On a summer day with not much to do, I decided to give a try to a SSiW challenge. Fast forward to 6 months later, I’m wandering around Wales and I realize that…I’m actually able communicate with people in Welsh. How could this happen? The first time I came to the UK, I had studied English for 7 years at school already, but could understand or say almost nothing.
And the most amazing thing is people’s reaction when I say I’m from Italy and ask:
“Is it ok if I try to speak Welsh with you?”
[#1 surprised face, like “Oh wow, an Italian learning our language?”]
“Sure, it’s fine! Do you live here?”
“No, no. It’s just I liked the sound of it and the songs of a band called Datblygu, so I decided to learn it”
[#2 surprised face, like “You must be a little crazy, but that’s ok anyway”]
At this point, I…well…say something in Welsh, right? Amazingly enough, they usually understand me, and answer with something that I usually pretty much understand, too.
“Da iawn! How long have you been learning?”
[#3 surprised face, like “Months? How come my cousin has been studying it for years and still can’t put a few sentences together?”]
If there’s enough time, then, we have a basic conversation and sometimes people end up thanking me as if it was some kind of favour or sacrifice I’m doing. But the truth is…I’m enoying myself!
P.S. By the way - back home now, I really liked Wales and people were absolutely lovely, I hope to come back soon!
Long version, with more details and thanks, etc. will follow. Though it was just 4 days (I saved money on travel costs, but oh it took ages to get there and come back) it was such a busy schedule, I need time to write a full report!