In early February SaySomethingin were invited to the launch of the new S4C programme, Stori’r Iaith, that explores what the Welsh language means to 4 presenters – actress and singer Lisa Jên Brown, The One Show’s Alex Jones, comedian Ellis James and Countryfile’s Sean Fletcher.
Held at the Millennium Centre in Cardiff and hosted by one of the show’s presenters, Sean Fletcher, the event also celebrated the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between S4C and the Welsh Government around the 2050 target of 1 million Welsh speakers.
After wonderful music was provided by the enchanting Welsh language singer, Bronwen Lewis, we were told about the need to make such a show to blow the myth of Welsh being both difficult and little used. The significance of assisting everyone in speaking Welsh as they, the speaker, see fit was strongly acknowledged.
Sean movingly told us how having been born in The Bronx, New York, then moving to Braintree, Essex, meant that he only started learning Welsh as an adult after promising to do so at his wedding into a fluent Welsh speaking family.
His learning process left him the feeling that his Welsh was not “good enough” despite his obvious desire to embrace the language. All agreed that Welsh speakers must accept non-grammatically correct use to encourage all newcomers to the language.
This was further music to our ears, as core to the SSi methodology is the idea that language memory is improved through making mistakes. Given this, we are eager to assist S4C and the Welsh Government in bringing about a genuine language shift in Wales.