Accelerated learning or HIIT Language learning

A little background before I ask my question. If you don’t want to read it all skip to the end where I will ask my question.

I have been wanting to learn Welsh for several years now. I think I originally started using the old course. However, at the time I was in the middle of learning Scottish Gaelic and hadn’t quite reached a level where I felt I could start I new language without impacting my Gaelic learning. After I become conversationally fluent in Gaelic I gave Welsh another go. I think I made it up to Challenge 14 in the new course. Once again I had to stop because I was looking to attend University in Germany. So I needed to switch my attention to German as the programs were only taught in that language. The whole time the itch to learn Welsh never really went away. As life happens, I ended up moving to Italy to attend University there. Therefore, I have switched my focus to Italian.

I am not even sure why I want to learn Welsh. I haven’t any family ties to Wales. I have never been to Wales. I don’t think I have even met anyone from Wales. I have Irish, Scottish and Norwegian heritage. I came across the Welsh language on a YouTube binge on Celtic languages. I really enjoyed the way it sounded. So I searched for resources and found this site. I really like the way Welsh is taught with this program. That may be the reason I keep coming back to learn. I am really interested in the 6-month program. If life every gives me the opportunity.

I have read the High Intensity Language Training and Should you practice Less to Speak e-books. So that leads me to this question. Based on the above reference books, should I do a Welsh high intensity day, wait several months and do another and continue this process until I have a period where I can dedicate to the 6 month program? Any suggestions are welcome.



Me either, but I’m having a blast learning Welsh :grin:

I think a high intensity day would be a good idea in your situation. Somewhere on YouTube you can find @aran doing a similar thing with Manx, and he found it quite successful. He’s the best one to advise you, but there are others here who’ve done high intensity (not me :blush:) - maybe they will chime in with their experiences.


Hi @Breandan. I can’t advise on the learning merits of that course of action, but from a lay perspective (well, a ‘someone-who’s learnt-some-Welsh’ perspective), I think if you want to learn a language, do as much of it as you can now. If you continue to wait till the ‘right time’, or till you’ve got more time, it may never happen. (True, by your past record you may have 56 other languages under your belt but they might not include beautiful Welsh :grinning:.)

And you seem like a pretty gifted (or at least a determined) linguist. So, if you do a high intensity day every now and then, who knows, you might find that you don’t need the 6-month course by the time you find yourself with time to complete it. It certainly won’t be wasted time.


Ciao Breandan,

I can very much relate to what you wrote. I started learning Welsh with SSiW about six months ago, just because I really liked the way it sounded in a few songs I had heard.
I still have no practical reason to do it, but I’m here enjoying learning. And I just came back to Italy after an even more enjoyable trip to Wales and I can also add: don’t worry about not having ties - they will come as a consequence! :wink:

As for what to do…I really don’t know what’s best for you, but in general I would second @Isata’s suggestion to just go on somehow, instead of waiting for the “right time”. This method is very flexible and I’m sure you can always fine-tune your pace of learning as you go. (I started with one challenge and then another one, and another one…).


I think that would be extremely likely to work well - the only caveat being that by the time you’ve done 5 or 6 high intensity days, I doubt very much you’d really need the 6 month course… :slight_smile:

Thanks for all your comments. The generally nice and helpful people on this forum are also a good reason to try to learn Welsh. I have been a lurking on this site for many years and really enjoy how supportive everyone seems to be.

@aran I will try to do an intensive day every couple of months. Once I make it through the first level. I will probably write again to see what my next steps should be.

Thanks again


Yup, keep us posted - intensive days can throw some pretty challenging emotions into the mix, but we can help you figure out if it’s heading in the right direction… :slight_smile:

I’ll add my 2 cents to this discussion. I’ve read Aran’s book and I’m currently working through the ‘SSI Welsh’ Southern courses (both old and new), as well as the ‘SSI Spanish’ challenges.

First of all, I think everyone has their own particular approach to this way of language learning, based upon how much spare time they have in their life, how motivated they are, what their particular language learning goals are, how much previous language learning experience they have, etc.There is no set way to go about it in my opinion.

I feel the concept of ‘High Intensity Language Training’ doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to go through a ton of challenges in one day, then do nothing for a while, then come back to it, although it could mean doing that if that particular approach suits you. Every challenge is in itself ‘Highly Intensity’, like a workout for the linguistic part of your brain, so I feel that even if you do a challenge a day steadily until you reach the end of each level, that’s still ‘High Intensity Language Training’.

Me personally, I go at my own pace, usually doing at least one challenge per day for 5 or 6 days a week. If I’m finding a particular challenge easy, I might do several challenges in a day. If I find a certain challenge more difficult, I will simply repeat that challenge again the next day (and the day after if necessary) until I get at least 80% of the answers right, before I move on to the next one. Also, I have got an mp3 player and headphones so that I can take advantage of ‘dead time’ to learn languages, i.e. when walking or travelling somewhere - in fact my current job is 4 hours a day at a local college and we are allowed to listen to mp3 players as we work, so I have been utilising this time to do language learning.

Another point I want to add is that learning several languages at the same time absolutely can and does work! Currently I’m working on a bunch of languages, and a typical day for me usually involves at least half an hour to an hour working on each one. I don’t ever find I get them mixed up, and they don’t ever negatively impact on each other. If anything, I’ve found learning multiple languages actually reinforces my whole understanding of languages and each individual language. I DO however recommend taking a short break, perhaps for a cup of tea or coffee etc, if you study and use several languages in the same day.

Personally I’m not really a fan of working solely on one language at a time, but everyone is different. However I do feel that it is beneficial to get a least a solid base in one language before adding on another one, but you don’t need to spend months or years on one language before starting on another one, and you don’t need to stop studying or using your other languages when you start learning a new one. I find the brain naturally separates each language out from each other, whilst also linking the similarities between them so that everything reinforces everything else. I don’t know how it does that, but that is my own experience.

I know that is a lot to read, however I’m just giving you my particular approach to HIIT Language learning. Ultimately you have to figure out the best way of going about it FOR YOU. Best of luck - everyone here genuinely wants you to succeed!


Yeah, that’s very much how I see it - it’s all about finding and pressing down on the most valuable pain - and that then gives you a huge amount of flexibility in how you implement… :slight_smile:

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@neil-kendall those are some excellent points. However, for me I am trying to reach the point of Italian conversational fluency as quick as possible (too bad SSiItalian didn’t have more than 2 lessons). I feel like an outsider because I can’t speak the language. I am also trying to maintain and improve Scottish Gaelic. I am a comfortable B1 but still have some problems listening to radio and video. I also am trying to figure out how not to lose the progress I made in German before I had to switch to Italian. I never obtained a conversational level so it isn’t as easy as have a conversation once a week or so. On top of all that I am in the beginning of obtaining my Master’s Degree in Engineering. So a lot of studying is going on.

With all that said, I think for me a intensive day ever so often would work the best. Again, I appreciate you comments. It looks like you have a lot on your plate as well. Good luck and maybe in a year or so we can have this conversation in Welsh!


Does this mean what it seems, that you’re in Italy right now? If you’re still in Italy when you decide to focus more on Welsh and ever want to have a chat in Welsh…I can just say there someone in Torino, always happy to practice! :smiley:

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When my exam is over I’m thinking of doing say 4-5 hours of 1.5x speed of a level, maybe level 3 south to refresh my memory and immerse myself in Welsh. I usually do this speed when I’m commuting to get through a challenge that I’m refreshing etc. I find it really helps me just spout out the first thing my brain thinks of before thinking of the translation and worrying about being perfect.
Is this something anyone has tried or derived any benefit from?

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@gisella-albertini Si, Vivo in Italia a Bologna. Vorrei parlare con te quando comincio a imparare il gallese Once I start learning Welsh, I will let you know.

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Croeso. :slight_smile:
Quando vorrai fare quattro chiacchiere in gallese, fatti sentire.
In the meantime, good luck learning Italian e in bocca al lupo per i tuoi studi!


I know @Novem did an accelerated run through our Spanish stuff, and may have some interesting insights… :slight_smile:

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(thanks for tagging me, Aran!)

Spanish is so close to Italian and I thought that because of the similarity I might get away with doing them faster. I could imagine it being frustrating (but not necessarily useless or bad - haven’t tried) with an unfamiliar language and new challenges. But since you’re familiar with Welsh (I’ve seen you speak!), and you’re used to the 1.5x, I think it might actually make it less frustrating :smile:

4-5 hours sounds like a lot, but if you just find a confortable spot (or several if you’re like me) and relax, they fly by really quickly. One piece of advice I can give you is the last two hours are really difficult, no matter the time you have set for yourself. You could get around that by not checking the time, for example through setting an alarm or choosing a challenge to end on :grinning: I also agree with you about the being perfect and translating thing.


@Novem and @aran
Thank you for the replies. I say that I’ll try to do it that long, but we’ll see! One thing I am looking forward to after the exam is having more evenings to joins the slack chats…


No problem, best of luck with your language learning! It would be great to speak with you in Welsh, or indeed even any other languages, in the future :slight_smile:

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