So... Welsh. Why?

(241 Posts)
gaelicsheep Sun 10-Mar-13 14:25:15

This is a thread to pick up a discussion that began on another thread about Welsh medium education. It isn't about Welsh medium. It's about compulsory Welsh to 16 in all other schools. It is hard as a non Welsh person to complain about this without sounding xenophobic so I am merely opening the floor if anyone is interested.

gaelicsheep Tue 19-Mar-13 12:56:42

It probably helps that I have finally climbed out of the misery of the flu wink

gaelicsheep Tue 19-Mar-13 12:55:58

It took me by surprise too Wally! It's not a bad thing though, you know, and as we adjust to our new life I think we'll come to see it as rather a good thing. Feeling MUCH more positive about things now. smile

WallyBantersJunkBox Tue 19-Mar-13 12:26:42

I hope so Gaelic and it's good that you and your DH are communicating so closely on the things that you are unhappy about.

I think there is a bit of sensitivity on the conversation that you've raised. Especially seeing us as all a bit foreign - we're British too, and that probably took a few Welsh people on here (particularly me) by surprise!

And we are quite nice people you know, the Welsh.... wink

gaelicsheep Sat 16-Mar-13 23:31:00

OK, I'm sure no one is still following this but DH and I have brainstormed and realised our problem. Because we still have our old house we're paying for (looong story) we have no money to get about and about to see or do anything. Consequently we can't get to know the area or the country, so we're miserable! Obvious really when you think about it! Steps are being taken - hopefully this time next year things will have changed and I'll be a whole lot more positive. :-)

MrSlant Sat 16-Mar-13 20:40:40

Cymru am byth

<tries to pretend she's not really from Yorkshire> wink

gaelicsheep Sat 16-Mar-13 20:21:30

Da iawn Cymru!

(probably not quite, but I'm trying!)

gaelicsheep Sat 16-Mar-13 00:24:54

Tbh hippo, we moved from a place exactly you describe to one that's like England with some Welsh thrown in, IYSWIM. We had the cleanest air you can imagine, a real "family" GP (albeit 30 miles away), really good local services, etc etc. It's lovely to hear parts of Wales are like that though. smile As discussed earlier, we will have to explore!

hippo123 Sat 16-Mar-13 00:10:40

Thoughts are with you and your mum garlicsheep. I understand what your saying about the road signs, forms etc but you do get used to it. How long have you lived in Wales? You have to think of all the positives, low crime rates, excellent outdoor facilities, lack of pollution, good standards of education (At least in my part of Wales). I Fully admit to knowing nothing when moving to Wales for uni. I told my mum there were a lot of Italians living here lol! I didn't realised people spoke welsh. I now think it's a great thing though. My dc are getting a much better wm education than they woud do where I come from in England. I only have to wait about a hour in a&e, as oppose to 12 hours plus. I can get a doctors appointment the same day. There is loads of free activities, beach, lakes, mountains all on my doorstep. I feel very lucky to live here and to give my dc the Oppurtunity to grow up in such a lovely area. Yes, parts can be clicky, but that's mainly because people have grown up together since primary school. I'm sure certaiin areas of england / Scotland are clicky too. A little bit of respect and knowledge of the welsh language / culture though lessons goes a long way IMO. After all i wouldn't live in Spain / France's without taking language lessons. I'm still awful at speaking welsh, totally lack rather confidence but people appreciate the effort. I still feel like a forgeiner in many ways, but i guess I am. Wales is a country in its own right and I think the welsh peeple have every reason to be proud of that and anyone moving to this beautfiul country's should Respect its language and culture.

gaelicsheep Fri 15-Mar-13 13:25:13

Unfortunately although nearer she's still a 4 hour drive away greenhill. You're right though and we will.

greenhill Fri 15-Mar-13 13:18:25

Have a <hug> gaelic.

Maybe planning to have a weekend away, even if it is a year away, might be a nice distraction. After all it isn't a break if you are popping to see your mum on weekends and spend the time worrying at her house, rather than visiting a local garden centre or having a pub lunch etc. Little, inexpensive treats could be a mood lifter for you and your mum.

gaelicsheep Fri 15-Mar-13 13:09:45

Hi, just popping back to say thanks for latest comments/suggestions. A wee holiday sounds like a very good idea mamapants, especially for DS as you say. Might have to wait until next year though. smile

Mum's scan "inconclusive" so still a waiting game. sad

mamapants Thu 14-Mar-13 20:43:20

So nothing really to do with the thread but a suggestion for Gaelic. It might be worth going on a weekend holiday to a strongly welsh speaking area it might give you a different perspective so that rather than finding it alienating and 'imposed' it would feel more natural. Your DS could have a go at speaking welsh in RL and it might be fun.
Planning a little holiday might cheer you up and there are some really beautiful places to go.

BreconBeBuggered Thu 14-Mar-13 11:59:34

Interesting debate. I grew up in south-east Wales in the 70s, when there were no compulsory Welsh lessons - I think my comprehensive was the only secondary school in the area to offer them, and there was only one teacher for a very large school. Welsh place names were bastardised and pronounced in an anglicised approximation of the original. Hardly anyone bothered to even say -dd or ll- properly. Now when I go back to visit, Welsh words are pronounced correctly and there's a rebirth of real cultural pride in Welsh heritage.

Having said that, I know many Welsh people of my generation and older who feel at best irritated by the bilingual policies and having to pay for them, and at worst alienated and excluded from job opportunities. Me, well, I'm not Welsh and I only go there as a visitor, so my views aren't that significant (and I can't decide what they are). I can't help wondering what's hard about the bilingual signs if you see them every day, but it's possible I absorbed a certain amount of Welshness when I wasn't looking. One annoying thing, though, from when I was looking for a job in Wales a while back - being dismissed as a 'monoglot' because I couldn't converse in Welsh. Er, there are other languages out there.

wonderstuff Thu 14-Mar-13 11:11:05

Star tail I believe that English was the first language in your town, but you said no one speaks welsh in mid Wales, I would class Ceredigion as mid Wales, that is where my fathers family are from and welsh is their first language. I think there is a common misconception that welsh speaking families are confined to remote northern villages and it simply isn't the case.

Startail Wed 13-Mar-13 22:58:25

I give up, I really do.
I can't convince people who don't want to be convinced that Welsh is not a part of the tradition of my bit of Wales.
I can not pick them up and have them live there in the days before devolution and WM muddled the picture.

What I say is true, Teachers spoke Welsh because teachers had to learn Welsh. My brightest two primary teachers had learnt, one of them very occasionally tried to teach us. I think we learnt the word for window.

I never heard my secondary teachers speak Welsh and strongly suspect they actually didn't (or I'm sure the science teachers would have, instead of whispering in the prep room. They knew non of us understood a word).

LiegeAndLief Wed 13-Mar-13 22:40:56

Slight tangent not about Welsh but gaelicsheep I don't think you need to worry about dual science. I did dual science GCSE, went on to do science A-levels, a science degree and am now a scientist.

Tigresswoods Wed 13-Mar-13 22:30:27

WallyBanters not at my school! We were close to the border... I wonder if that made a difference? As I saw we did basic stuff in Junior school but it was just that. Maybe they got away with it as we did the National Anthem every spring.

I remember one day a week we had to say Good Morning in Welsh in Assembly.

Meh.

greenhill Wed 13-Mar-13 12:07:21

Good luck with your mum gaelicsheep

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Wed 13-Mar-13 12:03:16

Dottie, I think she knew all you were saying so vehemently. She was simply trying to explain the unexpectedness of it all.

gaelicsheep Wed 13-Mar-13 12:01:56

Thank you Ariel. smile

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Wed 13-Mar-13 12:00:36

Good luck Gaelic. All the best to your mum x

gaelicsheep Wed 13-Mar-13 11:59:25

Ah yes, one good thing about Wales. Well I'm alot closer to my mum in the north west of England who is currently finding out if her cancer has metastasised.

I've had enough of this thread now. See you around.

gaelicsheep Wed 13-Mar-13 10:43:46

The best thing is when you've got used to looking below Welsh to the English, and then it suddenly changes! I'm used to bilingual from Scotland, that doesn't confuse me per se.

Jojobump1986 Wed 13-Mar-13 10:32:49

Electricity is 'relatively recent' if you look at the whole of human history! wink Those of us who grew up with bilingual signs etc. just identify the relevant information from a glance. It's interesting that the Welsh doesn't come first on signs in some areas. It was like that where I grew up & we always felt like we were in Wales 'proper' when we drove somewhere & started seeing them with Welsh first! grin

It does take a while to get used to seeing different languages. I know what you mean about it being confusing. I was completely befuddled by the road signs on a family holiday to Greece once! It will eventually seem second nature though. smile

Am I the only person in the world who actually likes the ORT books?! You can get them yng gymraeg too!

gaelicsheep Wed 13-Mar-13 10:15:36

"Welsh comes first but it has taken years and years of campaiging for the Welsh to have their own language come first and English second."

This suggests it is something relatively recent, and I'd be surprised if people didn't find it confusing for a while.

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