Siarad Cymraeg ?
Or to put it another way, do you speak welsh ? I'm ashamed to say that I don't, even though I've lived in Port Talbot for slightly more than 2 decades now. Now don't get me wrong. I have nothing against the welsh language at all. In fact, at the risk of sounding like a patronising Englishman I'd go so fa as to say that I think its a beautiful language, which has real poetry in it, even when you hear people using it in everyday conversation. But the thing is that I live in an area which is predominantly anglophone, and so not really needing to speak welsh, I've never got round to joining a class to learn it.
So how was it that I came to take part in a quiz conducted entirely in Welsh last night ? Well, I was invited, and none of my regular Sunday quizzes was on. My Head of Department is a first language welsh speaker, and he rang me up on Boxing Day and invited me to a quiz in Alltwen Rugby Club near Pontardawe, with his brother and a former colleague of ours. Apparently this is an annual fixture, and they were runners-up last year. Well we weren't even close this year. We won the last round, on General Knowledge, but the events of 2008 and the sports round finished us off. A very different experience, though, playing in a quiz where I had to have each of the questions translated for me by my team mates. However even in a relatively fruitless evening, there were still a couple of interesting things which I learnt . For instance, you might have heard that a new version of Cluedo has been launched, where the characters have names rather than titles. I hadn't. Apparently the new characters are:-
Cassandra Scarlet - ( an aging star often featured in the tabloids )
Jack Mustard ( now a former sports star - so he's lost his commission )
Victor Plum - ( a computer wizard dot com millionaire )
Jacob Green ( afro american )
That will surely come up again somewhere.
I must confess that I didn't know which was the most southerly capital city of South America. I narrowed it down to Montevideo, Santiago and Buenos Aires. Of the three I went for Santiago, which is actually further north than the other two. The correct answer is actually Montevideo.