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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 Sun 10-Mar-13 18:31:46

The problem is Northey that I don't like and I do want to leave, but I can't so I want to try and understand this country that seems so alien to me. Normally a but of good debate cheers me up, but not this time. It does feel like you are only welcome in Wales if you are Welsh or aspire to be so. But at the moment I am sooooooo pissed off with DS I am in tears -quite unrelated - so probably not thinking clearly.

badguider Sun 10-Mar-13 18:33:05

I think a compulsory second language to 16 is a good thing. Chuldren who master a second language find a third fourth or more far easier later in life. At least with it being welsh for all children in Wales they can practise, watch tv, read road signs etc. I learned German at school (only from 11-16) and disnt go to a German speaking country till I was about 25. I have never seen a German tv programme and as nobody else around me knew it I couldn't practice.
I have tried learning Spanish as an adult but I really regret that I didn't get a chance to really learn any second language properly as a child.

BigSpork Sun 10-Mar-13 18:34:07

As an immigrant in England, I often get the feeling that I'm only welcome if I appear to aspire to be English (and have been attacked for not appearing to assimilate enough). Sadly, it's a very common phenomenon.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sun 10-Mar-13 18:37:59

gaelic, forgive me, but having seen your St David's Day thread, I think a lot of your negative feelings may just be because you're homesick generally sad. The Welsh thing is a hook to hang it on a little.

Like I said to you before, my parents moved to Wales in 1975 and at first my mum was dreadfully homesick for Hampshire, her family and friends. But nearly 38 years later, with my dad long since retired, they're still there. I'm not sure it's different to moving anywhere else. I moved to Cornwall 12 years ago and I still long for Wales sometimes, but I don't think I'm unwelcome here.

WallyBantersJunkBox Sun 10-Mar-13 18:46:17

Alien? Really? It's hardly Saudi or Japan is it?

Why do you feel that way?

My grandfather was English, moved to West Wales for my nan, ended up voting Plaid Cymru at the end of his life.

Incidentally I left Wales at 18, moved to London for years, US and now reside in Switzerland. I've never felt any country as Alien, I miss home comforts sometimes but that's my issue, and my job to find happiness, not the Swiss nations.

Startail Sun 10-Mar-13 18:46:26

I think for many many Welsh people this is an Elephant in the room and always has been.

When I was a child friends parents Welsh and English all resented money spent on bilingual signs and leaflets. We all hated Welsh lessons and thought they were a total waste of time. This was despite our Welsh master being very good.

But the people of my home town are still proud to be Welsh, both born and bred locals and DFs of mixed parentage and English birth.

This pride has made people susceptible to steady and very skilful drip drip brain washing the being Welsh means supporting the Welsh language.

Too late people realise what this was aiming at. To suddenly turn round now and say I'm Welsh, but Welsh medium education is a step too far is very difficult. It has been introduced very skilfully and the funding done very carefully.

Too late people are realising WM isn't an alternative EM is so badly funded they are left with no choice.

pregnantpause Sun 10-Mar-13 19:22:04

I disagree. I missed compulsory Welsh and am desperate to learn as an adult, my DC are in wm schools.

I cannot speak Welsh because my bampi was caned whenever he spoke Welsh in school so to help him get rid of his first language his parents started speaking only English at home. He forgot the Welsh and got less beatings from his teachers as a result. It's an emotive subject I feel that our language was almost stolen from us, and with Welsh speakers riding from 25% to 36% in the past five years, I am happy that it is compulsory in em schools.

Where I work Welsh speakers earn 4% more because of their additional skill base. When I worked in the council the same was true. if you live in Wales it may not be essential, but it is a benefit and as gradually more of us take up the language, it will become more essential.

Not sure that you can say that it's subsidised by English tax either- Welsh and English tax isn't separated and i'm sure Welsh taxes go to the free fruit in English schools for young children, I don't resent this. Tax is spent in many things I disagree with, that's tough though really isn't it?

gaelicsheep Sun 10-Mar-13 19:23:16

Wally - I don't know but also don't really want to go into it here if that's OK as I didn't start the thread to whine about being homesick smile

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sun 10-Mar-13 19:30:43

gaelic, have a nice wine. I think you need one.

teatrolley Sun 10-Mar-13 19:31:32

It's a language. It's no more 'a waste' than learning Dutch or Turkish, which it's also likely he'll never really use. I haven't had much need for French in everyday life. And, in case you've forgotten, you do live in Wales. Surely that's enough of a reason.

Clarabumps Sun 10-Mar-13 19:51:41

I'm Scottish and my mother moved to Wales 2 years ago now. I went to visit her last year and I found the Welsh people to be fiercely patriotic and it was really refreshing. I loved that they were very proud of their language and it was spoken openly in the local pub. We were made very welcome and I did not feel "alien" or "unwelcome" at all. It was their language and that was it, The same way I wouldn't get annoyed about someone speaking spanish in Spain.

I have to ask, why did you move to Wales? When in Wales do as the welsh do. I think its incredibly entitled to expect them to miss out a major part of their heritage just because it doesn't really suit you. For the majority of people, they are going to stay in Wales. Are you just using it as house prices are cheaper until the market picks up and something better comes along.

I'm sorry if this seems harsh but it happens in the Highlands as well and it really makes my blood boil. Complaining about Gaelic. Anyway..I'm sorry if I've been harsh but why do you not try and learn the language yourself??

gaelicsheep Sun 10-Mar-13 19:53:56

No I'm sorry. Enough's enough. I dn

Northey Sun 10-Mar-13 19:57:20

All right, tea trolley and clara, I imagine you didn't bother reading the whole thing, as otherwise you'd know the OP is sad and homesick and not in need of snarky comments about house prices. I'm sure you wouldn't have been so rude if you'd known.

gaelicsheep Sun 10-Mar-13 19:59:22

I don't expect anyone to miss out on anything to suit me. Where the hell have. I said that? Please do NOT put words in my mouth.
I moved for work reasons. I changed job despite it being in Wales, not because. I regret it. End of discussion about that. We can't afford to stay in Herefordshire and commute so now we're stuck unless I resign, which I can't do as I've now nothing to go back to. This is all my problem not Wales' problem. I get that, I'm not stupid!

gaelicsheep Sun 10-Mar-13 20:05:26

Btw I would be equally fuming at a compulsory RE GCsE. Except there is a legal right to withdraw your child from RE, so I understand. I don't believe that right exists for Welsh.

Clarabumps Sun 10-Mar-13 20:08:10

I'm sorry I didn't read the whole thing.I read the first page then skipped to the end. A rookie mistake. I'm sorry you are having a hard time of it. I'm sorry I was so quick to judge. It's just the "fuming about GCSE" comment got my back up as I felt like you were negating it as a waste of a language. I didn't read the full thread.
I'm sorry, I really am.
What do you think would make you feel better, if you could wave a magic wand (although staying in Wales as we've realised that moving is not an option)..would you like a better friend network or is it just to feel more included?

Northey Sun 10-Mar-13 20:10:05

Whereabouts are you, gaelicsheep? I am in Wales, not a million miles from Hereford. And also having a miserable time here, incidentally.

You live in Wales. They teach Welsh at school. Obviously.

If you don't like it, don't live in Wales.


ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sun 10-Mar-13 20:19:46

RTFT LaBelle.

gaelicsheep Sun 10-Mar-13 20:20:46

Now LaBelle, please imagine I had not declared myself to be an immigrant and see if you would have phrased your post any differently. I don't think it's simple at all which is why I started the thread.

Northey Sun 10-Mar-13 20:24:06

Ooh, insightful, LaBelle.

gaelicsheep Sun 10-Mar-13 20:51:20

Thanks Northey. I'd rather not say on the thread, I'm sure you understand. Needless to say it isn't Gwynedd!

Northey Sun 10-Mar-13 20:57:20

Well, if you happen to be in a market town along the wye, you have a sister in misery sending you supportive vibes.

gaelicsheep Sun 10-Mar-13 20:57:55

I suppose I should also confess I am not a person who loves languages. I'm a science/maths/music type of person. So I wasn't best impressed at having to do French GCSE at school. I would have rather done German if pressed, but you couldn't do it without French. For me, French was a goodly waste of a GCSE. I got an A but can barely speak a word now. So no, not condemning Welsh GCSE as a waste of a language, just of a GCSE for people not disposed to languages. I suppose that doesn't help redeem me though.

pansyflimflam Sun 10-Mar-13 21:01:57

Absolutely Labelle

English in England and Welsh in Wales. Both should be compulsory.

Such a huge effort was made to decimate Welsh in actually a very short space of time, that a huge effort has to be made to bring it back into use - if UK resources are used then so be it - Wales is part of the UK and we need to do all we can to preserve it's unique language.

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