I’ve just finished Cwrs 2 and it was really really excellent. When I think about it now, I don’t understand why I was so scared of the composite pronouns and the clauses – they all seem so natural now and that’s only because of how good the course is. I’m going to start Course 3 with all my favourite short forms tomorrow, but before that I wanted to ask for some help from the collective consciousness here. I’m very satisfied with my progress but I have a couple of things that are not going so well and I hope maybe someone can help me here:
Pronunciation. Mine is simply terrible. I know quite a lot of words from reading, but I mispronounce them, mostly. Does anyone know a good online dictionary WITH audio files? And what about Ivona – can it be trusted? Are there audiobooks one can listen to?
I’m also interested in the intonation. Welsh has beautiful intonation patterns – and I have rather monotonous Slavic ones. Are there any good lessons on intonation somewhere online, with the Southern dialect preferably? (probably not, because I’ve searched high and low, but who knows). If not, what can be done about that? If I have the script, I try to repeat words after the speakers in TV-series and textbooks, but that’s pretty much all I can do.
Listening. Again – terrible. Especially when it’s Gog. People from the South, especially Sir Gar, I more or less understand, but I can’t come to Cymru and ignore 70 per cent of the native speakers just because I don’t understand their way of talking. Simply listening until I start understanding doesn’t work – my brain simply decides that it’s “mission:impossible” and switches the listening function off, so I simply hear the lovely Welsh speech as some kind of instrumental music.
What I plan to do:
I’m firmly convinced that my poor listening is connected with my terrible pronunciation so I’m going to do exercises from here https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtUTjX1NtxhGi1o1NGdk-yA – it’s a channel mostly on Welsh pronunciation and it’s very helpful.
I’ve started to work through some courses that have audiofiles – the Teach yourself Welsh and Colloquial Welsh – right from the start, so from the first very simply dialogues. I listen and answer some comprehension questions, than I try to read the script and pronounce things after the speakers.
I also work with the BBC “Ysbyty Brynaber” audio soap (it has scripts so it’s really excellent) and S4C “Rownd a Rownd” – I listen/watch first without the subtitles/script, then I read the script or watch the episode again with the Welsh ones (or the English ones first if I’m really tired) and then I write down all the interesting vocab/structures and practice them. But this is very time consuming and tiring, so after working for 15 minutes like this I simply relax and watch the rest of the episode with the English subs.
I also watch “Hwb” – mostly because both presenters are beautiful and funny And it’s useful to have some patterns explained to you before you listen to the actual Welsh conversation where these patterns are going to be used.
So, this is roughly what I’m doing/ going to do. What else would you recommend? Are there any other poor souls here with no talent for listening – and how are you coping with that?
- I hope that next year (or even this year) the UK embassy will let me visit Cymru, so while I’m there I want to sit for an exam. (don’t ask why a Russian woman wants to have a certificate in Welsh – she doesn’t know herself. Just for personal satisfaction, no other reasons)
I have been doing the Mynediad and Sylfaen past papers and generally I can understand what is asked of me, and I think I can do the Reading/Listening parts, but I really need someone to assess at least one of my written works and the spoken part – tell me roughly what my level and my problems are, and maybe give me some advice on how to carry on with my studies. I can afford only maybe two sessions – I know it’s ridiculous to hope two sessions will help me, but our salaries here are much different – my lessons cost 6 euros against 20-30 in the UK, so that’s really all I can do. C an anyone recommend a tutor who does such things? (assessment + some advice) I just need a rough evaluation, nothing fancy.
Thanks everyone who has found the time to read at least half of it - and thanks again to all the people who have contributed to creating this courses