5 Day Challenge Update: Day 4

Nearly there! Although as @aran said in the last update, tomorrow is not the end of the challenge but the beginning of the rest of my life!

  • Today I found I am forgetting all my words, Welsh and English. Maybe my brain has just given up on words? Or (preferably) is re-setting itself to accommodate another language?

  • I went for a run this morning to clear my head and found myself muttering under my breath, commenting on the scenery etc in a weird sort of Wenglish. Luckily I didn’t bump into anyone else, the sheep didn’t care!

  • I met my friend Victoria again this afternoon and we chatted again quite easily in Welsh with a few pauses for me to remember or fail to remember words. When I then tried to think of the word in English so she could help find the Welsh word, I still couldn’t do it! That was weird and reminded me of patients who cannot find their words after having had a stroke. There is even a special name for it - nominal aphasia. Why can I remember that but can’t remember the word for ‘expect’ (in Welsh) or ‘computer’ (in English)?!

  • I then met my friend’s Dad, Gareth, who is a lovely Welsh teacher. As in he is lovely and teaches Welsh, not that he teaches lovely Welsh. Although he probably does. Anyway, we had a chat and I showed him the handouts from the class yesterday. He agreed they were hard so I felt a bit better that I had struggled. He has written out a review of his recent cruise for me to read and we will talk about it next time. He also very gently pointed out a few grammatical mistakes I am making. He combined the criticism with praise (known as a ‘shit sandwich’ I believe!) so I didn’t get discouraged.

  • After that, I did the school run and bravely spoke to everyone in Welsh, even people who spoke to me in English. My sons’ friend came over to play after school and his mum (a Welsh-speaking friend) warned him not to speak any English with me! When she came to collect him, we had a good chat and again, she was very encouraging.

  • I did a couple more SSIW lessons today and some DuoLingo. Radio Cymru was on in the background as usual and it is surprising how quickly that has come to seem entirely normal for me.

  • I also plucked up the courage to do my scary bobsled challenge from yesterday (record myself speaking Welsh for three minutes) and have uploaded it to yesterday’s update. I was supposed to listen to it and count my mistakes but I honestly couldn’t bear to, so have just left it to others. I’m sure there are loads, I heard a few as I was making them!

Last day tomorrow! I’m meeting two of my neighbours (both teachers, 1st language Welsh) in the morning for coffee and conversation then plan to blitz a few more SSIW lessons before I finish the challenge at 5pm. I’m off out in the evening to have a meal and wine with (non Welsh speaking) friends then watch the Full Monty in the Millenium Centre so decided to stop at 5.

Hwyl fawr!


Go back to your 3 minute recording in a months time and offer your own critique.

It will be less than you expect.

Cheers J.P.


Yes, that’ll be some exhaustion kicking in… :slight_smile:

What a massive and inspirational effort you’ve put in. Diolch o galon for sharing it with us on here - you’ll have inspired more people than you ever know… :slight_smile:


That happens to me all the time - it’s so infuriating! I also find that I often can’t remember names of pretty famous people. (I spent about quarter of an hour at bootcamp trying to remember Bryn Terfel!) It’s something to do with things I’ve learned in English being filed away under ‘English’ in my brain, I think. The good news, though, is things I’ve learned in Welsh I often remember first in Welsh. :slight_smile: