Made a complete arse of myself | 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...:-)

Re: Made a complete arse of myself

Postby SparkyCola » Fri Aug 28, 2009 10:36 pm

As I had "I don't speak Welsh very well yet but I'm going to try" off pat, it was worth saying it just to see the looks of surprise and bewilderment on my daughter's and husband's face.


Heehee, I love this bit :lol: Da Iawn :clap: I think you did brilliantly!

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

Re: Made a complete arse of myself

Postby aelwyd » Sat Aug 29, 2009 9:38 am

When I was doing my first degree, in Italy, we had a student from Yorkshire join us who found the linguistic going rather tough. One day he needed to change a pillowcase; asked what the Italian word for it was; and was duly told 'federa'. He went off muttering the word over and over to himself. The journey to the laundry proved too long for his memory, however, and by the time he arrived the word had undergone a mutation. He ended up asking the nonplussed attendant if he could have a new widow (vedova), because the old one was worn out.

:shock:
User avatar
aelwyd
 
Posts: 87
Joined: Fri May 01, 2009 11:51 pm

Re: Made a complete arse of myself

Postby Tahl » Sat Aug 29, 2009 1:51 pm

cathytheflute wrote:After ordering my meals at the cafe I later asked the waitress how bad my Welsh had been. Her answer was that she didn't speak Welsh very well. At the time I thought perhaps she was being diplomatic by not directly answering my question (a politician in the making maybe?) but it was only later when I heard her talking to some other customers in English that I realised there was not a trace of a Welsh accent in her which made me feel a little better :wink: I just assumed that on the Llŷn peninsula nearly everybody spoke Welsh but it isn't necessarily the case.


Cathytheflute raises a point I've been wondering about as I get excited about my upcoming trip to south Wales. I'm perfectly happy to humiliate myself in public . . . but how do I manage to (a) have a go at practicing my limited Welsh in real life (b) in a part of the country where, I understand, most people aren't native speakers of Welsh and many people may not be comfortable speaking it, or at least not speak it in their daily lives?

I am guessing that I'll mostly be in areas where people will by default start conversations with strangers in English. I may not have a chance to get a clue that it's safe to try Welsh by overhearing it being used. Think, say, the south coast. Cardiff. Monmouth. Diving in, or asking flat-out "do you speak Welsh," just seems . . . rude.

Thoughts? If the restaurant/shop/whatever isn't busy, would you ask (in English? Welsh?) if it would be okay if I tried speaking Welsh?
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: Made a complete arse of myself

Postby leiafee » Sat Aug 29, 2009 4:22 pm

I wouldn't consider it rude, though it does take a bit of nerve! I'd hope that most places, especially businesses and tourist attractions ought to at least recognise Welsh and be able to politely explain that that don't speak it if that's the case.

Brits seem to manage well enough on holiday around the world speaking English loudly and slowly to other people!

At least you're having a go in an official language of the country!

Publically funded places are required ot have a Welsh language policy which generally includes something along the lines of responding to either language and finding a Welsh speaker for you if the first person you speak to isn't.
User avatar
leiafee
SSiW Member
 
Posts: 1385
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2009 4:53 pm
Location: Abertawe
Real name:: Leia Fee (yn wir!)

Re: Made a complete arse of myself

Postby Daryl Owen » Sat Aug 29, 2009 4:35 pm

Hi, if your toureing south east Wales including Cardiff a greta place to visit would be st fagons abou t5-10 mins from the M4 going through Fairwater. Most, if not all staff there are welsh speaking and very freindly and helpfull. Its free entry but five squid to park but makes a great day out if the weather is good as mostly outdoors.
I was there a few weeks ago with my daughter and had a lovely day out. There is a cafe there but if its a nice day take a picnic and enjoy the outdoors. Loads to see and do and plenty of opertunity to practice your Welsh :smile:
Dont be afraid to ask anywhere in Welsh as i would be most suprised to hear that anyone would be offended. I am a proud Rhondda valley boy and hwnto and am proud of our south walian reputation of being fantastic hoasts. Croesio to gods own land.
Ymlaciwch ! :dance:
Daryl Owen
 
Posts: 120
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2009 11:37 am

Re: Made a complete arse of myself

Postby SJ » Sat Aug 29, 2009 4:42 pm

As Daryl and Leiafee have said there's no harm in trying, you never know who might be a Welsh Speaker. :D

In Cardiff there are a few pubs, shops and restaurants that are mainly Welsh Speaking or Bilingual. There's the Mochyn Du Pub in Sophia Gardens and Y Fuwch Goch and Clwb Ivor Bach on Womanby Street. There's a Welsh shop called C@ban in Pontcanna. Restaurant wise there is the Armless Dragon and Mimosa. I'm sure there are more places, but that's all I can think of at the moment.

Depending on when you're in Cardiff you could always attend one of the Cardiff Welsh for Adult Centre events for learners where you'd be assured of plenty of learners to practice with from beginners upwards.

Hope that helps and if you need any more info just shout!
Cenedl heb iaith, cenedl heb galon

Please read the forum guidelines - they're short and sweet!
Put up a poster - Spread the word!
Follow me on Twitter @Cymraes24
SSiW Cardiff Coffee Morning - 3rd Saturday of every month at Coffee #1, Wood Street, Cardiff
SSIW Cardiff Weekly meet-up - Every Monday evening, 7pm Mochyn Du
User avatar
SJ
Gorsedd SSiW
 
Posts: 2309
Joined: Wed Apr 22, 2009 8:23 am
Location: Northwich, Cheshire
Real name:: Sarah-Jane

Re: Made a complete arse of myself

Postby Aran » Sun Aug 30, 2009 8:43 am

Tahl, the uncertainty you're describing is a very familiar feeling for a lot of fluent speakers - and it's why so many end up only using Welsh with people they know, which of course does very real damage in all sorts of ways.

Unless I'm feeling tired (and just not prepared to risk the occasional downright rudeness you get sometimes - 'Say it in English!' really barked out, for example), I'll usually start by asking 'Ydach chi'n siarad Cymraeg?' if I'm somewhere I know it's likely that plenty of people won't. At home, around Nefyn, I'd just always speak Welsh without thinking.

But if you find the thought of that a bit intimidating, you could just ask 'Do you speak Welsh?'

I would imagine that would make it pretty certain that you wouldn't get any of the rude responses that you can get sometimes for saying something in Welsh.
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: Made a complete arse of myself

Postby Daryl Owen » Sun Aug 30, 2009 2:04 pm

Aron, doeddwn y ddim yn wybod bod chin dod o Nefyn.
Daryl Owen
 
Posts: 120
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2009 11:37 am

Re: Made a complete arse of myself

Postby Dee » Sun Aug 30, 2009 4:16 pm

Aran wrote:I would imagine that would make it pretty certain that you wouldn't get any of the rude responses that you can get sometimes for saying something in Welsh.


I actually spoke Welsh without thinking yesterday and got a lovely response - in English. I was doing a quick circuit of Bute Park to stretch my legs (way too much sitting at this computer) and going through some of the SSIW practice in my head when I came across a Big Issue seller. Dim diolch, I said, and got a big smile and thanked for acknowledging him. I don't know if he noticed that I spoke Welsh, but I felt encouraged anyway.
Image
User avatar
Dee
Archdderwydd SSiW
 
Posts: 4489
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 2:06 pm
Location: Caerdydd

Re: Made a complete arse of myself

Postby Iestyn » Sun Aug 30, 2009 8:14 pm

tahl wrote:Cathytheflute raises a point I've been wondering about as I get excited about my upcoming trip to south Wales. I'm perfectly happy to humiliate myself in public . . . but how do I manage to (a) have a go at practicing my limited Welsh in real life (b) in a part of the country where, I understand, most people aren't native speakers of Welsh and many people may not be comfortable speaking it, or at least not speak it in their daily lives?


Hi Tahl!

In the South East you will come across a lot of people who don't understand much Welsh. In your case, I would recomend a big East Coast smile, and you can ask in either language whether they are Welsh speaking. Any Welsh speakers will love you to bits and any non-Welsh speakers will be too intimidated to be anything other than polite!

Seriously, if you can wear a badge or a tee-shirt that leads people to believe that you are Welsh speaking, you will be spoken to in Welsh (by people usually a bit embarrased that they may be wrong!)

Cat has just suggested Madame Fromage (a tea shop / deli / Welsh food / drink / cheese shop) in the shopping arcade by the Castle in Cardiff, where she has been served in Welsh.


One important point. By speaking Welsh, as a foreigner, you will be doing a huge service to us Welsh speakers, and to the language in general. The view that Welsh is only spoken by some enthusiasts and some 'hambones' (country folk) is mercifully dying out, but an american joining in won't do any harm in speeding the attitude on its way!

Keep us informed, and have a lovely visit!
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
User avatar
Iestyn
SSi CFO
 
Posts: 4374
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2009 10:33 pm
Location: Llandysul, Ceredigion
Real name:: Iestyn





 


PreviousNext

Return to Welsh Encounters of the Nervous Kind

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron