The JOY of speaking Welsh

After the difficult emotions we’ve been talking about this week – anger, shame, fear – it’s time to remember the upside.

Today, I’m going to talk a little about the JOY.

As a Welsh person, when you reclaim your lost language, it is a deeply, deeply joyful experience.

It is – without a word of exaggeration – life-changing.

It changes your life – for ever.

You can suddenly see and hear and take part in a whole new extra Wales – and you get a kind of permanent energy high from what you’ve achieved.

I used to feel incredibly jealous of people who grew up speaking Welsh – of how lucky they were NOT to have to deal with all the anger and shame that comes with not having the language (when you wish you did).

Now, I’m not so sure.

It’s actually pretty tough growing up as a Welsh speaker.

I’m witnessing it for my own children.

It’s okay at first – it’s just normal. And then you go to school, and you start finding out there’s this other language that some of the kids speak.

And then, year by year, you start to see that there is more and more and more stuff in the other language.

More songs. More videos. More TV channels. More books.

You start to see the other language is bigger and stronger and everywhere – and YOUR language – the language of your heart and your soul and your family and your earliest memories – is smaller and weaker and not as normal as you’d thought.

It can leave you with some pretty painful scars – and if you understand that, then you can start to understand why some Welsh speakers can be a bit defensive sometimes.

It’s the flip-side of the coin – the closest living relative of the anger WE feel at not having the language.

But we can solve our anger.

We can learn Welsh.

And when we do, it becomes a joyful thing for us.

Maybe we’re luckier, after all.

Every single time I spoke Welsh for the first 5 years or so after I became a confident Welsh speaker, it gave me a rush of joy – it felt like being able to FLY.

It’s more everyday by now – trying to get your kids to school on time doesn’t magically become glamorous just because it’s happening in Welsh… 😉

But I’ll still notice sometimes – just notice that I’m speaking Welsh – and it still fills me up with that sense of deep, lasting joyfulness.

I can’t imagine that will ever wear off.

If you know about the anger, and you know about the shame and frustration – then I would LOVE you to find out about the joy.

I would LOVE you to have that joy in your life.

Come and learn just ONE sentence with us – it might be the moment when you realise that you have wings – the moment when you start to believe that you COULD actually fly…

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