Heading for La Tasca, some Swahili, and the end of the week…

I always get a little muddleheaded by about Thursday – a combination of too little sleep and too many different projects – or, as I like to think of it, a sign of an entertaining life…;-)

We have a video team ready to go!  Hooray!

We’ve been able to agree terms with RCFilms in Cardiff – http://www.rcfilms.co.uk/ if you’re looking for a video team yourself! – who are effectively related by marriage to Fflic, and we love Fflic, so we’re confident that we’re going to love RCFilms.

Now, it’s just a matter of getting a date fixed up between Alison, Phil, and Ross from RCFilms, and getting permission from La Tasca as well as confirmation that they’ll have a Spanish speaker available on whatever the date will be!  I’ve tried to phone them, but it keeps putting me through to a fax, and although their head office gave me the area manager’s mobile number, he’s not answering – so it’s the ’email and patience’ routine (which is, as the sounds from the garden remind me, considerably easier than the ‘children and patience’ routine that Catrin is working her way through).

[And fair play to La Tasca, by the time I finished writing this entry, they’d emailed me back to say that everything will be fine, and that they’ll actually roster a Spanish speaker if we can let them know a week in advance – which is a really great response, so go and eat there the next time you’re in Cardiff…:-)]

I got temporarily and interestingly side-tracked today by Gaby, who has been working on SSiSwahili – I got an email from him that sounded as though everything was advancing at great speed, and I got a little panicky because experience shows that we haven’t yet got to the training stage when people can just take the framework and adapt it, without doing at least some work with me.

So I emailed Gaby back to scream slightly and ask to see the text, and in my incoherence clearly managed to convince him that everything he’d done was going to have to be thrown away.  He still seems to be speaking to me, though!  And happily, that wasn’t the case – he was on the most recent framework, and Swahili seems to match unusually easily to the standard framework – in particular, running verbs together in a way similar to Welsh.

We’ve got one or two bits of introduction which need tightening up (when verbs do change slightly to work with other verbs), but otherwise he’s got pretty much the whole first 5 sessions ready to record – and since I know of at least one school near here which has been doing twinning kind of stuff with a school in Kenya, I think we’ll want to crack on and get the through-the-medium-of-Welsh version ready as soon as the first 5 are published…:-)

In other news, I’ve just got a few phrases to import before the first 5 sessions of the new Spanish Tourist Course are ready, which I’ll be inspired to do at a gallop as soon as I hear that Ross, Alison, Phil and La Tasca have agreed a date!

And just a couple of sessions of the new Welsh material to do, before getting started on Catrin’s voice – I reckon we’ll be able to have our first immersion weekend for new Welsh learners in September (once we get back from going on a Holland-via-England road trip in August!).

I had a meeting yesterday with representatives of the 6 Welsh for Adults Centres, for the Adopt a Learner project that Hywel Gwynfryn kick-started – it’s now in the process of morphing into ffrinDiaith.org, and next week we’ll be making the necessary changes to the new SSiWelsh site to allow people to register, search for speakers/learners and contact them – prior to a launch in the Eisteddfod on the afternoon of the 7th.

I think it’s got huge potential to turn into a really important project – with local and online partnering happening – and it’s a real pleasure to have something so concrete to work on in partnership with the 6 Centres…:-)

So next week should see us agree a date for the filming, publish the first 5 lessons of the new Spanish course, finish recording the new Welsh material, and have the structures ready to launch ffrinDiaith.  Interesting times!

8 responses to “Heading for La Tasca, some Swahili, and the end of the week…

  1. I’ve just seen your post. Very interesting times indeed my friend 🙂 And I completely agree that Swahili matches unusually easily to the standard SSi framework. I’ll be fantastic to have a Cymraeg-Swahili version for the local school to work with. What a great idea! And I’m really looking forward to the video at La Tasca 🙂


    • It’s going to be so hard to resist the temptation to try out the Swahili – but I’m hoping to have an old friend of mine from Zimbabwe working on Shona before too long, and they’ve got enough similarities for me not to want to ruin my Shona! But I know there will be quite a few people around here who’ll be really interested in a Welsh-medium Swahili course, so that’s going to be huge fun…:-)

      And thank you, as always, for all your huge amount of work and enthusiasm…:-)

  2. Hi Aran, I’ve recently signed up to your blog and have to say it’s a great way of keeping in touch with developments at SSiW. So much easier to read than aforementioned message:) am looking forward to the ffrinDiaith! What a great idea. All the best, Jan.

    • Thank you very much, Jan! I’m looking forward to the ffrinDiaith launch too – I think it’s got huge potential to help make Welsh one of the most welcoming and supportive languages in the world to learn…:-)

  3. Hah, I’d have liked to see your panicky moment. =)

    But I took a look at SSiFinnish yesterday.

  4. I love La Tasca! Whenever I had a long meal break at work I used to go to my local La Tasca in Maidstone for Tapas and Paella of the day.

    Then, they closed the Maidstone branch and replaced it with a Mexican restaurant. Now my nearest branch is in Bluewater and I can’t always get there – especially for meal breaks! Sad times 😦

    • I’ve always been very fond of them too, despite a couple of ‘But that’s why I’m here…’ occasions when none of the staff spoke any Spanish…;-)

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