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> Welsh Websites, Great places to learn more about Wales
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gwenynen 
Posted: 08-Feb-2006, 10:13 AM
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Here's a news about an American learner who has become a sort of celebrity among other learners and some Welsh:

http://www.webuser.co.uk/news/news.php?id=74213

I read his blog daily. He's so funny. Sometimes his topic or language get a little coarse, but he's got a kind heart.


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Weithiau, mae'r ateb i'n problemau o dan ein trwynau, dim ond bod angen i ni gymryd cam yn l ac edrych eto. - Stuart Kerner
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gwenynen 
Posted: 08-Feb-2006, 10:52 AM
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Antwn 
Posted: 08-Feb-2006, 05:51 PM
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Ardderchog! I've seen his name of some of the Welsh email lists. Good for him!!


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Yr hen Gymraeg i mi,
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Siarls 
Posted: 09-Feb-2006, 02:47 PM
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Wow da iawn!


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gwenynen 
Posted: 21-Feb-2006, 10:29 AM
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They have a program today at Radio Wales, called "Aberdar Aberdar." People in Aberdar talk about their town. Among them is a Iranian woman, a Welsh learner. Her Welsh is admirable! (And the easiest to understand.) It's amazing and encouraging a foreigner could reach a level of Welsh like that. She starts speaking about 10 minutes from the start. There're other learners too. You can listen to a song by Hergest, one of my favorite groups, at the beginning.
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Antwn 
Posted: 21-Feb-2006, 06:35 PM
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I think people who are already bilingual aren't as intimidated about learning another language as a rule. Do you find that's true Gwen? There are many people where I work who are bilingual (Eng. Spanish) and some polylingual. Once supervisor speakes 7 languages and another person, already fluent in Russian and English, learned enough Spanish to use it for work by hanging out with the Spanish speakers there over the last year and practicing with them. He still has to look up some words in the dictionary but Sheesh!

I remember listening to the person who won the learner of the year award on Radio Cymru a good while ago. Her Welsh was easier to understand for me too ....listening with a learner's ear. I still have a heck of a time understanding spoken Welsh - either on Radio Cymru or Wedi 7 - but it always inspires me since its so beautiful to hear!
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gwenynen 
Posted: 22-Feb-2006, 10:14 AM
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I think some people have natural aptitude for learning languages. And of course, if you're exposed to different ones from childhood (like people in Europe,) it's easier. I don't think Japanese are good linguists possibly due to the island nation they live in. I've somehow managed to learn English but I'm not particularly talented. So my progress in Welsh is slow but I'm not worried as I enjoy the process of learning too. Yet if I were given a chance of becoming fluent right away, I won't decline it!

I agree! I love listening to fluent speakers especially those with beautiful accents even if I only understand them partially. Welsh IS music. And when I do understand them, it's such a joy!
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Siarls 
Posted: 22-Feb-2006, 12:06 PM
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My mother was born in Aberdar. She was in an orphanage there as well, which has since closed actually.

I do find that people who are brought up bilingual often adapt quickly to new languages and cultures. My Italian lecturer was once telling me how impressed she was with the Welsh generally. She said that Welsh speakers were often her best students. Better than the Spanish and French students because they would often Frenchicise/Spanishicise Italian!!!!!!!!!! (I made those words up because I can't think of the English words! LOL)

I am impressed with you guys learning. I really hope you keep it up and that you're not disheartened by anyone or anything. I offended a customer the other day when he presented a Welsh credit card. The majority of HSBC Welsh cards are Welsh-speakers - part of the incentive. So I asked, "Cymrg?"
He replied, "Dysgu", so I proceeded to say in quite fast-paced Welsh thinking I was helping him,
"Ah wel ma' lot o bobl 'da cherdyn 'ma'n siarad Cymrg so fi'n wastad gofyn"
Apparently, it was a bit fast for him and he exclaimed rather aggressively, "I told I am only a learner. Learner".
I apologised in English, but he stormed off. I was so worried that I had disheartened him!

By the way, remember that road sign I was telling you about? The City and County of Swansea have finally put up a bilingual sign. Now if Wales were to follow Ireland's example and revert most place names to the original Welsh, keeping the English of only the major places, then we wouldn't have this bilingual signage problem!!!!

Keep up the good work though, people!
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Siarls 
Posted: 22-Feb-2006, 12:08 PM
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Oh, I also want to point out (rather vainly) that my Italian discreetly told me that I was a better student than the Portuguese girl in my class. What a compliment. Being Portuguese, she has a native exposure to Romance languages.
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gwenynen 
Posted: 22-Feb-2006, 02:53 PM
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Congratulations, Siarls! You are indeed gifted with languages.

About the learner who got mad at you and stomped away, I say, "What a waste!" He threw away a great opportunity to practice his Welsh with a speaker. If he'd asked you to speak more slowly, I'm sure you'd have been glad to do so. I feel like a starved person looking at delicious food thrown away before her very eyes!
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Antwn 
Posted: 22-Feb-2006, 06:31 PM
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That is a nice compliment Siarls. Yeah, its hard to keep from altering a language according to the rules of one you know when they're so related. You just slip into the habit. I used to get critisized by my German teacher in high school when I'd Anglisise the word order. I'll never forget her scream at me "You're not speaking English!!" I must have been the 50th student to do that and she'd had enough! But I was more careful not to make the same mistake.

I think Italian is a beautiful language too - I think its mandatory to speak it with alot of gesticulations isn't it? wink.gif

I hope your customer continues with his learning - maybe he'll chat away with you in Welsh at some future date.

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Siarls 
Posted: 23-Feb-2006, 05:00 PM
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I'm sure that hand gestures and facial expressions are as much a part of the Italian language as the words themselves!!!

Thank you for your compliments and I like your analogy, Gwen! Yeh, of course I'd have been more than willing to help him. I'd have even written it down for him, if he had wanted. He was middle-aged, so maybe he didn't like the misplaced authority???

I am always teaching Welsh wherever I go. I think I must bore people sometimes! There was a difficult sentence in Italian that none of the other students understood, but because the verb had preceded the subject and object as in Welsh. I proceeded to explain the grammatical structure of the sentence and described its similarities to Welsh!!! My classmates must have thought, "Italian class, not Welsh!"
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Antwn 
Posted: 23-Feb-2006, 06:44 PM
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Its wonderful that you're such a promotor of Welsh Siarls, we sure appreciate your efforts and your coaching here!

How many classes at your Uni offer instruction through the medium of Welsh?
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Siarls 
Posted: 23-Feb-2006, 06:49 PM
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Many classes are offered in Welsh. And we have the right to do our exams and coursework in English or Welsh, whatever the subject. All exam papers are bilingual. All signs are bilingual. Even the handbook and catalogue of modules is bilingual. I sometimes wonder if this is a waste of money though because it does mean a lot of work, paper and ink!
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Siarls 
Posted: 23-Feb-2006, 06:56 PM
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We also have the right to choose a Welsh-speaking personal tutor and to receive any verbal communication in Welsh. All letters, emails, posters (yup - so if the French Society is having a concert, they MUST puiblicise in Welsh equal to English. At the moment, we have union elections, all the candidates posters are bilingual), exam results and degree certificates are bilingual. The graduation ceremony is bilingual with "Llongyfarchiadau" being announced to each student, not "Congratulations".
On our profiles, there is a language option:
English
Welsh (Not Fluent)
Welsh (Fluent)

The Vice Chancellor is Welsh speaking (he runs the university. He is the equivalent to a College President I think you call them in America. In Britain, the Chancellor is the official president, but he or she is always someone of high importance that acts as a figurehead and publicity for the University. Prince Charles is our Chancellor. I don't quite recall the Chancellor of Oxford, but he's not Royalty, so in my opinion, that makes Swansea more important that our Chancellor is Prince of Wales and heir to the English throne!!!)
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