Spent last weekend on a workplace Welsh three Peaks challenge, starting with Yr Wyddfa. Staying the previous night in Llanberis one of my colleagues commented she was surprised not to have heard more Welsh.
I pointed out the tourists probably outnumbered the locals in the height of summer (Llanberis, bless it, seems to consist entirely of pubs, outdoor shops and low end B&Bs which don’t mind wet dogs).
But I spoke Welsh everywhere, discussedthe merits of waterproof socks varieties in one shop, discussed last minute forgotten items in another, ordered dinner, bought pudding and discussed using the free copy of the Sun to stuff my boots dry.
But if I’d only listened I wouldn’t have guessed - the default ‘talking to strangers’ language is English.
So if be bold and start the conversation yourself! Especially if in a majority Welsh speaking area if you find yourslef surprised at the “lack” of Welsh around you…
This is so true in many parts of Wales. I lived for 5 years in Aberystwyth (and I did hear people in the street using Welsh), but I didn’t speak a word of Welsh outside of my Welsh classes. Then I went to this years Eisteddfod and met lots of people I know from Aberystwyth and was able to converse in Welsh. I did wonder why they had never revealed to me that they spoke Welsh, but then I never revealed I was attending classes or even said ‘Shw mae’ when I greeted them. it’s just crazy that I missed out on so many opportunities to speak. So,now I’m trying to use Welsh and at least greet people with ‘Hello, Shw mae’
Hi, Dwi’n byw ar y Cilgwri ger Lerpwl ar hyn o bryd ond es i’r Gwyr penwythnos diwethar (Bae Caswell). Does neb yn siarad cymraeg, dim shwmae, dim byd. Oedd e’n siomedig iawn. On i’n moyn gweiddi, dyma Cymru nid Loegr, siarad Cymraeg neu trio siarad Cymraeg! Bydd e’n annodd iawn am y Llywodraeth Cymru i gael un millwn o bobl yn siarad Cymraeg yn y dyfodol os oedd y penwythnos diwethar yn blas o bethau i ddod. Well gyda nhw cefnogi SSiW - Aran, Cat ac Iestyn am y Cennedd!
Never mind @leiafee, a few years ago a group of friends climbed every mountain (hill?) over 2000 ft in Wales, meeting for a weekend, once a month, for two years. In that time we probably had only about five dry weekends, and, like you, all we were able to see at the top of most mountains was wet rock and low cloud. However, when we did get a nice day, all the wet ones faded into insignificance. Dal ati
I might have got this wrong, but wasn´t the Gower anglicised way back when by Normans and Friesians, along with S. Penfro beneth the Landsker? One or the other is/was called Lloegr fach dros Gymru (Little England beyond Wales).
It is true that you will not hear much Welsh “by accident” in and around Swansea, on its streets or in its beaches (such as Caswell) but I can assure you there are more of us here speaking Welsh with each other than you might think!
A language in a minority in an area will not often be heard on the streets or the beach, but I can personally vouch for the possibility of having a healthy social life through the medium of Welsh in Swansea!
Yes, there was much more Welsh spoken in this area in the very recent past, there were more Welsh speaking communities within the last few decades, but Welsh is still here to a greater extent than you might think from the amount you overhear on the beach or street.
I learned in Local (Gower) History classes that the Lord of Gower got tricked into swearing fealty to the Norman King of England when he thought it was just an alliance against common enemies. When the Lord died, his son tried to ‘renew’ the friendship and was told, “You father swore fealty on the Holy Book, so he accepted me as his overlord. The land is mine to dispose of as I like, and I’m giving it to this Norman Lord who has served me well!” (A de Breos, I seem to recall edit - wrong, he came in 1200 AD, Henry I gave it to Henry de Beaumont, one of his best friends, in 1107).
The son of the original Lord didn’t take well to this and went to war to get his lands back. He ended up with all the western part, but not the east and south. Even on the peninsula, North Gower was Welsh speaking! (Less so, now, but certainly in Penclawdd at least 2 chapels were Cymraeg while I was living on Gower.
Abertawe, I would say, is much more patchy. I’m not sure there are particular areas of each language but @owainlurch is obviously better able to tell you than I am in Tr Alban!!
Never expected to leave the one place on earth I really loved, but found my cottage became a money-pit and could see another problem looming. Little village, smaller families, folk living longer, fewer to look after them and…would anyone manage to live off a small dairy farm in future? Or any small farm? My neighbours were having to leave beautiful cauliflowers for the sheep to eat because the price they were getting was less than it cost to harvest them!
So, with more aging mams, dads, aunties and even a few uncles to see to, how could I stay and become yet another burden as I aged? And me not a blood relative?
I had friends up here, also female and single and we formed a sort of mutual aid group. I reckoned without ill-health meaning I’ll never get home and the depth of hiraeth, but this forum is my refuge!!
You are all lovely people and put up with me very kindly!!