Because the SaySomethinginWelsh forum is so multinational, the idea of people speaking Welsh in other countries has become pretty normal to me.
I have to make a conscious effort to remember that it still doesn’t seem very normal at all for most other people in Wales.
Which is why it was a delight when the hashtag #UnexpectedWelsh started to spread on Twitter a short while ago.
I posted a tweet asking for the most interesting or unexpected places where people had heard or used Welsh, stuck the hashtag on it, and expected to hear a couple of stories about people meeting other Welsh people in England or France.
But no – the magic was there! – it started to spread, and some of the stories are utterly glorious.
Even if you don’t have a Twitter account, you can still have a look:
And if you still think Welsh is a bit of a niche interest in rural parts of Wales, it’ll be an eye-opener for you.
It’s almost impossible to pick a favourite – and yet I think I’ve got to go with the glorious simplicity of:
‘Naked, in a sauna in Finland.’
Welsh is already an international language, and it’s only going to gather momentum as we find more and more ways to highlight and strengthen and build those connections.
And as you can see from that Twitter hashtag, all you have to do to join that international community is learn a little – even just a few words of Welsh open the door.
But be warned – if you dip your toes in with our ‘6 Minute a Day’ gateway drug of a course, you might end up getting addicted…;-)