A quick 'clonc' with one of our Welsh learners

We're passionate about being a bilingual organisation.  Our Customer Relations Manager, Kirsty Alexander recently completed an intensive Welsh course. Here's how she got on...

The course is part of the Work Welsh scheme by the National Centre for Learning Welsh. Here at the Centre we offer a range of free Welsh classes, from entry level to advanced to all our staff.

Congratulations on completing the course. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I come from Somerset originally, but have been living in Cardiff for nine years now, since moving here to study at university.

I came to work here straight from university and started as a box office assistant and I've been in my current role for two years.

"I feel that it's important to ensure that everyone has access to the arts, and that access is available through the Welsh language."

Kirsty

How long have you been learning?

Officially, only for the past year, but I was learning on my own prior to that, by using Duolingo. I volunteered at Tafwyl (Cardiff’s Welsh-language festival) last year when I'd just started learning but have improved a lot since then.

Why did you decide to learn Welsh?

In my job I deal with customers every day and wanted to be able to provide a service in English and Welsh. I feel that it's important to ensure that everyone has access to the arts, and that access is available through the Welsh language.

Also, after leaving school or further education, the opportunities to learn something completely new are few and far between. I love learning new things, so the opportunity to learn Welsh was great for me. It’s also useful for understanding the office 'clecs' (gossip).

How did you find the course?

It was intense. We were studying for four hours per week and spent three full weeks being immersed in the language. There was a lot of information and new things to learn but the tutor was lovely. I was lucky, I had friends on the same course, so I could practice with them too.

"How would I sum up learning Welsh? Fun. Important. Competitive (well if you were in our class anyway)."

Kirsty 

What's the best thing about learning Welsh?

It really opens doors to new experiences and it's fantastic being able to understand more of what’s happening around me.

I've been to watch a Welsh language production, Nyrsys by Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru, and watched programmes like Un Bore Mercher on S4C which were fantastic.

What would you say to someone thinking about studying?

It's a lot of fun to learn something new, and Welsh-speakers are more than happy to help. Just go for it!