Dear Aunt Agony,
I’ve been going to an exercise class in Lampeter for “Gentlefolk in their Autumn years” and am highly “motivated” by our delightful instructor (Cymraes Cymraeg). However, every time I try to speak to her in Welsh, she either replies in English or looks blank. I’ve even tried making rib-splittingly funny jokes such as when she was encouraging us in one exercise with the words “high knees”, “high knees”, I quipped “High knees i gadw heini” - not a titter, not a glimmer
What more can I do? Would feigning a heart attack be going too far?
I think that’s a superb idea, and I want to see the video.
While you’re planning it all, though, you might like to test telling her in English that you’re working very hard to try and improve your Welsh, and you’d be hugely grateful if she’d be kind enough to use her Welsh with you. You’ll probably find out that she felt her Welsh ‘wasn’t good enough’ or ‘wasn’t formal enough’ or some variant on that kind of theme
Hello, I have had this problem several times over the years. My husband watched in amazement as I , first language English, struggled on chatting in Welsh to a first language Welsh speaker replying in English. My advice would be 'dal ati '.
Be determined. Some Welsh speakers think it’s easier or more polite to speak English.
Hmmmm…I’m going to say probably yes, even then. San Francisco lives up to its reputation. People and their attire (or lack thereof) have lost the ability to shock me. I’ve seen just about everything. Just Wednesday there were half a dozen fully naked men waltzing through the Financial District for the April Fools’ Day parade.