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Speaking Welsh while kayaking in Sweden

Postby learner66 » Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:21 pm

After a long time away from listening to the lessons online (my own fault, I should have kept up with them), I started them again and reached the bonus lesson 6. I am an Outdoor Education instructor and my reason for getting back into them was because I was taking a group of twelve 16-17 year olds and three teachers, from a Welsh medium high school, to Sweden for a week of sea-kayaking at the beginning of the Summer holidays. I knew that it would be a great opportunity for me to practice speaking Welsh with people who would hopefully be kind and helpful rather than judging my mistakes. How right I was! We had a great time and both students and staff alike were very supportive of my faltering attempts at conversing with them in Welsh. My vocab increased, my confidence improved and and I kept on firing questions at them to try to learn more. With twelve students I could ask the same question over and over again and get different answers from each one which I had to try to understand. Two of the girls in particular were very tolerant and patient and politely corrected mistakes or suggested alternative ways of saying something. On the flight home I wrote a very short 'speech' to say when we got back to their school. I checked it through with the girls before we landed and to my surprise there were very few mistakes, which were spelling rather than grammatical. After a long drive back my 'speech' went like this...
"Roeddwn i wedi cael amser da iawn yn gwethio gyda chi, a roeddwn i wir wedi mwynhau ymarfer siarad Cymraeg gyda chi. Diolch yn fawr iawn pawb."
...to which I'm pleased to say I got a round of applause!
The whole experience was brilliant and has meant that I am more confident and frequent in speaking Welsh with my 5 year old daughter. Today she started back in Year 1 of the Welsh stream of our local bilingual primary school and tonight, not for the first time, she read to me her new reading book. I understood most of it and the words I didn't she did her best to translate for me. I like to think that we are learning together but she is never slow to say to me "No, you don't say it like that Daddy" or " I'm the best Welsh speaker in this house" despite my wife being a better learner than either of us!
Anyway, enough of my rambling, I need to get and listen to lesson 7! Diolch yn fawr iawn to all at SSiW for developing such a great and inspirational scheme.
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Re: Speaking Welsh while kayaking in Sweden

Postby Aran » Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:27 pm

What a fantastic story - definitely one of my favourites so far!...:seren:

Pob lwc with the rest of the course - you've got a gold mine in terms of potential practice with your daughter, as long as you can put up with her natural child-like mercilessness...:wink:
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