Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The Chris Cope effect

Last night, Sarah and I went to the Mochyn Du to meet Chris Cope [.en] and his wife Rachel. I'd already met Chris last October when he was over for an interview with the university, and now he and his wife have moved here so that he can start his degree in Welsh in September. Geraint, Mair and Sara (who I'd not met before) were also there.

Soon after we arrived a woman came up to our table and asked "are you Chris Cope?". Now this sort of thing is no good for Mr Cope's ego, I get the impression he loves this sort of attention. At first I thought she was a welsh learner herself who reads his blog, but she was a reporter from the BBC.

She appologised for interepting but Chris was more than happy to be interviewed. Chris explained that he'd started learning Welsh using the BBC's Learn Welsh website, but also how discovering welsh langugae blogs has been a great help to him as he can show his Welsh to others (written on his blog and orally via podcast) and recieve feedback from welsh speakers.

When I was learning I used to make faces. I would look a bit freaky

I'm not sure how much the reporter understood about blogging, but I made sure she had Geraint's name and mine and our blog addresses to be included in the article (Mair and Sara hadn't arrived by then). Here's the article on the web, Geraint and I are mentioned, but there's no link to our blogs unfortunately (sob sob).

Of course I'm an old hand at appearing on the BBC ;-)

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Anonymous Bronchitikat said...

Well done you, & him. Though the idea of learning Welsh from any written source kinda blows my mind - the way the words look & the way they sound are just so different & I did French, Latin & some Greek & Russian in my schooldays (as well as English).

Think I'll just stick to trying to work out the pronounciation of place names from signposts!

BTW - how's he going to polish up his pronounciation in Cardiff? I thought it was very different depending on quite which valley/mountain you were on.

7/18/2006 2:26 pm  
Blogger Rhys Wynne said...

Well done me? I didn't do anything! Learning by text alone must be very difficult, fortunatley Welsh is very phonetic, so if you can pronounce the letter, the words should come easily.

The BBC's site has a lot of audio files, so you can hear how a lot words sound + you can now listen to Radio Cymru over the internet these days, which is what Chris and a lot of other learners in the US do.

The advantage of being in Cardiff is that you have people from all over Wales in one place. Last night he could listen to people round the table from Llanelli (south west), Aberystwyth (west coast), Blackwood (south east valleys) and Denbigh (north east).

Two handy sites for pronouncing Welsh places names etc:
Sounds Good
How do I say?

7/18/2006 3:03 pm  

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