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chapel

Postby Elmo » Sun Nov 06, 2011 3:05 pm

I went along with a friend to her welsh speaking chapel this morning. :shock: wwww.... scary.
Actually, some of it was quite encouraging. I picked up enough words in the childrens story bit to follow what was going on. And following the words to the songs while hearing them was good (and the singing was amazing - I would go again just for that :smile: ).
But mostly I was lost. I dont mind being lost when all I'm supposed to do is listen, because then I can just enjoy the sounds and feel happy if I recognise something. But at the end when people tried talking to me (very simply - i couldnt even understand "what is your name?" and as my friend pointed out i could do that yonks ago :-? ) my mind froze. And I'm shy even in english, so mega-shy in welsh, and then felt awkward and rude. Poor people probably wondered what was wrong with me :oops:
Still, they were really nice and welcoming so I will try really hard to screw up the courage to go again :dafad:
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Re: chapel

Postby GeoffTWO » Sun Nov 06, 2011 3:30 pm

Congratulations, you have not been completely put off. Next time you can practice a few sentences and questions so that when you encounter a friendly face your mind will not go blank. I had a similar encounter recently with similar effect to yours. Fortunately, I was able to mange a few sensible lines and my companion was very encouraging.

When we used to take our pupils to France, they soon learnt just how few words and phrases enabled quite serious conversations to take place, after all we do not always talk proper like :wink: .

Keep at it, the natives wont bite but I'm sure the Welsh Cakes at any festivals will be out of this world. :party:
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Re: chapel

Postby Iestyn » Sun Nov 06, 2011 4:17 pm

Elmo wrote:I picked up enough words in the childrens story bit to follow what was going on. And following the words to the songs while hearing them was good (and the singing was amazing - I would go again just for that :smile: ).
But mostly I was lost... But at the end when people tried talking to me (very simply - i couldnt even understand "what is your name?" and as my friend pointed out i could do that yonks ago :-? ) my mind froze.


Wow, Elmo - was that your first time in "real life"? If so, then you did better than exceptionally well! I know from my frequent forgettings and re-rememberings of French that the first time I'm exposed to French I last about 15 minutes before my eyes glaze over and my brain turns to mush. If you were following children's stories, singing hymns and trying to catch odd snippets of sermon and readings etc for an hour, it's not surprising that you couldn't speak Welsh at the end of it. I wonder how your English would have been to be honest!

Seriously, don't underestimate how draining it is to concentrate. There's a reason that we restrict the lessons to half an hour (and that some people do them in 10 minute bursts), and you have just had first hand experience of that.

Go again - next Sunday if you can! - and just enjoy it. If you know that you are going to go back again and again, then the pressure to have meaningful conversation this time is much less. Try not to concentrate too hard on the sermon and readings (you will probably find that a wandering mind will understand more than a concentrating mind anyway!), and don't be afraid to say "Sorry - I've not spoken much Welsh before, and my mind has turned to mush!" - they will understand that perfectly well, and you will not have to feel rude.

Have you seen lesson 6 bonus? There's some fun stuff for you to use in that lessons as well!

Llongyfarchiadau - congratulations on getting out there and doing it: that will turn you into a Welsh speaker more effectively than all the lessons in the world!
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Re: chapel

Postby sumsmeister » Sun Nov 06, 2011 5:56 pm

Iestyn wrote:Wow, Elmo - was that your first time in "real life"? If so, then you did better than exceptionally well!
...
Seriously, don't underestimate how draining it is to concentrate.

Couldn't agree more, Elmo :D
Makes you wonder how kids in school cope...
Anyway, you've done fantastically well, my first "real" Welsh conversation was two sentences... :oops:
And chapel-goers will be patient. Go again!
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Re: chapel

Postby Elmo » Wed Nov 09, 2011 4:48 pm

Not sure it counts as my first time in real life - I went to the Urdd/national eisteddfods and do have a welsh speaking housemate so... :dafad:
But hopefully (work permitting) i will be able to get into the habit of going regularly and getting more comfortable. And i do think its a good point that that would take the pressure off :smile: hopefully, anyway :mochyn:
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Re: chapel

Postby Iestyn » Wed Nov 09, 2011 8:25 pm

I'd say it counts: it sounds like a combination of first time nerves and putting yourself under pressure. Try less hard, and you will probably find it far more rewarding. If not more rewarding, then just take away the warm feeling that each time, it will get a little easier, so if you get a regular opportunity, you'll still be more comfortable than most new Welsh speakers feel after only a year or so.

Win win in my book!
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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