5-minute practice sessions in Unit 1

I’m sure someone will be able to tell me why it is that all the recordings 2-5 in Unit 1 seem to be playing back at what sounds like at least twice the correct speed. Assistance would be greatly appreciated, as I found recording 1 extremely helpful. Are there also transcripts available for ‘cribbing’ purposes whilst listening, please?

Diolch ag hŵyl fawr i bawb.

:slight_smile:

They are speeded up on purpose, Nick. The idea is to listen to them but not to try and keep up with them or fully understand them - so no, there are no transcripts!

The idea behind it is that by listening to something way too fast, when the brain hears ordinary speech that would normally sound fast, it sounds slower - similar to how 30mph feels so much slower when you come off a motorway where you’ve got used to faster speeds.

@nick-wilson this is what it says on the website with the second Listening Practice, the same as Siaron has explained above:

The Listening Practices from the second one on are recorded at double speed. There is a specific learning technique behind this which gives you an advantage when you get into normal speed Welsh conversations.

The idea is not to try and understand them. Just let them waft over you as if you’re listening to some pleasant background music - not concentrating too hard, but not thinking about something else either. That’s all you need to do, and trust your subconscious to do the learning for you. With repeated sessions like that, you’ll find yourself gradually able to pick words and understand chunks as your brain speeds up its processing to match the recording, but you’ll be understanding them in Welsh, with no translating into English.

It’s like when you first drive onto a motorway and it seems fast, but after a while everything just feels like normal speed and it’s really slow when you come off again. You’ll have a similar experience with this. Once you get used to the double speed ones, if you listen to the first one which is normal speed, you’ll find it really slow!

Persevere and you’ll reap the benefits. It’s the fastest shortcut to understanding natural spoken Welsh.

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Believe me @nick-wilson, In time you’ll understand every single word of what is said even if the 2x speed. In time, you’ll actually ask yourself why it doesn’t play even a bit faster now that you know this is made on purpose. At least this was the case with me … :slight_smile:

Pob lwc!

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Does anyone else find it hard to concentrate on the listening practice for the whole five minutes? I try not to let my mind wander, but when I don’t understand what I’m hearing it’s especially easy to drift off on mental tangents.
Like this:
“Hey, I’m following this! Yup, got that, and that, and- no, too fast, hold on, was that-? What was that word I just heard? I think I heard something similar on Pobol y Cwm, when Kath was talking to Brynmor. Aw, they’re kinda sweet, I wonder what their backstory is? Pobol y Cwm has been going a very long time there’s no way I can hope to untangle all the soapy interconnections and drama. Maybe someone has pirated some older episodes so I could fill in a few blanks though? I could ask on the forum. So many friendly helpful people there, and so many resources linked, I could spend all day just looking through the forum instead of actually learning Cymraeg. But then, I learn bits from the forum too - there’s been some very interesting grammar threads on there lately. I wonder how I could say- Oh, the voices have switched roles and started the script over. Oops.”
To be honest, I do this a bit even when people are speaking English if I’m not careful. Lose bits of exposition dialogue in a film because I’m watching while tired. With English though, it’s easier to work back, because I have heard the words, and I do understand English, so it’s just a question of accessing and processing the sounds that are in my brain’s “buffer” so to speak. My brain doesn’t buffer much double-speed Cymraeg yet!

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Your optimism is inspirational and your faith in the capacity of my linguistic neurone, whilst lamentably unfounded, is extremely heartening!
I can actually pick up most of what is said in 2 and 3, but it becomes more challenging as the course moves on. :slight_smile:

Diolch yn fawr iawn i chi, @tatjana. Dych chi’n garedig iawn.

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Diolch @siaronjames. Dyna diddorol iawn.

I like the highways analogy, particularly in 20 mph zones (which seems to affect a substantial part of of the journey from Y Fali to Cemaes! Such a contrast after the A55!).

I am going to fall back on my listen-repeat-listen-repeat practice, until it sinks in. I have found that the learning approach in this early part of the course is extremely well thought out and that has neutralised any early misgivings that I may have experienced.

Diolch unwaith eto. :slight_smile:

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Brilliant (and a timely prompt to read more of the accompanying material, which is something I have neglected somewhat!)

Diolch, @Deborah-SSi . :slight_smile:

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This sounds very familiar, especially the tangential drifting! I’ve experienced that so often. I think I’m beginning to grasp the principle behind this method of learning, which is so different from the practices I’ve always followed when learning languages in the past. I have found that this new method really does work for me, so it must work for a lot of other learners too.

Thanks for your thoughts.

:slight_smile:

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Try doing something physical that you don’t really have to ‘think’ about while listening @verity-davey - washing up, getting dressed, watering plants, sweeping up… - just make sure that it’s not anything too noisy! Much easier not to focus on it too hard or have your mind wander then. With the bonus that you can get something else done at the same time too :wink:

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This is what I do for all the lessons as well - taking just the right amount of concentration away from the “learning” helps it all to go in a bit more into the subconscious, I have found…

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That might work. However, I’m also very good at daydreaming while washing up etcetera, so maybe not. I’ll give it a try anyway! Diolch. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Oh wow, that was awesome! You were so right! I just did the week 29 “listen to recordings 2-5 in reverse order” thing, and… I got every single word of Listening Practice 2. :astonished: And at the points where one asks the other to repeat something a bit more slowly, it genuinely sounded slow. I even kept up with the meaning of all the words I could hear so clearly, although to be fair I got a bit lost at moments and it was only by the final repetition that I’d pieced together everything they were saying.
SO COOL! :grinning: :grinning: :grinning:

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That’s brilliant @verity-davey, and in time ALL the Listening Practices will be like that :slight_smile:

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I believe you. I’m on such a high right now. :grinning:

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That light going on - that’s what it’s all about for me. I’m so thrilled for you.

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I’m so glad I could lift someone’s spirit again after a long time not being here. This is just brilliant.

So, you see, @nick-wilson in time, you’ll find out too that your learning skills are just great too. Listen for a week like @verity-davey did and don’t burden yourself with how much you can get out of all said. As I said, in time it will all seem too slow for you too. There will of course always be missing a thing or two but what those are compared toeverything else.

Go for it Both of you! :slight_smile:
Da iawn!

Hwyl!
Tatjana

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Is it just a matter of perception - because it’s unfamiliar - or is the first level 2 listening practice even faster than previous ones? In fact, have they been getting progressively faster all along?
Probably it’s just that the older each one is, the more familiar and easy to follow it is, but they feel slower by comparison, and this latest one sounds quite distorted to me!
I’ll just have to keep repeating it I guess.

The Level 2 listening practices are slightly faster than those of Level 1, which means that depending on the quality of your device, they can sound quite distorted. You could try listening with headphones to see if that makes a difference, but I know some people have given up on the Level 2 files due to the distortion.

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So long as it’s not just my imagination. The distortion is not too bad, so I’ll keep on listening and it will seem clearer in time I’m sure. Headphones may well help. :slightly_smiling_face:

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