To celebrate Shwmae Su’mae Day this year, we are sharing a guest blog from our Student Digital Champion, Laurie Stevenson and taking a quick look at some library resources to help you practise and develop your Welsh-language reading and speaking skills.
Dw i’n dysgu Cymraeg!
The 15th of October is Diwrnod Shwmae Su’mae, a day marked to celebrate and promote the Welsh language and I wanted to take this opportunity as one of the Student Digital Champions to use this blog to share my own experiences as a Welsh language learner.
What made me decide to take up Welsh?
I fell in love with Wales straight away after moving here and knew from the very start of my degree that I wanted to learn more about Welsh culture and learn the language as a way of respecting the culture and gaining a sense of belonging. I enjoy intellectual pursuits but never saw the point in learning languages like French or Spanish if I was never going to be able to use them in real life and I always struggled to feel any passion for this kind of language learning at school. However, when the opportunity arose to learn Welsh I was very keen, I love having the ability to make basic conversation on the bus, in a shop or café and I really enjoy the smile it can bring to peoples faces to see someone learning the language.
How did I go about learning Welsh?
I enquired about Welsh lessons in my first year but due to Covid these were not running however when I went to the Freshers Fair in my second year I spoke to someone at the UMCA Welsh student’s union stall and put my name down. The lessons are provided by learnwelsh.cymru and I started off with their taster course which was one hour weekly sessions, this year I have moved onto the accredited entry level course which is two hours a week. I also use Duolingo alongside my lessons and I have found this to help with retaining information in between lessons.
What resources have I found at Aberystwyth University to help me?
The Welsh student’s union UMCA are people I found the courses through but they also host Welsh language and culture events as well as opportunities for Welsh learners to meet up and practice their Welsh with Welsh speakers. There are also links to the courses on the University website as well as links for online resources to help your learning. The library also has great resources including books, dictionaries and phrasebooks for learning the language.
Find out more about Laurie and the work of the Student Digital Champions over on the Digital Capabilities Blog
If you are on your journey to learning Welsh, thinking about starting it, or you’re a Welsh speaker looking to polish your skills, the library has a wide-range of helpful resources.
Head to the Celtic Collection on Level F of the Hugh Owen Library where you’ll find books to help you practise and develop your reading and speaking skills – from graded novels with vocabulary to grammar books to complete language courses.
And remember to say su’mae to the Library staff!