Happy 11th Birthday SSiW!

Exactly 11 years ago today @aran published a post on Facebook inviting people to join a forum where they could get access to the grand total of 15 half-hour audio Welsh lessons!

He and I were living in a bedsit on a small-holding just outside the village of Nefyn. I was pregnant with our first child and was uncomfortably six days overdue - Angharad Lliar was born four days later on the 25th of January, 2009 - Dydd Santes Dwynwen.

Aran had been raised all over the globe, due to his parents’ careers, and only carried with him snippets of his grandparents’ mother tongue. So when he had the opportunity to return to Wales in his early 30s (after a few years language teaching abroad) he decided to immerse himself in the Welsh language and become fluent as quickly as possible.

He and I met only a handful of years later via a Welsh dating website - unfortunately no longer active… I think we may have broken it… ::rofl:

The surprising thing is, I didn’t actually realise he’d learnt Welsh till he told me on our third or fourth date!

Having been on the learning journey himself is what initially inspired Aran to start writing the course in 2007/2008… that and somehow feeling we didn’t have enough to deal with at the time… :wink:

One of my favourite stories to tell, is the one where he sat me and our baby bump down one day, on the little wicker sofa we had in the bedsit and told me he’d had an idea about how he could make learning Welsh easier. I rolled my eyes at the prospect of yet another of his quirky entrepreneurial ideas, but soon found myself as excited as he was at the prospect of what could be - actually making our beautiful language easier to learn? I was sold.

A few weeks later we were in the car with a radiator, blanket, cushion, picnic, flask of tea and dialogue scripts on sheets of A4 paper, on our way to a friends (rather cold and damp) recording studio, to record those first few lessons. It was hit and miss in those days as I seemed to have a very active baby who often kicked when it was my turn to speak, making me mess up my lines… :wink:

So here we are 11 years later, surrounded by some of the most wonderful people I know - Welsh learners are just awesome! I feel so privileged to be sharing this journey and this forum with all of you, you add colour to my life every day.

I will be forever grateful to each and every one who’s taken this leap of faith and become new speakers of my mother tongue. I’m in constant awe of your enthusiasm and your dedication. Thank you for having faith in us and thank you for being there for each other, making this community so very special. I shall raise a glass to all of you this evening… Iechyd Da!

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Pen-blwydd hapus mawr iawn i…ni? Diolch o waelod galon am bopeth!!! Dwi’n gobeithio bod chi’n medru ffeindio rhywle i aros yn Nhregaron yn y haf, bydd yn braf iawn i’ch gweld chi’n fuan :heart:

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Penblwydd Hapus Iawn. SSiX will be a teenager soon - and then look out.
Oh, and thanks again for everything. :heart:

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Penblwydd Hapus Iawn :revolving_hearts:

Thank you so much for having started SSi and giving giving so many people the chance to learn Welsh.
I really love it and am excited every day about every little new thing I learn :blush:

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Thank YOU from the bottom of my heart. You have brought change to and enriched my life enormously.
Thank you to everyone that has helped me and continues to help me on this wonderfully amazing journey of discovering my homeland.
I am currently in Nant Gwrtheyrn, spent last Saturday with @nia.llywelyn in Dolgellau, last Saturday night and Sunday in Caernarfon and am going back to Caernarfon on Friday for the Cymdeithas yr Iaith Penwythnos Dysgwyr. I live in Llanelli!!
There is no end to our treasures! :gift_heart:

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Wait whaaat? Why didn’t you say?! Ti isio panad? @CatrinLliarJones sut mae petha’n edrych dros y penwythnos - modd i ni ffitio panad i mewn efo Ali?

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Penblwydd Hapus iawn i SSiW! (And to Angharad Lliar, too!) I’m so grateful Aran had his “quirky idea” and to everyone who helped it come to life. Even though I’m in the US without a “real” reason to speak Welsh, it’s become a part of my life for almost 5 years now, and has given me more than I ever could have imagined. Diolch yn fawr i chi gyd! :sparkling_heart:

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Penblwydd Hapus Iawn, Angharad Lliar a SSIW.
I am so very grateful that you pursued your vision, Aran. My parents were both from Sir Gaerfyrddin, but like so many others moved to England to take up jobs in teaching and nursing.
My wonderful Dad was a first language Welsh speaker and my dream was to be able to speak to him in our native tongue. I could only manage some faltering sentences with him; and sadly, he passed away before I discovered SSIW.
Shortly before my beautiful Mum left us, she said she always regretted not being able to speak Welsh. I promised to learn for us both. She was my motivation for enrolling on the six month course in 2018.
I do not find learning languages easy, but SSIW (and the SSIW community) have helped break down barriers for me.
Diolch o waelod fy nghalon.

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Penblwydd hapus hapus iawn SSiW ac Angharad Lliar!

As I’ve written at the end of my 10-years rap - Thank you from all of my heart for creating Say Something In Welsh. Actually thank you to all you “Great 4” - @aran, @CatrinLliarJones, @catdafydd and @Iestyn - for this brilliant course and for being here for us on our learning journey when needed.

SSiW changed my life quite a lot despite I’m not living in Wales and am not exposed to the language almost at all but there are things I would never experience, never have done, never lived to see if there wouldn’t be SSiW. I speak Welsh at least once a week, I was to Wales one time attending bootcamp and afterwards visiting Cardiff and Eisteddfod, I’ve met so many wonderfull people here and elswhere online because of SSiW among who quite some became my friends. I’ve got visits to my own country by some of you, members, here and so there was a pleasure to speak and hear Welsh spoken in my own country. And I met quite some of you in person while I visited Wales.

SSiW boosted my creativity to the impossible limits, let it be graphics, video or other artistic skills which the highest result was my last year presented Rap totally in Welsh.

I’m still a learner, despite my 7 years journey on here but I know I’d never be able to really speak Welsh if there wouldn’t be SSiW.

I love the language, I love this comunity of Welsh learners/speakers and I love SSiW!

I love you all and this for I thank you all for giving me the possibility of being here learning this magnificent language!

Diolch o galon SSiW a chi gyd!

Hwyl! :slight_smile:
Tatjana

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A post was merged into an existing topic: Some more info on participants Welsh Weekend with Cymdeithas yr Iaith in Caernarfon

Look at what you’ve all achieved in 11 years!! Wowza
Penblwydd Hapus i chi i gyd a diolch

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Diolch Aran . Dw i’n ddiochgar lawn am medru dysgu´’r iaith fy nhaid . Dw i ddm yn gallu mynd i Gymtu rwan (84 oed) ond dw i’n mwynhau bob cysylltiad drwy SSIW
Margaret yn Swistir

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Congratulations and above all thank you! I am relatively new to Say Something in Welsh, but my experience since August has been fantastic. I have been constantly amazed at how quickly I have picked up a language that I had put off learning for years because I had been led to believe it was too difficult! Also, I have met some fantastic people and feel part of a lovely community. You have done something very special and should feel really proud of it!

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You guys are all totally awesome. Thank you for these warm and kind messages. :heart:

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Penblwydd hapus I bawb - Happy birthday to all at SSiW and thank you so much for all that you have done over the years and are still doing. Wow yes, you definitely have enriched our lives in many ways.

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