Executive Officer Sandra Bonney reveals how the University has helped her learn a third language
I moved to Wales in the early 1980ís from Cornwall to do a Diploma in Languages (French and German) and Secretarial Studies. I did think of learning Welsh but studying three languages at the same time proved too difficult.
It was after I moved back to Cardiff for the second time, whilst working for the University that I finally decided to learn Welsh.
Iíve always believed in acknowledging and learning at least some phrases in any language, even when youíre on holiday, because when people see that youíre making an effort it seems to allow them to relax in your company and the experience improves for all concerned.
An advert appeared on the University intranet promoting a fast-track, intensive 12 week Welsh course for beginners and I thought it was too good a chance to miss.
The course was run by the Universityís Welsh for Adults Centre. I registered for it in April 2003, went straight on to do a short summer course before progressing to the intermediate level in September of that year. I kept on studying until Iíd completed the advanced level and finally, proficiency in 2006.
The University has given me the chance to learn a third language and to practice it in my job. My use of Welsh in the workplace is now increasing, especially now that Iím also a mentor for a Welsh speaker at the School of Welsh.
Through the course, Iíve made a lot of friends in different circles. Iím a member of CŰr (choir) Godreír Garth and do most of my socialising in Welsh there. I competed with the choir at the Eisteddfod in Llangollen in 2007 - a place that Iíd never been to before, although Iíd lived in Wales for 20 years.
Studying Welsh at Cardiff has given me a different perspective on Wales, and has made me more aware of my surroundings. All in all, I found learning Welsh at the University quite easy and an amazing experience, and I had a lot of fun doing it!
Sandra Bonney works at the School of Social Sciences. She recently reached the semi-finals of the 2008 Learner of the Year Awards for her achievements in learning Welsh.