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Teaching Welsh To South Africans

Postby WelshSpringbok » Thu May 31, 2012 1:43 pm

Just had a very interesting afternoon, which has given me the opportunity to introduce a fair few South Africans to the Welsh language. As those of you who know me are well aware, I am basically a walking advert for the Welsh tourist board - to the extent that I should probably be getting commission from them. Welsh flags on the car, Welsh flags in the office, indeed I am even wearing a Welsh fla shirt this afternoon!

However, this afternoon was fantastic because the college where I work decided to do a cross-cultural game, in which students had to visit different places and undergo a cultural experience. I was representing the UK, so what better opportunity to teach a few Welsh words to South Africans from a range of cultural backgrounds. It was also something of a challenge for me because I was suddenly in a position where I was welcoming guys into the office with, 'Croesco i Cymru, heddiw 'yn ni'n mynd i siarad Cymraeg. Bydda i'n dweud rhywbeth i Cymraeg a…..' before cutting off and switching to English to give them what are essentially the first few minutes of Lesson 1 of the Introductory course.

Given that the idea of the game is to complete a task successfully in order to gain a stamp in the passport, it meant the students, who came in teams of 2, had to sit down and go through 'Dw i'n hoffi siarad Cymraeg', 'Dw i'n trio siarad Cymraeg, Dw i'n trio hoffi siarad Cymraeg' and say it correctly before they were able to leave. I used the same form of repetition as used in the lessons and was thrilled both to see South Africans having a crack at the most special language in the world and to see how confident I came across in speaking. Amazing, given that just over a year ago I couldn't say a single word in Welsh and I have had a number of gaps where I have not been able to practice during that time.

What is more, even though it wasn't a truly Welsh conversation with a Welsh speaker, the confidence given by doing such an exercise is fantastic. What was even better is that my 6 year old daughter Kaitlyn stood in the room and corrected the students when they got it wrong. She came down to the office specially because she heard that we were going to be doing Welsh classes!
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Re: Teaching Welsh To South Africans

Postby dinas » Thu May 31, 2012 1:57 pm

"Two windows on the world are better than one...." Helena Jones

Yes I hear it!... Hiraeth - the link with the long-forgotten past, the language of the soul, the call from the inner self. Half forgotten - fraction remembered. It speaks from the rocks, from the earth, from the trees and in the waves. It's always there.
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Re: Teaching Welsh To South Africans

Postby SJ » Thu May 31, 2012 3:34 pm

Sounds like a brilliant way to practice some Welsh and introduce the language to a lot of new people all in one go! :llongyf:
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Re: Teaching Welsh To South Africans

Postby Aran » Thu May 31, 2012 3:57 pm

What a fantastic story - llongyfarchiadau mawr!

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Re: Teaching Welsh To South Africans

Postby Iestyn » Sun Jun 03, 2012 9:44 am

I'm trying to imagine the scene now...

But I don't need to imagine how chuffed you feel. If you can teach spoken Welsh, you must be a Welsh speaker yourself...!

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