisteddfod have been good, but not quite the same as being there in person, and having all those Welsh conversations on the maes.