Hobbies

Postiwyd gan Nicolas Pottier Blogger

Mae’r cynnwys hwn ar gael yn Saesneg yn unig.

Now that exams are over, I can indulge myself in my hobbies before the next semester starts. These hobbies include, eating, travelling and learning languages.
As mentioned in my previous post, I’ve decided to treat myself to a trip to Paris where I can enjoy an abundance of pastries and bread. I will therefore be satisfying my travelling and eating hobbies, adding extra kilos to my existing Christmas belly.

My last hobby is a little harder to obtain as it requires will power, time and resources. Being a fluent English and French speaker, I’ve decided to take on Mandarin and Welsh on the side in order to satisfy my appetite for language learning. I chose Mandarin because I’ve always wanted to learn the most spoken language in the world. It is a language I had started in primary school and hoped to come back to. Cardiff University has allowed that to happen by offering Mandarin as a free evening course. The “languages for all” programme offers a variety of languages you can learn weekday evenings with university language staff. Languages include French, German, Portuguese, Spanish and more. Not choosing to study languages as your degree doesn’t mean that you have to give up on them. No more excuses.
I’ve decided to learn Welsh because I thought I’m living in Wales and therefore there is no better time than now to embrace the local language. Granted it is a hard language to learn but as I’ve experienced recently, when you can read signs and not refer to the English translation, you can walk around looking smug. Unfortunately, since the “languages for all” and the Welsh for all programme run simultaneously, the university only allows you to choose one. That meant I had to turn to other means to learn Welsh. The best way I found was using Duolingo as it provided a good learning interface, allowing you to read, write and speak Welsh. In addition it’s great because since it’s an app, you can learn on the go. During a lecture break, or on the way to work, all you need is a phone or tablet. You can set a daily target suited to the amount of time you want to spend learning and the intensity of the learning. The only downside to the app is that I feel more comfortable talking to my phone than actual Welsh speakers. Also be warned but the notifications can get quite persistent if you don’t reach your daily target.

As I am about to land in Paris now, I must be off. I hope that for those of you who were worried they wouldn’t be able to carry on learning a language because of their degree are now reassured. University doesn’t mean just work. It also allows you to continue or solidify your hobbies so take advantage of it.

Here’s a link to the Languages for All website for some more information: http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/modern-languages/courses/languages-for-all 

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