Finding people to talk to in Pembrokeshire

Hello everyone. I live in Pembrokeshire and am on lesson 22 of the first level. I’m very, very shy about speaking Welsh to other people but did it for the first time the other day. It was the lady serving at the till in M&S :joy: it was a bit of a disaster because she started speaking Welsh to me so fast and I had no idea what she was saying. So now I’m even more worried. Also I have Welsh friends and none of them speak Welsh.
Does anyone have any suggestions about how I can break in to speaking outside of my own four walls without going in to a cold sweat?! And where to find people to speak to…slowly.emphasized text

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Follow the thread through for more up to date details, but in January they were still meeting.

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If you send an email to margaret@mentersirbenfro.com and ask to be added to the email list from Menter Sir Benfro, you’ll be able to see lots of opportunities to go along to conversation groups. They’re generally very used to having new Welsh learners come along and will be gentle with you :slight_smile:

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Well done Julie! You may not see it this way, but you’ve made an enormous step forward by speaking “in the wild”, even if it didn’t go the way you hoped it would - to be honest, that’s a pretty common outcome, and it’s not a disaster and no-one is to blame, and here’s why…

Having the confidence to open a conversation in a language you’re learning is a huge deal, a step that many procrastinate about for a long time, and yet you’ve done it.

Natural welsh will always sound fast when you start out, but the fact the lady was speaking Welsh and not reverting to English means that she understood you and obviously thought you would understand her - that’s a good thing. Remember, ‘in the wild’, it’s much harder to process replies because you have no control over them - you don’t know what dialect is going to come out, how fast it’ll come out, and what yet-to-find-vocabulary will appear. So not understanding is completely normal and not something to worry about or be put off by.

My tips for minimising the cold sweat are these:

Do the listening exercises in the challenges.

Hear as much ‘full speed’ Welsh as you can - this could be having Radio Cymru or S4C or online material (podcasts/youtube/etc) on in the background as often as possible. You don’t have to actively listen and try to understand all the time, just hearing it will help you absorb the patterns at speed.

Learn the phrases asking people to keep speaking Welsh but more slowly and be prepared to use them - to ask for someone to slow down, to ask what certain words mean, or to admit that you didn’t understand everything is not a weakness but a learning opportunity.

It will take time and practice, but you really have made the biggest leap just by being willing and confident enough to make that first move, so dal ati and build on that :smiley:

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That’s brilliant. Thank you very much. That’s only ten minutes from me so I’ll get in touch with them.

Thank you so much for your reply. That’s very encouraging and it would be so wonderful to speak Welsh. I’m loving it :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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There is also this thread to check - Events in Sir Benfro 2024

How about this? (will also post in the events thread)

Waldo Williams Society
Walk ‘Following Waldo’s Paths’
Saturday 25 May 11am
meet in Pisga car park, Llandysilio
A short walk around Llandysilio i visit significant places in Waldo’s life.
Only a one-way walk.
Cuppa and chat in the vestry to follow.

A special welcome to learners and new speakers
(You don’t have to be a member of the Waldo society)

Other walks in the series
29 June - Capel Millin, 27 July - Weun Cas’Mael