Why Welsh? Why SSiW? What's your story?

Don’t know his full name, Siaron, although I did say I’d look him up when I visited Caernarfon. Of course, we visited when everyone and their nain were at Eistedfodd :sweat_smile:

Say hi from Bob in Donosti for me!

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Will do, next time I see him :+1:


8 posts were split to a new topic: Cymraeg yng Ngwlad y Basg

Hello, Catrin…
My most loved relative was my grandmother who was Welsh. Her dad was a miner, and his dad before him. My Welsh ancestors were mostly from Cardiganshire. Grammy did not speak Welsh around me or talk about her Welsh ancestry, but she really loved many Welsh things, such as the food, which she enjoyed. When I was 9, she took me to Colorado where her great aunt and uncle still lived, and they made Welsh food for us, such as Welsh pasties, using the veg from the victory garden that took up the entire back yard!. I drank Welsh tea and they drank some Welsh beer or ale and got tipsy and ridiculous and it was a

fun trip the memory of which I still treasure, 60 years later! My Grammy is long gone, but I am half Welsh, and then most of the rest of my Genealogy and DNA is from the Celtic lands - Cornwall, England, Ireland, Scotland. I am descended from or otherwise related to various well-known people from U.K. history, so I feel my connection keenly. (The recently departed Queen was my 21st cousin! I realize she was not Welsh. I guess I am rambling.)

Anyway, I am retired and single, so I can do whatever I want, within the limits of my disabilities, and I have decided to learn more about Wales, including the language, though finding someone to talk to in that language is going to be a challenge, especially now during the COVID emergency.

I have tried to find a Welsh society here in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA, and there USED to be one, but it has disbanded. I will try to dredge up some of the old members, if possible, as I have an old address for them, but I am pretty sure I am going to have to get creative when it comes to finding people to talk to, especially since traveling to the UK is not possible for me. Anyway, if someone has information about how to make contact with Welsh speakers in the U.S., that would be helpful.

I will be happy to send you a recent photo of myself, if I can figure out how to do that.

God bless,
Silver S. Parnell


Ok Brought up in Barry by Welsh speaking mum and English speaking dad in the days when it was thought confusing for a child to hear and learn to speak two languages at once. Now we know better… But entirely my fault for not applying myself to the language at a couple of other stages in my life. Spent many happy times on Welsh speaking farms as a child/young adult but with v limited grasp of what was going on linguistically. Now in my latter days I really want to return to the language of my north Walian grandfather. Perhaps I should do what he did when he walked to the south of Wales to get a job in the coal mines (having quarried slate as a youth). He had no English at that time so he got a parallel Welsh-English Bible and learned it that way.


I have been coming to Anglesey since childhood and my mother before me and her mother too, I think. Long years of hiraeth to live here and an almost moment followed when my darling ma died in 2006. Post-grad research in fine art returned me on many occasions to my beloved island to delve into the nostalgia of childhood and beyond. The longing never went away and I began learning Welsh. During lockdown, we quietly made the move of our lifetime; my love of art, language and place bringing me home at last. SSiW is giving me confidence to speak – I can’t thank you enough.


Great story Gareth, especially about your grandfather. I wonder if there are any Welsh-only speakers left? Probably not!

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My late mother, born in 1925, who spoke excellent English in adult life, was monoglot Welsh until well into her schooling. I guess this still applies to pre-school children in much of Wales today. I’m not sure if this counts though.


Yes I’m sure you are correct about the pre-school children. But as for adults… probably not, though perhaps a few octo/nonagenarians? Or, the odd youngster home schooled entirely in Welsh? Unlikely I guess. Maybe in a forgotten valley somewhere behind Dolgellau…

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Prynhawn da o Awstralia, Why am I learning Welsh. That is a good question, for being in the latter years of my life, I cannot see me using my new found skill once learned, other than in forums like this.
But to answer your question. I was born in South Wales many years ago, I studied in Wales, served my apprenticeship in Wales, loved & lost in Wales but never spoke Welsh. This is probably because I had a Scottish father & an English mother, so as you can imagine there was not too much Welsh spoken at home. I had a father that could not see the point in me doing Welsh homework & I agreed with him at the time. Anything to get out of doing homework.
Once I finished my apprenticeship I flew the nest & landed in Oz & have been here many, many years & as these years pass I become more nostalgic for the land of my birth & Mae hen wlad fy Nahdau.
During my school years in Wales I did learn a fair bit of Welsh including the days of the week, the months of the year, how to tell the time, how to count up to twenty & how to greet & farewell people, plus, the chalk is by the blackboard,(Mae’r sialc wrth y bwrdd du) a sentence that was bound to be very useful somewhere along the line or so Mr. Lewis our Welsh teacher must have thought.
So now in my twilight years trying to keep my brain cells working I thought I would pick up the language that I should have learnt while I lived in Wales. I will hopefully be back in Wales next year, & who knows, perhaps by then EVERYONE in Wales will be speaking Welsh, me among them. Wouldn’t that be a great scenario.


Well done Philip, and nice surname, sir :wink:

Hello Catrin. First post and enjoying wandering through this new world.
I’m here because I met a chap in his 70’s called Owain from Bala in Ruthin town square yesterday afternoon. I was with a lady who attended a Welsh school as a child and during our encounter with Owain he discovered Julie spoke Welsh. His eyes lit up. When he discovered I didn’t have the gift he recommended this site so I joined as he chatted with my lady.

What struck me was Owain’s delight and how much Julie was enjoying relearning her 1st language after so many years away. Later, as we walked around in the afterglow of dipping into the language and Owain had moved on, I realised it must be possible for an Irish American 1/16th Cherokee raised in the UK like me to achieve some level of proficiency and enjoy doing it.

My dad’s widow is 92 now and lives in Florida but originated from Troedyhriw in the valleys near Merthyr. So from this subliminal contact over the years, meeting relatives and friends that are Welsh I guess I have a subconscious desire to learn the language.

What has really broken my runners out of the ice is we are buying a house in Rhôs on Sea on the North Wales coast near Llandudno and the edge of the Snowdonia National Park. Really looking forward to it.

So, thank you Owain. I may never see you again but recommending this site to me feels like an opportunity to be grasped so I will get it done. May take a while but it’ll be fun trying.

Have a great day. I will.


Diolch to all of you for your recent contributions - they are greatly appreciated!

We are having so much fun reading through them all and getting to know this community a little better.

Just so that you don’t have to scroll back up to the top of this thread, I thought I’d include a little reminder here of what this is all about and why we are asking you to share:

SSi’s new website has a Learner’s Stories page and we’d like to fill it with stories of your learning journeys -


So If you are currently learning Welsh with SaySomethinginWelsh, please tell us why are you learning Welsh, what bought you to SSiW and how is your learning journey going?


Diolch to you all! :blush:

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That’s interesting about your grandfather. It mirrors the migration of relatives from long ago on the maternal side of my own family from North Wales to the Rhondda Fach to find work in the pits, whereas the same generation of family members on the paternal side of my family came from rural Somerset. Somerset was apparently the origin of the largest number of the many ‘immigrants’ who moved to the Rhondda in those times and demonstrates how severe the conditions of rural poverty must have been for them to choose to move away and work as colliers underground. The pits offered hope of a better life. The scholarly book (if you can still get hold of it) by E D Lewis about the industrial, demographic and linguistic development of ‘The Rhondda Valleys’ (1958) is excellently and sympathetically researched.

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Thanks for the book recommendation. I’ll have a hunt. Maybe our families knew each other. He (my grandfather) switched from mining to the ministry and eventually ended up in Tonypandy after some time in Brynmawr. As a 10 year old girl my mum was not so keen on the move from Welsh speaking Brynmawr to polyglot 'pandy but she soon fell in love with the Rhondda and its peoples.
Yes, I’ve read that genetically us south Walians are closer to the peoples of Somerset than to our northern cousins. Which makes sense. The Bristol Channel is easy to cross (as long as you know the tides!) whereas it would have taken days to have reached the north.

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First time posting in the forum. Love the course.

I am learning Welsh because I have always loved languages, I found out that I have Welsh ancestry, and it is just so darn fun.


Both my wife and I now retired, both brought up in West Wales to first language Welsh households. Given both of us worked away for a few years ,then returned to Pembrokeshire ( south of Landsker line), our daily use of Welsh has waned over the years. We aim to refresh and immerse ourselves in our beautiful language once again and when confident enough to do so support other learners/friends to enjoy and promote our culture.


Hi there. I live in Herefordshire which isn’t too far from Wales. I have spent many holidays in Wales and feel that it is my happy place. I have always loved hearing the lovely musical language and knew i really wanted to learn it one day. I finished walking Offas Dyke this year so have spent many a happy hour admiring the stunning scenery. I also had another walk up snowdon a few weeks ago and am returning to walk up Cadair Idris once the days are longer. After hearing so much welsh being spoken on the streets of Bala this summer it spurred me on to sign up with SSIW. My brain often feels fried but i am really enjoying it. I am looking forward to becoming more proficient and testing out my skills on my next visit. Its lovely to hear everyone’s stories.


Bore da! I’m here because of the Welsh siwgwr :blush: My boyfriend is from Anglesey, and I have been living in North Wales for over a year. I love Wales, it’s such a beautiful country that I didn’t know much about it before moving here, but now I feel like finding a hidden gem. I love the mountains, the lakes, and the people, of course. They are so polite, and I feel very safe here. I love the way Welsh sounds; so melodic, elegant and even magical. It sounds like casting beautiful spells. But the learning process has been a bit difficult for me because English is not my first language, and every Welsh course is in English, so it’s like learning a new language while practising another one. My brain gets exhausted! My boyfriend already speaks my native tongue, so I want to return the favour and be able to communicate in both languages. I am really excited about trying this way of learning, and I am so glad this community exists. Diolch!


Not too far at all. The old Ordnance Survey maps label Herefordshire west of the Wye as ‘Herefordshire in Wales’. I was once in a restaurant in London and at the end of the meal the waitress asked us where we from. When I said ‘Hereford’ she said, ‘Ah! Hereford in Wales! Me too!’ The last sign that I know of that was in Welsh in the city centre was removed a few years back. It was for a solicitor’s office where Welsh was spoken before the very aged solicitor finally retired.
Two of us from Herefordshire then (probably more, anyone else out there?). Perhaps we should start a conversation group?