Thanks Hector; that’s very clear. It also sounds like a reasonable and pragmatic way forward, although I share Louis’ worry in his 2nd paragraph.
Oh dw i’n dwp - that’s the link Kim posted at the top of this thread already.
I hear what you’re saying, hectorgrey, and in areas where Welsh isn’t a natural community language, having one stream of education which makes sure that all children leave school comfortable in both languages would clearly be a good thing.
But this is where it gets a little more complicated. It’s not entirely true, you see. Welsh isn’t a minority language in Gwynedd, Môn, Ceredigion - so any blanket ‘all schools should use English and Welsh’ means that you strike a (possibly fatal) blow at the heart of natural Welsh communities.
It’s the big problem with ‘bilingualism’ - real bilingualism would be fine, but what we usually get in Wales is bilingualism which means Welsh speakers have to speak English, English speakers don’t have to speak Welsh.
A country with different kinds of communities is always going to need different kinds of approaches
I applied “Dechrau pob sgwrs” in Tesco, Wrecsam last night after visiting the Saith Seren. Having left bags behind in my car I proceeded to ask the lady at the self-checkouts to mind my basket whilst I went back to the car to fetch one.
Me: " … wna i nol bag oddi wrth fy nghar".
Checkout Lady: “I’m sorry, I don’t speak Welsh”
The reply was only too common and sadly unsurprising in Wrecsam but one more person will have been reminded that Cymraeg exists and is used by some people in the area. Indirectly, we can hope that keeping Cymraeg visible (audible) above the radar will translate into some more
people deciding to learn, who might otherwise not have done so.
I had hoped for (and look forward to finding next time) a different case. There will also be local people who learned Cymraeg at school (and a few at home) who may not be using it much, or at all, but can still remember stuff. When I find someone who tries to reply in Welsh, even with difficulty, I will know there is still hope. And if I bump into a rhugl speaker who puts my bad diction in its place, I will be greatly reassured. But then I will have to pinch myself to know I am still in Wrecsam and not dreaming, or actually in Gwynedd.
Oh how we make the same mistakes over and over again! Sectarian schools do it in Scotland and Ireland and I see what you mean totally about languages. I agree all should learn both and in both. I agree, subjects taught in this or that language should depend on teachers, but real effort would be needed to get enough able to teach through Cymraeg in the south east. That in an atmosphere of “we don’t want you here!”. I have a horrible feeling, it’s doomed to fail!! I don’t think there is a #face crying buckets’ for me to use!!
But why? Language supporters all have there reasons for wanting to learn and/or promote the language, but I’m not sure we shout loudly enough about WHY we feel so strongly.
Sure, kids are given a list of ‘reasons’ to learn Welsh, including things like, ‘for more job opportunities’, but if you already see Welsh as irrelevant, then that and other superficial reasons have little weight.
The language must become relevant ‘in real life’, so that speaking can progress beyond the school gates.
My answer to why? Because learning another language enriches your life and opens doors to new cultural experiences. That’s probably a hard sell to a pre-GCSE student, but I’m sure some skilful storyteller/film maker could make a good job of it.
Good luck in Wrecsam, Bob.
You could try insisting on a welsh speaker dealing with your request but I think you may have a hard time finding one. I know Aled does this from time to time, he goes to Y Saith Seren also so I’ll ask him about his experiences next time I see him.
This is a cue to hand her a SSiW business card or postcard.
@Aran - Would it be possible to put up a template for people to download and make their own?
There used to be (and perhaps still is) a downloadable SSiW poster on the old forum, but something smaller would be handy in situations like these.
We have done stuff like this in the past, but it gets clunky and complicated quite quickly - it would be good to have a ‘promotion’ section at some point with a bunch of different things like that - we’ll try and find time for it
My bit of promotion, unfortunately in pure not-Cymraeg environment. However at least someone asks me from time to time what SaySomethingInWelsh is and I don’t spare words to tell them how magnificent it is and what unique way you can learn languages. I can speak at least so much Cymraeg that I can amaze people around me and one day I might get someone else in Slovenia interested enough to start to learn Cymraeg. (And, please, don’t take this photo as self-praising because it’s not meant to be so …)
However I often wonder what would happen if I one day cruise around one Cymraig city or village in this shirt? Would it be more like provocation or it might do some promotional bit. (Just a deep morning wonderings and pondering thoughts).
But yes, it would be useful to have some well thought and designed promotional material. You never know where and when you might be in position to give it out to someone. Well you all know the best that you have to strike while iron is hot …
I can see that “It is your heritage!” probably doesn’t appeal to 14 year-olds who think they have enough trouble learning in English!
Did anyone see the program about IS destroying all the ancient artifacts in Iraq? “First they destroy your culture, then then kill you!”, someone said. Obviously, with us, it is just the culture… or is it? Get enough people seeing Cymraeg as ‘foreign rubbish’ and anyone interested in it or speaking it as old-fashioned and moronic and how soon before they cease to see the point of having ‘Wales’. “Why can’t we just be English?”, they may ask.
Braveheart did actually stir a few Scots. Maybe we need a few really good films?!! I remember a Scottish friend bemoaning their lack of an anthem and saying “You still have your language and that brilliant stirring song!” So they wrote ‘Flower of Scotland’ and, really, haven’t looked back since!!! (Although we are still - just - better at rugby!)
You’re probably right! There must be some good Welsh stories that could be turned into inspiring films. Any ideas?
Llewelyn? Owain Glyndwr? Some chap called Arthwr!!!
I’ve always thought that the life of Owain Glyndwr (at least the received version) would make a good Hollywood epic. The problem is that in order to sell it to the big American studios, you’d probably have to make him Irish.
To be honest, I’ve never understood why people look to the distant past (even mythology) for inspiration. We even name universities, health boards and arson gangs after these historical “heros”. As a Welshman, I find this frankly cringe-making. My concern is exclusively for the present and the future of Wales in the world. History is interesting but I can’t get myself wound up about how beastly the Romans were to the Ordovici and Silures or how our druids were cruel to the populace at large or the Saxons or Normans oppressed the Brythonic races or the Welsh and English mine-owners allegedly suppressed the Welsh language. This is the 21st Century for goodness sake!
(Heaven preserve us from Mel Gibson playing Glyndwr or Llewelyn - wonder what colour he’d choose to daub on his face)
As always, I am just declaring my personal view.
Or perhaps Disney could turn something from the Mabinogion into their next film. There’s got to be a character who would make an excellent Disney princess. Although after seeing what they did with the Snow Queen (now Frozen) they would probably totally mangle the stories to make them ‘family friendly’. It would bring Wales into mainstream consciousness and maybe they could be persuaded to make a Welsh language version…
I’m following a Ffilm show on one radio station and it’s actually interesting and good one but whenever I hear one “Welsh” movie comes out I ask the presenter (which happens to be my twitter friend) if it’s in Cymraeg. The answer is always the same: “No, it’s in English but with Welsh actors.” Then he ads that there can be some welsh speach heard in teh movie but not much. This kind of things always make me sad really. If I hear film is in Welsh I want to hear/see it in Welsh …
Or what language he’d speak and in what accent.
I’ve never been able to take Mel Gibson seriously (if I ever did) ever since seeing the demolition job done on his “Braveheart” by Stewart Lee, which is on Youtube. I’d better not post the link again, as it’s mildly pornographic, but achingly funny.