YuQi Tang, originally from Shanghai in China, has started a digital channel that teaches Welsh through the medium of Chinese following her remarkable year learning the language.
YuQi's Welsh name is Morwenna, and she came to Wales two years ago with her husband, Scott Griffiths, who is originally from Cardiff. Morwenna started learning Welsh with the Duolingo app and since the beginning of lockdown, she has been following a course with Learn Welsh Gwent, which is run by Coleg Gwent on behalf of the National Centre for Learning Welsh.
It wasn’t easy for Morwenna to learn Welsh before she moved to Wales, as many of the learning platforms were not available in China. As a result, she has recently set up a channel on BiliBili, the equivalent of YouTube in China, to teach Welsh through the medium of Chinese.
Morwenna said, “When I was living in China, learning the language was very difficult. I have over 200 followers on my channel by now, and as well as teaching them the language, I also teach them about Welsh culture and things that are unique to Wales – such as making Welsh cakes or the Eisteddfod! ”
Morwenna spoke Shanghainese at home, and learnt Chinese at school. She heard Welsh for the first time on a visit to Wales with her husband - she didn't realise before then that the language existed, nor that her husband could speak it. She was amazed at the language and decided to start learning it.
Since moving to Wales two years ago, Morwenna has been attending online lessons and practicing her Welsh with her husband's great aunt from Ceredigion.
Morwenna said, “It's been really nice to be able to speak Welsh over the phone with Mair, my husband's great aunt. We've been reading T Llew Jones' novel, 'Un Noson Dywyll' together, and have now moved on to the Mabinogi in old Welsh, which is very interesting.”
Morwenna takes advantage of every opportunity to use the language and encourages other new learners to do the same.
She said, "It's pretty easy to anticipate questions Welsh speakers will ask you - why learn Welsh, why move to Wales and so on, but learners need to put themselves in other situations in order to extend their vocabulary, and themselves. And the most important thing is not to be afraid of making mistakes and to enjoy the challenge of trying to speak a new language.”
Morwenna now lives in New Quay, Ceredigion after a period living in Cardiff. She has just started a new job with University of Wales Trinity Saint David as a Chinese tutor, where she hopes to create learning materials in English, Welsh and Chinese.
- Here is a link to Morwenna’s Bilibili channel - https://space.bilibili.com/490460597
- Morwenna hopes to start Chinese lessons through the medium of Welsh in the near future.