Thursday, January 12, 2006

Quized?

What does it mean to live in a bi-lingual country? To me, being bi-lingual means using the two languages how and when I want. There are people in Wales who prefer using English and there are others who prefer using Welsh. I use Welsh at every opportunity, and it's the langugae I socialise in (yes, I do socialise now and again!). You'd think what language I socialise in is my business, but in Wales things are never that simple.

This post is going to be about the politics of pub quizes.

I go to the Cayo Arms every sunday to take part in the pub quiz. The team comprises of myself, my girfriend and our two friends who are a couple. Both my girfriend and I can speak Welsh but our friends do not, even though both have attempted to learn - so we converse in English. The quiz is also in English, although the quizmaster is a fluent Welsh speaker and some weeks almost half the teams are made up of Welsh speakers. A nice touch is that all teams call their scores out in Welsh between rounds.

There are about 90 pubs in cardiff that hold quiz nights (you can count them here). All these quizes are in English I assume. As far as I know there are two pubs who hold a monthly pub quiz in Welsh, the Mochyn Du and the Goat Major. To be honest, I'm no good at quizes but turn up for the beer. Last night I went to the monthly quiz which my friends Geraint and Dwlwen have been organising for 16 months. It was bound to happen I suppose, and it's only a surprise that it's taken this long but as Geraint started reading out the questions, a guy at the bar started shouting things like:
The Welsh language has got a lot of catching up to do with the English, doesn't it?

fairly harmless I suppose, then his mate joins in with
Why don't you do it in a language English speakers can understand?

Right, 90 English pub quizes a week aren't enough for him, the only 2 quizes a month which are in Welsh also have to be in English as well. Linguistic intolerance is alive and well in the capital of Wales.

9 Comments:

Blogger wonderful-electric.co.uk said...

Was this at the Cayo or the Mochyn?

My Cymraeg-fluent friends tell me that the Cayo fell out of favour amongst the Cymrurati a year or so ago after it changed management and hired Aussie barmaids who didn't understand Welsh.

Still, surprised to hear people expressing that attitude in the Mochyn Du. Surprised that said person didn't get lynched.

1/12/2006 5:45 pm  
Blogger Rhys Wynne said...

It was in the Goiat Major (just realised I didn't mention that).

The Cayo fell out of favour with me when this guy took over and painted the walls in some garish colours and insited on having dance music blaring from 6pm onwards. The fact that barstaff were Australian [?] or not able to speak Welsh didn't bother me, just that they were crap barstaff - mates of the manager I think. Although it was a bit strange how all the Welsh speaking staff dissapeared over night!

There's been a new manager there now for over a year I think. Although he's a Worzel, half the staff speak Welsh and Welsh signs are back up and the selection of real Ale has never been so good - probably the best in all of Cardiff.

1/16/2006 12:29 pm  
Anonymous Bronchitikat said...

I apologise for my arrogant compatriot. Unfortunately even in these multi-cultural days there are some iggerant fossils still around.

For goodness sake, if they don't want Welsh why go to a Welsh bar? Particularly as there are 90 English speakers to chose from.

I reckon it's a case of increasing population density - where the majority of the density increase is between the ears of population members!

re:yr word verification test - you had bad experience of Spammers? Cos I rather resent being so accused, being accused of being English is bad enough - particularly when the grandparents I knew (my mother's parents) came from the valleys behind Newport.

1/18/2006 9:32 pm  
Blogger Rhys Wynne said...

I apologise for my arrogant compatriot.

I'm not sure where he was from Bronchitikat, such an attitude is sadly as common amongmy fellow countymen and women.

Yeah, the verification is a drag - I even have to fill it in myself to post on my own blog! Spamming is a bit of a problem on Blogger, I get the imperssion it's not as common on LiveJournal thankfully

1/18/2006 9:44 pm  
Blogger Rhys Wynne said...

I apologise for my arrogant compatriot.

I'm not sure where he was from Bronchitikat, such an attitude is sadly as common amongmy fellow countymen and women.

Yeah, the verification is a drag - I even have to fill it in myself to post on my own blog! Spamming is a bit of a problem on Blogger, I get the imperssion it's not as common on LiveJournal thankfully. Good thing about Blogger is that it allows people to comment withiout registering, something that stops me from bothering with blogs on opera ar msn spaces or wordpress.....

Thanks for calling by

1/18/2006 9:46 pm  
Blogger Curly said...

In the Farmers Arms, Tyddewi, a few weeks ago. My friends Mam was conversing in Welsh with her friend, a tourist sitting nearby turned round and softly said "Excuse me, we're English"

The expected reply came about and of course the majority of the locals that had heard the story took a dislike to the tourists.

It's a shame that some people should demand to hear their own language when their visiting an area where another is spoken.

1/25/2006 2:10 pm  
Blogger Rhys Wynne said...

Your friend's Mam should be ashamed of herself speaking in Welsh with her friend..in Wales! How Barbaric ;-)

1/25/2006 2:19 pm  
Anonymous Undoubtedly Bodacious said...

Incredible, How can he possibly moan about soemthing that happens rarely in a month. He is in Wales after all, It's to be expected to hear the NATIVE language is it not?

2/07/2006 8:05 pm  
Blogger Rhys Wynne said...

Well, there's another quiz on tonight at the Goat if you fancy turning up on the off change the guy's there so you can fight him, or just want to be on my team, let me know before 5pm

2/08/2006 9:31 am  

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