Tag Archives: Welsh

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
Mythos.http://www.themythos.co.uk/
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.

Polyglots Assemble!

Polyglot bagWhat’s a polyglot anyway? That’s the question most of my (monolingual) friends asked me when I tried to explain to them why I was heading to Berlin for an extended weekend. I was one of 357 participants from more than 40 countries who converged onto the German capital from 5th to 8th May 2016 for the third annual Polyglot gathering. In case you wonder, Polyglot simply means “many languages”, and it’s difficult to estimate just how many languages were spoken during the four days of the event, several dozen at least, including the likes of Esperanto, Toki Pona and even Latin!
It was a very early start for me on the Thursday, getting up at 2:30 to catch a 6am flight. Thankfully I only had hand luggage so this saved some time, although regrettably it limited the amount of books I could bring back! The early start was worth it though – just being around people who share the same enthusiasm for languages is an experience difficult to put into words. And my own journey paled in comparison when I realised a couple of people had come all the way from the USA for the event.
We were absolutely spoilt for choice with the seminars on offer. Some were introductions to languages such as Greek (the modern rather than the ancient version), Indonesian, Turkish and Welsh. Polyglots are always looking for the next language to learn. Other seminars covered different aspects of life as a polyglot, as well as the process of language learning. A lot of the seminars were in English, but some were delivered in Italian, French, Esperanto and one even completely in Latin by Roberto Salazar!
In fact, as I’ve been devoting some time on reviving my “dormant” Latin recently, I was really pleased about the seminars on “Does it Make Sense to Speak a Dead Language” and “Rudimenta Latini Sermonis – Spoken Latin 101”. I must have been doing something right, as I could follow the Latin seminar – in Latin – without problems.
The seminar I got most from was – strangely enough –in a language I don’t really speak: “Storytelling in Language Learning”, delivered entirely in Italian by the amazing Antonio Libertino. I was pleased that my knowledge of Latin, French and Spanish somehow combined to help me follow what was going on. This seminar fitted really well with what we do in Lingotastic, so I was determined to get the most out of it, never mind the language used.
The biggest surprise of the weekend was just how popular Esperanto is as a language in the polyglot community. We all wore name badges with little stickers of flags identifying which languages we speak, and at what level (see picture). And almost everyone was speaking Esperanto at some level. The lovely Charlotte Scherping even delivered a whole talk on “Comparing the 3 easiest languages” entirely in Esperanto, having only learnt the language for a little over 4 months.
Badge
What was also encouraging was the mix of aspiring polyglots with “only” three languages on their badge, and those who clearly needed a larger badge to fit all of theirs on!
It was great to chat in person to many of the people whose blogs and podcasts I follow. It was a good place to network. I was particularly pleased to meet Jimmy Mello and to come away with his book Jimmy Mello. We sung with him in our Muppets Christmas Carol video, put together by Lindsay

It was incredible to have so many experts in one place. I took lots of notes and will be learning from the seminars for a while yet.

Language legend Lindsay has produced five amazing videos so you can watch the highlights of the Polyglot Gathering in the comfort of your own home (or wherever you are at this moment)

Giveaway and Review of Babi Bach CD

Babi Bach CDA few weeks ago I told you about Penni’s brilliant bilingual Welsh and English CD in the blog Babi Bach the 1st FULLY bilingual album in English and Welsh.

You’ll be pleased to hear we have one to giveaway this week.

Here’s what Penni says about the album…
The album has 12 very well known children’s nursery rhymes and songs which are all sung in both languages. Where necessary I have written or updated lyrics so that the English and Welsh versions are exactly the same to make it easier for learners to understand the songs.
It is a very well known fact that music aids memory and learning and so it is a great idea to use music to help your language learning.
The songs have been given a fresh sound with the arrangements by the super talented Darren Fellows. My experiences as a parent have taught me that if the music is of a high quality then you don’t mind quite so much when your little one asks you to repeat the CD for the 10th time that day! 😉 I have been told by parents that their children have been listening to the CD on repeat for ages – I can only hope the adults aren’t going completely crazy!

Here’s what we say…

We’ve been traveling a lot this week and listening to the Babi Bach CD in the car. Us grown ups only knew the Welsh we’d read on road signs and the children did not know any Welsh before listening to the CD. This did not stop them enjoying the CD and joining in when they could. They really enjoyed the dialogue between the singers in between the songs.

The album is a very lively and interactive and we all picked up a bit of Welsh. As a parent I know children’s CD’s can get irritating. In our experience this CD can be listened to over and over again.

If you want to buy your own copy you can here.

If you’d like to win one you can here.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Babi Bach the 1st FULLY bilingual album in English and Welsh

At Lingotastic we love family language learning. We also get very excited when we hear of people encouraging family language learning. This week we are really lucky to have an interview with the amazing Penni from Babi Bach. She’s an amazing mum who saw that there was a need for Welsh resources and set about meeting that need.

penni

Hi Penni, can you tell me a little about yourself and your family?
I am a wife to Andrew and Mummy to William (aged 5) and Martha (aged 3)
My husband is from Birmingham, England and when we first got married back in 2008 we initially settled in Birmingham. It was after the birth of our son that we decided we wanted to bring our family up by the sea. I am a Barry girl born and bred and so it was a very easy decision where to live!
I was lucky enough to be educated in Welsh medium schools right from nursery through my A Levels so have always enjoyed being bilingual and we decided that we would like our children to have the same gift. Both our little ones attend Welsh school and are doing really well.
When we initially returned to Barry I was really disappointed to find there were no bilingual classes for babies and pre-schoolers and so the idea for Babi Bach was born!
Babi Bach was started in September 2013 and has grown every term! We offer bilingual music classes for little ones and their families. It is an opportunity to introduce two languages to your little one from birth and also to help families who may wish to learn, or re-discover, Welsh with their child. It is a wonderful bonding experience.
I soon realised that there was a need for more bilingual resources in English and Welsh for families and so decided to make the 1st FULLY bilingual album in English and Welsh EVER! I raised part of the funds through the crowd funding platform Kickstarter and have well known Welsh artists lending their talents on the album. These include; Caryl Parry-Jones, Llinos Lee and former member of Only Men Aloud Hugh Strathern.

Babi Bach CD

How does your Album help family language learning?

The album has 12 very well known children’s nursery rhymes and songs which are all sung in both languages. Where necessary I have written or updated lyrics so that the English and Welsh versions are exactly the same to make it easier for learners to understand the songs.
It is a very well known fact that music aids memory and learning and so it is a great idea to use music to help your language learning.
The songs have been given a fresh sound with the arrangements by the super talented Darren Fellows. My experiences as a parent have taught me that if the music is of a high quality then you don’t mind quite so much when your little one asks you to repeat the CD for the 10th time that day! 😉 I have been told by parents that their children have been listening to the CD on repeat for ages – I can only hope the adults aren’t going completely crazy!

Is there anything else you’d like to tell our readers?
If you’d like to find out more about us and out classes check out Babi Bach

The album is currently available for download through most major sites including Amazon
and Spotify. CDs can be ordered directly from myself (info@babibach.co.uk) and in some South Wales shops.
CDs will also be available shortly through Siop Mabon a Mabli online.