Heia everyone! Apologies if I should post this in a different area - I’m fairy new to the world of posting on forums (I’m a lurker ).
It’s just a quick post to let you all know that I’m working all week at the Urdd Eisteddfod with Siop Y Pethe (literally all day every day), so if you are going to the Urdd & fancy a chat/chance practice your Welsh, I’d love to see you there! (But bear in mind that I’m still learning too )
We have selection of books for learners, and some ‘learner themed’ t-shirts (on sale!). Definitely worth a nose
Most of you will know of my husband @Nicky - I’m not very active on message boards or anything so this is my little ‘introduction’
I’ll try to drop by tomorrow to see you and @Nicky, I think we’ve both been on one of Nicky’s Slack soirees? I’m stewarding on the Maes, but should have some free time to wander by tomorrow. Croeso i’r forwm!
I’ve just done two days of stewarding on the Urdd Maes. May i heartily recommend this experience to any SSiWer as a fantastic immersion experience. 1st language speakers just approach you straight in with a complicated question in Welsh, which I have had to ask them to repeat before i understood them, but a fantastic oppurtunity to use your Welsh all day. A gentlemen asked me a question in English and I replied in Welsh, he then said ‘I don’t speak Welsh’ I hadn’t even noticed that I was replying in Welsh or that the question was in English; I just had understood the question without noticing the language. And the children just expect you to speak Welsh which is quite charming. I even had a lady not realise I was a learner until I told her quite late in the conversation.
The Urdd is quite remarkable, it seem quite chaotic, yet somehow we managed to get 18 choirs of 40ish primary school children onto and off the stage without any problems which is fascinating in itself, if you’ve ever done any back of stage work.
They are quite short of stewards this year, mainly as there are still sadly too few Welsh speakers in Breconshire and Radnorshire. Some of the volunteers don’t speak Welsh at all beyond, Bore da and Shw mae, which is fine, so whatever your Welsh level, it’s a great experience. Most people going to the Urdd can’t volunteer as they are accompanying their children around the Maes, but if you can do it!
Looking forward to tomorrow, when the slightly older children compete who will be even more terrifyingly talented…
Thanks both for popping in to see me! I agree, the Urdd is a great experience for learners. Similar to what you said @Y_Ddraig_Las, the kids there will just assume that you speak Welsh. I found that it’s a completely different experience to talking to adults, because the younger kids don’t really understand the whole ‘learner’ thing, which meant that I felt the need to listen better and respond better to them, because I wouldn’t be able to use the ‘dw i’n dysgu’ line that I tend to fall back on if I don’t understand someone.
I’m there tomorrow & Saturday (my birthday!) and @Nicky will be there from tomorrow afternoon, so we will still be around for a chat if anyone fancies it!
It was good to see you again @Y_Ddraig_Las sorry I didn’t come to the pub as well.
I spent today on the Powys stand and had experience of a young man not understanding the concept of learner. I asked him to speak slower but still couldn’t catch what he was saying so that must in his mind mean I don’t speak Welsh. I had a really good day and although I know I still have a lot of work to do today has been a step in the right direction, plus I’m back again tomorrow.
It is fascinating. I suppose for a lot of these children who go to Welsh medium schools understand that there are Welsh speakers and English only speakers, the whole concept of learning Welsh as an adult must seem a strange idea, the whole question of ‘Why didn’t you pick it up when you were at school?’. They are a lot less forgiving, I’ve spoken to them, they’ve understood me, but I have got the impression that they either consider my Welsh a bit strange [why say it like that?] or that I’m a bit thick; which you wouldn’t get from most adults.
Probably the weirdest thing is being in a position of authority and giving orders without the chance to thinking through the best way of saying something first, but people seemed to get the idea (I don’t understand why people have this habit of standing in doorways next to the person whose job it is to open and close said doorways)
You can also spot the children from the fro-Cymraeg, who use Welsh all the time and those from elsewhere, who switch to a Wenglish when they talk with each other [they often switch back to pure Welsh half way through a sentence, then back to English).
Some of the volunteers with less Welsh have got into difficulties with some older people who refused to speak English (maybe because it was the Eisteddfod?). I’ve probably spoken with these people too, I think these were the ones that I am personally very grateful to, for staying in Welsh even if they had to explain what they wanted three or four times to me, so it’s a bit of a double edged sword.
It’s just been incredibly interesting interacting with so many fluent Welsh speakers and not spending the majority of my Welsh speaking with fellow learners. I don’t want it to end (not that i don’t like speaking Welsh with fellow learners!)
I was back at the Urdd today on the Powys stand although as today was quieter I think I actually spent more time wandering around. So I had more chance to speak Welsh too. The last couple of days have really helped my confidence and have helped switch my brain to thinking more in Welsh so much so it was odd to switch back when I came home.
Nice to meet @LaraRobs and @Nicky today. I also saw Richard Lynch who plays Gary Monk in Pobl y Cwm he was judging. I so wanted to ask for his autograph but wasn’t brave enough plus nobody else seemed even slightly phased to see him there.
I set myself the challenge last year of being at the Eisteddfod and although I didn’t quite achieve all the prep I hoped to I have really enjoyed the experience and will need to figure out my next goal to work towards
Tomorrow’s challenge is a switching between languages as I go to the Urdd with my Welsh speaking daughter and my totally English speaking husband and mother in law.
I know, there’s me going into excitement overdrive over having checked Ban Dant’s ticket [Ahoy!] (he was in normal clothes which was strange to me) and standing next to other Welsh celebs. Yet everyone else seems to not see them the same way, that speaking Welsh in the Welsh media is just their job. I’m kind of getting used to to it and being able to think ‘oh there’s Gwilym Bowen Rhys again’ and it not being a massive deal.
I think I also saw the man who teaches Welsh on TV and does dinner partys with learners as well.
On the opposite side there was a man I guess was on tv who was walking round with someone from S4c, who appeared to have photo postcards ready for autographing. I think he was part of cyw criw but unless I missed it being Ben dant I wasn’t so bothered lol.
How random that Welsh fame is treated differently even within Wales.
I did get a sneaky pic of actor Richard but more profile so only just tell who it is.