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Networking to find Welsh speakers

Postby Tahl » Sat May 07, 2011 1:39 pm

I want to say a word or two in favor of using your friends, relatives, and acquaintances to help find other Welsh speakers or learners.

Since I started learning in summer 2009, one of my standard answers to the "so, what's new with you?" question is "well, I've been learning Welsh." It's a real conversation starter (plus an inadvertent litmus test for someone's openness to other cultures), and it sticks in peoples' minds. What I didn't expect was:

(a) One old friend, who lives in a town I visit occasionally, said, "I have a work colleague who's from a Welsh-speaking family." That resulted in my first-ever chance to converse in Welsh, & an ongoing friendship, as I explained here:
viewtopic.php?f=20&t=1815

(b) Acquaintance at church recently said, "Did you see that Person X (someone I've known for awhile) brought something to last week's potluck that was wrapped in a tea towel with Welsh writing on it?" I'd never realized Person X is from a family that spoke Welsh a couple generations back; now I get to say "Bore da!" on Sunday mornings. :D

Spreading the word that you're learning Welsh, and looking for Welsh speakers, may actually be more useful the further you are from Wales -- because, again, something unusual stands out. (I can point to friends and colleagues who speak Finnish, Russian, and Serbo-Croatian.) You never know when someone's brother's wife's cousin married a first-language speaker. :-)
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Re: Networking to find Welsh speakers

Postby Iestyn » Sat May 07, 2011 2:18 pm

That is a really interesting post, Tahl, and a very good idea for people who don;t know any Welsh speakers. I'm always amazed at the outlandish places that seem to have Welsh speakers to phone in to Radio Cymru when there's a crisis / other big news story happening out in the world. So don;t think that just because you're living in Outer Mongolia (Actually, I have an old college friend who used to work out of Ulaan Bataar) or Timbuktu, you'll be surprised at who may turn up if the word is "out there".

Would you mind if I reproduce that on the SSiW blog, Diane? And if anyone else has similar stories of networking or generally finding Welsh speakers, then I'll put together a few different stories in one "Getting to practice" post.
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Re: Networking to find Welsh speakers

Postby Tahl » Sat May 07, 2011 2:32 pm

Sure, feel free to use it, Iestyn. And by chance, I was just listening to yesterday's Dafydd and Caryl program, where they were talking with amazement about having gotten an email comment for (or from -- they were confused about which!) someone in Sarajevo.
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Re: Networking to find Welsh speakers

Postby Iestyn » Sat May 07, 2011 6:45 pm

You're right, I'd forgotten that.

I think it's about time they had some messages from Washington DC, don't you?
The SSiW mantra: "Don't worry. If you say something slightly different to me, people will just think you are from a different area / village / street / family to them, or more likely not notice at all!"

"Do not fear going forward slowly; fear only to stand still." Chinese Proverb
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Re: Networking to find Welsh speakers

Postby Tahl » Sat May 07, 2011 9:33 pm

Iestyn wrote:I think it's about time they had some messages from Washington DC, don't you?

Since their broadcast runs from 3:30 to 5:30 am, in my time zone . . . no, I really don't. :shock:
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Re: Networking to find Welsh speakers

Postby Iestyn » Sat May 07, 2011 9:48 pm

tahl wrote:
Iestyn wrote:I think it's about time they had some messages from Washington DC, don't you?

Since their broadcast runs from 3:30 to 5:30 am, in my time zone . . . no, I really don't. :shock:

:lol:
Where's your commitment, girl?
The SSiW mantra: "Don't worry. If you say something slightly different to me, people will just think you are from a different area / village / street / family to them, or more likely not notice at all!"

"Do not fear going forward slowly; fear only to stand still." Chinese Proverb
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Re: Networking to find Welsh speakers

Postby Cer » Sat May 07, 2011 9:57 pm

My step-sister was telling me that she visited Berlin recently with an old friend of hers who speaks Welsh. They ran into a Welsh-speaking couple while touring some historic buildings there.
:dafad: Please feel free to correct me. Thanks! :dafad:

:shock: = "Oh, is that how it's spelled!"

Waffling around in the Cwrs 2 vocab lessons.
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Re: Networking to find Welsh speakers

Postby Aran » Sun May 08, 2011 12:51 pm

tahl wrote:
Iestyn wrote:I think it's about time they had some messages from Washington DC, don't you?

Since their broadcast runs from 3:30 to 5:30 am, in my time zone . . . no, I really don't. :shock:


I see a two birds with one stone opportunity here. Just borrow Beuno Llŷn for a few weeks. That will become a very familiar part of the day for you...:)
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Re: Networking to find Welsh speakers

Postby Tahl » Wed May 11, 2011 11:59 am

Iestyn wrote:I think it's about time they had some messages from Washington DC, don't you?

Today's Taro'r Post prodded me to send in an email. :roll: The topic was how S4C can better serve speakers of Welsh, so I wrote in giving my opinion that S4C could help people overseas and itself by selling access to some programs, and could help its own future by providing programs for learners (which it doesn't have now). They read it around :40 into the show -- and diolch yn fawr to Dylan Jones, the host, for fixing my mistakes in the reading!
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Re: Networking to find Welsh speakers

Postby Iestyn » Wed May 11, 2011 12:26 pm

:star: I heard that, Tahl, but was wandering round the house looking for baby clothes (the day approaches...!) and didn't hear who had sent it in. Da iawn ti - let's hope your email and story here prompts more SSiWers to take part in programmes such as this.

The ability to send an email so that you don't actually have to speak live (and the knowledge that Dylan will gloss over any innacuracies - thanks for that info.) is a huge reason why anyone who can understand the programme should be getting their views heard.
The SSiW mantra: "Don't worry. If you say something slightly different to me, people will just think you are from a different area / village / street / family to them, or more likely not notice at all!"

"Do not fear going forward slowly; fear only to stand still." Chinese Proverb
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