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Sophie Garrod, our Marketing and Communications Assistant is among the next cohort about to embark on the intensive Welsh course. We caught up with her ahead of her first class.

Hi Sophie, tell us a little bit about yourself.

I'm originally from south London. I moved to Wales in 2015 to study Journalism at Cardiff University, and I've made Cardiff my home ever since. I love it here.

I've been working here at the Centre since October 2018. I work within the marketing and communications department, which is right up my street as I am passionate about theatre.

Sophie at the Kinky Boots' press night with two of the show's Angels
Sophie at the Kinky Boots' press night with two of the show's Angels

Why did you decide to learn Welsh? 

I decided to learn for many reasons. Mostly, out of respect for the language... Before working at the Centre I didn't know the history of the Welsh language. The fact that it has been suppressed was a real eye opener for me. I really admired the bravery of people who had fought for the language, and it felt right to learn it.

If I moved to any other country - like Spain for example, I would make the effort to learn the language, and so it's right to learn Welsh.

Also from a more personal point of view it's great personal development and a way to broaden my skill-set.

What are you hoping to get from the course?

I'm aiming for a basic level of understanding with reading, listening, writing and speaking. Anything more than that is a bonus.

How do you see the course helping with your day-to-day work?

Even though my work is in English, I often work on press nights and events and I come into contact with Welsh-language broadcasters such as S4C's Heno. To be able to communicate with them in Welsh would be fantastic. I think it will help me make more connections - just having a little Welsh will go a long way.

How much Welsh do you know now, ahead of the course?

If I think really hard I know the days of the week, I can count to 10 and I recognise some months of the year. I sometimes use 'bore da' (good morning) and 'prynhawn da' (good afternoon) and when I'm feeling very brave I offer to make my colleagues a 'paned' (cuppa). But that's it!

I'm really looking forward to the course.

We'll be catching up with Sophie later in the year to see how she's getting on. Pob lwc!

The courses we offer our staff are taught by the National Centre for Learning Welsh.