Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Losing a language

Until I started primary I spoke English 100% of the time, although I live in Wales both my parents are Scottish and at the time neither of them spoke any Welsh. Once I started primary school I was taught Welsh, I can remember there were a group of us who couldn't speak Welsh, and we were taken into the hall and watched 'Wil Cwac Cwac' which is a kids programme, and the teacher used to play a tune on the piano and would shout commands in Welsh which we had to follow, such as 'neidio' which means jump. There was a probably a lot more, but that is all I can remember, I can't remember how long it took but I became fluent in speaking Welsh.

So I was fluent in speaking two languages. Speaking English at home and Welsh all day in school. Until I went to secondary school. Which was mainly an English school, and over time I lost a lot of my Welsh. In the first few years of secondary school quite a few of my lessons where in Welsh, but by year 11 I had one lesson in Welsh which was Welsh language. By the time I was in 6th form all of my lesson here taught in English, and ever since I've left school I've hardly spoken any Welsh. Over time I have lost all confidence in speaking it. Which can be quite awkward when I see people I knew when I was younger and they automatically speak Welsh to me, I sometimes try and answer them in Welsh, but other times it's like something's stopping me and I just answer in English but I feel quite rude.

I speak Welsh a bit to Osian when there is no one else around and I can also speak it to other children. I just can't speak any when there are adults around. I have no confidence and feel as if I would sound really silly speaking it.

I have bought Osian a few Welsh books, I have tried my best to read them to him, but I sounded so silly. I just couldn't stop laughing at myself, I sounded like I was trying to read for the first time. As you can tell by my picture below each page as two lines, so you can imagine it's not supposed to be a very hard read! It's a book I could have read so easily whilst I was in primary, so it makes me feel a bit sad that I'm struggling so much now.

I really ought to try and get some confidence in speaking it again. I want to be able to reply to people in the same language they start a conversation with me. I just don't really know where to start, I can't just simply start talking it because I have no confidence in doing so.

Super Busy Mum


  1. Lovely post, I wish I could speak more languages :) #MMWBH

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  2. I hope you get your confidence back with it soon. I'm sure you will get there in time x

  3. I am a foreigner here and English is my second language but it is the language we use at home. I dont want to use my local tongue on my son as I dont want him to use it to my husband. I just dont want to alienate my husband. I miss using my language. Parts of me is wishing I can use it on my son but I also dont want him to struggle in school. All in all I am screwed =P #MMWBH

  4. Pixiedusk - I felt really sad reading your comment. It is not uncommon in Wales for one parent to speak Welsh and the other to speak English to their children When the children are young they sometimes speak the wrong language to a parent but it sorts itself out quickly. Quite a few families have a parent from outside the UK who will speak their language to the children and then the children learn Welsh and English as well. In fact one family has 2 parents from different countries and they have children who are fluent in 4 languages - absolutely brilliant!

  5. Fabulous post and I think speaking a few different languages is fabulous. Although languages was something I could never quite grasp at school. The basics in French/Spanish & German but I'll never be fluent, my tongue keeps getting stuck in knots, lol! Thanks so much for linking up with #MMWBH xx