A bit confused about the process

I’ve just completed lesson 1 - easy to start with (having done the initial free five sentences taster), but was definitely using the pause button towards the end! That’s fine, I know - but what am I supposed to do now?

My specific questions are:

  1. “That’s it for this week”. Does that mean don’t review this first lesson? I suspect I’ll forget the difference between “I need” and “I want” by next week!

  2. Should I avoid any other Welsh learning aids (eg Duolingo) while I’m doing this?

  3. I’m having to “gofio i anghofio” what I was taught 40 years ago in my one-year foray into Welsh - when I hear “I need” I instantly want to say “rhaid i fi”, and “eisiau” meaning “want” rather than “need”.

  4. What about reading kids’ books, or watching S4C? Should I avoid that (I don’t live in Wales) while I’m learning?

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  1. If you want to revise, by all means revise. But the beauty of this course is that it has revision built-in through spaced repetition, so it’s just as valid to wait until you get the next challenge.

  2. I am not aware of an official stance discouraging other resources, and Duolingo can be a good source to build more vocabulary (while SSiW is more focused on building common structures), but in my experience the pronunciation of Duolingo’s text-to-speech engine ranges somewhere between irritating and terrible.

  3. The lines between want, need and must are blurry in every language, so don’t get too hung up on those. And there are regional differences, too, but in the end you’ll get used to all different variations.

  4. Watching S4C is a brilliant way to pick up Welsh as you go, especially if you don’t live in Wales! I can also recommend listening to Radio Cymru. Reading books can be problematic: if you see a word that you never heard before, your brain will automatically associate a pronunciation with that word, and if that just happens to be wrong, it can take a while to “unlearn” the wrong pronunciation.


That’s very helpful, Hendrik - thank you!


Hendrik has given great answers for you there. Just one addition - thankfully, the Duolingo team upgraded their voices recently and they’re much better. They still need to adjust the volume control as one of the male voices appears to ‘shout’ compared to the others, but it’s a big improvement.


There is a series of books aimed at learners which give a dictionary of new words on each page. They are progressive and I think very good. Amdani is the series and a lot of the authors are welsh tutors.

Thanks, Deborah. I’m now wondering about the wisdom of practising in between with Duolingo! I felt I got through Challenge 1 fine last week - I did it in one day, rather than spreading it out over six days, then spent the other six days practising on Duolingo.

Problem is, yesterday I got Challenge 2 - and discovered that I’d forgotten many of the key phrases we learned in Challenge 1 - “I need to”, “I can’t” and so on. Duolingo may have made this worse as they use different terms and it also triggered my memories of evening classes 40 years ago so I want to say “rhaid i fi” and “dydw i ddim yn gallu” instead of the SSiW terms! But the guidance is NOT to go back to square one - so even when pausing in Challenge 2, I got rather lost.

I’m going to try and spread this out over the week rather than doing it all in one day to see if that helps.

Don’t worry about ‘forgetting’ - it’s a natural part of the learning process - every time those items are brought back for revision, your brain will encode a little more information about them - it doesn’t help to go back and repeat them multiple times, because when it gets easy, you’re not strengthening the memories in the same way.

So whenever you leave a gap - filled with Duolingo or not! - you’ll find it takes a bit of time to refresh the older stuff - but if you keep on pressing on, you’ll discover that the memories do form… :slight_smile:

And if you’ve got variants (like ‘rhaid i fi’) ready to hand, go with them! That’s fine - it’s like getting two for the price of one :slight_smile:

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