When Bethan Howells' family decided to move to Wales after 10 years in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Bethan was very keen to learn Welsh.
With her mother originally from Anglesey, Bethan knew some words such as 'paned' (cuppa) and 'teisen' (cake) but hadn't heard a Welsh conversation before her family moved to Llanfairpwll in 2013.
Three years later in 2016 after completing her 'History and Chinese Studies' degree at the University of Nottingham, she began learning Welsh.
Bethan said, "I started my journey learning Welsh with the SaySomethinginWelsh app, which was very good for practising speaking Welsh. Then when the lockdown came, I moved to Llanfairpwll to live with my mother, and had time to take classes.
“Mum is learning Welsh too and speaks really well. It's really nice to speak Welsh with her. We love learning languages in general, and she also speaks Russian, German and French.”
Bethan has Welsh lessons online with Learn Welsh North West, which is run by Bangor University on behalf of the National Centre for Learning Welsh.
Bethan added, "The best thing for me about learning Welsh is having conversations with people on the street or in shops - being able to speak Welsh in the community. I also worked in a café over the lockdown and everyone there spoke Welsh. So, I had a lot of opportunities to speak Welsh while living in Llanfairpwll.”
Bethan has now started a new job with the Civil Service in London, and has moved there to live. She said, "I live in London now and don't get much opportunity to speak Welsh but I plan to travel back to Wales as often as I can to see my family and speak Welsh.
"I would recommend anyone thinking of learning Welsh to go for it. Learning Welsh is very important to me and I'm having a lot of fun learning!”
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 click here.