10 lesson milestone reached!


Hooray, challenge 10 of Say Something in Welsh complete (*trumpets, party poppers aplenty*)! I found repeating the new sentences in my Welsh before Catrin more tricky this lesson. And I have to admit I used the pause button a few times just to give me a chance to formulate the sentence. You see, in lesson 10 I learnt the Welsh for “to ask you” which when you start wanting to say “to ask you something” it mucks around with the order of the words, the syntax. You gotta say the equivalent of “something ask you” when you say it in Welsh….all very tricky to get right when you’re up against a clock!

Now I’ve completed lesson 10 I have a new daily listening exercise. Its crazy! 5 mins of speeded up Welsh- twice the normal speed- to give my “listening muscles more of a workout”! Imagine a conversation between a man and woman recorded, press play and then fast forward and there you’ve got what I’m listening to daily for 5 mins! I listen to it whilst on the train to work, and the mega speed plus the motion of the train has made me feel a bit tweasy at times!

I’m at topic 56 out of the 97 topics of lessons on Duolingo now so over half way. This has included over the past couple of weeks lessons on ‘the news’. 
Quite sad really, but probably not surprising, that the vocab Duolingo generates for learning about the news includes:- “man was shot, man was arrested, car was stolen, house was burned down, boy was caught, girl was killed/injured/burnt….” I was taken aback to begin with and then I was disappointed at Duolingo’s lack of positivity. But then I guess that it’s sadly reality. The News is rarely balanced between bad and happy news. But I hope that Duolingo teaches me more happy vocab in the coming weeks.

Tara rwan!

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Two Weekends in Wales and Penblwydd Hedd

Where did March go?! Feels like I’ve blinked and we’re suddenly in Spring! Can’t say I’m complaining though; sunshine is out and I’m in flip flops! In March I also enjoyed two weekends in the trot in North Wales so I was able to ymarfer siarad cymraeg / practice speaking Welsh quite a bit. And we also celebrated Penblwydd Hedd / Hedd’s birthday. I won’t say the age but if you look closely at the cake in the photo and the clue that it’s fun to say in are Irish accent you won’t be far off!

For Hedd’s birthday we had Emyr and Manu to stay and Ewan and Ger came across from South Wales/ the South West. Ewan, Emyr and I all have partner for whom English is a second language. Ewan is with Laura who is Spanish, Emyr with Manu who is German and me with Hedd who is Welsh. We are all actively learning our partners languages at the minute and it was fun comparing tales and tips. We all agreed that we were improving our knowledge of English grammar whilst learning the grammar in Spanish/German/Welsh…I mean really what is the “imperfect”?! And all agreed that for us, learning these languages is going to be a life long exercise; we’re in it for the long game!

Sticking with the birthday theme, Happy Birthday in Welsh is Penblwydd Hapus and here’s what you got to sing:-

Penblwydd Hapus i ti, Penblwydd Hapus i ti, Penblwydd Hapus i (name*), Penblwydd Hapus i ti.

Simples!

​Hedd and I were fortunate enough to be up in North Wales for that blazing weekend of sunshine when the region enjoyed temperatures warmer than Spain and Turkey. It was a glorious place to be and we made the most of the weather celebrating Sul Y Mamau Hapus / Mother’s Day and doing lots of walking in Moel Famau country park. 

The video shows the view of the Vale of Clwyd (where Hedd grew up) with snowy Snowdonia and Prestatyn and the coast in the distance. The walk also gave me the opportunity to practice my Welsh opinions, weather and farm animals vocab- plenty of dafad/ sheep!

There were a couple of *caution Welsh learner* incidents, not going to lie. A particular favourite of the Vaughan-Evans clan is when I said in Cymraeg “think I am gay” instead of “I think he is gay”….confused silence and then laughter insued! And then Hedd had to save me in the Welsh shop in Ruthin (Elfair) when the shop owner mistook me for a lady called Meinir and I thought he was talking (in Welsh) about my necklace which was made in north wales by Meinir Wyn (thinking back, why would a random man know a designer of a necklace?!?) so I replied back (in Welsh) “yes yes Meinir” whilst Hedd look on completely confused and luckily stepped in to rectify the situation! Dear, dear, dear never mind….plus point- I obviously look Welsh!

Radio Cymru was on all weekend (standard!) and in the car journey up it was all about the build up to the Wales vs Ireland football game. I was chuft because I could understand quite a bit of what they were saying on the radio. My vocab on sport, time, opinions and being in a pub is obviously on-point!

Life and work has been a bit manic this month so there’s been some days when I’ve missed Duolingo, but I’m trying to keep to doing it bod dydd/ every day. I was also determined to get past lesson 10 on my SSIW audio course by the end of March but alas I only managed to complete challenge 9. On the positive though, the first half of challenge 9 I found quite easy, which took me by pleasant surprise. Second half was more tricky but I still managed to repeat sentences before Catrin circa 90% of the time so I’m pleased with that. 

So a new month and a new goal…to get past SSIW challenge 10! You know what they say…under promise, over deliver!

Tara rwan!