A budding journalist from Birmingham has decided to make Wales her home and is giving learning Welsh a go.
Emily Withers, who works for Wales Online, loves living in Wales, and has fallen in love with the Welsh language, after joining a Learn Welsh beginners’ course in Cardiff.
Emily explains: ‘‘I moved here for university and I haven’t looked back. Since I started learning Welsh, I have felt more connected to my chosen home of Wales. I also see it as a sign of respect, as I want to be able to accommodate someone’s needs if they wish to speak to me in Welsh.’’
Emily left Birmingham in 2017 to pursue her dream of studying English Literature and History at Cardiff University. She went on to pursue an MA in News Journalism, graduating with distinction last year.
Emily is currently following an Entry level Welsh course for beginners with Learn Welsh Cardiff, which is run by Cardiff University on behalf of the National Centre for Learning Welsh. She is delighted when she discovers she can understand a little more Welsh each week, and has begun to use her new skills at work.
‘‘I sometimes use my Welsh at work with colleagues,’’ she says, “and I help run a Welsh-medium Facebook group for sharing news stories. Cymru Ar-lein features vocab and we ask questions in Welsh to encourage discussion. If you’re learning Welsh and interested in discussing current affairs, join the group!’’
In September 2022, the National Centre for Learning Welsh will be offering free Welsh courses to young people aged 18-25. For more information, and to register your interest, visit learnwelsh.cymru or please click here.
Emily would encourage anyone eligible to take up this offer:
‘’This initiative is a wonderful idea and it will no doubt boost our chances of achieving the Welsh Government’s aim of a million Welsh speakers by 2050. I can’t wait to continue to learn and use more Welsh with friends and colleagues. At the moment, I understand written Welsh a lot more, so I’m hoping my spoken and listening skills will improve in due course. If you’re keen to learn, just have a go. Learning Welsh is great fun and you can practise all the time if you live in Wales!’’