Here’s my newly acquired Dysgwr badge, which I will be wearing - with some trepidation - when we go to Cardiff this weekend… #scary
Let us know how you get on.
Well, I’m afraid I have nothing to report. Nobody spoke Welsh to me, not even the lady in the Welsh bookshop! Slightly disappointing, although kind of a relief as well, as I was feeling very tongue-tied as I went in…
Which bookshop did you go to?
In my experience it’s easier to find chances to speak in smaller towns, rather than Cardiff.
Did you greet them or start the conversation in Welsh and they answered back to English?
I didn’t have a badge when I visited Wales.
But I remember walking in the Welsh bookshop in Aberteifi determined to try and speak.
I felt as if I were about to sit an exam, and walked around looking at books for quite a while before daring saying I was a learner and would like to practice.
They were very nice and happy to talk, and even rewarded me with a speaker badge!
So always worth trying to start speaking first, if they don’t start.
However in other occasions I have to admit it was a relief when they said they didn’t speak Welsh, cause it’s hard not to feel tongue-tied in the beginning!
In any case I wouldn’t worry. Being willing to speak is already an important step, I think. You can try again next time!
No, I didn’t have high hopes about Cardiff, it was more on the off chance that the hotel receptionist or some café employee would see it and use Welsh to encourage me!
The bookshop is called Cant a Mil, and I did try to greet them in Welsh but only got a curt reply that I think was Welsh, but I’m not sure. They didn’t engage me in conversation when I was walking around, or when I went to pay for the book I bought. My daughter said the two women at the check-out were actually speaking English to each other…
Yes, the bookshop in Aberteifi was very different when I went there last summer - they spoke Welsh to me straight away, I panicked and didn’t understand, but tried again and managed a few sentences… And that was without me wearing a badge.
But yes, at least I was prepared to take the risk. And it made me practise a number of potentially useful sentences in my head, like Dw i ddim yn Saes, Swedaidd ydw i!
I’m surprised at that! I haven’t been there for a while but they always used to have Welsh-speaking staff and were very encouraging to learners. Perhaps you just caught them on an off day!
It’s good to keep wearing the badge though. I had one on when I was first learning in Cardiff and I went to the Christmas stalls in the street. One of the storeholders saw the badge and straight away addressed me in Welsh. He actually looked like he had Indian or Pakistani heritage, so I was really pleased to think Welsh was becoming a multicultural language!
Yes, I would like to think that was the case. I’ll have to try again another time…
Absolutely and Jo (who I assume is the owner) is lovely. I’m going there Saturday to pick up a birthday card so will let you know .
Maybe it was just me not being proactive enough…
I wouldn’t say that David. It’s not easy when you really want to speak Welsh and go somewhere where you expect welsh to be spoken and it isn’t. We’ve all been there. Going back some time I wouldn’t have spoken welsh in there either whereas now I think I’m cheeky enough to interrupt their conversation in Welsh.