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Being a bilingual family in Wales

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Being a bilingual family in Wales

Wales’s Eisteddfod Genedlaethol (National Eisteddfod) is an annual week-long Welsh language cultural festival that takes place at the start of August. Last year, we went to the event as a family for the first time when our son was three and a half months old. As this year’s Eisteddfod is a bit far to comfortably visit in a day trip, this week I’ll be looking back on last year’s event.

I started learning Welsh in 2007, the year I moved to Wales to begin a job as lecturer in French at Bangor University. After I’d been learning Welsh for just under two years, I went to the Eisteddfod Genedlaethol for the first time when it was in Bala in 2009. I wasn’t sure what it would be like being at a Welsh language event while I was a relative beginner with the language and I was a bit nervous. My nerves weren’t exactly helped when I accidentally knocked over a display stand holding leaflets in the reception area, but I was kindly given help to put the stand together again by a friendly clown who said that it was the stand’s fault.

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The Eisteddfod’s main pavilion

Although I wasn’t able to fully understand everything going on around me at my first Eisteddfod, especially when I went into the main pavilion to see one of the big ceremonies at which a literary prize was being presented, it was great being there. There was a lot of live music and I ended up bumping into quite a few people I knew.

By the time the Eisteddfod was back in North Wales in 2011, my Welsh had improved. During my trip to the 2011 Eisteddfod Genedlaethol in Wrexham I recorded several interviews for a Welsh language football podcast that I was running at the time. I also managed to understand more of what was going on and went to a few talks.

Last year, when the Eisteddfod was in Denbigh, I visited it with my wife and son. Despite being under four months old, our son seemed to quite enjoy the event even though he thought that some people were clapping too loudly for his liking at some events. He managed to sit through a clog dancing performance but just didn’t like the noise of the applause at the end of it, so we had to leave the tent in which the dance competitions were taking place.

2013-08-07 13.02.55Thankfully, our son was more at home in the large tent of the organisation Twf. Twf’s slogan is ‘two languages from day one’ and they are an organisation who provide support and resources for parents who want to use Welsh with their kids. So far, they have provided us with several free CDs of Welsh nursery rhymes and we’ve been able to attend several of their events in our local area. They also ran a parent and baby Welsh course that my wife was able to attend with our son during his first few months. As a result, she learned a lot of useful phrases to use when talking to babies.

At last year’s Eisteddfod, I was able to attend and understand events where experts were discussing topics like the music industry in Wales and how the Welsh language is being affected by the rise of e-publishing. Although the main language of the Eisteddfod is very much Welsh, it is always visited by quite a lot of people who do not speak Welsh. On several visits, I have seen tourists from a range of different countries. Translation headsets are also available for many of the events that take place in the main pavilion.

Personalized signage for a performer named Allan who is renowned for arriving late. Apparently some think that this is just an exit sign as 'allan' is Welsh for 'out'.

Personalized signage for a performer named Allan who is renowned for arriving late. Apparently some think that this is just an exit sign as ‘allan’ is Welsh for ‘out’.

The Eisteddfod Genedlaethol is a focal point for Welsh language culture and I hope that it’s an event that our son will come to enjoy as he grows up. I hope that he will become confident in both Welsh and English and realise the benefits that come from speaking more than one language and also the range of cultural events that take place in Welsh. There is a national Welsh language television channel and radio station here in Wales and there are many Welsh language plays and music festivals that take place in our local area.

Attending the Eisteddfod has provided me with plenty of reasons to keep on learning Welsh and learning about Welsh culture. Over the last few years I have done several live radio interviews in Welsh. It is also a language that I use almost daily at work, and I have now given several lectures and conference papers in Welsh.

I often think about the crucial issue of language exposure when it comes to bringing up our son bilingually. I speak to him exclusively in Welsh and my wife generally speaks to him in English. As my wife spends more time with him at the moment, I do wonder how this will affect his confidence in Welsh. I’m hoping that the Welsh language events in our area that take place in local libraries and community centres will help to bridge the gap and that we’ll be able to enjoy plenty more trips to the Eisteddfod in years to come.

 

Are you bringing up your kids bilingually? How important do you think it is to speak different languages? Please feel free to share your views in the comments section below or on the ‘Dad’s The Way I Like It’ pages on Facebook or Google+.

Remember that you can also subscribe to this blog by entering your e-mail address in the box on the right of the screen and also follow this blog via BlogLovin. There’s also now a Pinterest board for this blog as well, so please feel free to pin this post if you’ve enjoyed reading it.

 

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I’ve added this post to the following parent blogger link-ups:

Bilingual parenting means learning lots of jokes

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PicMonkey Collage JOKES

Some people would probably say that I struggle to tell good jokes in English, which is my first language. Indeed, both my wife and my best man mentioned this at my wedding. As my wife and I are bringing up our son using English and Welsh, one of my main language objectives for this year is to learn more jokes in Welsh. I may use Welsh regularly in and out of work, but I just haven’t learned all that many jokes along the way.

For my birthday last year, our son gave me a book of dad jokes on which he had written (in very neat handwriting for a six month old) ‘I think that I might regret getting this for you’. However, the fact that I speak to our son exclusively in Welsh means that he is less likely to hear me telling him the following jokes than he would have been had we not decided to bring him up bilingually:

William Shakespeare went into a pub. The barman took one look at him and said ‘you’re bard!’.

What do you get if you drop a piano down a coal shaft? A flat minor.

Why did the florist sell his shop? He could see that there was no fuchsia in it.

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‘Oh dear, dad’s telling bad jokes again…’

Now some of you will probably be thinking that our son’s childhood will be greatly enhanced by not having to endure such jokes. However, I really think that I would be failing in my paternal duties if I were not able to share with him a wide variety of jokes in Welsh. As it happens, reading a blog post entitled Easy Spanish Jokes for Kids on the website Spanish Playground got me thinking that I really needed to get my act together when it came to knowing jokes in Welsh as well as English. Within minutes of reading about kids’ jokes in Spanish, I had done a web search for Welsh language joke books and the following day I bought two of them from our local bilingual bookshop.

Some of the jokes in the two books were ones that also exist in English and may even be recognisable to non-Welsh speakers. In fact, let’s have a little quiz to see if any of those of you who don’t speak Welsh can identify these jokes without using an online translation website:

Beth gei di os wyt ti’n croesi ditectif a chacen Nadolig? Mins sbei!

Doctor, doctor, dwi’n meddwl mai bisgeden ydw i. Wel, chi’n swnio’n cracyrs i fi!

Beth yw mochyn sy’n gwneud carate? Porc tsiop!

I can’t offer you any prizes, but do please feel free to try to work out the English versions of the above jokes by posting your guesses in the comments section at the end of this article. As I mentioned in a blog post that I wrote last year about being a bilingual parent, I felt a bit like I’m cheating when I sing nursery rhymes to our son in Welsh that are more or less the same as ones that exist in English. It just seems that I’m not fully embracing bilingual parenting when I’m singing ‘mae’r olwyn ar y bws yn troi a throi…’. However, but the upside of having mentioned this is that several people have stumbled upon this blog after entering search terms such as ‘Welsh version of wheels on the bus‘ or ‘Welsh language wheels on the bus‘.

The cynics said it was probably just wind, but I like to see this picture as one of the earliest examples of our son chuckling after hearing one of my jokes.

The cynics said it was probably just wind, but I like to see this picture as one of the earliest examples of our son chuckling after hearing one of my jokes.

Thankfully, the two Welsh joke books that I purchased contained some good rib-ticklers that just wouldn’t work as well in English. I quite liked  one section that contained jokes about pigs that involved rhymes with place names, such as this one:

Pam mae moch y Felinheli yn crynu wrth edrych ar y teli? Maen nhw’n teimlo’n ofnus braidd ‘rôl gweld y Gemau Olymp-blaidd.

Continuing on a pig theme, there was a joke about pigs going on holiday to Abersoch-soch, which plays on the fact that there is a place in North West Wales called Abersoch and Welsh speaking pigs generally say ‘soch, soch’ rather than ‘oink, oink’. It’d probably take me a while to explain why a policeman from Llanberis is called ‘Copa’r Wyddfa’ and a postman from the Netherlands is called ‘Vincent fan Goch’ but even those of you don’t speak a word of Welsh will probably understand the fact that DOLgellau is where Barbie goes on her holidays.

Before I end this blog post, I would like to launch a personal plea. If you are a Welsh speaker, please could you let me know your best kid-friendly jokes yn y Gymraeg. They may be jokes that you have been mocked or shunned for telling because they are so cringe-worthy, but they could play a big role in helping me to embrace an important part of being a bilingual parent. Diolch yn fawr!

I wrote this post as part of the Multilingual Kids Blogging Carnival for February that was organised by Olga Mecking of  the European Mama blog. To read about the other posts that fellow bloggers have written as part of this blogging carnival about funny multilingualism stories, click on this link.

If you speak more than one language, how easy or difficult do you find telling and understanding jokes in several languages? Is it easier to be funnier in some languages rather than others? Please feel free to share your views in the comments section below or on the ‘Dad’s The Way I Like It’ pages on Facebook or Google+.

Remember that you can also subscribe to this blog by entering your e-mail address in the box on the right of the screen and also follow this blog via BlogLovin. There’s also now a Pinterest board for this blog as well, so please feel free to pin this post if you’ve enjoyed reading it.

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2013 – a year in review

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I was flattered to be mentioned in the ‘2013 – a year in review’ post by John Adams of DadBlogUK. It’s always flattering to receive this sort of compliment from a fellow blogger, especially one has so much to contribute to debates about what it means to be a dad and parent today.

Another reason that I was pleased to have been mentioned in John’s post is that it helped me to decide what  would blog about this week. This is what I am supposed to do as I have decided to participate in this ‘2013 – a year in review series’ (…if I’ve tagged you in this post, please feel free to follow suit or not as you see fit, I appreciate that you may have a whole series of other posts lined up for the next while):

1. In your post, be sure to link back and thank the blogger that previously tagged you

2. Answer the questions below and tag at least 5 other bloggers

3. Include the badge in your post

Right, here are my answers to the questions that the other bloggers who have participated in this chain of post have answered:

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1. Your top 5 new favourite blogs to read in 2013

 As I only started blogging in June of last year, I’ve gone for five blogs that were new to me even though they may have been up and running for a while:

– Stephen Greene’s Head of the Heard. Stephen is from England but lives in Brazil with his wife and son. His blog is full of fascinating insights on Brazillian life and culture as well as humour and reflections about bringing up their child bilingually. As a fellow bilingualparent, I find this last topic particularly interesting.

– Olga Mecking’s European Mama. Olga is another parent blogger who has moved from one country to another, being originally from Poland and now living in the Netherlands. On her blog, she discusses topics such as multilingualism, traditions and cultures around the world and also general issues to do with parenting.

– Dean Beaumont’s DaddyNatal. Dean is the founder of DaddyNatal, whose tag line is ‘practical, memorable and enjoyable antenatal education for men, by men’. He is also the first professional male antenatal educator in the UK. I first heard about him and his organisation after my mum mentioned that she heard him take part in a discussion on BBC Radio 4’s Women’s Hour. I love his upbeat focus on what it means to be a man and a dad, and this really struck a chord with me around the time when I was about to become a dad.

– Tom Briggs’s Diary of the Dad. Tom has a real knack when it comes to writing humorous posts about all sorts of things with which a lot of parents will identify. The anecdotes that he recounts about being a dad often have me chuckling away in front of my computer. He has also discussed various topical issues to do with parenting, children and families.

– Leanna Guillen Mora’s All Done Monkey. In addition to running a lively and fun blog where she discusses bilingual and bicultural parenting, Leanna is also one of the main people behind Multicultural Kid Blogs, a group of bloggers who are interesting in topics such as raising kids to be aware of a variety of different cultures and languages. This group is always coming up with fun projects to do with parenting such as online book clubs and is also full of articles about all sorts of different traditions and cultures around the world.

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2. List your 5 most read blog posts of 2013

1. Being a Bilingual Parent. In this post, I talked about why my wife and I have decided to bring up our son bilingually using Welsh and English. We live in Wales and have found this to be quite a fun challenge as neither of us grew up speaking Welsh but we have both learnt the language since moving here.

2. It’s International Baby Wearing Week, so we went to Sling. My wife and I both enjoy carrying our sun about in a variety of different sorts of slings. We also live only a few miles from a small village called Sling. It only seemed right to go there to mark International Baby Wearing Week and take some photos of us with our son in a sling next to the Sling road sign. As well as this random silliness, this post contains some really interesting input from bloggers in different countries about attitudes to babywearing around the world.

3. Parenting clubs shouldn’t just be for mums. I wrote this piece due to my frustration at how the parenting clubs run by some big chains of shops in the UK seem to devote very little focus on the fact that dads are parents too and can play a positive role in the raising a family. I called for dads to be more visible in materials the ‘parenting’ materials produced by some such parenting clubs that focus almost exclusively on mums.

4. Baby ‘essentials’ – things that you’re told you need but could probably do without. In September of last year, a Saturday newspaper in the UK ran a feature entitled ‘The 50 best baby essentials’. I saw a lot of the items on the list as expensive luxury items that it is fairly easy to live without, so I wrote this post in response (…after counting to ten, sitting down and waiting for steam to stop coming out of my ears).

5. 6 things I’ve learned in 6 months as a parent. In this post, I took stock of what I had learned about parenting in the half year following the birth of our son. After writing this post, I really enjoyed hearing other parents let me know what they had quickly learned about parenting after their arrival of their children. I’m constantly learning all sorts of things about parenting as our son grows up and now do a post each month in which I reflect on the lighter side of being a parent. The most recent one is entitled 9 thoughts from my 9th as a parent.

3. Name one blog you wish you had found sooner

Scott Behson’s blog Fathers, Work and Family is one that I always love reading due to the way in which it combines being thought provoking, practical and highly engaging. Scott describes his blog as one that ‘is dedicated to supporting work-family balance for fathers’. So much of what he says strikes a real chord with me as I continue to try to do my best to balance work and family life. If you’ve read any of the posts that I’ve written on here about paternity leave, you’ll probably realise that this something that I see as a really important issue.

4. Your favourite blog post of 2013

If this means my favourite post from 2013 of those that I wrote here, I’d probably have to say that it’s one entitled What parenting and game shows have in common. It was quite a fun post to write, especially as the writing process involved watching YouTube clips of some of game shows such as Catchphrase, Going for Gold and Takeshi’s Castle that I used to love watching.

If I had to nominate the blog post that I most enjoyed reading as opposed to writing in 2013, it would have to be one entitled Dad, are we poor? from Aaron Gouveia’s blog Daddy Files. It provided a really poignant focus on striking a balance between earning money to support one’s family and spending time with one’s family.

5. What would you like to improve (if anything) on your blog next year?

I keep wanting to improve the layout and visual aspect of this blog. I think it’s improved a bit since I added the pictures under the title. I’m also trying to become a bit more focused when it comes to the types of posts I do. Each month, I plan to do a post about languages and cultures, one about what I’ve learned about parenting that month, a topical post and one or two others on whatever takes my fancy.

6. Name one blog you have a blog crush on

Hmm. Having a crush on a blog seems a bit of an odd notion to me, especially as I am now in my mid-thirties. I don’t think that there were anywhere near as many blogs around when I was of an age to have crushes.

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7. How often do you post?

When I started this blog in June 2013, I was planning to post twice a week but this swiftly became once a week so as I had more time to read other parent blogs and also make sure that I was being a parent in addition to blogging about it.

8. Share your first post of 2013

Despite being just under 9 months old at the time, our son was kind enough to write a guest post entitled Baby’s first Christmas in which he gave his perspective on what December 25th 2013 was like. I am hoping that he will do occasional guest posts on my blog during 2014 and will be bribing him with blueberries and apple rings.

9. Name one thing you would be doing if you weren’t typing this post right now

I’d probably be reading a newspaper.

 

10. What have you loved the most about blogging this year?

I was really flattered to learn in the last few days of 2013 that I’d made it onto the shortlist for the Best Newcomer prize of the Love All Dads blog awards. As the result was annouced earlier this week, I can’t really tell you about it was revealed during 2014. Here’s a link if you want to find out though.

However, I don’t see blogging as being just an individual thing. I really loved being part of groups such as the Dad Bloggers Facebook group, Multicultural Kid Blogs, Kid Bloggers Network, DadzClub and LoveAllDads. It’s great that they exist and provide a supportive environment for parents and parent bloggers. There are so many great blogs out there and I am delighted to have discovered so many over the course of the last year.

What do you think of this post and what were your highlights of 2013? Please feel free to share your views in the comments section below or on the ‘Dad’s The Way I Like It’ pages on Facebook or Google+.

Remember that you can also subscribe to this blog by entering your e-mail address in the box on the right of the screen and also follow this blog via BlogLovin. There’s also now a Pinterest board for this blog as well, so please feel free to pin this post if you’ve enjoyed reading it 

 

Being a multilingual and multimedia parent

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2013-09-02 19.12.07

Last week, I started reading Ana Flores and Roxana Soto’s book Bilingual is Better as part of the Multicultural Kid Blogs book club. In the foreword, Jeanette Kaplun mentioned that the likes of apps and the internet are resources that were not available to today’s parents when they were children. Apps and the internet have been a part of being parents for my wife and me, and were also a part of preparing to be parents. During labour, for example, I used an app to keep tabs on the frequency and duration of her contractions. In the first few days after our son’s birth, I regularly used my smartphone take photos of him and send them to my parents and in-laws. We also regularly use Skype to have video calls with our parents, which is great as they live several hundred miles away.

247227_10150268849931327_3851991_nUsing apps is something that is relatively new to me as I bought my first smartphone last year, a matter of weeks before I found out that my wife and I were going to become parents. I think that the only things that I downloaded to my previous fairly basic phone were Tetris and an app that turned my phone into a torch (…which was handy when I went out to check that our two chickens were back in their house just before going to bed).

As I’ve mentioned before in a post entitled Being a Bilingual Parent, my wife and I are bringing up our son bilingually in English and Welsh. Although I’m from Scotland and didn’t speak a word of Welsh just over six years ago, it’s become a language that is part of my life both at work and away from work. I use apps that allow me to look up Welsh words that I don’t understand (or translate words from English to Welsh) and make it easier to text in Welsh. My smartphone has also helped to expose our son to the Welsh language. He has two CDs of Welsh language nursery rhymes and I’ve copied them to my phone so as I can try to learn some of the words myself as I didn’t grow up with Welsh language nursery rhymes. Thankfully I haven’t started singing along out loud on the bus to work yet! However, playing some of these tunes via my smartphone once helped to stop our son crying at about 3am when he was only a few weeks old.

DSCF1787When it comes to making our son aware of other countries and cultures as he grows up, I’m sure that the internet and apps will play a role alongside books and films. I recently read an inspiring post on this topic by Ashley Steel entitled Visiting India the Virtual Way. Given that my wife and I absolutely love Indian food, our son will probably get to know about curries fairly quickly. When I was teaching English in Lille (France) from 2002 to 2004, I used to travel back to Leeds several times a year to see my MA supervisor at Leeds University. I’d always try to organise my journey so that I’d have sufficient time between arriving at the Eurostar terminal in London and getting the train to Leeds in order to go for lunch at a fantastic Indian vegetarian restaurant that is five minutes away from Euston Station. Their lunchtime buffet is absolutely amazing and always features a colourful and mouthwatering selection of dishes.

Because I lived in France for three years and have taught French to students for almost a decade now, I have thought about teaching my son to speak the language as well. We recently visited the country for the first time since becoming parents, as I described in a recent blog post entitled Our First Family Holiday. Although I spend a lot of my working week teaching students about the French language and culture, I haven’t really thought much about how and when to introduce the language with our son. We’re already bringing him up using two languages, and we’re a bit wary of throwing too many languages at him all at once. I know lots about apps and websites where it’s possible to watch French language television programmes online, but know next to nothing about apps, websites and other resources that are good if you’re trying to teach French to a young child. I’ve taught English to primary school age children in France, including during a holiday camp where they did several activities connected to my native Scotland (baking shortbread, drawing the Loch Ness Monster, Scottish country dancing), but have never taught French to kids of a similar age. If anyone has any suggestions for resources that are useful for teaching French to very young kids, I’d love to hear from them!

The types of technologies that people use as parents and in other contexts are certainly changing, but I sometimes wonder if what they are being used for is really changing all that much. Last week, I gave a lecture about the early days of cinema in which I talked about the Lumière brothers and Georges Méliès. Despite the difference of medium, there seemed to be some quirky parallels between certain aspects of this very early cinema and more contemporary television and new media. One of the 1890s Lumière brothers films that I showed was entitled Déjeuner du chat (literrally, ‘Cat’s breakfast’) and it seemed appropriate that I was showing it to the students via YouTube given that so many people nowadays seem to share or watch videos of cats doing amusing things on sites such as YouTube.

What we see happening in the cinematic pioneers’ film L’Arroseur arrosé (1897, often translated as ‘The Sprinkler Sprinkled’) are precisely the sort of antics that feature of home video clips and out-takes shows such as the UK’s You’ve Been Framed. Maybe it’s a case of plus ça change plus ça reste la même chose…

I’d love to hear your views on this post and the topics that I’ve discussed here, so please feel free to let me know your views via the comments section below. If you want to keep up with this blog, there are ‘Dad’s The Way I Like It’ pages on Facebook or Google+. Remember that you can also subscribe to this blog by entering your e-mail address in the box on the right of the screen and also follow this blog via BlogLovin.

I’ve written this post as part of the Multicultural Kid Blogs October Blogging Carnival about using media to raise multicultural children that is being hosted by Olga Mecking, who blogs at The European Mama.

I’ve also linked this post up with the Best4Future Wednesday Link-Up.

 

 

Being a Bilingual Parent

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This week, I’m talking about raising our son bilingually in Welsh and English and my experience of learning Welsh. I have written this post as part of the Raising Multilingual Children Blogging Carnival on the theme of ‘Hidden Opportunities’ that is being coordinated by Stephen Greene from the Head of the Heard blog. If you’re interested in these sorts of themes, please see The Piri-Piri Lexicon and the Multicultural Kid Blogs websites. 

Learning any language can involve a fun journey and a few challenges along the way. With learning Welsh, minor milestones that stick out in my mind include things like the first time I left a voicemail message in Welsh, being brave enough to select ‘Cymraeg’ (Welsh) as the language to use on ATM machine and running a Welsh language football podcast for about a year.

I moved to Wales in 2007 and live in an area where the majority of the locals speak Welsh as their first language. I’ve learnt the language thanks to Welsh for Adults courses available at the university where I work and regularly use Welsh in my working life. However, it felt like I was starting off on a new journey once we decided to raise our son bilingually. Indeed, it has been an exciting journey for both myself and my wife that has brought with it some exciting challenges and opportunities.

When reading about bilingualism before our son’s birth, I was struck by the number of different ways in which children can be brought up bilingually and the different dynamics this can involve. Colin Baker’s book A Parent’s and Teacher’s Guide to Bilingualism was a real eye-opener and full of useful tips for a range of situations.

As I am from Scotland and my wife is from England, our decision to bring up our son in Welsh wasn’t motivated by a desire to pass on a culture and a language that had been a part of our own upbringing. What we wanted was for Welsh and English to be part of his upbringing so as he could be fluent in both the native languages of Wales and become aware of the importance of both within Welsh culture. As Welsh is the first language of the majority of people in our village and the local area, it seemed the logical thing to do.

For me, becoming a bilingual parent has helped to enrich my Welsh vocabulary with words and expressions that I hadn’t ever learnt in classes. Some friends kindly gave us a book entitled Magu’r Babi: Speaking Welsh with Children that features entire sections on topics such as ‘Codi gwynt’ (bring up wind), ‘Taflu i fyny’ (throwing up) and ‘Cosi traed’ (tickling feet). Thankfully we haven’t had to use phrases from the second of those three categories too frequently so far!

Bringing up our son in Welsh as well as English has also meant that both my wife and I have been trying to learn some Welsh nursery rhymes. There are some that we have come across that are basically just Welsh versions of popular English nursery rhymes such as ‘The Wheels on the Bus’ and ‘Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes’.

In some ways, I feel that singing Welsh versions of nursery rhymes that exist in English is almost cheating so I’m keen to learn some Welsh nursery rhymes that don’t seem to have English equivalents  such as ‘Dau gi bach’ (Two Small Dogs). I’ve already purchased two CDs of nursery rhymes in Welsh that I have been listening to in the car on the way to work. With it being quite hot at the moment and often having to roll the windows down, I think I could easily end up embarrassing myself if I start singing along too loudly!

My wife has got a bit of  a head start on me with the nursery rhymes as she’s been going along to a ‘Cymraeg o’r Crud‘ (Welsh from the Cradle) course that is aimed at people who speak little Welsh themselves but want to be able to use it with their baby. It seems like fun too as the classes often involve arts and crafts as well.

These classes and indeed becoming a mum, have been a real spur for my wife to learn more Welsh. As she hasn’t got to know as many Welsh speakers through work, she hasn’t had the same source of motivation as I’ve had. From the day of my staff induction at Bangor University, I learnt about the status and importance of the Welsh language and started learning Welsh within a matter of weeks.

For me, learning Welsh has provided all sorts of opportunities that I would have not had access to had I not decided to learn the language. For example, I have become interested in the local music scene and been able to follow a Welsh language drama series called Rownd a Rownd that is filmed in a village where I lived for three years. Almost two years ago, I also made an appearance on Welsh language television channel S4C in a comedy sketch show where I had to speak French to a plastic pigeon.

I hope that my son and indeed my wife will discover all sorts of fun and exciting opportunities through learning Welsh just as I have. In a few weeks time, we will all be going to the Eisteddfod Genedlaethol (a week long annual Welsh speaking cultural festival). To mark the occasion, I’ll be doing a bilingual (Welsh and English) blog post about this and my initial experiences of speaking Welsh to our son.

I’d love to hear your views on this article, so please feel free to leave a comment below or on the Dad’s The Way I Like It pages on Facebook or Google+If you’re interested in bilingual parenting, check out the blogs Multilingual Living and http://livingbilingual.com/.

Since writing this post, I’ve also now added it to a Best4Future Wednesday link-up party where you can find links to other blog posts about bilingual parenting and traditions around the world.


Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop

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