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News

  • National Botanic Gardens of Wales offer 09/10/2017

    15.10.17

    National Botanic Gardens of Wales

    Half price discount on Shwmae Su’mae Day

  • GRANT PEISLEY! 15/09/2017

    Announcing a #ShwmaeSumae champion from the other side of the world (well, Llandwrog as of late…)!

    As Shwmae Sumae Day is five years old this year, there will be five champions representing the campaign in 2017, working the length and breadth of Wales helping us to promote the purpose of the national day held on the 15th of October each year. The idea is to encourage and help Wales’ citizens (be they fluent, learners or only having a few words) to start each conversation in Welsh, as a means of normalising the language and it’s natural use within our communities.

    Our fifth and final champion to be announced for Shwmae Su’mae Day 2017 is Grant Peisley, originally from Sydney in Australia and now living with his young family in Llandwrog by Caernarfon, Gwynedd. Grant works with community enterprises across north Wales and beyond, helping communities create sustainable, fair and local economies. He first visited Wales in 1998 and heard more about the native language of the country in St Ffagans National Museum. The language made Wales more interesting and unique for a tourist from the other side of the world. But Grant was really inspired to think more deeply about how languages and emotions are interlinked, after meeting his Welsh speaking partner the following year in Brisbane. They soon moved to live in Wales, where they raised their sons (Nedw and Caio). Grant says;

    “When we moved to Wales in December 2001 I began learning Cymraeg and by the time the first of our boys was born in 2005 I was determined that Welsh would be the language of the house, my kids first language; not just their mother tongue but their father tongue too! I wanted to ensure my kids were grounded in their communities, their history and culture. I want them to have strong roots and a strong sense of belonging. It’s the language that will give them that in Wales. I completed the super Wlpan and super Pellach cwrs with Bangor’s School of Lifelong learning. I did a few week-long courses over the years, had a week in Nant Gwrtheyrn and tried evening classes. That gave me a foundation, but where I really learnt to speak Welsh was with my friends in the pubs of Caernarfon!”

    “Aussies believe in mate-ship and fairness and it wasn’t fair for five or more Welsh speakers to be sitting together speaking English because of the one Aussie sitting with them. So, I insisted they spoke Welsh around me and it was up to me to ask if I didn’t understand. A couple of pints always helped the confidence and with time I was able to engage in conversation a lot more fluently. People will not learn Welsh as long as Welsh speakers are too kind to them and switch to English all the time.”

    Explaining why he finds Shwmae Sumae Day important, Grant says;

    “As Welsh speakers, or those with an interest in the history and culture of Wales, or as learners, we should be using, practicing and hearing as much of the language as possible by starting each conversation in Welsh with a simple ‘Su’mae’ or ‘Shwmae’. It doesn’t matter if you can’t say more than that. Just that one word will show you’re a part of Wales, and show you understand the power of language in building pride, fairness, and respect. It’s easy to say, sounds great with different accents and can be a real icebreaker. Shwmae Sumae Day gives you an opportunity to start every chat in Welsh. It gives tourists the unique and interesting experience they travel for and therefore can boost our economy. Give it a go! And remember ‘Sumae’ is not just for a day!!”

    Diolch o galon for learning our language Grant, and for being a part of the campaign this year! Grant will be sharing the language with the communities and energy groups with whom he works, in shops and pubs and the sports teams that make up his community. You might even find him shouting ‘Su’mae’ from the rooftops (or Caernarfon castle at the very least!). Contact swyddfa@dathlu.org for more information and assistance about how to organise your own Shwmae Sumae event, and see also our website www.shwmae.cymru for resources that can help…!

     

    Mae’r Gymraeg yn perthyn i bawb.

    The Welsh language belongs to us all.

  • CARYS ELERI! 14/09/2017

    ‘Parch’ (Respect) to our fourth champion of 2017!

    Over the past five years, Shwmae Sumae Day has called on champions across Wales to help promote the national day of celebrating the Welsh language, held on the 15th of October each year. These champions encourage the act of starting each conversation in Welsh, as a means of normalising the language, amongst their networks and communities.

    Our fourth champion this year is the actress, singer and writer Carys Eleri from Upper Tumble (not Crosshands), Carmarthenshire! Carys now works and lives in Cardiff, and is in the middle of filming the third series of the popular S4C comedy/drama ‘Parch’, a role for which she has also received a BAFTA Cymru nomination this year. Apart from this recent role and many others in theatre, radio and film productions, Carys is also a creative writer and one of the ‘Charlotte Church’s Late Night Pop Dungeon’ troupe. Welsh plays an important role in Carys’ life as she explains;

    “Cymraeg is the language of my family and the language of my soul when at peace. I’ve recently been keeping a diary and it is so interesting that I use Welsh when I’m happy, but if something riles me – I’ll use English straight away! The two languages fight over my emotions, but Welsh is always the medium for expressing my happiness!

    Explaining the importance of Shwmae Sumae Day, Carys says:

    “This day is important to me because it inspires confidence in us to try and have a conversation in Welsh wherever we are. Even if the other person doesn’t speak Welsh, it’s a small gesture to show that there is a life and reality that exists through the Welsh language, that there are people of all ages that are happy to speak it. It also gives me more scope to be able to chat in two languages in one day!”

    “On Shwmae Sumae Day, I’ll be nattering, tweeting and trying to get my non-Welsh speaking friends to give Welsh a go. My favourite little act of encouragement I do with my non-Welsh speaking friends is to teach them Welsh sayings and idioms. ‘Cnoc y dorth’ is a favourite with many of them for describing someone who’s a little bit foolish and ‘Mae’n digon mawr i alw chi arno fe’- He’s big enough to be called ‘chi’ – is a good way to explain the difference between ‘ti’(inf) and ‘chi’(formal).”

    Diolch and Parch to Carys for joining us as a champion this year! Contact swyddfa@dathlu.org for more information and assistance! See also our website www.shwmae.cymru for resources that can help you organise events for the day…!

     

     

    Mae’r Gymraeg yn perthyn i bawb.

    The Welsh language belongs to us all.

  • BEN SELLMAN! 13/09/2017

    And our third Shwmae Sumae champion of 2017 is…

    Champions across Wales have been helping us promote Shwmae Sumae Day, the national day of celebrating the Welsh language, held on the 15th of October each year. These champions encourage the act of starting each conversation in Welsh, as a means of normalising the language.

    The third champion to be announced in 2017 is Dr Ben Sellman, originally from Birmingham and now living in Carmarthen. Ben is a family medic in Llynyfran Surgery in Llandysul, Ceredigion. Ben and his young family moved to Carmarthen five years ago without a word of Welsh, but, by now, Ben can offer a Welsh language service for his patients in the Llandysul area. He learnt Welsh so that he could offer a better service for patients (and as Welsh was the main language of the surgery) and due to a desire to send his children to a local Welsh language school. He reached Canolradd level (similar to a GCSE) after 3 years of attending weekly night classes despite his demanding work. Unfortunately, his local classes were cancelled due to a lack of numbers enrolled on the next stage of his language course. But, as Ben explains,

    “Luckily, by then, I had made new friends that spoke Welsh, so I had many opportunities to practice! I’m still learning, but now I am confident enough to hold surgeries in Welsh, and I do so every day. I feel that I can offer a better service for patients who are happier and more comfortable speaking in their own mother tongue when discussing medical issues. Welsh has given me other opportunities too, for example being a member of a local Welsh language choir in Carmarthen (Côr Seingar!), which is loads of fun and really social.”

    Explaining the importance of Shwmae Sumae Day and his ideas for his role as one of 2017 champions, Ben says,

    “I would like to use this opportunity to encourage people who are thinking about learning Welsh. The language is not as difficult as people say! There are many opportunities and support for learners – classes, books, practice groups, TV programmes and people that are happy to help on the journey. Don’t worry about using a few English words here and there, and don’t worry about grammar! Also, if you have children, send them to a Welsh language school – they will get an amazing education, they’ll be bilingual without effort, and it will be easier for you to learn Welsh at the same time!”

    Ben also has advice for fluent Welsh speakers too – valuable ‘tips’ on how to help learners of the language in Wales,

    “Many people like me want to learn and have made the effort to learn the Welsh language – and we need some help and encouragement! As a learner, it can be really difficult to go into a shop or bank or post office and start a conversation in Welsh, with fear that we won’t understand the answer and then appear to be a bit stupid! The best way for fluent speakers to help learners is to stick to the conversation in Welsh. If learners start in Welsh, please try not to slip straight into English with us even if we appear not to understand everything instantly!”

    Thanks for the tips Ben and a HUGE welcome to the Shwmae Sumae Day campaign this year!

    Contact swyddfa@dathlu.org for more information and assistance and see also our website www.shwmae.cymru for resources that can help you organise events for the day…!

     

    Mae’r Gymraeg yn perthyn i bawb.

    The Welsh language belongs to us all.

  • BETHAN WILLIAMS! 12/09/2017

    Announcing our second Shwmae Sumae champion of 2017!

    Announcing our second champion this week as a part of the Shwmae Sumae Day campaign of 2017! Champions across Wales have helped us promote the national day of celebrating the Welsh language, held on the 15th of October each year. These champions encourage the act of starting each conversation in Welsh, as a means of normalising the language, amongst their networks and communities.

    Our second champion of 2017 is Bethan Williams, born in Liverpool and now living in yr Wyddgrug (Mold). Bethan has established her own business since July 2016, offering ‘Amser Babi Cymraeg’ Welsh language activities for families with babies and young children across the north-east of Wales. The business offers services such as baby massage, baby yoga, song and splash and story and song sessions. Bethan and her partner Gaj are parents to three children who are all passionate for the Welsh language, although as many people in their teenage years, they can be very shy about their Welsh identity outside the house. Bethan says;

    “There were many negative attitudes towards the Welsh language when I was growing up, especially being brought up so close to the borders. I remember attending many Cymdeithas yr Iaith protests due to my mother’s influence!  I had the privilege of working as an officer for ‘TWF’ for 4 years and I learnt a lot about our use of the Welsh language from knowledgeable people working in language policy and planning fields. That period gave me the confidence to share the love that I have for the Welsh language with other people! I welcome Welsh speaking parents, learners and the uninitiated to my ABC session that are held in the Wrecsam area, Fflintshire and Denbeighshire. I think that bridging, understanding and supporting each other is key while considering our use of the Welsh language. By now, I love to start all of my conversations in Welsh wherever I go which helps me discover hidden Welsh speakers of the North East!”

    “It has taken me 43 years to be confident enough to start chatting in Welsh with strangers, and I try to challenge and encourage parents that attend my sessions to use the Welsh language more in their communities. Shwmae Sumae Day reminds us that it is possible to greet everybody in Welsh – it is so important to share the language at every chance possible!”

    Diolch o galon (Thanks from the heart) to Bethan for supporting the campaign this year! Bethan will be helping out with a coffee morning event for the Daniel Owen Festival in Yr Wyddgrug on Saturday the 14th of October. Go over for a chat and a paned (cuppa)! Contact swyddfa@dathlu.org for more information and assistance and see also our website www.shwmae.cymru for resources that can help you organise events for the day…!

     

    Mae’r Gymraeg yn perthyn i bawb.

    The Welsh language belongs to us all.

  • SIÔN TOMOS OWEN! 11/09/2017

    Announcing Shwmae Sumae champions 2017!

    Over the past five years, Shwmae Sumae Day has called on champions across Wales to help promote the national day of celebrating the Welsh language, held annually on the 15th of October. These champions encourage the act of starting each conversation in Welsh, as a means of normalising the language, amongst their networks and communities.

    Shwmae Su’mae Siôn!

    We are very proud to announce that our first champion for 2017 is Siôn Tomos Owen from Treorchy, in the Rhondda. Siôn is a TV presenter for S4C’s programme, ‘Pobol y Rhondda’ (People of the Rhondda), a cartoonist, artist and writer. His 2016 book ‘Cawl’ published by Parthian is a mix of poetry, drawings, comics, short stories and musings on modern life in the Rhondda. The book also bridges cultural topics in an inclusive way, including Welsh and English language use in the south Wales valleys. Although having been brought up in a Welsh speaking homestead (his dad having learnt Welsh) and attending Welsh speaking schools in the area, he is nevertheless adamant for the need to normalise the Welsh language in the valleys.

    Siôn says: “The main reason that Shwmae Sumae Day is important to me is because it is a campaign to normalise Welsh language use through its promotion, not through force. As someone who lives in the south-east valleys, I remember as a pupil, many other pupils rebelling against the language because there was a feeling that it was being forced to be used in school. This tied up to a feeling amongst some against education in general which they then related to the language. I truly believe that there’s a need to promote the language so that it is not seen as just a language of education for children and young people learning it in school. I think that we have to show the younger generation that it is a language to be used daily in everyday life.”

    “I want to promote Shwmae Sumae Day on and around the 15th of October this year by using social media platforms and creating a number of pieces of art, poetry and cartoons to raise awareness.”

    Diolch to Siôn for supporting the campaign this year! We hope that there’ll be a number of activities and support in Treorchy and across the south-east valleys. Contact swyddfa@dathlu.org for more information and assistance! See also our website www.shwmae.cymru for resources that can help you organise events for the day…!

     

     

    Mae’r Gymraeg yn perthyn i bawb.

    The Welsh language belongs to us all.

  • 29/08/2017

    Pen-blwydd Hapus (Happy Birthday) Diwrnod Shwmae Sumae Day!

    Diwrnod Shwmae Sumae Day will be celebrating her fifth birthday this year, on the 15th of October. Shwmae Sumae Day promotes the idea of starting every conversation with shwmae, su’mae or shwdi! The event aims to show that the Welsh language belongs to us all – fluent speakers, learners or those shy about their Welsh. Join in and give it a go!

    How will you celebrate?

    How will you celebrate the Welsh language this year? How about a coffee morning with your friends or in your community; a pub quiz; a walk with a Welsh teacher (who can share with you all of the delightful Welsh names of our flora!); make a Welsh language slogan for a t-shirt, organise a Welsh film night, a Welsh language music band or dance? A birthday cake for the day. Be creative and give it a go!

    15th of October, 2017

 

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