inconvenient reaction to direct welsh... | If SSIW is helping you, why not help us? Get DAILY lessons: Become an SSIW Member!

Tell us about the fun you've had trying to use your Welsh...:-)

inconvenient reaction to direct welsh...

Postby Elmo » Fri Jan 28, 2011 3:44 pm

Do welsh encounters of a fairly passive nature count? I recently spent a few days staying with my (north) welsh speaking friend and her family, in a pretty welsh speaking area. I didnt actually speak any welsh (for various reasons my brain was fried and I needed it to stay working, so adding active welshing on top of that would not have been successful or sensible).
However, I did find that I could pick up words, quite a few phrases and the gist of what they were saying to each other and any visitors (once I got a bit used to the accent :wink: ). Weirdly though, whenever my friend said something directly to me in welsh, either wanting a reply or a translation, I would just freeze :shock: . I knew the answer deep down, and if she had just said it in passing I would have understood, but as soon as some sort of response was expected then nothing. Nil. Nada. She found it amusing (she has a fairly good idea about my level of welsh because she takes great pleasure in talking to me and getting me to translate and is very encouraging and proud of me learning) but I just found it frustrating. I knew what she was saying! Why couldnt I reply, or at least tell her it in english? Argh! :-?

Also, at one point I got into a bit of bother with my car and a bus. Small town, busy street, so I ended up with three different (very helpful) people shouting at me in welsh. One noticed that I looked a bit like a rabbit in the headlights so asked "ydych chi'n siarad Cymraeg?" and I replied no, sorry. She looked surprised, but I dont know whether that was because I didnt speak welsh, because I understood her asking if I spoke welsh but then said no in english, or because I apologised for not being able to speak welsh. Eventually I managed to extract my car unharmed.
So welsh was encountered more than usual... I just couldnt do very much about it :roll:
Image
User avatar
Elmo
SSiW Member
 
Posts: 50
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2010 12:57 pm
Location: Salop

Re: inconvenient reaction to direct welsh...

Postby gerryf » Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:47 pm

this happens often to me and I understand exactly what you mean when you describe the rabbit in the headlight :roll: :roll: I find that in the right circumstances a glass or two of wine helps. My friend who is 1st language welsh says he can tell how many glasses I've had by the amount of welsh I am attempting :faint: The feeling does get better with time. Do you remember how nervous you were when you first started to learn to drive, so much to think about,so much to go wrong. Well I think learning a new language is exactly the same and hope that with practice I will be abe to have a proper conversation in the pub :-?
Image
User avatar
gerryf
SSiW Member
 
Posts: 502
Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 10:13 pm
Real name:: Geraldine

Re: inconvenient reaction to direct welsh...

Postby Aran » Fri Jan 28, 2011 6:14 pm

That's all valuable stuff there, and you'll certainly be improving your listening comprehension skills...:)

Elmo wrote:I knew what she was saying! Why couldnt I reply, or at least tell her it in english? Argh! :-?


Because you haven't been practising doing this! It's going to feel difficult until you start doing it regularly - you'd probably find that if you had one evening where you agreed with your friend that you weren't going to speak ANY English, however slow she had to go, you'd have shaken off most of your nerves by the end of it...:)

And from then on, it will just get more and more enjoyable...:)
Loan $25 somewhere worthwhile with the SSiW Kiva team
Forum Guidelines | How far have you got with SSiW? Let us know HERE
User avatar
Aran
SSi CEO
 
Posts: 16971
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2009 2:52 pm
Real name:: Aran!

Re: inconvenient reaction to direct welsh...

Postby Tahl » Fri Jan 28, 2011 6:20 pm

Elmo wrote:Do welsh encounters of a fairly passive nature count? . . . However, I did find that I could pick up words, quite a few phrases and the gist of what they were saying to each other and any visitors (once I got a bit used to the accent :wink: ).

I understand why you called that "passive," but really, picking up on what other people are saying is sort of the most "active" task of all, because (darn it) you can't control them. I think that counts as a win. :D
Image
Currently working on: SSIW Course 3, Lesson 21 (Southern);
SSIS Course 1, Lesson 19; SSIS MFSA Tourist Spanish, Lesson 10.
User avatar
Tahl
SSiW Angel
 
Posts: 5923
Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2009 1:40 am
Location: Alexandria, Virginia, USA
Real name:: Diane

Re: inconvenient reaction to direct welsh...

Postby jstetson » Fri Jan 28, 2011 7:08 pm

Elmo wrote:Also, at one point I got into a bit of bother with my car and a bus. Small town, busy street, so I ended up with three different (very helpful) people shouting at me in welsh. One noticed that I looked a bit like a rabbit in the headlights so asked "ydych chi'n siarad Cymraeg?" and I replied no, sorry.

Hey, I think you're amazing! Car? Bus? Busy street? Three people shouting in Welsh? And you weren't cowering under the transmission? And you even managed to understand something? Total win.
Feel free to correct my Welsh, os gwelwch yn dda.
Image
Words are like children, they behave differently with their friends.
User avatar
jstetson
SSiW Member
 
Posts: 1767
Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2010 3:28 am
Location: Arlington MA, USA
Real name:: Jan Stetson

Re: inconvenient reaction to direct welsh...

Postby llanfairfach » Fri Jan 28, 2011 8:06 pm

It does get better with time.

Yesterday I was in a Pwllheli car park listening to Radio Cymru when, as often happens, I got approached and spoke to by a fluent speaker. A year ago I would have frozen blurting out "Dwi ddim yn siarad cymraeg," but in recent times my default response is to at least try and continue the conversation beyond the usual "da iawn diolch."

Straight afterwards I thought to myself how much easier it was and for the rest of the day I used as much Cymraeg as my confidence would allow.
Please feel free to correct my Welsh.

Finished Lesson 22 Course 3 (Northern).
User avatar
llanfairfach
SSiW Member
 
Posts: 662
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 4:38 pm

Re: inconvenient reaction to direct welsh...

Postby Gelis » Fri Jan 28, 2011 11:16 pm

Hey I'm often like a rabbit in the headlights and that's just speaking English... :lol:

Being naturally a little on the shy side anyway ,I'm the first to admit I can be a bit slow on the uptake sometimes and can only think of something interesting to say once everyone else has left the room... :roll:

Like others have said I'm sure it's a skill which comes with practice and you did very well to understand so much ,so don't worry about it at all..... :smile:

I once had an interesting experience in Crete where our tour operator accidently booked us on the German trip to Knossos.We decided to go anyway but as the guide didn't actually speak any English I ended up translating a lot of what she said to my friend and I was really surprised how much German I could still remember ,but speaking it,well that was a different matter entirely.... :shush:
>^.^<
Gelis
SSiW Member
 
Posts: 422
Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 11:14 pm
Location: Scottish Borders

Re: inconvenient reaction to direct welsh...

Postby SparkyCola » Fri Jan 28, 2011 11:56 pm

What Everyone Else Said! :star:

Agree with pretty much all the points made here, heh- listening is one of the hardest things I think so I'd count it as a huge success! And yeah, I know how you feel about the "Caught in the headlights" thing too - I feel that way about lots of things, not just Welsh. In such a spontaneous situation it's hard! But you'll definitely get there :D

Elin
User avatar
SparkyCola
SSiW Angel
 
Posts: 1139
Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2009 10:39 pm
Real name:: Elin

Re: inconvenient reaction to direct welsh...

Postby yeth_kernewek » Sat Jan 29, 2011 3:37 am

I guess what you have told us is normal. When you havn't got any practice it is very, very difficult to speak a language. Just think of all those scholars who can read and write Latin, Coptic or any other ancient language. What would happen if they could travel to ancient Rome? Probably they couldn't understand anything, and if they were able to say a couple of words nobody could understand them. Time is the other key to speak a language.

Anyway, as some friends have said, it was good that you understood some words or sentences and that you were able to answer some questions. Immagine what you could do living there for some time! :clap:
Keltek ov vy / Celtaidd dw i
User avatar
yeth_kernewek
 
Posts: 61
Joined: Thu Jul 01, 2010 9:42 am
Location: Surgut (Rwsia)
Real name:: Siarl / Carles

Re: inconvenient reaction to direct welsh...

Postby leiafee » Sat Jan 29, 2011 1:10 pm

I think the "being unable to formulate an answer in ANY language when frazzled would be familiar to most bootcampers! I know I went through that stage. Complete brain stall!

llanfairfach wrote:Yesterday I was in a Pwllheli car park listening to Radio Cymru when, as often happens, I got approached and spoke to by a fluent speaker. A year ago I would have frozen blurting out "Dwi ddim yn siarad cymraeg," but in recent times my default response is to at least try and continue the conversation beyond the usual "da iawn diolch."


Having Radio Cymru on is a good way to get other people to start the conversation in Welsh! (I always stick it on now when I'm manning the fort (pun intended!) doing the tickets at Oystermouth castle. I do a lot of what Welsh language reading I do on the train which has a similar effect.
User avatar
leiafee
SSiW Member
 
Posts: 1385
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2009 4:53 pm
Location: Abertawe
Real name:: Leia Fee (yn wir!)





 



Return to Welsh Encounters of the Nervous Kind

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron