'I want to be a Welsh speaker because...'

Heartwarming open letter to a bigoted relative by a Welsh sports journalist explaining why he learned Welsh:


Actually, Helen, it was because I wasn’t logged in.

In the immortal words of that great philosopher, Homer Simpson: DOH!!

It’s time…it connects me to my late Welsh speaking Gran. I have a strong desire to speak Welsh before it’s too late.


I’m Welsh and proud of it I want to help to make sure the language doesn’t die out


I know it is a while since you posted, but I’ve just reached the stage where I’ve been asked to look at other posts and find a reason for learning Welsh which chimes with me. Well, yours hits the nail on the head. It is hard to describe, but I’ve also got that feeling that learning Welsh is part of coming home.


Hmm, not sure that worked. I was trying to reply to the post by MargaretHames on 7th July. “Operator error” on my part I suspect.


Hey Gareth, if you look at the bottom right-hand corner of a post you’ll see a curved, left-facing arrow. I believe you’ll find it useful :wink:
In addition, if you highlight a part of a post, the option to “quote reply” should appear. That’s useful too! :slight_smile:


Thanks … it was the “reply” icon next to the post by MargaretHames that I thought I had clicked on, but I think I must have used the blue “reply to topic” button by mistake. I’ll try again this time making sure I use the right button.

I tried before but ended up with a reply to the whole topic not your specific post, so here I go again.

I know it is a while since you posted, but I’ve just reached the stage where I’ve been asked to look at other posts and find a reason for learning Welsh which chimes with me. Well, yours hits the nail on the head. It is hard to describe, but I’ve also got that feeling that learning Welsh is part of coming home.

Now, let’s hope I’ve got this to appear in the right place!


That’s great Gareth–wonderful!

Discovering kindred spirits on this forum is one of those unexpected delights and tangible benefits of learning Welsh, especially through SSiW, at least for me because I live so far away–in Vancouver.

I don’t know whether you would agree with this, but recently, I’ve discovered it isn’t just the number of miles (sorry kms) nor years away from ‘home’ that can separate us from our ‘roots’–but lives lived far from being who we were when we started out. Some of us have enjoyed exploring and having all kinds of adventures in our work, our relationships, our interests, but maybe many of us find there comes a day when we turn around and realize it’s time to travel ‘home’–to return to where our heart is, and feel ‘at home’ with ourselves. Perhaps in all those adventures, a part of us never left and until we find it, it feels there is something missing.

I was first aware of a ‘longing’ I couldn’t quite put my finger on–funny, because I thought I had plenty to be grateful for–and do, so why? But, gradually I had inklings, happy memories, old familiar friends or places that kept coming to mind, calling me ‘home’. There would be a news items, (sport mainly–since that does hit the international air-waves), those Christmas cards from friends who never gave up on me, a brother in S. Wales who became seriously ill–to the point of death, causing me to drop everything and be with him as he fought for his life at that huge hospital in in the Heath in Cardiff, (and miraculously came back from the brink, but prompting us to talk on the phone for 2 hours on Saturday mornings ever since). We all have these crossroads and milestones that mark our return to feeling ‘at home’ in ourselves, no matter where we are, or what prompts us.

So thank you again for your comments–I would love to learn if anything I just wrote makes sense to you, and what some of those milestones, turning points or gradual realizations have been for you–at least those you might be willing to share.



Hi! This is my first forum post! :slight_smile:

I want to learn Welsh because I have fallen in love with North Wales. My husband and I have been to the north twice and to the south once, and love the people, landscapes, and culture of Wales. I want to learn the language because it is an important part of the nation’s history and because it makes me feel more connected to this place that is so special to me.


It all makes perfect sense to me Marilyn, and thanks for sharing your personal story.

My position is a little bit different in that I have felt the longing to learn Welsh ever since I was a child, but I understand, I think, the feeling that you have mentioned.

Although born in Essex, my parents came from the mining area in the old Monmouthshire county. There was almost no Welsh spoken or written in the area when I was small, apart from placenames, but I think my grandmother may have been able to speak a little Welsh. Despite this my mother would always say “Nos da” when putting us to bed at night and on Saint David’s day sent us into school, at that time in Yorkshire, with daffodils on our coats.

Neither of my brothers seems to have the same feelings of Welshness as I do, but I grew with a feeling that I had to learn Welsh. For a time I lived as an adult in Bridgend and tried to learn then, but a move of job to England saw the end of that - my attempts as an 11 year old to learn Welsh using a Teach Yourself Book when living in Yorkshire hadn’t got anywhere either.

So now I at last living in Wales, in an area where Welsh is the first language for many, I do hope this time, with the help of all these new friends, I will crack it.



How amazing Gareth—a wonderful story, thank you!

Talk about persistence, both in your efforts to learn and in that lifelong longing to speak Welsh that it sounds like you are finally going to be able to satisfy. You have really ‘come home’ in more ways than one—your determination will pay off tenfold now you are surrounded by friends who speak the language, and through SSiW have all the support you need and a host of cheerleaders—so count me in as one.

I loved your childhood memory of being tucked in with ‘Nos da’ and using Teach Yourself Welsh as a youngster. Ditto on the second—the pages of my original copy bought with pocket money have turned brown with age, and my BBC LPs on Welsh I bought before emigrating to Canada are probably collectors’ items. Both kept the dream alive—now the dream is coming true for both of us. Brilliant!

Welcome home!


I want to be a Welsh speaker because … my grandmother was Welsh (Jones) and I like the way Welsh looks on paper, so it seemed a logical choice when I decided to learn another language.

What do I hope will happen when I am a Welsh speaker - I’d like to visit my friend in Wales (I’m in the US) and be able to talk to her in Welsh and to understand what the Welsh speakers around me are saying.

I’ve been away from this site and forum for a number of years; I first started learning Welsh in late 2011 in preparation for a trip to Wales in April of 2012. But then got away from it and popped in now and then but didn’t stick with it. Now I’m back and signed up for a paid subscription, hoping that will help keep me going. I remembered a lot of what I learned back in 2011/2012 when I started back through the lessons again a few months ago, even though I’m doing the newer ones now. It is a learning method that really helps keep the stuff stuck in my head.


Dwi’n gweithio mewn ysgol ddwyieithog / I work in a bilingual school


because I want to speak with my soon-to-be-born daughter in Welsh and make my wife proud of me


Awwwwwwwwwww that is so incredibly lovely!


Because I’m Welsh and Welsh is part of my culture, my country and my life. It’s also utterly beautiful.


I would like to be able to speak to my young grand-daughter in Welsh.


It will be my son’s first language and I want to be able to speak it with him.