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Childhood friends from Yorkshire learn Welsh and make Wales their home

18 Jan 2023 3 minute read
Elizabeth James (left) and Angharad Alter (right) (Credit: LearnWelsh.Cymru)

Two friends who grew up together in the same Yorkshire town, before going their separate ways, are now speaking Welsh with each other, while living in Cardiff and working for the same organisation.

Angharad Alter and Elizabeth James, who both work for Qualifications Wales, spent their early years in Whitby on the north Yorkshire coast, before Angharad and her family moved to Reading.

Angharad, whose grandmother speaks Welsh, started studying at Cardiff University in 2014, where she met her Welsh-speaking husband, Dewi.

Dewi encouraged her to learn Welsh, and she is now following a ‘Gloywi’ (Proficiency) level course with Learn Welsh Cardiff, which is run by Cardiff University on behalf of the National Centre for Learning Welsh.

Angharad says: “I began learning Welsh after I started university, but it was my husband, Dewi, who encouraged me to continue. The Welsh language is such a big part of his life and I wanted to be a part of that. I now speak Welsh with my husband and his family, my grandmother and many of my friends.”

Encouraging

Elizabeth James’s main reason for moving to Wales was to be with her husband, Owain, who is from Cardiff, but whom she met whilst living in Leeds, working as a history teacher in a local secondary school.

Elizabeth explains: “I moved to Cardiff after getting engaged to my husband as he was passionate about returning to Wales following many years studying in England. I spent lockdown living with my husband’s Welsh-speaking family and started following the ‘Deg am Dri’ live lessons on Facebook, held by Helen Prosser, from the National Centre for Learning Welsh. I practised speaking Welsh around the dinner table and I haven’t looked back since.”

Angharad and Elizabeth kept in touch during their teenage years, and both attended Christian camps in Bala. In Cardiff, they both go to a Welsh church and are involved in a host of activities through the medium of Welsh on a weekly basis.

Angharad and Elizabeth also regularly use Welsh with colleagues and in meetings at work, as Elizabeth explains:

“My confidence in using Welsh at work has grown, and I’m looking forward to developing this further. My employers have been extremely encouraging and supported me in taking a week-long residential Learn Welsh course at Nant Gwrtheyrn earlier this year. Learning Welsh and using the language in work and outside has been a joy so far. I had written myself off as ‘not a languages person’ but my experience has shown that language learning is for everyone.”


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Iago
Iago
14 days ago

Well done to both of them. Let’s hope they can inspire those 5 minute Welsh nationalists (the time to sing Yma o Hyd) who make excuses that they’re too old and think that being a Welsh nationalist is spending all day posting anti-Tory comments online to get off their lazy backsides and learn the Welsh language. A real Welsh nationalist wouldn’t make pathetic excuses for not learning it.

Chris H
Chris H
13 days ago
Reply to  Iago

So Lago, what you are saying is that unless you are willing to devote a lot of time to learning Welsh you should not be a Welsh Nationalist?

Karl
Karl
14 days ago

Lovely, great to see them take on their new home so seriously. Welcome home

Stephen Owen
Stephen Owen
14 days ago

Da iawn

Maglocunos
Maglocunos
14 days ago

Croeso cynnes i’r dwy ohonoch. Mae angen mwy o’ch tebyg chi yng Nghymru! 🙂

Rhufawn Jones
Rhufawn Jones
14 days ago

Croeso i Gymru. Ysbrydoliaeth yn wir. Trueni mawr nad yw pawb sy’n symud yma o’r un anian.

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