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Quivering wreck but why?!

PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 8:59 am
by oldale
I have so far " in the wild" only been brave enough to order 2 black coffees in Welsh which appeared as ordered, and I understood the rest of the girl's response from the pointing at a service trolley and recognising the word "sigwr".

Today I needed to phone the Welsh secondary school my son is about to go to in September . Last night I decided I'd have a go at doing it in Welsh prefaced by "Mae'n ddrwg gen i, dw i ddim in Siarad Cymraeg yndda iawn" so that anything afterwards would be excused, but I would have been seen to be making the effort. The lovely lady who answered sounded so very English I was taken aback and said "oh , I was going to try to speak Welsh to you" whilst feeling great relief that I could conduct the conversation in English. She said , "no no speak to me in any language you like" and I jumped in with both feet ( felt like they were actually in my mouth). I told her my son doesn't speak Welsh and I am very worried that he will not understand anything in class. Then lapsed lamely into English with " sorry I don't know if that made any sense?" apparently I did just fine, she asked me in Welsh for contact details and that bit was amazingly easy and I didn't have to think twice about which bit she was asking for, I understood it. :dance:

She as very helpful and reassuring ( in English) and it went as well as I could have hoped. But when I put the phone down I was shaking like a leaf and felt exhausted. What is that all about? will I be a quivering wreck everytime I try to Dwued Rhwybeth yn Cymraeg?! :-?

Re: Quivering wreck but why?!

PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 9:12 am
by jashwntw
I have gone through the exact same thing learning languages. It only makes you shakey at first and then you will start gaining confidence :wink:

Re: Quivering wreck but why?!

PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 9:25 am
by RedGreenInBlue
oldale wrote:…and it went as well as I could have hoped. But when I put the phone down I was shaking like a leaf and felt exhausted. What is that all about? will I be a quivering wreck everytime I try to Dwued Rhwybeth yn Cymraeg?! :-?

Not at all! It's a big step to conduct your first conversation over the phone in a language you're still learning (though clearly ti wir yn siarad y Gymraeg yn dda, dim ots beth ydy dy farn di :D :seren: ). As people have pointed out to me, you're talking to someone you can't see and don't know. You can't indicate by puzzled looks when you're getting into difficulties, and they don't know how much Welsh you understand; and a phone line audio quality is nowhere near as good as face-to-face listening. In other words, your brain was simply working hard on a highly complex and unfamiliar task for the first time, and your reaction is quite natural.

However, next time try it, it won't feel quite so strange, and you'll probably recognise a word or phrase you heard this time but maybe didn't understand. And the time after that, it'll feel easier yet, and so on, and so on, until even the euphoria fades and it all starts to feel just… well, natural, talking in Welsh on the phone. :smile:

Re: Quivering wreck but why?!

PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 10:08 am
by oldale
Diolch. My Welsh isn't that good , I had to look up what you wrote! still Seren aur much appreciated and yes I'm sure I'll get less wobbly if- sorry I mean *as*- I keep trying and practising
For now though dw i angen siocled poeth!

Re: Quivering wreck but why?!

PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 10:48 am
by Tahl
Applause! And you've successfully faced the problem of not knowing whether someone speaks Welsh or not -- and found out that Welsh speakers are usually happy to help us learners, and very willing to let us mix languages within a sentence or a conversation. Turns out the world won't end if we miss a mutation or two. :wink:

Re: Quivering wreck but why?!

PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 10:59 am
by oldale
Hwre!

Re: Quivering wreck but why?!

PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 1:56 pm
by Aran
Karine, over the phone is as difficult as it gets - all the usual clues taken away - so you're really jumping in at the deep end!

But your willingness to do that will make a huge difference to how learning the language goes for you, and it will (as Jason says) get progressively easier - a year from now, you'll be MILES ahead of people who are too nervous to jump in and use it...:star:

Re: Quivering wreck but why?!

PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 3:29 pm
by Iestyn
Huge congratulations. That is the most difficult step to take when learning any language, but especially a language where you have such an easy escape route - ie speaking English. Why do you think so many people learn Welsh, and then never use it? It is seriously frightening.

As Aran says - you have done the most difficult thing to do - talking on the phone - and survived, so you have nothing to be afraid of. That doesn't mean that you won't get the adrenalin shakes for the next few goes, of course, but as long as you realise that a) they are temporary, b) they are normal, and c) they are a sign that you are really achieveing something quite extraordinary, then you'll be fine.

Now, stop reading the forum and get on with a learning a little bit more Welsh! :wink: :mrgreen:

Re: Quivering wreck but why?!

PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 7:36 pm
by Sionned
Llongyfarchiadau, Karine! Well done you! You've made a huge leap into becoming a confident Welsh speaker! :star:

Re: Quivering wreck but why?!

PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2012 11:54 am
by longdehua
I get pretty shaky talking foreign languages (and often English in high-stakes situations) on the phone. Face to face is much easier since you can get away with gestures and smiles to smooth over all the mistakes you think you're making.

But don't let that stop you! It's cheaper than paying to go on a rollercoaster anyway ...