themegaloo: (DW- Amy- Thinking deep thoughts)
[personal profile] themegaloo
Over ten years ago I stumbled across a book called The Grey King in my school library, not realizing it was the fourth book of a five book sequence (The Dark is Rising for you infidels who have no idea what I'm on about). Lately, as a result of [livejournal.com profile] copperbadge mentioning a compeltely different series from that era of my life, I've been re-reading the books I've not read in ten years. For one thing, it's amazing how many plot details you can lose over that period of time. For another, some of the things I read were not entirely age-appropriate and it's amused me a lot in retrospect.

But the main thing just at the moment is that The Grey King was the first book to introduce me to Wales and the Welsh language. There's a section of the book where Bran tries to teach Will how to pronounce the place names and I just BOGGLED at how those letters somehow were meant to make those sounds. By the end of the book, however, I was completely enamored of the language, the country, and had decided that at my first chance I was ABSOLUTELY going to go to Wales.

This is a bit funny because I went to Scotland in 04, England in 07 and lived in Ireland from 08 to 09, plus a whirlwind visit in 2010. I've spent probably 12 hours cumulative in Wales, much to my dismay. So my next trip abroad is clearly going to have to be Wales. Because it's LONG OVERDUE. Though that's not really the point at all.

From the first time I read the book, I had the desire to learn Welsh, as impractical as it may be. I was constantly foiled- my high school only had Spanish, my college didn't have it either, I ended up learning Spanish, German, Latin and Old English, but not Welsh. It's always stayed in the back of my mind that someday, I'm going to learn this impossible-looking language, but there was never really time between everything else I had to do. Every time I'd run across a book, movie or TV show that dealt with Wales, I'd think on it a bit more, but the time was never right. (Yes, Jessi, Torchwood was definitely one of these moments, but far from the only one.)

So I just finished The Grey King earlier today. Within 6 hours I have found saysomethinginwelsh.com and have finished the first lesson. It's hard, and still looks nothing like it sounds (and I agree with the program that looking at the words before learning to say them is Probably Bad, but looking at them after is sort of hilarious), but it's REALLY FUN too.

So, finally, I am going to learn Welsh. Because... Dw i eisiau siarad Cymraeg.
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August 2012

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