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Adventures in the North

Postby Stine » Thu Jun 21, 2012 12:16 pm

You may remember me posting that we were moving to Gwynedd. Well, I'm delighted to report we moved almost a month ago, and since then, I've been having a whale of a time practising my (pretty basic) Welsh on as many people round here as possible! I should mention I have only got to the end of the bonus lesson in course 1, so my knowledge is really limited, but so far I haven't let that stop me :lol:

Everyone has been really friendly and helpful when I've had a go at a few sentences. Special mention to the lovely Nora who runs the learners' group in Talysarn and who patiently listened to my halting attempts at Welsh for about an hour without complaint. It was like having a personal language tutor - fantastic. And also to the guys in the butchers in Caernarfon and in Penygroes who now say things in Welsh first so I can try and understand, before repeating in English (I explained to them in Welsh that I was learning, trying to speak, and going to finish!).

Particular highlights for me in my Welsh-speaking so far are:

- asking the local librarian 'do you have the new book by X?' and being understood
- surprising the lady in the garden centre by saying 'I can wait' when another customer needed help while I was applying for a customer card
- asking the builders working on our house if they wanted a cuppa and then 'llefrith?' 'swgar?'
- then shouting up to them 'have you got the dog?' when the dog had apparently disappeared through the open door
- and best of all, being able to call out to my neighbour 'I have something for you' when the postman left her parcel with us.

I know these seem like small steps, but to me they're really exciting, particularly the being understood by other people, which is great! I am also finding that words not yet covered in the course are going in because I see them written down/hear them in other people speaking/have them explained to me, which is also really good, because I can use the constructions already covered and add to them a bit. I know I have a long way to go, but you have to start somewhere. To anyone nervous of trying your Welsh, I would just say 'jump in' - you have nothing to lose and a lot to gain.
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Re: Adventures in the North

Postby dinas » Thu Jun 21, 2012 12:22 pm

Sounds great! I met, Nora, in the, Halfway, last month and she's very pleasant. I'll be up next month and will pop into the group in the pub on, Wednesday night. Hopefully, I'll bump into you!
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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: Adventures in the North

Postby Tahl » Thu Jun 21, 2012 12:30 pm

Stine wrote:I know these seem like small steps

They don't, actually. I'm not flattering you. They seem like really huge steps. If everybody in Wales who is learning Welsh did what you are doing, it would be a different world.

With your willingness to give it a try, and to incorporate what's around you, I cannot imagine how comfortable your Welsh is going to be within a year.
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Re: Adventures in the North

Postby jstetson » Thu Jun 21, 2012 12:36 pm

Tahl wrote:
Stine wrote:I know these seem like small steps

They don't, actually. I'm not flattering you. They seem like really huge steps. If everybody in Wales who is learning Welsh did what you are doing, it would be a different world.

After completing the first quarter of course 1? Huge steps! Giant steps!

:ardderchog:
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Re: Adventures in the North

Postby Stine » Thu Jun 21, 2012 12:43 pm

thanks, guys, for all the compliments <blushing here> - I apologise if I sound evangelical, but it is *so* rewarding to have someone actually understand you and not go 'eh? what?' that even if at the moment it's only a few sentences, it's still really exciting for me! And it's amazing how quickly it sinks in - though I'm still at the stage where I have to think my way through what I know to be able to say something meaningful, if that makes sense. But that's just a question of vocab and learning more of the lessons, I know. Back to the grindstone, then (sigh....)

Dinas, yes, will look forward to catching up with you at some point and putting a face to the name. I did tell Nora I was doing SSiW!
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Re: Adventures in the North

Postby dinas » Thu Jun 21, 2012 12:46 pm

Nora would know me as, Kim. Most people in the, Halfway, will know me. Especially, those stood at the bar and the barman, Meic....
"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: Adventures in the North

Postby Tahl » Thu Jun 21, 2012 12:51 pm

dinas wrote: Most people in Gwynedd will know me.

Fixed that for you. :wink:
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Re: Adventures in the North

Postby Aran » Thu Jun 21, 2012 1:50 pm

Stine wrote:I know these seem like small steps


As the others have said already - oh, no, they don't!...:star:
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Re: Adventures in the North

Postby Iestyn » Thu Jun 21, 2012 3:42 pm

Justine - as others have said, the "small step" that you have taken is the giant one that many learners never take, and that is the step to becming a Welsh speaker.

I know, I know, you still feel like your pretending to be a Welsh speaker at the moment, and it's only "a few sentences" etc, but the fact is that you are using all the Welsh you know, and finding out new things to use all the time. You are speaking as much Welsh as you are able, and adding to the pool of usable Welsh all the time.

Compared to the steps you have taken, I think you'll find the next steps on the way to "not needing to use much English" to be pretty small!

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Re: Adventures in the North

Postby sumsmeister » Thu Jun 21, 2012 7:34 pm

Everyone's right, Justine, it's actually getting out there and using your Welsh that turns you into a Welsh speaker, rather than someone who knows how to speak Welsh. My wife and I visited the National Wool Museum in Dre-Fach Felindre recently where I have a really lovely chat with a couple of the (fantastic and patient) guides :star: :star: and one of the (lovely) ladies who run the cafe. :star: There's no way I could have done that before I started the SSiW lessons. :faint: I hope you meet up with Kim - he's a wonderfully positive and supportive character!
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