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Just had a go

Postby Mort's Cap » Sun Mar 31, 2013 5:39 pm

This afternoon, I've had my first go at Welsh in public. Quite unexpectedly actually. I have been building up towards a visit to Wales in May and wondering how I'll get on speaking to my cousins' children. But then today, just walking round Burton on Trent with my Mum, we bumped into a friend/acquaintance of hers who has been relearning Welsh for many years and she kindly (!) informed him I'm learning too. Mum knows only odd phrases in Welsh from her childhood.

I managed only four sentences. Bearing in mind we were standing by quite a busy road with some noisy traffic and it was a situation I hadn't expected to find myself in, I thought I did reasonably okay but wish I had persevered. I began with a "Ti'n iawn" and he replied with something that immediately lost me. I replied "siarada'n ararfach plis" (I've always quite liked saying that so it came easily :D ). He kindly repeated himself more slowly but apart from "Dolgellau" I didn't understand a word! I don't think I was panicking but really I could have done with being in a quieter place to listen properly. I then moved onto saying "Dw i'n dysgu Cymraeg ond dw i ddim yn siarad Cymraeg yn dda iawn", listened to him repeating himself yet again, then found myself nodding and smiling. I finished by mumbling, slightly oddly, "Dw i'n meddwl am hynny" before breaking into English and hastily explaining I'm learning the Southern dialect.

Despite the brevity, it was a great experience and I felt a bit of a buzz afterwards, even though I felt I didn't do myself justice at all. It's also reminded me how much of a novice I am. Still, at least I've got started - onwards and upwards.

Now, if only he'd wanted to know that the old dog had fallen down the stairs... :wink:
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Re: Just had a go

Postby Gruntius » Sun Mar 31, 2013 6:11 pm

:seren:

Fantastic stuff, getting thrown in unexpectedly is never easy, well done.
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Re: Just had a go

Postby Mort's Cap » Sun Mar 31, 2013 8:37 pm

Thanks Gruntius! Looking back on it now, it sounds a bit pathetic but I suppose I did at least progress past helo :smile:
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Re: Just had a go

Postby Dee » Sun Mar 31, 2013 8:37 pm

Gruntius wrote::seren:

Fantastic stuff, getting thrown in unexpectedly is never easy, well done.

I agree totally. If you didn't go completely blank and break into a tongue-tied sweat, you've succeeded beyond the wildest dreams of some Welsh learners. Llongyfarchiadau!! And the good news, next time will be easier - the first time is the hardest!
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Re: Just had a go

Postby Mort's Cap » Sun Mar 31, 2013 8:42 pm

Thanks Dee! Yes, funny, I did feel surprisingly calm about speaking (albeit it didn't amount to much). I guess picking up what Rob was saying was the tough bit. Hence, the somewhat one-sided nature of the conversation :D
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Re: Just had a go

Postby Iestyn » Sun Mar 31, 2013 9:24 pm

That's brilliant! A lot of learners never make it to actually speaking Welsh in real life, so you have done something that loads of people intend to do one day and never get around to.

:party:

Don't try to analyse it, because no "first conversation" is ever enough, there always spomething else you could have said, something that could have been better, some circumstance that made things tough, and definitely, lots of the other side that wasn;t understood. That is not important. the important thing is that you ploughed on, you used your Welsh, and you had a conversation.

Guess what? That makes you a Welsh speaker! And if you can automatically say "Siarada'n arafach plís", then you are also a Welsh speaker who can really use their Welsh properly.

Llongyfarchiadau mawr - huge congratulations - you have taken one of the few "learner" steps that no-one else can help you with. That makes me pretty sure that you will, one day (and far sooner than you think) find that you are suddenly having lots of Welsh conversations with lots of real people in lots of real situations. That's when you know that you have absolutely cracked it!
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Re: Just had a go

Postby dreamsofwales » Sun Mar 31, 2013 9:31 pm

Well done. A great story to inspire those of us who live outside Wales and a reminder that opportunities to practise can come when you least expect them. I think we can all identify with that feeling of not doing yourself justice - I get that after just about every skype call but I now take that as a sign that I'm on the right track. It's not about doing it perfectly it's about having the guts to have a go. So good on you I say - great effort. Now if only we could bottle that buzz feeling you were talking about.....
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Re: Just had a go

Postby dinas » Sun Mar 31, 2013 9:40 pm

HI, Mort! I concur with, Iestyn, after my first simple conversations, actually using - Siaradwch 'n arafach plis -
it has become progressively easier to chat on the street. Apart from the odd, but rare, experience I've found that most people are extremely supportive to learners. :clap:
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Re: Just had a go

Postby Mort's Cap » Mon Apr 01, 2013 8:04 am

Thanks for the words of congrats that I managed to SSiW.
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Re: Just had a go

Postby Stine » Mon Apr 01, 2013 3:02 pm

Mort, isn't it a great feeling? You've managed to speak to someone in Welsh, they haven't laughed or punched you in the mouth so you must have said it correctly, and they understood you! It can only get easier from here on in :lol:

And each time you try a conversation in Welsh, it gets easier and easier. Honest.
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