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Re: Networking to find Welsh speakers

Postby JonSais » Wed May 11, 2011 7:20 pm

At Derby Welsh Learners Circle of late we've had to do some serious networking to find Welsh speakers. The BBC Radio Cymru programme ( Hawl i Holi ) set us a target of over 50 local Welsh Speakers in order for them to justify coming over to Nottingham on 16-5-11 to record an edition of the discussion programme.
We managed it through using a combination of the local Welsh societies in Nottingham and Derby, and also by drawing on all the contacts we had made with the DWLC annual Oneday school. We also were fortunate to be able to use our facebook group ( Menter Iaith Lloegr ) and we hope to have at least 3 SSIW fluent /near fluent learners present on the night as well as members of Derby Welsh Learners Circle. We couldn't have reached the target figure without the help of Cymdeithas Cymry Nottingham ( Diolch o galon iddyn nhw.
Jon Sais

tahl wrote: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:

(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. :-)
Dyfal donc a dyr y garreg
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Re: Networking to find Welsh speakers

Postby Iestyn » Tue Jun 14, 2011 8:49 pm

It's taken a while , but "network your way to fluency" is now on the SSiW blog.

Thanks to Tahl and RobertBruce, stars of the post... :star:
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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