I have used Rosetta Stone in the past to learn Russian, traditional classwork to learn Spanish, and in vivo community work to learn Sign Language but after finishing Level 1, I can genuinely say this has been the most effective language learning programs I have taken part of. I can parse the grammar but I don’t think about it when I speak, the words roll out of my mouth with little to no thought, and most importantly, I’m not translating everything in my head constantly— I’m just speaking Cymraeg!
…And I am so happy I have. What a beautiful language. Whereas other languages are built for utility (Russian) or usability (Romance Languages, English), Cymraeg seems to built entirely on artful expression. The mutations seem to be there just to make the words flow more beautiful and it really adds weight and context to the cultural pride of musicality, poetry, self-expression, and fire.
And this is to say nothing of what I have learned about other parts of Welsh culture. The politics in Wales are particularly fascinating right now. I love watching videos from Synedd and listening to the passion people speak with in both Saes and Cymraeg. I’ve found a bit of a personal hero in Adam Price, in fact. Speaking the language has opened a door into the culture that gives me context for why my ancestors moved to America when they did as well.
And as an American, I have stumbled into the greatest bit of culture I could ask for! The music is BRILLIANT— Lewys, Calan, Gwilym, Yws Gwenedd, Mared, and many more in lots of genres… so much to hear and it’s all been this wonderful secret that I’m so glad I get to experience. Not to mention teledu and ffideo on YouTube, with the content coming from S4C and hilarious stuff from Hansh… I’m just thrilled to be here.
Lots learned and discovered and all because I thought it would be cool to learn the language of my family name.
Onward to Level 2!!!