Welsh Joke Bingo Card

Welsh Joke Bingo Card

The cat did not walk on my keyboard.
She sat, placid and lazy as I learned.
A feminine noun
Y gath
Watching, as I scratched and scraped
To recover a language that should have been mine by right of birth
But was kept from me as ‘common’
As ‘no Welsh round here’
As ‘what’s the point?’

I have no shortage of vowels.
I’ve new ones to wind my tongue around
As I walk in the cwm, or climb the bryn,
Drink crwrw, read a llyfr,
Hear the song of a cyw new hatched from the wy
Of the language that is becoming mine.

I’m in no particular respiratory distress
I love the letters of the names that tumble from my tongue
Llangyfelach
Llangenith
Cwmrhydyceirw
Ystradgynlais
Pontneddfechan
Sgwd Eira
Aberdulais.
Llais. Voice. My voice. My llais, my iaith, my Welsh.

My educational needs
Are none of your concern in any of my languages
There is no punchline here.

I lose at Scrabble, true
But only against more fluent friends
‘Eisteddfod rules’
Over-caffinated in the learner’s tent
We cheat and use two tiles: a C and H
To fake the digraph CH
And laugh.

These words are not made up.
Teledu is no less a valid loan of Greek than Telly.
Teleathrebu/Telecomms, roots and branches
Borrowings.
Gliniadaur no less real than Laptop.
Hunlun is at least as real as Selfie.
All words are shared inventions.

We were speaking it before you walked in
Badly maybe,
Slangy loanwords and code switching,
A quote perhaps.
Your brain has taken these things and lied to you.
Has told you that the cocktail party, name in a crowd,
Half caught word of English
That you overheard
Was the truth
And meant we switched for spite.

The cat did not walk on my keyboard.
Dere ‘ma I say to her
In the language that has become ours
And she comes.

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