Somehow I was persuaded to enter Dysgwr y Flwyddyn this year, despite all the arguments I’ve used against the idea in previous years. (I like a quiet life, usually!) Anyway the first round is on 13 May, when each entrant gets all of ten minutes’ conversation with the judges. If I’m going to enter, I shall give it my best. Is anyone willing to give me a bit of practice answering questions? Your guess is as good as mine as to what they’re likely to want to know. (Unless you’ve entered before, in which case your guess is likely to be rather better than mine!)
If there is interest I shall attempt to setup a Google Hangout toward the end of this week.
Diolch o flaen llaw,
What time are you aiming to be up this way tomorrow?
Current plans are 14:30 in the Black Boy…
Prepare to be grilled.
Sorry this was meant to be a reply to @karengo (on second thoughts , though)
Hi @karengo - I think we met very briefly yesterday after bootcamp before running off to hit the road…
I’ll be very busy for the next couple of weeks, catching up on real life. I should be free on Fri 12 May though, so happy to skype etc if you’d like to. (Sorry that’s a bit last minute!)
Oh, spit, I completely forgot. I’ll try and remember in an hour or so…
Diolch, @netmouse ! And lovely to meet you. I’m finding Skype causes a lot of trouble on this laptop so I only let it run on special occasions, but this could be one!
Happy to use a Skype alternative of your choice. (Presuming it won’t mess up my laptop…)
Felly, pam wnest ti ddechrau dysgu Cymraeg yn y lle cyntaf?..
What a shame I didn’t know this when we called by yesterday! We could have done a practice interview while I was there.
I’ll try to think back to the kinds of questions they asked on the 2 occasions I had a go … though usually if you ask me immediately afterwards I don’t have any recollection
I enjoyed meeting you in person at the party, Karen. I hope the “grilling” helped. I think it was more difficult for me asking questions in Welsh than it was for you answering them.
I only hope I can rise to the occasion when faced with more intimidating questioners! There was a definite small sense of relief in bringing it into the open with SSiW friends though, and a lovely sense of being supported. I’m very grateful to you all for that! You can probably tell, I’m just at the point this week of thinking, “Remind me again, why did I agree to this …?”
I hope it went well, Karen, and that you enjoyed the day
The day went well, even the interview, but I don’t think they liked me
Here are the four who were selected: http://www.bbc.co.uk/cymrufyw/39911035
On the plus side, Oriel Món is/was well worth a visit, it was good to meet up with a few people I knew, and I got to chat to Nia Parry again!
I’m sure they did, though - just looks like another of those years when the standard is eye-wateringly high, and the choice becomes largely a matter of ‘toss a coin’.
One of those final four has used some SSiW - we met Dani the other week at a Cinco de Mayo evening in Penygroes - I think she sounds more like a Gog than I do…
Time to come clean and admit that I competed in Dysgwr y Flwyddyn this year too. Sorry but I don’t post on the forum very often. I should do as there is so much fantastic help available here. I finished the first three courses of SSIW a couple of years ago and still do the challenges as they appear. SSIW has helped me so much. I have now gone back to classes and am doing Cwrs Meistroli.
I competed this year mainly for the experience, having been encouraged to do so by my tutor, and a classmate who had competed previously. Three from my class took part, and our tutor came along to support us. It was a good day. I enjoyed Oriel Môn, spending time with other learners including Karen, and to just spend the day in Welsh. I also learned how to play “Dau Gi Bach” on the ukele (sort of)! Nia Parry was lovely, I enjoyed that interview more.
I was pretty nervous for the main interview and the judges were clearly looking for more than I had. Looking at the profiles, 3 of the successful 4 use Welsh in their day to day work. I really fell down there I think. They asked quite a specific question about this – which I wasn’t expecting. There is really no opportunity where I work to use Welsh in my day to day work, other than occasionally chatting with other Welsh speakers/learners in the kitchen.
In the course of the interview I mentioned SSIW more than once and said how brilliant bootcamp had been for me, giving me the confidence to use my Welsh. On looking back there were many other things I wanted to say that I did not get around to saying.
Anyway, I know one of the four well because he is in my Welsh Class, it was very exciting when his name was announced, Hugh (or Huw as we call him)! He is in for a very busy few months I think. I will be rooting for him all the way, he has excellent Welsh and is a very nice guy too!
Learners seem to be all lovely people!
Judges maybe less so
For the record, Aran, they did NOT ask me why I started learning Welsh in the first place.
I got over-simple, time-wasting slow questions on my background (as if talking to a beginner). Probably I should not have tried to make jokes, Nia Roberts would make a fantastic poker player. From later questions, I think R Alun Charles had been reading Monty’s Blog and the gramarian/examiner in him had not been impressed (Monty is one of my alpacas. As Monty explains, he writes very colloquially and locally, having learned Welsh from the sheep next door. He’s actually my antidote to all the formal Welsh I have to produce as secretary of Dolgellau Merched y Wawr.). Alun Charles also wanted to know in detail what level of any other languages I had studied at school etc. Yawn. Yes, I did make take the opportunity to stress the differences between learning a language in school and in community but I really don’t think he got that. He’s a professional educator/examiner. Right at the end, Jenny Pye started a much better exchange about comparing ways of learning (intensive vs conventional) which could have been a good conversation, I think it was the only spark of genuine interest I got, but we ran out of time. So on the whole, I felt it was a case of missed-connection, Probably the same thing would have happened if we’d had the interview in English - there are just some people who I connect to better or worse than others!
There are different judges each year, so I hope my negative experience won’t put anyone off.
Oh, well done, congratulations! It’s always a good thing to do for the experience, even if the standard does get a bit ‘er, sorry, those are just Welsh speakers aren’t they?’ sometimes…
@karengo and @sandramckenzie, well done for taking part and remember that you not making the final was obviously absolutely nothing to do with the quality of your spoken Welsh. The finalists probably have some sort of angle that will help raise the profile of the competition. It’s all quite predictable really.