In a previous article for the Huffington Post I went public about my language shame; well I am pleased to announce that I am (hopefully) on the course to rectifying this rather embarrassing situation. I have decided to start taking language classes so I should be able to speak something other than English...
For students everywhere it has always provided a liberating period between one busy university year and an even busier year to come. Consequently, students have never failed to embrace the many benefits of the summer break. However, with the controversial rise in tuition fees to £9000 per year the necessity of university has been debated.
Xin Nian Kuai Le, Gong Xi Fa Cai! If you didn't understand that, you've just missed out on the chance to make friends this week. And you're not alone. The Mandarin Chinese language is becoming more and more important for the UK because, quite simply, China is becoming more and more important on the world's stage.
I had hoped to find poems in the Arctic. I did not expect to return with a whole new language. Greenlandic had become the key to representing the Arctic for me, and I felt I owed it an acknowledgement. I selected the 12 most evocative words that Beathe had taught me, and compiled my own abecedarium.
Next time you attempt to ward off bad luck on Friday the 13th, consider going to Greece for the day. While in other countries people shy away from crossing black cats and ducking under ladders, in the home of the Acropolis they will happily open umbrellas indoors as there Friday the 13th is not considered to be bad luck.
English, the UK's blessing and its curse. Our national language is a blessing because it has evolved and continues to evolve as a powerfully expressive tool full of surprise and joy. English is also our curse because is has become the business lingua franca. English is the Martini of languages - anytime, anywhere, anyplace.
There are many reasons why keeping Welsh on the school curriculum is important, but to me it is vital as it is part of our ancestry. Cultural imperialism and social snobbery forced our grandfathers to murmur Welsh in the playgrounds, but they did, and it is only because they did so that we can speak it out loud all over Wales today.