S’mae. Bore Da. Tim Dw i. Dw i dysgy Cymraeg. Dw i ofnadwy!
Y’alright? Good morning. I’m Tim. I’m learning Welsh. I’m pants!
Why am I learning Welsh? Here’s three reasons:
There are schools and areas that are first language Welsh.
Although most, if not all Welsh speakers will also speak English, this will not be the natural, native first language. It can be more difficult to find a word in English than Welsh. Some of these schools will not let you in unless you are at least reasonably bilingual. You are after all in a different country.
Welsh is the heart language of Wales.
People by nature respond better when you communicate to them in the language that is near, dear and natural to their heart. This is making a cultural effort that is always responded to well.
It gives me an immediate common learning experience with every young person in Wales.
Bar very few, every young person in Wales is learning Welsh. This means I have an immediate point of connection, of humour, of learning and of conversation. Sometimes I will start a conversation with the young person in Welsh when I meet them for the first time because you can almost guarantee you will be laughing with each other within a minute. This also means I come from an area of less knowledge and they are able to teach me. It’s humble and it’s fun.
If you’re interested in learning Welsh there are many great courses. I’m taking Bangor Universitie’s Cwrs Wlpan (details here) which is always very highly rated and recommended.
I’ve written two posts about ministry in Wales as distinct and different to English ministry too: