Culture

New York-based actor Matthew Rhys only speaks to his son in Welsh

25 May 2021 3 minutes Read
Matthew Rhys. Pictura by Icla (CC BY-SA 3.0).

Matthew Rhys only ever speaks to his son in Welsh, despite living in the United States, he has said.

His five-year-old son Sam with his partner, actress Keri Russell, was born in 2016 and the family live in New York.

The Cardiff-born actor said speaking Welsh with his son was “as normal as breathing” and that the language needed to be “preserved at all costs”.

“I only speak to him in Welsh, and he understands everything I say,” he told Deadline.

“He’ll always answer me in English. He’ll pepper a few words sometimes in Welsh, I think just to please me. But he’s very clear about his Dada’s language and then there’s Mama’s language. So, he knows very clearly about whose is whose.”

Asked why he spoke Wesh with his won he answered: “Well, I grew up in a time where, and still, to this day and age, the Welsh language was under a considerable amount of threat, certainly in the ’80s. And I saw my parents do the marches and the protesting, in order for it to be recognized as an official language.

“And it’s only in the last 10 years it’s been taken off the endangered language list. So that was as normal in my house as breathing. I guess I was just born with it, this idea that we have to preserve this language at all costs.”

Matthew Rhys had previously said in 2018 that he intended to bring up his son in Welsh. “He’ll probably resent me for the amount of Welsh I’m going to force upon him,” he told the BBC.

‘Great help’

The actor was also asked by Deadline whether growing up speaking Welsh made it easier for him to do so many American accents throughout his career.

“I’m not sure. I know the Welsh language is a very muscular language,” he said.

“So, I think that’s a great help in the kind of acrobatics sometimes you have to do inside your mouth. But I think more so my parents are very musical, and I think it’s the hearing of a sound that helps me, possibly more than anything else.

“I think I would attribute that to being a great help to me.”

Matthew Rhys was speaking before filming begins on the second series of HBO hit Perry Mason, in which he acts the titular star. The series follows on from his success in The Americans, for which he won an Emmy award.

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Carole Davies
Carole Davies
28 days ago

Da iawn Matthew. Cymro i’r carn.

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
28 days ago

Cario ymlaen, Matthew; penderfyniad cywir.

Last edited 28 days ago by Wrexhamian
Lizzie jones
Lizzie jones
28 days ago

Da iawn !

Rhian jones
Rhian jones
28 days ago

Da iawn chdi ,o ni yn edrych ar rhiwbeth ar Internet ddoe ,a yn CYMRU mond 29% o pobol sydd yn siarad cymraeg yn CYMRU, sydd yn tris ,dwi yn byw yn Caernarfon mae pawb yn siarad cymrag sydd yn neis !

Nia Williams
Nia Williams
28 days ago

Normaleiddio’r Gymraeg le bynnag yn y byd #arwr

Lisa
Lisa
28 days ago

Rydw i yn magu teulu yn Lloegr, ac yn siarad Cymraeg drwy’r amser efo’r plant. Cytuno’n llwyr; mae hi yn hollol naturiol i siarad dy famiaith efo dy blant. Da iawn Matthew.

Ellen Protheroe
Ellen Protheroe
28 days ago

Unfortunately I can’t speak the language (yet). But awesome of him to do this.

Ann Hope
Ann Hope
28 days ago

Bydd dy fab yn ddiolchgar am yr iaith! x

Sian
Sian
28 days ago

Arbennig. Da iawn

Marial Haf Watson
Marial Haf Watson
27 days ago

Gwych i glywed Mathew, Cymro da.

Anne Parry
Anne Parry
27 days ago

Da iawn Matthew, mi fydd Sam yn falch ei fod yn siarad Cymraeg, mi wnes i siarad Cymraeg i’r merched a Richard yn siarad saesneg, ac yr oedd y ddwy yn ddwyiaithog o’r dechrau.

Iola
Iola
26 days ago

Gwych iawn Mathew – wnei di byth ddifaru trosglwyddo’r Gymraeg i dy fab ac mi ddaw o i’th ateb gan ddefnyddio mwy o Gymraeg maes o law #parch

Annwyn Lewis
Annwyn Lewis
26 days ago

Why is this newsworthy? You could swear it was unnatural in some way but it is as natural as breathing, like he said.
Da iawn fe ac ni ddylai hyn fod yn newyddion. Mae’n naturiol i bob Cymro boed ble mae’n byw.

Mair Owen
Mair Owen
25 days ago

Da iawn Rhys.

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