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Welsh encounters of the library kind.

PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 7:17 pm
by Elizabeth Jane
Today, I went to Criccieth library. I wanted to borrow some children's beginner reader books - for myself. 
It would be another chance to speak, I reasoned. And as I work as a librarian, I know how often people come to the library for a little chat. It is an important part of the service, as far as I am concerned. Today it was my turn to be on the receiving end.

I started with my opening line. Dw i ddim yn siarad Cymraeg yn dda iawn (i don't speak Welsh very well). Followed by: dw i'n dod o Awstralia - I come from Australia. For some reason, the later always gets a good response. I am not sure whether this is due to the sheer distance, and the complete unlikelihood of an Australian speaking Welsh, or a general perception of our low intelligence. Anyway, once I say that, people are ready to forgive all manner of errors. 

The librarian was no exception. But whereas others in Criccieth, have often slipped into English. Or like the lady at the postoffice in Tremadog, they answer my Welsh questions, with a quizzical glance and an uncertain query of their own: do you want me to answer in Welsh.

The librarian was different. And although we often did slip into English, she was the one who kept steering the conversation back into Cymraeg. Altering her sentences, simplifying, adding opportunities, by asking me where I cane from, where I was staying, about my Welsh class in Melbourne, etc, etc. She wasn't being nosey, I can assure you. She just got it! Of course, I would expect nothing less from a fellow Llyfrygellydd.

Librarians Rock!

Re: Welsh encounters of the library kind.

PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 8:43 pm
by leiafee
How lovely!

Re: Welsh encounters of the library kind.

PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 8:45 pm
by Lostforwords
Wnes i fwynhau hynny – diolch am rannu. :wink:

Re: Welsh encounters of the library kind.

PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 8:53 pm
by Iestyn
That's the perfect encounter, EJ - Da iawn ti for getting yourself into the situation, and Da iwn the Criccieth Librarian! :clap:

Re: Welsh encounters of the library kind.

PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 1:03 am
by Cer
LISers are :cool:

Re: Welsh encounters of the library kind.

PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 5:35 am
by warren_davies
Sounds like Criccieth library is worth a visit the next time I'm passing!

I always find the library a great place to practise my Welsh. In the library in Rhosllanerchrugog the librarians themselves slip seamlessly between English and Welsh all the time and are not even vaguely perturbed when you do the same.

Visting the library in Llangollen, the librarians here have realised that I am learning Welsh and have been very supportive of my slowness and general unresponsiveness to unexpected questions like, 'You have a fine to pay, do you want to pay it now?'

One librarian won't speak to me in English and will persist in Welsh even when I'm plainly struggling, which I think is brilliant as it really boosts my confidence for next time I encounter the same situation.

Re: Welsh encounters of the library kind.

PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 8:20 am
by Lurch2
Excellent!

I was going to ask at Carmarthen library where the museum was in Welsh as I thought Librarians might be a breed apart- and a better breed in this way! Thought they might be more willing to see me flounder and just watch! Unfortunately in a bit of a hurry.

But this post just made me realise there are loads of libraries where you could do this. In fact the last member of staff I talked to at Swansea library was learning Welsh, so even there!

A good place to try and find someone who may be a little more patient and with whom you need to speak about something.

Re: Welsh encounters of the library kind.

PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 9:05 am
by Iestyn
I'm guessing that a librarian is generally under less pressure than a shop assistant etc - a library is so much more relaxed than a shop.

Anyone else think that its a bit ironic that library is shaping up to be the best place to talk? :shock:

Re: Welsh encounters of the library kind.

PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 9:58 am
by Aran
+1 for librarians...:)

Maybe we need a list of libraries on DoSomethinginWelsh, Iestyn?...:)

And now - should I add a word censor that will automatically correct the peculiarly partially-anglicised Criccieth to the Welsh Cricieth, or should I embark on a long term propaganda campaign with single issue fanaticism?...:wink:

Re: Welsh encounters of the library kind.

PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 10:45 am
by RobertBruce
Aran wrote:partially-anglicised Criccieth to the Welsh Cricieth


No need to ask where you stand on the "sawl c sydd yn 'Criccieth'?" question, then? :lol: