Multilingual merriment in Wales
Our girls were off at camp for almost forty eight hours so we decided to have a night away just me and Mr.Lingotastic. We decided to go to Chepstow as it was a pretty looking town.
Being the obsessive linguists we are we, thought it was a chance to practice and improve our Welsh. On the way to Wales our soundtrack was a Welsh songs playlist which was a really interesting mix of beautiful harpy Celtic sounding songs and “fields of gold” in Welsh.
As we arrived in Wales we remembered how much road sign Welsh we remembered. As we saw Welsh on signs we realised lots of common words
Bont bridge pont
Ffenestr window fenêtre
Eglwys church église
Ysgol school école
I suppose if you are linguistically minded you are always looking out for words from languages you know to make sense of other languages. Loving languages as we do we are always listening out for other languages.
Looking for somewhere to eat, we found the most lovely Greek restaurant
As we know a little Greek, we greeted the waitress with “Kalispéra” (good evening) and said “efcharistó” (thank you) on a few occasions.
The food was the best food we have had in a restaurant anywhere. I was able to try the famous Tiropitakia, and musaka. Maik had meatballs and an amazing spiced beef stew. The food was really simple but good authentic Greek food. We had to try the cheese pie for dessert lots of cinnamon and filo pastry.
Hubby asked for the bill in Greek (after a quick Greek recap) and she asked if he was Greek 😊 That was the greatest honour and surprise.
We heard the other waiter was Romanian so said thanks in Romanian
mulțumesc. After the initial surprise we started talking about multilingual families and encouraging him in his journey with his five year old.
We had a look around beautiful Chepstow castle the next day. As with any tourist magnet there were lots of languages to listen out for. We managed to hear five that day.The signs in the castle were both in English and Welsh. It was fun to pick out the welsh words we knew.
It was interesting from a linguistic point of view as the castle was originally Norman, which may explain the number of words Welsh and French have in common. The local language spoken in Normandy is actually fairly understandable to Welsh speaker. It is fascinating to see how the movement of people and trade influences language.
As a family who love languages we are always on the lookout for them. We would love to hear your stories.