Lapsed learner coming to Caernarfon for a week in May

Hi all,

I learned the foundations of my Welsh about 10 years ago, from the old courses. After faithfully completing these without attempting to read or write a single word, I worked my way through a couple of Gareth King books (“Intermediate Welsh” and “Modern Welsh”), expanded my vocabulary with the Anki flashcard app, had some online calls with fellow learners, met up with some local beginners (in Victoria, Australia) for a fairly short-lived group, worked through the Levels as they appeared and tuned myself into Radio Cymru.

As part of a wider UK holiday I was in Wales with a friend for a week or two in 2018, and had been planning to return on my own for a more Welsh-intensive holiday in the dread year of 2020 :scream: When this trip fell through (and the concept of international travel became genuinely scary) it really sucked the guts out of my appetite for practising and learning, so apart from a brief binge on AutoMagic when I discovered it had come out, and the occasional dip into Welsh radio, I’ve let it all fall by the wayside.

But in all this time I’ve kept my SSIW subscription up and haven’t lost any of my love for language in general, or Welsh in particular – so I’m trying again! I’m booked to stay in Llety Arall between 7 and 14 May of this year and am hoping to get as much Welsh into me and out of me in that week as is humanly possible for a solo visitor. I’ve pretty much decided not to hire a car for this part of my visit, so being restricted to Caernarfon and anywhere reasonably achievable by public transport, I would love to get some advice from local Welsh speakers as to where I can go and what I can do to immerse myself in the language for that week.

I also want to bring myself back up to speed as much as possible before going, so if anybody has any advice as to methods for doing this from regional Victoria (ie, without local Welsh speakers and not in Melbourne either) I would love to hear from you! I’m not on Slack and not a huge fan of group calls for speaking Welsh, so I’ll probably end up talking to myself a hell of a lot in the next couple of months :laughing:


You’ll be able to use your Welsh just about everywhere in Caernarfon. I’ll try to remember to keep an eye out for things happening that week, as there may be extra stuff not advertised yet, but certainly look out for events at Galeri (e.g. there’s a great band, Ben Twthill, playing there at 14:30 on Thursday, 9 May). Also, keep an eye on the various forum threads for gigs and events.
There are quite a few places accessible by bus - one I’d certainly recommend is the Slate Museum in Llanberis, and there’s also a small Maritime Museum in Porthmadog. If museums aren’t your thing, what kinds of things would you prefer?
I’d be happy to meet up for a chat too, but that would have to be lunchtimes or evenings, because I’ll be working. And if @aran’s around, he might be able to meet you for one too. (You’ll have to remind us closer to the date)

I really would recommend trying to set up a few chats on Slack - they don’t have to be group calls, you can arrange 1-to-1s too, and they don’t have to be huge, long conversations. It really is worth doing and will build your confidence.
In the meantime, yes, talk to yourself, to animals, to inanimate objects… it’ll all help! Another tip, try and turn your ‘inner monologue’ into Welsh - instead of thinking “I’m going to make a cup of coffee”, say “Dwi’n mynd i neud panad o goffi”!
There should be some programmes available internationally on S4C Clic that you could watch in Victoria (tagging @sara-peacock-1 for confirmation!), and try and get back into Radio Cymru too.


Did I do a Skype Chat with you from Beijing, perhaps spring 2017? Croeso nol i Gymru. :slightly_smiling_face:

Thanks for the tag, @siaronjames !

That all sounds really exciting, @alex_1 (I love Caernarfon - don’t get the chance to go often enough).

And yes, there are certain programmes you will be able to watch online in Australia (basically, anything where the international rights aren’t too prohibitively expensive). I hope the “How to watch S4C” page on the Dysgu Cymraeg S4C website is a good starting point. I hope also the rest of that site will give you some helpful information. But if you have any more questions, do pop back on here and tag me, or send me a DM and I’ll be happy to help if I can (I work for S4C, by the way!)


Argh! Sorry! Meant to link to the page I sent you to, but forgot…

Here you go: Dysgu Cymraeg | S4C

Thanks for the tips! I’ll add Galeri to my growing list of bookmarks and would love to meet up for a chat any time that fits into your schedule – we did meet when I was over last time, with the friend I was with and another learner from Germany, I think, which I remember enjoying very much :grinning:

I couldn’t say with any certainty, but possibly – the mists of time are mighty misty but your name does ring a bell!

Thank you very much! I’ll check these out and let you know if I run into any problems, much appreciated :+1:


I did wonder if you were the same Alex! Looking forward to meeting up with you again - as I said, give me a nudge closer to the time and we’ll definitely arrange something :grinning:

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You’ve struck lucky with your dates @alex_1 - the Caernarfon Food Festival is on in town on May 11th :smiley:


We’d love to get coffee with you - drop me a line to a week or two before and we’ll figure out what day would work best :slight_smile:

Thanks Aran, I’ll do that! :smile:

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When we had a little learners group going in Melbourne I bought some picture books online for us to all read together, which I don’t see myself getting any more use out of – if I were to bring them along with me, would there be somewhere in Caernarfon or Bangor I could donate them to a 2nd hand bookshop or street library or something of the kind, or anyone on this forum who would like them? They’re all in pristine or near-pristine condition.

Books are:

  • Sgleinio’r Lleuad - Caryl Lewis & Valériane Leblond
  • Dim Ond Traed Brain - Anni Llyn & Valériane Leblond
  • Y Tri Mochyn Bach (bilingual) - Heather Amery & Stephen Cartwright
  • Y Frechdan Ych-a-fi - Gareth Edwards & Hannah Shaw
  • Y Môr-ladron Drws Nesa - Jonny Duddle/Elinor Wyn Reynolds
  • Deinosoriaid yn fy Ysgol - Timothy Knapman & Sarah Warburton
  • Hynt a Helynt Hanes Cymru - Sioned Glyn
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There is a community hub called Porthi Dre in Caernarfon who I think would appreciate them. There is no 2nd hand bookshop, but there are a number of charity shops who take 2nd hand books, so if there’s a particular charity you want to support, there’s a choice.

I don’t know Bangor so well, but I do know there are also a number of charity shops there.

If you want to offer them to forumites first, there’s more chance they’ll see the message in this thread - Second hand books up for sale / giveaway here! 📚

Thanks so much! I’ll definitely bring them along then :grin:

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