I just wanted to introduce myself as a new forum user and convert to the SSiW way of learning. After almost 25 years of living in Wales and no desire to learn the language at all I’ve finally ‘got it’ after learning Calon Lan. I’m possibly a bit over enthusiastic at the moment and am doing lessons 2 or even 3 times a day (not sure if that’s overkill and there is some very good reason why I should limit myself to once a day but i’m sure my enthusiasm will soon calm down) It’s taking me a few go’s to get each one so I’m only on lesson 3 but I’m loving it
I’ve managed to find a couple of promising leads of people who might be able to support me with my learning - one who is a fluent Welsh speaker and one who was a learner and is keen to brush up. I feel like the getting together with other Welsh speakers and learners is going to be vital to the whole process really working.
If anyone has any suggestions of things happening in the Swansea area where there is the opportunity to speak or at least listen to people speaking Welsh I’d love to hear them, if not maybe I’ll have to see if I can set something up
All the best
Hi Kate and welcome to the forum,
So glad you’re enjoying the course. Is it possible to be too enthusiastic in learning Welsh? I think there are a lot of people on this forum who would argue that it isn’t! As for how fast you should do the lessons. I think the best answer is: as fast as feels comfortable. I know I normally do a lesson three times before moving on, and when I started off last year I ran two or three lessons at once. Other people may have other habits. I think the most important thing is to enjoy the doing, however you do it.
I don’t know the Swansea area but I know that everyone here will be delighted to hear how you get on and to offer any help you need if you get stuck along the way.
Hi Kate - good to see you here!
There are two (I think) really good SSiW practice sessions in Swansea. They are organised by SSiWers who want to use their Welsh, and attract a range of speakers, from brand-new to long term (from birth) speakers, and they happen in Welsh and English as the whim takes the attendees.
We will be working on some systems to promote meet-ups and help people to organise them in the near-ish future, but until then, start a “pradcticing in Swansea” thread, and you’ll soon get an idea of what’s going on there.
Here’s the details take from our weekly email: Weds nights, 8:00 to 9:30, Bay View, Oystermouth Rd, SA1 3UL AND Sun nights, from 7pm, Brunswick Arms, Duke St (Contact Owain (Lurch))
If you’d like to sign up for the email, click on “Contact Us” at the tiop of the page, and follow the link there to sign up.
Croeso i’r fforwm Kate! Hope you enjoy your meetups and good luck with the rest of the course.
Thanks, Have signed up for the news letter.
Looking forward to seeing where it goes from here
Kate Davies - “After almost 25 years of living in Wales and no desire to learn the language at all I’ve finally ‘got it’ after learning Calon Lan.”
Wow Kate, how fabulous! I love how Calon Lan has brought you to Welsh - a lovely little story.
Croeso mawr to the SSiW family, thank you for learning, thank you for choosing us and all the very best.
Another good place to practise in Swansea is Siop Ty Tawe, just off the Kingsway. All the staff are friendly and all seem to speak Welsh. They have a book shop and Café upstairs. Lurch knows more about it than I do, but they regular have different events throughout the week.
Hi Kate. Just wanted to say hi too. Hope you enjoy being part of the forum. Andy
Thanks to everyone who’s responded so positively both here and on Facebook. I truly feel like I’ve found a whole new world.
Yes Catrin It is fabulous I don’t really know what it was about the song but I was driving up the Mayals (Swansea towards Gower) and singing the song to myself and I suddenly felt like I was seeing the trees and the land through different eyes. Like a feeling that I was connecting to the land and the history of the land in a way that I never have before - which is surprising to me as I’ve always felt welcomed and connected here. It was then that I understood that I needed to learn Welsh. I always used to think that learning languages was about travelling to new places but now I understand that it really can be just as much about seeing with new eyes
I’ve managed to properly fry my brain in less than a week by doing lessons non stop - at 42 I’m not as quick as I was in School but I’ve just started on lesson 4 now. I love the mutations I don’t know if it’s the way they’re presented in this course as a number of people I’ve spoken to have told me that the mutations were where they turned off in school. To me the mutations are the music of the language - or that’s how it seems right now. Sometimes I don’t when I should and sometimes I do when I shouldn’t but it always just makes me laugh.
I have to confess I used to go around feeling surprised (or even sometimes intimidated) whenever I heard someone speaking Welsh, now all of a sudden I feel like it’s incredible how rarely I hear the language and how few people speak it that I come across. I’m very happy to have discovered that 3 people I know are fluent Welsh speakers (not that I’d ever heard them speak it) and are willing to cheer me on with my efforts. They were all so delighted to hear that I am learning.
Thanks Phillip for the advice about the cafe at Ty Tawe - I didn’t know that - I’ll be paying a visit.
As for choosing SSiW it’s a no brainer. I’ll say it again - I’m totally blown away by the work and expertise you’ve all put in and that you offer so much for free. And I was even more delighted when I saw that you were also working on some other minority languages - especially Cornish as I have some interesting ancestry in Cornwall.
On a different note, I’ve never been to an Eisteddfod and don’t think I can make it this year as I’m committed elsewhere that week but I read the thread and I looked at the aims of the Eisteddfod and given that one of their aims is to promote the Welsh language I’m surprised they’re not giving you a stall for free or paying you to be there given that you are doing that job so brilliantly. (Of course I don’t know anything about it and don’t want to upset anyone who knows more than me about the reasons why - I’d just really like to see everyone at SSiW getting the support and recognition they deserve).
I’m sure I’m going to enjoy being part of the forum. The challenge will be keeping off it and away from the lessons long enough to continue with my life and running my own business
All the best
Kate - “… at 42 I’m not as quick as I was in School…”
Loved reading your story Kate, thanks for taking the time to tell it. Bit by bit we’ll fill you in on the ins and outs if the Eisteddfod and all its reasonings…
I always used to think that learning languages was about travelling to new places…
Oh it is, so much. Just some of the new places are places you thought you knew already!
To me the mutations are the music of the language - or that’s how it seems right now. Sometimes I don’t when I should and sometimes I do when I shouldn’t but it always just makes me laugh.
makes me believe that you will be a very happy Welsh speaker very very soon!
Your enthusiasm and your excitement is infectious, Kate. I can’t wait to meet you on a bootcamp or at another SSiW event sometime.
‘some of the new places are places you thought you knew already!’
Particularly good at Tŷ Tawe are the Siop Siarad coffee morning every Saturday 10-12 for people to meet up and practise. I can sometimes be found behind the counter dishing out the coffee.
The folk music nights every second Friday of the month are brilliant too. very informal, turn up and play or turn up and listen, a certain amount of silly singing and lots of fun!
They’ve got a mailing lists of events too, the local Menter Iaith is based there.
Thanks Leia, that sounds lovely. Is it Welsh speaking only at these - I’m very new to the learning and can’t say much more than ‘are you trying to speak Welsh, no I’m not trying to speak Welsh, I’m speaking Welsh’ Which is great fun but of limited usability
I’m sure I will improve quickly with the right support though
Nope, not at all, learners of all levels welcomed.
Great, Thanks. Welsh seems to be more thriving in Swansea than I ever knew
Croeso! There is no such thing as being over excited about learning Welsh
There is no reason to limit the amount of lessons you do in a day, as Aran would gladly tell you. It can be real fun as well to challenge yourself when you have the energy and it’s real good for your brain too.