When I was Young...
Pan oeddwn i'n ifanc...
gan/by Bobbie Johns

When I was Young...
      When I was young, my parents gave me a desire to know where my family came from originally. They would look through the American census for the names of great grandfathers and great grandmothers. They found the names of people from Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, England and Holland. 
My father's surname is Johns. Johns is not originally a Welsh surname. It comes from Ieuan, the Welsh name of the Christian saint, John.
       In 1995 I saw an ad in the newspaper about Cwrs Cymraeg. I called to ask for information and spoke to Hefina Phillips. I told Hefina I wanted to learn Welsh but it looked too difficult. There were so many letters in the words. I told her I was trying to learn Irish instead. There was a long pause and then she said, "Oh no, dear, you have been trying to climb through the window when the door is wide open. Welsh", she said, "is much easier. It is very phonetic".
        Afterwards, Hefina continued to teach Welsh to several people who had been students at Cwrs Cymraeg. We learned grammar, and to count and tell time. She explained that Welsh is the language of Heaven!
        Now Sally tutors me. I read stories to improve my pronunciation and vocabulary.
        Sometimes people ask me, "Why don't you learn something useful?" I tell them, "I am learning something useful. I'm learning Welsh!"
…because 'Dw i eisiau mynd i'r Nefoedd!' - I want to go to Heaven!"

Pan Oeddwn i'n ifanc...

     Pan oeddwn i'n ifanc, roedd fy rhieni yn roi awydd imi wybod ble roedd fy nheulu yn dod o yn wreiddiol. Bydden nhw'n edrych trwy'r cyfrifiaeth America am enwau hen tadau-cu a hen famau-gu. Darganfodon nhw yn y gyfenwau pobl o Gymyru, Yr Alban, Iwerddon, Yr Almaen, Lloegr ac Isalmaen.
Cyfenw fy nhad yw Johns. Nid yw Johns yn gyfenw Cymraeg yn wreiddiol. Mae e'n dod o Ieuan, yr enw Cymraeg o'r Sant Cristion, John.
      Yn 1995, gwelais hysbysebyn yn y papur newydd am Cwrs Cymraeg. Galwais i ofyn am hysbysrwydd a siaradais gyda Hefina Phillips. Dwedais wrth Hefina mod i'n eisiau dysgu Cymraeg ond edrychodd yn rhy anodd. Roedd yno ormod o lythrennau yn y geiriau. Dwedais wrthi mod i'n ceisio dysgu Gwyddeleg ynlle. Roedd 'na seibiant hir a dwedodd hi, "O'r annwyl, roeddech chi wedi ceisio dringo trwy y ffenestr pan roedd y drws ar led y pen! Mae Cymraeg yn", dwedodd hi, "mwy hawdd. Mae hi yn seinegol iawn."
       Wedyn, parodd Hefina i ddysgu Cymraeg i sawl person wedi bod yn myfyrwyr yn Cwrs Cymraeg. Dysgon ni gramadeg, i rhifo, a dweud amser. Esboniodd hi mae Cymraeg yw iaith y Nefoedd!
         Nawr mae Sali yn dysgu fi. Dw i'n darllen storiau i wella fy seiniad a geirfa.
         Weithiau mae pobl yn gofyn i fi, "Pam ydych chi ddim yn dysgu rhywbeth defnyddiol?" Dw i'n dweud wrthyn nhw, "Dw i'n dysgu rhywbeth defnyddiol. Dw i'n dysgu Cymraeg!"
….achos "Dw i eisiau mynd i'r Nefoedd!"
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February 2003
Welsh in Information Technology
from the
Welsh Language Board's Website

Over the past few years, the Welsh Language Board has become increasingly involved in the field of Information Technology in relation to bilingualism. And as Welsh becomes more widespread on the internet, the Board has also developed its own website.

The Board’s first site was launched back in 1996, and we were one of the first public sector organisations to develop a fully bilingual website.
With technology continually moving at breakneck speed, and the Board’s work constantly developing and expanding, we decided to move towards a new system of running our site and managing the whole project ourselves. This site is the result of the latest development – a site which not only includes information on the language and the Board’s work, but is also an electronic resource for the Welsh language at the beginning of the twenty first century

The technology behind the site enables us to regularly add and update information, and the site itself is a full archive of the Board’s work and publications since its first public meeting back in 1997. The content management system is simple, effective and easy to manage.

Technology has also enabled other organisations to move forward during this period. When the Board’s first site was launched back in 1996, the internet was still a relatively new development – especially in Wales – resulting in very little use of Welsh on the world wide web. Nowadays, bilingualism is a natural part of Wales on the web, and companies like Microsoft and Google have also bought into the need to develop Welsh language information and services.

In 2001, Microsoft launched Office XP, which supports a Welsh language spellchecker and hyphenator, easily downloaded free of charge from their company website.

Also launched in 2001 was a Welsh language version of search engine, Google. Google is one of the most popular search engines available and the fact that a Welsh language version is available has been a huge boost for the language on the web.

In 2002, the UK Government accepted the Board’s advice that all government organisation websites serving the public in Wales should incorporate both Welsh and English, as part of a UK wide consultation exercise on websites. We as a Board were in a unique position to advise on matters such as bilingual domain names for websites, equal prominence to both languages and direct navigation between parallel pages, as providing guidance on such issues forms an integral part of our work.

Over the past few years the Board has worked closely with a number of other organisations to promote the use of Welsh and bilingualism in information technology, and more recently on the internet. One of our key partners in this work is Canolfan Bedwyr at the University of Wales Bangor.

This is the team which created CySill, the original Welsh spellchecker, and Cysgair, an on-line dictionary to load on the computer. They have also developed a number of other programmes including Cymarfer, a CD-Rom based language improvement course for Welsh speakers in the classroom and workplace, and a number of other on-line dictionaries. The Board, in partnership with Canolfan Bedwyr and Microsoft were responsible for the exciting developments in relation to Office XP, and this important work is continuing.

Welsh and bilingualism are playing an increasingly important role in information technology and on the internet, and with the new media category in the Board’s Bilingual Design Awards, the number and standard of bilingual websites is increasing every year. We received over 50 entries in the competition in 2002, and we’re hoping to break this record in 2003.
At the beginning of 2003, you can send an e-mail, purchase goods, read the news, search the web and check documents through the medium of Welsh. Who would’ve believed it five years

HOLA!- HI—!

     I am Esther Stroud, member of the St. David's Welsh Society of Georgia.
     I was born and raised in Patagonia, Argentina town "Trelew".  My great-great grandfather was Edwin Kendrick Roberts.  He was the one who took a group of people from Wales to Patagonia in 1865.  It is a huge Welsh Colony in the Chubut Valley, which has kept their traditions, language and music until today.
     Every year they have two or three celebrations of the Gymanfa Ganu.  There is every year, the Eisteddfod, and for this occasion the participants come from all over Argentina and Wales.  They have one Eisteddfod for the young people who come from all over the world.
     When we celebrated the one hundred years of the arrival of the settlers in Patagonia there came two hundred persons from Wales to celebrate with us.  These visitors were stunned to hear the Welsh language spoken so beautifully.  This took place in 1965 and from that time to the present, it is a great door opened for Welsh people to come to Patagonian event.
     It is a small town called Gaiman, which has been preserved as a typical Welsh community.  You can walk through the streets any time of the day and hear Welsh music and people practicing.
     When I was a child everybody spoke
Welsh at home, most of all when taud and naun to visit we were not allowed to speak Spanish!
      The best way to know the Welsh people in Patagonia is to make a trip and visit and you will discover how beautiful it is.
       It is hard to tell such a meaningful story in so few words.  If you begin to read NINNAU (The North American Welsh Newspaper) you will learn much about the Welsh in Patagonia.
Diolch yn fawr.  Esther Stroud

"
"Duped in Texas"

     Our family came to live in a part of Texas, that every year had the threat of hurricanes looming over it.Altho' 30 miles inland, we were only 25ft. above sea level,and all the local bayous and creeks fed into Galveston Bay, so in the event of a hurricane affecting our part of the coast, a tidal surge would definitely impact us, and we carried flood insurance for that eventuality. Well, sooner or later it was bound to happen, Tropical Storm Allen completely filled the Gulf of Mexico with it's clouds and the media predicted that if it became a hurricane it would be the " Storm of the Century "-how many times have we heard that?Of course we were completely ignorant of how the hype could build, and our Texan friends had many first-hand stories to tell,so we took it very seriously,especially when it looked like it was heading our way! We decided to evacuate, so after boarding up all our windows,lifting furniture off the floor, we gathered up our passports,photo albums and other irreplaceable
items, and piled into our monolithic station wagon, and drove off into the Texas hinterland.
     We were exhausted and desperate to find a motel room, but none were to be found, as they were understandably all full!Our only recourse,pioneers that we were, was to pull off the road into a rest area-the primitive type- and sleep in the back of the station wagon, which easily accomodated 2 adults( myself
large with child at the time) and our 3 year old son!
      In the morning, we awoke to find we had company in the rest area, several other families had arrived, all Mexicans, not a word of English was to be heard, and for a second or two, we wondered just how far we had driven the night before!It got even more ridiculous when we turned on the car radio, only to find out that T.S. Allen had changed course and veered off into a largely unpopulated area of Mexico, and never became the Hurricane of the Century.We drove home,telling ourselves it was better to be safe than sorry and that we would do the same again, should the same threat occur again.On getting home we found out that not a drop of rain had fallen and not a lick of wind had been felt-did we feel silly!
     Of course the same threat did occur, but we were very brave by then and we stayed home while Hurricane Alicia (1983 ) came our way, the eye of the storm passing right over us in the middle of the night, the children sleeping thro' the whole thing in their own beds, fortunately it was only a Category 2 hurricane so not too destructive. Texas was certainly an exciting place to live, after the relative calm of living in Britain!
Angela Evans
"Cwrs Y Ddeilen Goch"
- the Red Leaf Course

September 2004

      I was fortunate to receive a Society Scholarship and a matching Cymdeithas Madog Scholarship, which enabled me to attend my 4th consecutive Cwrs Cymraeg, held this year in Ottawa, Canada, and appropriately named "Cwrs Y Ddeilen Goch"- the Red Leaf Course. Ottawa is Canada's capital city, and small enough to get around easily, which many people did before, after and on our midweek trip. Most people headed for the Museum of Civilisation, which houses a marvelous exhibit about the First Peoples, and tied in later to a talk given by one of our guest speakers, Mark Abley about "The Battle to save Minority Languages". Our own Jenny Hubbard Young, President of Cymdeithas Madog, graciously welcomed us all at the Opening Reception, as "family", and this was borne out by the fact that amongst us there were no fewer than 9 family groups, mothers and daughters, sisters ,fathers and daughters and husbands and wives. Combined with the fact that many people return year after year,and the age groups varied from the young to the not so young, we did indeed feel part of a large extended family. On to the
Cwrs-we were approx. 55 students, and fairly equally divided amongst the 7 class levels, so I found myself in a group of 8 in Hefina Phillips' class-Dosbarth Pedwar(class 4),and we set to the serious business of learning Cymraeg.Everyone in our class made great progress, and Hefina patiently reviewed anything we got stuck on,and we completed the course work for that level. The local organizing committee, a small but dedicated group, led by Pawl Birt, well known as part of the Cwrs Cymraeg family,together with the Cymdeithas Madog Board, did an excellent job of ensuring the course went smoothly,and it always impresses me that they are all prepared to devote their time and effort to
such a worthy cause, none of us should forget that they volunteer for the task. We were housed this year at Ottawa's first university-Carleton,and we were fortunate to stay in a brand new dormitory,with all other facilities conveniently situated.
        Before the start of afternoon classes,we had a guest speaker on 4 days.The first, Mark Abley,author of "Spoken Here",told us of his research while preparing for his book,of interviews with indigenous peoples in Canada and Australia, although his book covers many other countries -there was even a mention of my home town-Ebbw Vale, in South Wales.Ebbw Vale was an industrial town with workers moving there from rural MidWales to find employment (as did my family), but in doing so,they eventually stopped using Welsh, their first language, and the area
became entirely English speaking.
     The 2nd speaker was David Roberts,a native of Cardiff,but living in Ottawa,a professional interpreter,talking about working as an interpreter in a bilingual Parliament. David gave us a history of how the profession developed,from translators interpreting one sentence at a time to simultaneous translation, and as ever there is never enough time to hear all the anecdotes that undoubtedly go with such an interesting career.
     Pawl Birt , who holds the Chair in Celtic Studies at the U. of Ottawa, talked to us about "Wales' other Saints"-not only Dewi Sant,and it was  a great lesson in early Welsh history, which some of us missed out on when we were at school in Wales!
     The final speaker of the week was a distinguished gentleman by the name of Charles Fisher,a bona fide contemporary of Dylan Thomas,and a poet in his own right.He talked of going to school in Swansea with DT,and was part of the "Kardomah Group", that used to meet at the Kardomah cafe and discuss the issues of the day.The Kardomah cafe still exists in Swansea,and as a child I used to have lunch with my grandmother at the Cardiff Kardomah!
     Evening activities included Twmpath dawns(folk dancing), Quiz night at the Pub-with some assistance from complete strangers, Hefina's team won-I don't think she would have been a good loser!! Eisteddfod night yielded Sarah Stevenson as the winner of the Bardic Chair,which she will keep for a year,for her essay on "Neighbors".
      On our last evening,we enjoyed a Banquet with Cantorion Cerdd Dant performing Penillion singing for us. They are a delightful group of Welsh ladies performing songs to Harp accompaniment,adapting familiar tunes in different ways,uniquely Welsh! Following the Banquet these same ladies came to our Noson Lawen and were subjected to uniquely Cwrs Cymraeg entertainment! Each class did a skit, the Cor(choir ) performed and many others displayed their talents-it's amazing what natural talents abound and as ever,it was a night to remember! We all left Ottawa, with increased knowledge,enriched friendships and for most of us, a committment to carry on with learning Cymraeg!

Angela Evans
Yr Sgwrs:
"Mae'r prynwr yn siopa."
September 2004  
 
Prynwr:  Esgusodwch fi. Oes llyfrau cymraeg da               chi?
Siopwr 1: Does dim llyfrau  yma.  Gaf i werthu                rhywbeth arall i chi?
Siopwr 2:  Gaf i goffi?
Siopwr 1:  Na chei.  Chei di ddim coffi.
Prynwr:     Oes llyfrau da chi?
Siopwr 1:   Dych chi eisiau sofa?
Prynwr:     Nag ydw.  Mae Sofa gyda fi yn barod....
Siopwr 2:  Fyddi di'n mynd i'r sinema heno?

Prynwr:      ...Oes adran llyfrau gyda chi?
Siopwr 1    Dw i ddim yn gwybod, ond roedd un.
Siopwr 2:   Cewch chi drio'r adran lingerie?
Prynwr:       Gaf i siarad a^ reheolwr?
Siopwr 2:   Y dyffer yna?!!!
Siopwr 1:   O, Mae e'n bysur.... yn y adran llyfrau.

A "conversation" written by three students for Eisteddfod Dwp Ysgol Haf Y Fenni (2004)
including Karl Welsher, webmaster for SDWS
Mae'r prynwr yn siopa.
September 2004    
Prynwr:  Esgusodwch fi. Oes llyfrau cymraeg da chi?
Siopwr 1: Does dim llyfrau  yma.  Gaf i werthu                rhywbeth arall i chi?
Siopwr 2:  Gaf i goffi?
Siopwr 1:  Na chei.  Chei di ddim coffi.
Prynwr:     Oes llyfrau da chi?
Siopwr 1:   Dych chi eisiau sofa?
Prynwr:     Nag ydw.  Mae Sofa gyda fi yn barod....
Siopwr 2:  Fyddi di'n mynd i'r sinema heno?
Prynwr:      ...Oes adran llyfrau gyda chi?
Siopwr 1    Dw i ddim yn gwybod, ond roedd un.
Siopwr 2:   Cewch chi drio'r adran lingerie?
Prynwr:       Gaf i siarad a^ reheolwr?
Siopwr 2:   Y dyffer yna?!!!
Siopwr 1:   O, Mae e'n bysur.... yn y adran llyfrau.
"Cwrs Y Ddeilen Goch"- the Red Leaf Course