Were you nervous?

I just walked into a shop in Bala and had a conversation, albeit a bit slow, in Welsh for the first time in many many years, and the first time since starting to learn again.

I was so nervous. Is this normal for everybody and do you get over that?


Well done, brilliant!

And to answer your questions… yes and yes!

I find speaking Welsh terrifying!

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Bala was the first place I attempted speaking Welsh as well. It was a few years ago now and using half-remembered school Welsh. I can’t wait to go back there with a lot more Welsh under my belt now. I think I will still feel terrified though for a while. My daughter insisted I ordered our meal in Welsh when we were in a Caernarfon cafe last summer. We very nearly didn’t eat because we argued about it so much. However, I managed it and it’s such a good feeling isn’t it, to know you were understood? Well done!

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I’m very nervous with strangers but my neighbours accept my limitations more easily and try and help.
I live in the Bala area and when I first visited there about 17 years ago had zero Welsh and thought that many of the shopkeepers were just being awkward and refusing to speak English. When I finally moved to the area and my Welsh speaking doctor asked me if I had thought of learning the language I said that I felt very uncomfortable as the locals seemed reluctant to speak to me in English. He smiled and said, ‘Do you realise that most of the locals speak Welsh every day and find English difficult as they are not so used to using it’. I had a complete turnaround in my understanding and realised that as the incomer I should respect their language, which is why I joined SSiW in June 2019. Now I have fallen in love with the language and hope to become more fluent.
If I’m not prepared to challenge myself with Welsh I can’t expect them to speak English. I think that the trick is to recognise that you will make mistakes, treat it as a game and enjoy it - maybe you will make someone’s day by giving them a laugh.


The first conversation in any new language is nerve wracking for me. I hear it is pretty common. :slight_smile:

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I live outside of Wales so it’s not so easy to naturally find conversations.

But if anyone ever tries to ask me about my welsh learning in English, I try to answer back in welsh at least. Part practice, part practical demo…

Only trouble is, they almost invariably ask me a question requiring a Yes/No answer, and I get completely banjaxed by trying to process which version of yes/no applies in this context!


Ah yes the easy question that is so difficult to answer!

My 4 year old asked me the other day “mummy, what’s ‘yes’ in welsh?” :rofl:


Try to think what you would answer without using Yes or No - e.g “I will”, “I am”, “I’m not” etc, then produce the Welsh for those - byddaf, ydw / yndw, nagw / nac ydw etc
Practise the ones you’re most likely to use in conversations, so they start to come naturally.


I asked my Mum the same question when I was small. Unfortunately she suddenly got too busy to answer.
Hope all is well with you @ruth-connor, and I hope to see you again some day.


Let’s not forget good old “ie” and “nage”. Although, explaining when it’s OK to use them might provide another reason to be too busy. :grinning:


My first Welsh language conversation in the wild was in Bala as well - Awel Meirion - I was really nervous too but I wanted to get over my fear and start talking. I felt like I’d won a gold medal when I came out of the place!


It’s really strange, but the other day I caught myself speaking Welsh to a man in Bala who actually spoke to me in English!:joy:
I didn’t even think about it… It just came out like that automatically. I can only suppose that I’ve become so used to thinking ‘it’s Bala, so I speak Welsh’. Weird experience, but I’m quietly quite proud :yum::slight_smile: