Everything you’re bound to experience as a Welsh speaker at university

“Teach me some Welsh”

The old Welsh language is one that’s very sacred to those who speak it. Being brought up with it as my first language I’m the first to get on the defense when anyone dares to insult it. It’s great being able to speak multiple languages, it’s very handy when we insult everyone on the sly (just kidding). Here are a few things that I’ve found to happen on the reg whilst at uni.

Being met with mocking chants when you’re on the phone to your parents

Who knows what weird noises our friends are trying to recreate when we’re on the phone speaking the good old mother tongue, but it sure as hell isn’t Welsh. Every so often you’ll  have someone shout “rydw i’n hoffi coffi”, “araf” or “heddlu” in the background, which is yes, impressive; they’ve watched Gavin & Stacey and can read road signs. Now please shut up.

Having to bite your tongue every time you hear “Welsh is pointless”

We could always plop a load of statistics here but there’s no need. Hearing this boils our Welsh blood. The language is a massive part of our heritage and it’s what we’ve been raised around. There are no cons whatsoever to being bilingual and it’s most definitely beneficial; even though you may think we waste too much money on the signs.

“Teach me some Welsh”

Your friends will all be fascinated by the fact there are Welsh swear words and rude phrases, and will obviously ask you to teach them all how to say “fuck off”. It’s “ffwciai oma”, by the way.

Housemate rivalry

The option to do modules in Welsh is great

Not only does it give us more options, cause we can choose to do the Welsh modules if we please, which have new, fun assignments you wouldn’t get doing your module in English, but the classes are typically tiny. Smaller classes = closer relationship with the lecturers. You get to know everyone on your module well, and your lecturers actually know you as a person and help you with your work in a way you wouldn’t get in a traditional lecture with 100+ students there. There are 6 people on my module, and it’s great.

It’s always great to have that bond when you find a fellow Welsh speaker

I’ve been known to go up to people in public places just because I heard them speaking in Welsh and I wanted to let them know that I too, speak Welsh. I don’t know how to describe it, but I genuinely get so excited when I’m somewhere that’s not North Wales and I hear a nice, gog accent.

Your friends will always be amused by how certain words in Welsh sound

“Coch” is a strong favourite, and no, it’s not pronounced “cock”. It means red. The th, ll, dd, ch and so on noises will also amuse everyone, and they will always try to pronounce them, fail, and just end up making some noise that sounds like they’re coughing up phlegm.

Y Gym Gym is where your fellow Welshies go, and it’s fab, and a good damn sesh

No one can chug like the Welsh

You know all the words to Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau, and you know what they all mean too

You can sing the anthem when the rugby’s on without mumbling the words and pretending to understand it.

You’ll be used to people mispronouncing your name, and having to spell it out multiple times a day

Muh-red? Ma-reed? Marrd? Us with the very Welsh names are used to people tiptoeing around having to call me us by our first names the first time they meet us. Instead, they’ll resort to calling us “mate”, “hun”, “babe” – anything but our names cause people are of getting it wrong. Starbucks is always a bloody hassle.