Welsh Classes at the Cambrian Hall

The Vancouver Welsh Society offers free Welsh language classes to the public. Classes are designed for all levels of Welsh learners, and beginners are always welcome at any point in the term.

We have been trying to keep Thursday evenings as the time for the Welsh classes, but for this fall that doesn’t work. We will return to the Thursday evening schedule (7–9 pm) in January. For now, we’re going to try Wednesday afternoons.

The schedule for the autumn term is as follows:

3 pm to 3.50 pm, conversation practice                                                                                     4.10–5 pm, reading from Bore Da

  • 13 September: First Meeting (in conjunction with Lesson One)                                     Bore Da reading: pp. 27–8
  • 20 September: Second Meeting (in conjunction with Lesson Two)                                     Bore Da reading: pp. 29–30
  • 27 September: Third Meeting (in conjunction with Lesson Three)                                Bore Da reading: pp. 30 (from the paragraph beginning “Edrychai. . .”)–31?
  • 4 October: Fourth Meeting (in conjunction with Lesson Four)
  • 11 October: Fifth Meeting (in conjunction with Lesson Five)
  • 18 October: Sixth Meeting (in conjunction with Lesson Six)
  • 25 October: Seventh Meeting (in conjunction with Lesson Seven)
  • 1 November: Eighth Meeting (in conjunction with Lesson Eight)
  • 8 November: Ninth Meeting (in conjunction with Lesson Nine)
  • 15 November: Tenth Meeting (in conjunction with Lesson Ten)

Regular-term classes for beginners meet from 3:00 to 3:50 pm, with emphasis on listening and speaking. This will be in conjunction with the basic grammar, following the lessons online here (autumn) or here (spring); this term, rather than going through the grammar, I will leave it there as a reference and take questions, but focus on using the language. The focus is on conversational South Welsh. (Those interested in North Welsh are more than welcome: the decision is practical rather than political.)

The class for intermediate and advanced learners follows from 4:10 to 5:00 pm, focusing on reading with more emphasis on building vocabulary in context and more advanced grammar. Beginners are more than welcome to attend this class: the point is to become more familiar with the living language, and to build vocabulary by recognizing words in context.

For the 2017–8 reading, we will continue to use the first book to be published in Welsh as both a printed book and an audiobook: Bore Da (ISBN 978-1847714664), read aloud by its author. (Story about it here; Welsh books can be ordered from gwales.com as well as other online retailers, and the audiobook is also available from audible.com.)

This series of Welsh classes is led by Dr. Antone Minard, our prif ddysgwr (“main learner”), who began learning Welsh in university in California in the 1990s and improved markedly while living in Aberystwyth. The Society’s community of native Welsh speakers has offered considerable support, including attending the classes to help us with pronunciation and usage.

Online Links for Learning Welsh

This short list is only a stepping stone to the many excellent Welsh resources available online.

Writing system:

http://www.omniglot.com/writing/welsh.htm

This is a good overview of the Welsh writing system, with links to further resources.

Lessons:

https://www.saysomethingin.com/welsh

This course focuses on speaking and listening, and comes very highly recommended. It will improve your skills quickly and dramatically. The only drawback is that it is exclusively spoken Welsh, and so written Welsh still requires some extra effort.

http://www.cs.cf.ac.uk/fun/welsh

Although this is rather old by internet standards, the author, Mark Nodine, is very good at presenting Welsh to a North American audience.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/learning/learnwelsh

The BBC has a number of Welsh learning resources, from the Big Welsh Challenge to news stories in Welsh.

Dictionary:

http://www.geiriadur.net

An online dictionary hosted through Lampeter.

http://geiriadur.ac.uk/gpc/gpc.html

An online dictionary hosted through the University of Wales.

Many old-fashioned dictionaries are online through Google Books; type your word and “Welsh Dictionary” into the search box at,

http://books.google.ca