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Saying ‘Shwmae’ gives customer boost to Cardiff bakers

14 Oct 2022 3 minute read
Gareth Davies (left) and Ryan Rowe (right) of Let Them See Cake. Picture: Diwrnod Shwmae Su’mae – Shwmae Su’mae Day.

A Cardiff bakery has embedded itself in the local community by greeting customers in Welsh as a way to boost their day-to-day use of the Welsh language, one ‘Shwmae?’ at a time.

Owned by Ryan Rowe and his partner Gareth Davies, Let Them See Cake is a specialist bakery in the heart of Cardiff, which featured in recent BBC Three show Hot Cakes.

Gareth and Ryan have shared their story of how using more Welsh day to day has had a positive impact on them personally and professionally to mark tomorrow’s, 15 October, Diwrnod Shwmae Su’mae – Shwmae Su’mae Day.

With Gareth hailing from Bronant, Aberystwyth, he was very keen to use Welsh as much as possible in the business, the front of house team all able to speak Welsh and the high number of regular customers in the shop being Welsh speakers, Ryan, from Peterborough, decided to learn Welsh.

He found that a great way to boost his daily use of Welsh was to interact with regulars in their preferred language and that greeting them in Welsh was a gateway into far more natural conversations in the language.

Ryan said: “With the shop being in Victoria Park we have a lot of Welsh-speaking customers, so the shop environment has been a great opportunity to keep trying conversations in Welsh and I find that it really helps.

“I’ve been engaging with customers through Welsh and they’ve been very surprised to discover I’m from Peterborough. It’s been a great confidence boost to carry on learning. It’s really reinforced everything, and I’ve found the best way to learn is to just throw yourself in.”

Welsh for everyone

Shwmae Su’mae Day promotes the idea of starting every conversation with ‘shwmae?’ ‘su’mae?’ or ‘shwdi?’ as a way of building up daily use of Welsh.

The event aims to show that the Welsh language is for everyone, no matter how much Welsh someone may know, and that a simple greeting can inspire people to start every conversation in Welsh in future.

Now in its tenth year, Shwmae, Su’mae Day is coordinated by Dathlu’r Gymraeg, an umbrella group made up of 26 Welsh organisations and societies.

For more information about events taking place near you this Shwmae Su’mae Day visit or follow @ShwmaeSumae on Twitter and Facebook or @DiwrnodShwmaeSumae on Instagram.

You can also promote your own event by using the hashtag #ShwmaeSumae.

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1 year ago

Although both “siwmae” and “shwmae” (sut mae) are used the correct spelling is “siwmae”. “Shwmae” is the Anglicised version to make it easier for our cross border neighbours. Just saying.

1 year ago

Da iawn i’r ddau ohonyn nhw

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