Festival revamp aims to get more people learning Welsh
A TRADITIONAL Welsh festival is to get a makeover this month in an effort to tempt more people to learn the language.
Eisteddfod y Dysgwyr — or the Eisteddfod for Welsh Learners — is being held for the first time in Carmarthenshire on March 15.
Kathleen Isaac, a learner who has helped organise the event, said: "Because it's an Eisteddfod, the point of it is to give learners a taste of what the National is like, but on a much smaller scale.
"It will give them the confidence to have a go and understand the event."
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She added that the event was important to the county at this point in time.
"Especially in regards to the census, and the Welsh language National Eisteddfod coming to Llanelli next year.
"It's quite high on the agenda at the moment."
Census figures revealed last year showed that within Carmarthenshire, 43.9 per cent of the population aged over three could speak Welsh in 2011. This was down from 50.3 per cent in 2001 and 54.9 per cent in 1991.
Learners will be participating in the competitions in a bid to raise their confidence in using the language in the Welsh speaking communities across Carmarthenshire.
"Even if you can only say bore da, the Welsh community want to hear you speak it," added Ms Isaac.
"It will be really, really nice for that community to see how much effort Welsh learners are putting in."
Funded by a grant from the Robert Dickie Trust, the event will follow the path of the centuries-old Welsh language festival, with stage-based events, including performances from choirs.
Written pieces, including poetry will also be judged in relation to the language level the competitor is currently on, and craft events complete the line up.
The Eisteddfod y Dysgwyr takes place at Cross Hands Public Hall, from 6pm, on March 15.