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 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
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.
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!)
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
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