I'm half Welsh and half English. My mum is Welsh, though was born and grew up in the south of England and doesn't speak Welsh, though has tried to learn it. I was born and grew up in Lancashire, in the northwest of England with English as my mother tongue. However, there were always Welsh language materials - books, records and tapes - around the house when I was growing up and I picked up a few words and phrases from them.
My first unsuccessful attempt to learn Welsh was in 1988 with a Linguaphone Welsh course. Unfortunately at that time I lacked the self-discipline to study every day, and the motivation and determination to keep studying for any length of time. So it wasn't long before I gave up and had a go at another language - Japanese.
In 1998 I decided to have another a go at learning Welsh, partly because I hoped it would help me secure a job in Bangor, and partly because I had some time on my hands. The course I used this time was Teach Yourself Welsh, which I worked my way through a couple of times. Unfortunately I didn't remember very much because I tried to finish the course as quickly as possible rather than going through each lesson as many times as necessary until it all sank in. I wasn't offered the job in Bangor but have continued to study Welsh on and off ever since.
In 2003 I meet some Welsh speakers while on holiday in Portugal and quickly realised that I was only able to have a very basic conversation in Welsh with them. Since then I have been determined to become as fluent as possible in the language.
My favourite textbook is Colloquial Welsh, which I think is the best Welsh course currently available. I also highly recommend the Oxford Pocket Modern Welsh Dictionary, and there are many the excellent resources on the BBC Learn Welsh website.
To improve my vocabulary I read as much Welsh language material as I can find, including the news on the BBC, blogs and novels. I also listen to Radio Cymru (Welsh language radio) every day and have become quite a fan of Welsh language music.
In June 2007 I attended a two-week Summer Welsh Course at the University of Wales Lampeter. The course was interesting and quite intensive - four hours of lessons a day plus quite a bit of homework. The tutors were really enthusiastic and there was an interesting mixture of other students. I could understand almost everything the tutors and others said and found that I could also converse with them fairly fluently.
In June 2008 I spent a week learning some more Welsh at Nant Gwrtheyrn, the Welsh Language and Heritage Centre on the Llŷn Peninsula in North Wales. The place is in a spectacular setting a long way from anywhere, and one of the most peaceful places I've been. The course was interesting and it was great to be completely immersed in Welsh for a whole week.
In July 2008 I moved to Bangor in Wales and have had more opportunities to speak Welsh since then. In July 2009 I joined the Bangor Welsh Learners Choir, which gives me the chance to speak and sing in Welsh regularly, and we've competed and won competitions in local and national eisteddfodau.
I can now understand, speak, read, write and sing Welsh more or less fluently, though there's always room for improvement.
Welsh, French, German, Italian, Icelandic, Japanese, Portuguese, Mandarin, Cantonese, Taiwanese, Korean, Scottish Gaelic, Spanish, Esperanto, Hungarian, Turkish, Arabic, Czech, Irish (Gaelic), Latin, Manx (Gaelic), Russian, Urdu, British Sign Language (BSL), Hindi, Breton
Hanner Cymro, hanner Sais dw i. Cymraes di-Gymraeg yw fy mam. Oedd ei theulu'n dod o Langwm ger Brynbuga yn wreiddiol, ond fe gafodd hi ei cheni a'i magu yn Sir Sussex yn ne-ddwyrain Lloegr. Cefais innau fy nghenu yn Sir Gaerhirfryn gyda Saesneg fel mamiaith, ond dysgais dipyn bach o Gymraeg yn blentyn o cyrsiau Cymraeg fy mam.
Ym 1988 oedd fy mhrofiad a fy nghais cyntaf at ddysgu Gymraeg. Defnyddiais gwrs Cymraeg Linguphone. Yn anffodus bryd hynny na doedd gennyf hunanddisgyblaeth i ddysgu bob dydd, ac ro'n i'n heb gymhelliant a phenderfyniad i ddysgu am amser hir. Felly ar ôl amser byr, rhoddes i'r ffidil yn y to a cheisiais i ddysgu iaith arall - Siapaneg
Penderfynais geisio dysgu Cymraeg un waith eto ym 1998, fy mhrif rheswm oedd fy mod i wedi ymgeisi am swydd ym Mhrifysgol Bangor, ac wedyn achos oedd llawer o amser rhydd ar fy nwylo ar y pryd. Teach Yourself Welsh oedd y cwrs defnyddiais y tro hwn. Ceisiais orffen y cwrs yn rhy gyflym heb dysgu dim byd yn gywir, ac felly na gofiais lawer. Na chefais y swydd ym Mangor, ond dw i wedi bod yn dysgu yr iaith ers hynny.
Ym 2003 pan oeddwn ar fy ngwyliau ym Mhortiwgal, cwrddais â Chymry Cymraeg a sylweddolais cyn hir y fod fy Nghymraeg yn wael iawn. Ers hynny dw i wedi bod yn benderfynol at ddysgu Cymraeg hyd at lefel rhuglder.
Fy hoff werslyfr yw Colloquial Welsh - dw i'n meddwl ei fod y cwrs Cymraeg gorau sydd ar gael ar hyn o bryd. dw i'n argymell y Oxford Pocket Modern Welsh Dictionary hefyd, ac mae llawer o adnoddau ardderchog ar wefan BBC.
Ym mis Mehefin 2007 es i'r Cwrs Haf Cymraeg ym Mhrifysgol Cymru, Llanbedr Pont Steffan. Roedd y cwrs yn ddiddorol ac eithaf arddwys gyda pedair awr o ddosbarthiadau bob dydd a cryn dipyn o waith cartref. Roedd y tiwtoriaid yn frwdfrydig ac roedd cymysgedd diddorol o fyfyrwyr eraill. Deallais y mwyfrif y ddywedon y tiwtoriaidd a'r mwfyrwyr eraill. O'n i'n medru sgwrsio yn eitha rhugl gyda nhw hefyd.
Ym mis Gorffenaf 2008, symudais i Fangor, ac mae gen i mwy o gyfleoedd i siarad Cymraeg ers hynny. Ym mis Gorffenaf 2009 ymunais â Chôr y Dysgwyr Bangor (Criw Bangor), ac mae hynny yn fy roi cyfle i siarad a chanu yn y Gymraeg yn rheolaidd, ac dan ni wedi cystadlu ac wedi ennill cystadleuathau mewn eisteddfodau leol a cenedlaethol.
Dw i'n medru deall, siarad, darllen, ysgrifennu a chanu yn Gymraeg yn rugl, mwy neu lai, erbyn hyn, ond mae wastad lle i wella.
Almaeneg, Arabeg, Cantoneg, Corëeg, Cymraeg, Esperanto, Ffrangeg, Gaeleg yr Alban, Gwyddeleg, Hwngareg, Islandeg, Eidaleg, Japaneg, Lladin, Manaweg, Mandarineg, Portiwgaleg, Rwsieg, Sbaeneg, Taiwaneg, Tsieceg, Twrceg