The National Eisteddfod is a unique place for people who speak Welsh to meet and to do everything through the medium of Welsh, First Minister Mark Drakeford said during a visit to the Maes at Boduan, Pwllheli.
"That is difficult to create because English is around us all day, everyday so the National Eisteddfod is extremely important to us," he added. Speaking at the National Eisteddfod, he said the festival had developed over the years.
"Organisers have worked so had to welcome everyone to the Maes whatever their background, where ever they are from they are welcome to visit the Eisteddfod to see and to enjoy what is going on," he said.
"I would say to anyone thinking of learning Welsh to follow my example because the only way is to use the language everyday. Not to worry too much about making mistakes or not knowing what a specific word is in Welsh. People worry about that and forget what they want to say. I find that happening to me quite often and I work in an environment where there are no Welsh words for certain situations so the important thing is to just carry on. Go ahead and speak Welsh as best you can. It will develop and get better and as time goes on confidence will rise."
He added the most enjoyable part of the Eisteddfod for him was to walk about the Maes visiting various stands and meeting people.
"I enjoy the informal aspect of the Eisteddod most. I go to meetings and address conferences but what I enjoy the most is talking to people and hearing about what they are going and hearing what they want to say to me as First Minister," he said.
During the day Mr Drakeford took part in a conversation with Einion Dafydd in Maes D, the area for Welsh learners on the Maes and spoke at a meeting with Senedd Llywydd Elin Jones. He also met the finalists vying for the title of Welsh Learner of the Year. They included Aberystwyth’s Tom Trevarthen, Roland Davies from Llanidloes, Alison Cairns from Llannerchymedd, Anglesey and Manuela Niemetscheck from Bethesda. Alison scooped the prize.