For the majority of people reading my blog, I’m guessing that you won’t know what the title of this post means without the aid of Google Translate. So in English; I’m learning Welsh.
I go to university in Wales and for the past two years, although I’ve considered learning Welsh, I’ve never done anything about it (officially anyway!) So, as I’m in my final year at Aberystwyth University, I figured that I should make the most of the free Welsh lessons that the Student’s Union were offering, and learn some basic conversational Welsh.
Today was my first ever lesson. There were about 10 of us in the group, which I felt was a good number as I’ve always found that learning a language is better in a smaller group. I was kind of nervous to begin with – not about learning the language, but about going to something on my own with no one that I know. Then again, I think all of us learners were in the same boat.
The lesson was about introducing ourselves – a typical first lesson when learning a different language. I can remember when learning French, that Je m’appelle Tara was one of the first things I ever learnt to say (alongside Bonjour!)
Tara dwi. Dwi’n ddau ddeg oed. Dwi’n astudio daearyddiaeth yn Prifysgol Aberystwyth. Dwi’n dysgu Cymraeg. Dwi’n byw yn Aberystwyth mewn fflat ond dwi’n dod o Derbyshire yn wreiddiol. Dwi’n gweithio yn McDonald’s.
This is what I learnt to write and say today (among other things). It means: My name is Tara. I’m 20 years old. I study geography at Aberystwyth University. I live in Aberystwyth in a flat but I come from Derbyshire originally. I work in McDonald’s.
So, I feel that as learning another language is important (especially if your first language is English… we are often too lazy to try as the majority of people speak English) I’m going to put what I learnt up here… I will try and put down how you pronounce words too; but unfortunately, Welsh is a language which really needs to be learnt by practicing and hearing someone speak rather than reading words off a page.
Welsh – Pronunciation (attempted) – English
Tara dwi – Tara d-wee – My name is Tara (obviously you’d put your own name in instead of Tara)
Dwi’n dysgu Cymraeg – Dween dusky Come-raig (the ‘ai’ sound being like the ‘i’ in bike) – I’m learning Welsh
Ti’n iawn? – Teen y-ow-n (the ‘ow’ being like ‘ow I hurt myself) – You okay?
Iawn diolch – Y-ow-n (like the above) dee-ol-ch (like the ‘ch’ in ‘loch’) – Good thank you
Dwi’n byw yn Aberystwyth – Dween boo un Aberystwyth – I live in Aberystwyth (change Aberystwyth for where you live)
So, there is some basic Welsh for you 🙂 For any Welsh speakers out there, I’m really sorry if I’ve massacred the pronunciation but although I know how to say the words, it’s really hard to explain (I now know how Alex, my boyfriend, felt when he was trying to teach me some Welsh last year over Facebook).
Anyway, I’m really glad I’ve made the decision to learn Welsh this year; and I’m looking forward to the next lesson. Thankfully, living in Wales there are lots of opportunities for me to practice – but those of you who don’t… maybe you should all come and visit and try out your basic Welsh 😀