AN AMERICAN tourist stunned traders in Wales by ordering food and drink in Welsh.

Arieh Smith, known online as Xiaomanyc, has accumulated nearly six million subscribers on YouTube with his videos where he surprises people around the world with a few words from their native language.

In recent weeks, the self-described polyglot visited Wales.

He asked a market trader on The Hayes, Cardiff, for “un afal” (one apple) before changing his mind to “dwy afal” (two apples). The seller replied: “What, sorry?

“Is it Welsh you’re speaking? You’ll find that… nobody really speaks Welsh except for west Wales and up north. It’s not really a thing for the average person.”

The American moves onto a Hallowe'en mask seller on Queen Street, who does not recognise his Welsh until he asks – “Dych chi’n siarad Cymraeg?” (Do you speak Welsh?). She explains she only knows a little, before asking Mr Smith, a New Yorker, whether he is from Argentina because of the Welsh speakers in Patagonia.

After a busy day exploring the high streets and markets of central Cardiff, he dips into a bar and asks the waiter for a “cwrw” (beer).

South Wales Argus: Arieh Smith, known online as Xiomanyc, has nearly six million subscribers on YouTube

The waiter brings him a Tiny Rebel, which he explains is brewed in Newport. Smith reverts to English to say – “wow, that’s great”.

He even found time to ask two girls to take a photo of him at Cardiff Castle in Mandarin.

Xiaomanyc describes himself on YouTube as a polyglot who has studied “dozens” of languages despite only speaking English until the age of 18.

He lived in Beijing for a year, where he fell in love with Chinese culture, cuisine and language.

“This expanded my appetite to learn about cultures, foods, and languages from all around the world and now I share this passion with all of you!” he said.

'Wonderful and down-to-earth'

Michael Williams, from Newport, snapped a picture of Smith in Queens Arcade on his way to a Comic Con exhibition in the CIA.

“I regularly watch him on YouTube and couldn’t believe he was randomly walking about in Cardiff,” Michael said.

“I asked him why he was visiting the capital and he said he’s trying to learn Welsh. I said he’d have more luck if he headed north, as not too many people speak Welsh in the capital!

“I wish I’d done a mini interview with him but the kids were hungry and wanted a burger before we went into Comic Con.

“It’s amazing how quickly he picks up a language. He was wonderful and very down-to-earth, too. I think he was a little shocked that he was recognised in Wales.”