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

Bog Snorkelling

Postby RobertBruce » Mon Aug 31, 2009 9:41 pm

Went over the bluffs to Llanwrtyd today to watch the bog snorkelling. Llanwrtyd is on the margin where Anglicised Wales meets Welsh Wales. There's plenty of Welsh in the area, but it tends to be hidden - it's the language of the farmhouse kitchen and the school, but not really visible in wider community life.

Nevertheless I went there determined to use as much Welsh as possible - after all, people travel from all over the world to doggy-paddle in the bog, and it would be a crime for there to be more, say, German spoken on the moor than Welsh.

I started off well - the farmer whose land is used for the event collects £2 at the gate for car parking. I answered his 'Good morning' with a 'Bore da!' and we were off - he was interested that we had come from somewhere so close by, but he didn't seem surprised that I should be speaking Welsh but nevertheless claiming to come from a famously English-speaking town and district. He asked if I'd been before and I said that I'd only been once, about five years ago.

After that, sadly, nothing. Refreshment tent, burger van, bar; all devoid of Welsh.

Fortunately I was with Tegwen so I was able to speak to her in Welsh, though she did most of her replying in English - I often wonder if she has got the message from somewhere that Welsh is for home and school and not for the outside world.

Then it rained so hard that we got wetter in our waterproof clothing than if we had attempted a length of the bog, so we started off home. Immediately we were out of the earshot of the crowd, Tegwen, of course, started speaking Welsh. :-?
No one ever drowned by getting out of their depth in a Welsh conversation.

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Re: Bog Snorkelling

Postby gwiwer » Tue Sep 01, 2009 8:31 am

Well Done for using welsh in the wild.
It can be pretty scary not knowing what sort of reply you're going to get.
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