Hello all! Just started on challenge one on Monday. Finishing it today. I do find that trying to concentrate on translating the longer English sentences in Welsh makes me forget the exact content of the sentence I’m trying to translate into Welsh! It’s OK. I just go back a minute to listen to the sentence again. And I’m sure I’m not the first to experience this and I’ll not be the last. I’m not discouraged or anything, but just thought I’d mention it in case anyone else goes through the same thing and doesn’t want to feel as if they’re the only one!
You’re definitely not alone @lari! I find one of the biggest sources of “mistakes” to be due to the fact that I forgot how the English sentence ends! Not to worry, keep making up sentences, pay attention to the difference, and feel proud when you think of new variations, even if they aren’t exactly the same as the prompt. Da iawn for finishing Challenge 1!
Dal a ti!
I’d forgotten that used to happen to me! Take heart, it will pass
Well done @lari for diving into your first conversation yn Gymraeg after only challenge 1!
Ti wedi gwneud yn dda iawn heddiw, lari!
(You did very well today, lari!)
Diolch! Creative use of a few words plus some background knowledge with some thrashing around…
…or how it had started!
It happened to me since Challenge one, and to tell the truth, still happens in Level 3.
But I can also tell the method works anyway.
I see you’re not feeling discouraged, so I’m sure you’ll do great with the course @lari !
Diolch, Gisella. After repeatedly listening and responding, I have written out some of the longer sentences in English and am able to translate those with no problems. Obviously the emphasis is on hearing, and it should be. But once I have done my level best a few times listening, with the longer sentences, I’ll copy them and translate them out loud. It has also been suggested that I do the same, but with Welsh to English. It’s weird, it’s not the Cymraeg I have most trouble remembering! Although for a while sut e (how to) decided to sail off the edge of the world! But it is now where it should be. In my sentences!
I have really bad memory problems which prevent me from working etc so to be able to get this far is like a miracle to me. Sometimes I think I’ll have to create some solutions for myself but as long as my emphasis is on listening and translating on the fly I’m sure all will be well.
I don’t really know what to say about other things in life, but I guess one good thing of the challenges is that they definitely keep the mind all focused and busy for some time!
However I think it’s very important to find your own personal way to keep on enjoying them (and not become overwhelmed by effort or frustration).
p.s. to tell you the truth I did most of the challenges just saying whatever I remembered, no matter if it was just one or two words. But then I transcribed all the English sentences of Challenges 25 (level 1 and 2). So now take your time, but when you get there, if you think they might be useful to you, just ask.
Bless you Gisella! That is so kind. I am keeping the sentences I struggled with, ie, the long ones in text files indexed according to challenge!
I really enjoy reading and translating as well as listening and doing the same, so it certainly adds to the experience.
I stand by my advice.
It makes sense to me that you would be learning more Welsh if you help your brain get accustomed to the long sentences by writing as many long sentences in Welsh as you can think of, first without your notes and then again with them, rather than spending the same time practicing your English. It’s not English you’re trying to learn because it’s your first language.
Apologies! It’s not the advice I find weird. I see the point entirely! I was referring to my brains capacity to recall the Welsh but not the English to translate, on the fly. Clumsy grammar and unclear writing on my part!
No need to apologize @lari ! I had considered both possible meanings, but wanted to make sure my thought process was clear.
Now you’ve explained it more in detail I have the impression that what I’m doing (that seems very similar to what @lari’s doing) and what you’re suggesting are both useful…for different purposes.
Doing the SSiW challenges I see I’m learning new vocabulary and structures and also a sort of instinct some grammar rules, without actually studying them.
By repeating the same sentences (in Welsh, but prompted by an English sentence), they just become somewhat automatic, and I can make even more complex ones more easily.
But some went like this, for example:
(they say) He’s just started to learn Welsh and he’d like to talk with you
(I never remember more than) He’s just started to learn Welsh
(therefore I practice a lot) Mae fe’n newydd dechrau dysgu Cymraeg
But never the second part in Welsh!
Or when they said:
I was speaking with someone in the pub yesterday who works with my brother
(I remembered random bits like) I was speaking with someone…in the pub…with my brother.
(And maybe I didn’t even remember all the words, so I ended up saying) O’n i’n siarad gyda…yn y dafern…wraud.
Which was still ok, since I went through Level 1 and 2 alright, and learned a lot anyway.
However when I attempted Level 3 I got kinda stuck - until I tried doing the revisions (Challenges 25/L1 and 25/L2 writing the sentences down and getting the thrill of saying them all! And then did the same with the new Challenges and things started flowing again.
So I don’t really see it as focusing on the English, just a temporary way to help getting the Welsh part right !
p.s. I don’t know what @aran thinks about this (I know they’re super busy with the event these days - but I mention him anyway, just in case he ever has any free time again to go through the old posts and write a note!)
It’s not that the English needs practising, it’s that it needs remembering in order to prompt the Welsh phrases. I tried to use SSiW twice on two separate occasions several years apart and bounced off it hard because I couldn’t remember what had been said in English.
I have a poor working memory and always have had. Mental arithmetic tests were hell for me at junior school. Failing badly at those tests also left me with a panic reaction when asked to repeat things from memory. My brain freezes, thus making it even more impossible to remember things.
However, on the third attempt, a couple of years ago, I found a way to make SSiW to work for me, which was by starting to say the Welsh as soon as the first phrase in English was complete. It shouldn’t work, but it is somehow possible to hear the rest of the English sentence whilst saying the Welsh. If I waited to the end of the English sentence, I had forgotten how it began and could only remember random bits.
@gisella-albertini’s method of writing down the English works in the same way. You’re decreasing the effort required to remember the English so you can focus on the Welsh.
I struggle to remember the end of the English phrases too, but for me, I prefer to spend my time learning Welsh in Welsh, as much as humanly possible. It could just be different learning styles. I’ve found over time, working my memory has helped me get those longer sentences out, but using Welsh instead of English on the way. My notes only have the sample sentences in Welsh, I don’t copy the English into my notebook other than the words and short phrases from the vocabulary. It’s the same advice I give my students learning English.
Yeah, I guess this is one of the advantages of a quite customizable method like this.
(If I write them in Welsh, they just don’t seem to stick - I need to hear them or say them!)
I spend most of my time using the Challenges, repeating the long sentences in English only by having Iestyn and Cat produce the English, freeing me to stay in Welsh. I either repeat challenges that are not sticking, or for individual long sentences, I use the back button.
If I use writing to boost my memory, it is deliberate, slow writing where I watch the pen/pencil closely to “burn” it into my memory… which is another reason I don’t write a bunch of English sentences. Writing does so many interesting things to the brain, I just want to use that energy and time on my Welsh instead.
It’s always interesting to compare different ways of learning.
The process you’re describing now is very similar to what happens to me when I write notes from a speech or anyone talking about a topic.
Even though I might not ever read them again, just the fact of writing them somehow make the concepts stick into my brain.
So I can imagine it may be distracting or make it more difficult for you to leave English behind, that’s we all strive for I believe: stop thinking in another language then translating it into the target language, instead of just having the target language pop up by itself - no matter how we get there!
There are many paths to the mountaintop!
I’ve found creating a “Welsh environment” where I avoid using English as much as possible while I study really helps me. I try to sort of recreate what it was like when I lived in China and I needed to use Chinese if I wanted to eat or do anything, except I’m comfortable at home.
I am pretty good at “reading” my notes from the picture I have in my memory - a skill I discovered in high school that served me well. Even though my C-PTSD makes memory a challenge, I find tapping into my visual memory bypasses some of that, or perhaps it capitalizes on it, who knows?
It sounds as though you’re doing excellently to figure out ways to make it work for you, @lari - well done! And don’t ever hesitate to come and ask for help if you feel a bit stuck…