Welsh Language Summer Courses

Hey everyone!

For some time I've been thinking about going to Wales for a summer language course. Cardiff University offers these intensive courses for up to 8 weeks, and it would be a nice opportunity as long as I'm still a student with long summer holidays.

Since I've got plans for this summer already, I'm thinking about doing it in 2017, so I'll have a lot of time to work with our tree here and other material... The question is: Should I then take a class that starts at the beginning? The courses in Cardiff are divided into chunks of two weeks. And neither do I want to be bored for 2 or even 4 weeks (or spend time and money on unnecessary classes), nor do I want to be behind the rest of the class when I start later.

So, does anyone have an idea of how much you actually have learned once you've finished the tree?

And what kind of people go to these summer language classes? Language students from abroad like me, or (I'm very sorry, guys, I don't want to step on anyone's toes) English people who've never studied a foreign language? (I'm quite good at pronounciation in general, because I'm good at imitating speech, plus I'm German, so for example I was rather annoyed when in "BBC Catchphrase", this welsh radio course, they spent so much time teaching english speakers how to pronounce "ch"^^)

Thanks to everyone in advance!

March 30, 2016

  • 1652

Hopefully if you work through the duolingo tree you'll be at a level similar to the 3rd or 4th year of a once a week evening class, or further along, depends how much other work you're able to do. The problem with the Cardiff course, is that it is too course book based, my daughter did the 8 week course last year and made a lot less progress than I'd hoped. I would suggest you had a week at the Eisteddfod and maybe a course at Nant Gwrtheyrn, the national language centre, if you really wanted to do a course in Cardiff, stick to a two week one.

March 31, 2016
  • 1767

Nant Gwrtheyrn is also recommended by Froggy_ in the discussion here

April 1, 2016

Probably easiest just to get in touch and ask them!

There are others who run similar long (and short) courses, too.

March 30, 2016

Thanks for your answers! Of course I can get in contact with them, but I was hoping to find someone with personal experience :) So special thanks to rmcode ;)

I don't insist on a course in Cardiff - I also thought about the summer course at the University of Bangor. But what I like about these courses is that they offer accomodation in the dorms, which smaller places probably don't, so I counted that as a plus. I've never come across Nant Gwrtheyrn, I'll definetely look it up, thanks for the suggestion.

April 1, 2016

One thing to consider is if you have a preference for learning Northern Welsh or Southern Welsh. I would assume that the Cardiff-based courses would teach Southern Welsh, and Bangor-based ones teach Northern Welsh. Aberystwyth University also do Summer residential courses, but as it's in Mid Wales, I'm not sure if it would be Northern or Southern (I think it's the latter). Nant Gwrtheyrn are situated in North Wales, but which version they teach depends on the students in the particular class - if there's a majority of students studying Southern Welsh, they will teach that version to the particular class, however any visits off-site or visiting native Welsh speakers will, of course, be in the Northern dialect. (They are very good at trying to meet the needs of all the students, though) The course file that you use and take home with you at the end of the course is, however, very good, as it shows Northern Welsh on one page and Southern on the other.

April 3, 2016

The 'north' vs 'south' idea is misleading. Wales has 4-5 main dialect areas, not two. Any course will be largely based around the sort of language widely used across Wales in the media, say. There may be mention of some dialect variations, but these will not render your learning somehow useless if you move from one part of Wales to another. People from all over the country are quite capable of carrying on a conversation with each other.

As regards courses, just pick one that is convenient and of a style that you will enjoy.

April 7, 2016

That's interesting!

I had simply assumed that Nant Gwrtheyrn would be teaching Northern, being as it is situated in the North. Interesting that they are prepared to teach either.

April 3, 2016

Since I'm not from Wales I'm still quite neutral on the accents... That's probably not going to be a deciding factor, at least for my first stay in Wales.

April 3, 2016

I don't know how they handle it in Cardiff, but if you have prior experiences, you usually have to take a test before they put you into a class.

March 30, 2016

I'm considering the one in Aberystwyth this Summer. It is a month long and runs throughout August. Might give you another option to look at, can't say myself it is any better than teh Cardiff one as only heard of the Cardiff one when I read this post! Here is a link to the Aberystwyth one anyhow -

April 3, 2016

Right, Aberystwyth is an option as well. As I said previously, I can't do it this year, because I have an awesome summer job on Svalbard, so no regrets :) But I like to plan early, I think I knew like 3 years before that I wanted to participate in the Faroese Summer Institute, which I did a few years ago, so I know that a long intensive course in Wales will definetely happen :D Next year. And I have to admit, I kind of like Bangor somehow... it looks cute, it's so close to Snowdonia and Ynys Môn... so it might be a better "base" for trips than Aberystwyth.

April 3, 2016

Svalbard sounds amazing - just watch out for polar bears, although there probably won't be many of those around in Summer! That Faroese course sounds a lot of fun. I've got my sights set on the Czech Summer course in Prague, but that might be next year or even the year after.... I think I might have to google the Faroese Summer Institute!

April 5, 2016

Don't worry, I'll have a rifle ;) (To scare them away if necessary with the loud noise, mind you)

I can really recommend the Faroese Summer Institute. They used to do it every two years, but I think recently they started doing it every year because of the number of applicants. It's definetely happening this year, but I have no idea if application is still open.

Prague sounds good too. I just love those summer courses, their usually an amazing experience.

April 6, 2016
Learn Welsh in just 5 minutes a day. For free.