How a handful of words can make foreigners feel Adopted by Wales

Four outsiders discuss the way the country has embraced them through the language of home

Welsh baby sheep in a field
Photo by Tim Marshall on Unsplash
Listen to Adopted by Wales:

No matter how long ago you moved to Wales or how long you’re staying for, the distinctive Welsh language has a way of making you feel at home. 

Our four hosts reflect on their experiences of the mythical Welsh language from the point of view of outsiders who have been adopted by the land of dragons via the local language. Of course, we start with the cwtch – the ubiquitous cuddle whose fame has travelled far and wide. 

Or maybe not that far. Tune in for Jack’s hilarious anecdote of being lost in slang translation between different parts of the UK, and find out what happened when he suggested to his housemates that they have a cotch (Southern slang for ‘chill’).

Here’s a sneak preview from the man himself: “They wondered who I wanted to have a cuddle with – or perhaps all of them? I felt a bit daft, but the cuddle was great!”

Cwtch is the new Hygge

We also discuss Cwtch as a lifestyle, as told by Jacob and his experience spending lockdown with his Welsh ‘in-laws’. “It’s not unlike hygge in Danish – a catch all term that denotes a general feeling of cosiness. What could be more lockdown than that!” 

Also featured in the episode is Becca’s guide to deciphering Welsh housemates. Having lived with a local for four years, she’s a bit of an authority on the subject. Her verdict on the Welsh? “For all the stereotypes about rain and the number of sheep associated with Wales, the stereotype that they are incredibly friendly is the truest.”

Other topics include getting cosy with a paned, adding words to the ends of sentences for the sake of it, and, of course, Polly’s memories of her time as a Fresher, when everyone in her flat was obsessed with the police. (No, not the rock band.)