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Milk

Postby AwenBubble » Fri Sep 04, 2009 5:12 pm

After several long hours of driving up through the Cymru/England border on my Welsh trip last year, my first visit to Wales after starting learning, I was delighted when we finally stopped off and parked the car in Wales for the first time. My dad had indigestion and needed some milk so we had stopped off in a small village near Wrecsam (definitely on the Welsh side cause of the bilingual signage).

We parked outside a small shop and went in, dad chose a pint of milk, but he didn't know the price. Ffantastig! My chance to speak Welsh! So i grabbed the milk and strode confidently towards the counter, going over in my head exactly what i was going to say, glad that i could remember the North Walian word for milk, and said to the young woman,
"Faint yw'r llefrith os gwelwch yn dda?" and placed the milk on the counter.

The expression on her face was one of complete and utter bewilderment, and after a long pause she scanned the milk and said in a dull English accent, without smiling, "That's 50p please."

Instead of getting disheartened, for the rest of the trip, I decided to always ask "Dych chi'n siarad Cymraeg?" before speaking Welsh.

Looking back, I wonder, if she was working in Wales, why didn't she realise I was speaking Welsh and just say, "Sorry, but I don't speak Welsh, what's that in English?"
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Re: Milk

Postby Emma Reese » Fri Sep 04, 2009 6:19 pm

It's quite possible that the girl didn't speak Welsh considering it was in Wrecsam. On the other hand, she WAS a Welsh speaker but didn't expect to hear Welsh from a customer so responded in English. I've found out English is the default language in most of the shops even in Welsh speaking areas. I began every conversation in Welsh when I was in Wales a while ago unless the person clearly didn't speak Welsh. It paid off.
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Re: Milk

Postby Aran » Sat Sep 05, 2009 11:24 am

AwenBubble wrote:Looking back, I wonder, if she was working in Wales, why didn't she realise I was speaking Welsh and just say, "Sorry, but I don't speak Welsh, what's that in English?"


It is amazingly common for people to respond quite impolitely to being spoken to in Welsh, unfortunately. So much so that on the rare occasions when someone says 'I'm sorry, I don't speak Welsh' it always comes as a pleasant surprise. Still, at least you didn't get 'Say it in English!'...:wink:
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Re: Milk

Postby DavidWilsonSteer » Wed May 11, 2011 5:49 am

I like this story about the milk.
The last time I was in Wales, was December/January and I was with my brand-new Australian wife. We were in North Wales where EVERYONE was speaking Welsh and I didn't dare try. We made our way down the coast to West Wales and, one afternoon, were the only customers in a cafe on a bleak, cold day. The waitress was dark haired and attractive. "There," I said to my wife, "is a typical beautiful Welsh woman." As we left, I tipped the waitress handsomely and said 'Diolch yn fawr'. In a sultry non-Welsh accent she said "I'm sorry, I don't speak Welsh, I'm from Spain!"
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Re: Milk

Postby longdehua » Wed May 11, 2011 9:17 pm

DavidWilsonSteer wrote:"There," I said to my wife, "is a typical beautiful Welsh woman."


Never mind the waitress, what did your wife say??? :shock:

:lol:
Please feel obliged to correct my Welsh ;-)
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Re: Milk

Postby Bryn-Daf » Sun May 22, 2011 3:34 am

Some areas of Wrecsam (funny I use welsh name when wrexham was saxon settlement lol) have very low % of welsh speakers for various reasons......you would not get the same look in the nearby welsh speaking enclave of Rhosllannerchrugog where speakers are healthier 40%

Back in 1840s, the famous novelist George Burrows commented how a man from Rhiwabon (ruabon) replied to his english with "dim gair o saesneg" ('Sdim gair o saesneg gen i (??))- no word of english - suggesting he was monoglot.

But the area has changed a lot and frankly I am not surprised by the response at the counter.
Ac wrth feddwl am fy Nghymru,
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Re: Milk

Postby Bryn-Daf » Sun May 22, 2011 3:40 am

DavidWilsonSteer wrote:I like this story about the milk.
In a sultry non-Welsh accent she said "I'm sorry, I don't speak Welsh, I'm from Spain!"


Lot of part time EU workers come to work in tourist areas now during summer - have real problems in parts of Wales with youth emigration.

I think you thought she was welsh due to the dark haired iberian links with these isles and Sbaen ;)...most of my mothers welsh family are actually blond and ginger but she is black as ebony like me due to typical cornish ancestry hehe ;)
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