Joshua Gardner

A selfie by Joshua

I didn’t expect to move to Wales. I came to the UK from America to study after all that time home during Covid made me decide to finally in my late 30’s pursue a degree. My partner is from England, so I looked into universities across the UK. I chose Bangor because I was going for education and there’s a lot of really amazing stuff happening in Wales regarding education, but I knew nothing of Wales or Welsh culture beyond hills and sheep and a language that’s said to have inspired Elvish in Lord of the Rings. I came to check out the area a few months before moving and I couldn’t get enough of all the Welsh, looking up how to pronounce town names and street names and wondering what “wedi” could possibly mean. First I thought, if I’m going to live here, where this language is obviously important to people, out of respect as an immigrant and an American, I thought I ought to at least learn enough to order in a cafe or talk about the weather.

The more I learned of Welsh, the more Welsh I wanted to learn. It reminded me of the parts of school I most enjoyed as a kid. I had lessons at Bangor and used that app, but when I decided to switch to a degree in Welsh, someone recommended Say Something in Welsh.

I regret not starting with SSiW sooner! Learning a language just takes time and practice and there’s no shortcut, but SSiW sure feels like hacking your brain sometimes. I’m amazed at how it makes it feel like it’s getting easier. I’m not sure exactly what’s happening, but it sure feels like you can feel your brain being exercised and becoming more adept.

Learning Welsh has honestly shaped my career goals and aspirations and has been just one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Say Something in Welsh is the best resource for learning I’ve found so far.