My 4-year-old has just learned her first Welsh word ,’canu’ meaning to sing.
How does a child living in the US with non- Welsh speaking parents learn such a word? From the wonderful, bilingual album, the girls received as a gift. The album was created by a friend of mine who runs ‘Babi Bach’ a bilingual music group in South Wales. The girls are fascinated by this unfamiliar language and love it when I tell them the meaning of a Welsh word.
The songs are familiar favourites, including, row, row ,row your boat, incey wincey spider and one finger, one thumb and are sung by male and female voices, in both English and Welsh. The Welsh versions brought back distant memories of my days as a student teacher in Wales. As an added surprise, when browsing the cover, I recognised one of the singers as a child who attended my after-school club in the 90’s. My friend confirmed that it was him, all grown up and singing professionally. More happy memories of home.
Living in the US, my children are unlikely to hear the Welsh Language. I’m not a Welsh speaker but the Welsh language was at the forefront of my early school years. We had Welsh assembly once a week, played games in Welsh and learned the Welsh language. The girls are fascinated that there is this strange language that is only spoken in Wales.
The girls sing along in English and try their best to join in with the Welsh. Initially, they spouted gibberish, laughing hysterically at the complicated words in ‘head, shoulders,knees and toes. My Welsh isn’t really strong enough to help them but I point out the words I recognise. My next step is to print off the Welsh lyrics , so I can sing along. The songs are separated by enthusiastic conversations between a group of friends in both languages, so it is easy for them to follow.
After hearing the songs a few times, they are already beginning to sing along in Welsh even without my help.
I can highly recommend this for Welsh parents who have moved away from Wales. It is the perfect introduction to the Welsh language. Equally, it is a simple and fun way to learn Welsh for children living in Wales.
Disclaimer :This is not a sponsored post no payment was received.