Dr Martin Rolles

Arbenigwr cancr Dr Martin Rolles: Defnyddio’r Gymraeg gyda chleifion a gyda’r teulu / Cancer specialist Dr Martin Rolles: Using Welsh with patients and with family

in Intermediate/Interviews

Mae Dr Martin Rolles yn arbenigwr yn y maes canser, ac mae e wedi dysgu Cymraeg felly mae e’n gallu siarad â’i deulu a chleifion. Gwnaethon ni drafod hwn dros beint…
Dr Martin Rolles is a specialiset in the cancer field, and he has learnt Welsh so that he can speak with this family and patients. We discussed this over a pint…

Shw mae Martin. Felly, ti'n gweithio fel oncologist a ti wedi dysgu Cymraeg. Yn gyntaf, beth wyt ti'n gwneud fel arbenigwr meddygol?
Dw i’n gweithio fel meddyg yn Ysbyty Singleton a dw i’n trin bobl gyda chanser gan ddefnyddio chemotherapy a radiotherapy. Mae’n ddiddorol iawn, ac mae’r maes yn newid yn gyflym- mae’r triniaethau yn gwella trwy’r adeg.
Hello Martin. So, you work as an oncologist and you have learnt Welsh. Firstly, what do you do as a medical specialist?
I work as a doctor in Singleton Hospital and I treat people with cancer by using chemotherapy and radiotherapy. It’s very interesting, and the field changes quickly- procedures improve all the time.
A beth roedd e reswm amdanat ti i ddysgu Cymraeg?
Er dw i’n dod o Loegr, es i’r Ysgol Meddygaeth yng Nghaerdydd sbel yn ôl. Gwnes i aros yn llety Plas Gwyn gyda llawer o fyfyrwyr Cymraeg. Wedyn gwnes i briodi Betsan, sy’n dod o Breseli yng ngogledd Sir Benfro, ac mae hi’n Cymraes go iawn. Felly ces i incentive i ddysgu Cymraeg, ond gwnes i ddim dysgu mewn ffordd ffurfiol. Symudais i Abertawe yn 2005 a gwnes i ddechrau mynd i ddosbarthiadau i oedolion dwywaith yr wythnos achos caethon ni tri o blant, ac roedd Betsan siarad Cymraeg yn unig gyda nhw. Roedd e’n bwysig iawn amdani i sgwrsio gyda fy nheulu tra roedd y plant yn tyfu lan. Roedd e’n wych i ddechrau siarad Cymraeg gyda phobl yn y gymuned ac yn y gwaith hefyd. Gwnes i ffeindio roedd e’n ddiddorol dysgu Cymraeg yn y byd go iawn; gwnes i ddysgu Ffrangeg a Lladin i safon Lefel-O yn yr ysgol, ond roedd e rywbeth oedd rhaid i fi wneud. I fi, mae’r iaith Gymraeg yw’r iaith o strydoedd nid llyfrau- ffordd i siarad a sgwrsio â phobl. Dydy’r gramadeg cywir ddim yn bwysig iawn- jest mwynhau siarad. Mae’r agwedd modern i’r iaith yn agor hi lan i bobl.
And what was the reason for you to learn Welsh?
Although I’m from England, I went to Cardiff University’s Medical School a while ago. I stayed in the Plas Gwyn accommodation with lots of Welsh-speaking students. Then I married Betsan, who is from Preseli in north Pembrokeshire, and she is a real Welshwoman. So I had an incentive to study Welsh, but I didn’t study in a formal way. I moved to Swansea in 2005 and I started going to classes for adults twice a week because we had three children, an Betsan was speaking only Welsh with them, It was great to start speaking Welsh with people in the community and in work as well. I found that it was interesting to learn Welsh in the real world; I learnt French and Latin to O Level standard in school, but it was something that I had to do. To me, the Welsh language is the language of the streets, not books- it’s a way to speak and converse with people. Correct grammar isn’t important- just enjoy speaking. The modern attitude to the language is opening it up for people.
Dw i’n falch i glywed mod mae’r gramadeg yn her amdanat ti weithiau hefyd- mae e rhywbeth anodd am y rhan fwya’r dysgwyr. Fel dy wraig a phlant siarad Cymraeg, ydy'r rhan fwyaf o dy sgyrsiau gyda nhw yn y Gymraeg neu tua hanner hanner?
Hanner hanner gyda fy mhlant achos fy ngwraig a phlant yn siarad gyda’i gilydd trwy’r Gymraeg yn unig. Dw i’n gwrando arnyn nhw ac mae’n ok, ond dw i’n ffeindio ambell waith dw i’n gofyn ‘beth yw’r gair hwn’ neu ‘dweud e eto’. Maen nhw’n deall, felly dydy e ddim yn broblem. Mae’r plant yn hollol rugl a symud o Gymraeg i Saesneg heb feddwl.
I’m glad to hear that grammar is a challenge for you as well sometimes- it is something difficult for all learners. As your wife and children speak Welsh, are most of your conversations with them in Welsh or about half-half?
Half and half with my children because my wife and children speak with each other through Welsh only. I listen to them and it’s OK, but I find that sometimes I ask ‘what is that word’ or ‘say that again’. They understand, so it’s not a problem. The children are completely fluent and move from Welsh to English without thinking.
Ac ydy dy blant yn mynd i ysgol Gymraeg?
Ydy, maen nhw’n mynd i Ysgol Bryn-y-Mor a Gwyr. Mae’n bwysig amdani fod i’n gallu gwybod beth sy’n bwysig iddyn nhw, helpu gyda gwaith cartref a rhoi cefnogaeth. Fy ngwraig yn gweithio fel Meddyg Teulu mewn uned Cymraeg ym Mhowys, ac ar y diwedd o’r dydd mae hi’n gallu dweud am ei gwaith iddi i yn y Gymraeg.
And do your children go to a Welsh school?
Yes, they go to Bryn-y-Mor and Gwyr. It’s important for me that I can know what is important to them, help with homework and give support. My wife is a GP in a Welsh unit in Powys, and at the end of the day she can tell me about her day in Welsh.
A beth lles ydy'r defnyddio Cymraeg wedi dod i dy deulu?
Mae’n agor diwylliant Cymraeg i ni, fel llyfrau, chwaraeon, teledu- popeth. Mae’r plant yn mynd i’r Eisteddfod yr Urdd pob blwyddyn ac ysgul Sul pob wythnos. Mae’r ysgolion Cymraeg yn yr ardal yn wych, ac maen nhw’n tyfu lan gyda llawer o ddiwylliant, llenyddiaeth a cherddoriaeth. Mae’n rhoi rhywbeth ychwanegol iddyn nhw i gymryd rhan mewn.
And what benefit has using Welsh brought to your family?
It has opened the door to Welsh culture to us, such as books, sport and TV- everything. The children go to the Urdd Eisteddfod every year and Sunday School every week. The Welsh schools in the area are great, and they grow up with lots of culture, literature and music. It gives something additional for them to take part in.
Ac yn dy weithle- sut wyt ti'n mantoli siarad Cymraeg gyda chleifion a chydweithwyr pan mae e angen am lawer o derminoleg fanwl gywir?
Mae e broblem wir gyda’r iaith a geiriau meddygol a thechnoleg. Fel arfer dw i’n symud i Saesneg i esbonio rhaglen feddygol. Fy Nghymraeg i yw’r digon da i ddefnyddio mewn tafarn a gyda’r teulu, ond dydy e ddim rhy precise i gynnal full medical consultation. Ond, fy ngwraig yn gallu gwneud hwnna. Os fy nghleifion yn gallu siarad Cymraeg wedyn dw i’n ffeindio mae’n helpu nhw, yn enwedig mewn sefyllfaoedd lletchwith. Fel dysgwr, mae’n hollol iawn i daflu mewn geiriau Saesneg os ti’n ddim yn gallu defnyddio geiriau Cymraeg.
And in the workplace- how do you balance speaking Welsh with patients and colleagues when there is a lot of precise terminology needed?
It is a real problem with the language and medical and technical words. Usually I move to English to explain a medical programme. My Welsh is good enough to use in a pub and with the family, but it is not precise enough to hold a full medical consultation. But, my wife can do that. If my patients can speak Welsh then I find it helps them, especially in awkward situations. As a learner, it’s completely OK to throw English words in if you don’t know the Welsh words.
Ac oes unrhyw dipiau gyda ti i helpu dysgwyr eraill?
Jest dal ati a chael hwyl! Siaradwch Gymraeg achos mae’n cadw’r iaith yn fyw. Fy mhrofiad o ddysgu ieithoedd cyn Cymraeg roedd ymarfer papur, ond gyda’r Gymraeg mae’n hollol iawn i siarad mewn tafarn dros beint. Paid a chodi embaras!
And do you have any tips to help other learners?
Just keep going and have fun! Speak Welsh because it keeps the language alive. My experience of learning languages before Welsh is that they were paper exercise, but with Welsh it’s completely OK to speak in a pub over a pint. Don’t feel embarrassed!