Advice, please

Firstly, we’ve finally moved into our new house in Pembrokeshire. It’s called Orchard House. We think it’s a shame it hasn’t got a Welsh name. Someone suggested having a second house nameplate. Please could someone tell me would that be “Tŷ’r Berllan” in Welsh? What if I decided to put something like “Welcome” to Orchard House? I’m thinking that might be “Croeso i Dŷ’r Berllan.” I’d like to get it right, even if we do live in a predominantly English-speaking part of Wales.
Secondly, I’m coming to the end of Challenge 3. What do I do now? I plan to redo all the listening exercises, perhaps revise by doing the old course, and go through all the advanced material (are there any transcripts to those?) Then, is it just a matter of listening to the radio, watching S4C and meeting Welsh speakers. I will really miss the challenges! I’m confident with what I’ve learnt, but there are obviously huge gaps in my knowledge, so I still don’t feel ready to chat to people online etc. I’d really just like to keep on doing the challenges until I’ve covered the entire Welsh language, then just walk out the door with native-speaker knowledge :joy:.


“Tŷ’r Berllan” sounds lovely to me, but perhaps @siaronjames will have some other suggestions for you?

When I moved into my house in Llandysul, it had an English name too - very English - and I decided to change it officially with Ceredigion Council. It’s possible to do that and I received a certificate showing the official name.

You probably don’t want to hear this, but you really DO need to start talking to people! The Challenges help you come to grips with the basics of the language, but it’s only through participating in conversations, getting stuck, struggling to think of words, saying the wrong thing and laughing about it afterwards, that you really develop into a Welsh speaker.
However, if you haven’t done the the original/old course material yet, that’s a good option. The Advanced Content varies - some of the interviews have transcripts and translations, while some of the shorter ones just have the key vocabulary. Have the radio on as much as you can now though - that will help to tune your ear in and prepare you for real life conversations.


I would say Tŷ Perllan is better - Tŷ’r Berllan is more “House of the Orchard” as in Orchard’s House. There aren’t too many other combinations really - Bwthyn y Berllan is nicely alliterative but if it’s definitely a house rather than a cottage, this would look a bit odd, as well as being Orchard’s Cottage rather than Orchard Cottage.

As Deborah said, the next step really is talking. Waiting until you’ve “filled the gaps” is like chasing the end of the rainbow. Not feeling ready is nothing to do with the amount of Welsh you know and all to do with the confidence to use what you have, and the only way to build that confidence is to engage in conversations. Remember, chucking in bits in English to cover the gaps is perfectly fine, just make sure you go back to Welsh as soon as you can - and you’ll find whilst there will always be gaps (I’ve been speaking Welsh for 20+ years and still find plenty of gaps!), the gaps will get smaller and fewer, I promise!


Thanks, Deborah. I am practising whenever I meet a Welsh speaker (you can always tell from their accents, can’t you? :joy:) and everyone I’ve met has been super patient and very nice, but I find myself saying the same things every time. Perhaps when I’ve done all the things I’ve planned, I’ll have the confidence to meet people online.

P.S. That’s a good tip to just throw in an English word or phrase when you’re stuck. :blush:

P.P.S. It was a Welsh-speaking couple from Carmarthen who suggested Tŷ’r Berllan. It’s good to know there are a few acceptable variations. What about “welcome to Orchard House? Any ideas?

Depending on your job and other commitments, joining a local Welsh class is a possible option. You would not need to start with a beginner class and it’s a good way to meet local people who have learned Welsh. They may organise informal chat groups etc. Also a good tutor is invaluable for answering questions like, “What word do people use for ‘hedge’ round here?”

Yes, “Croeso i Dŷ’r Berllan” is fine (or Croeso i Dŷ Perllan if you go for that one)

Just thought - if it’s a big house you could use Plas Perllan (which is really Orchard Mansion - but maybe that might be a bit pretentious! :grin: :wink: )

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Thanks, everyone!
Yes, the plan was always to join a class when we moved here, but then I discovered SSiW and got started! I’m retired so really no excuse. Might look around for one.
And no, unfortunately our house is not a mansion :joy:. It’s already called Orchard House (named by the builder) and the postman and deliverymen all know it as that, so I want a direct translation really. I thought a welcome sign in the garden might not confuse people as much. :grin:


@ruth-richardson as @Deborah-SSi said, there is no substitute for actually practising your Welsh with other people. I left it far too long into my language journey before I plucked up the courage to join an online chat (I was well into Level 2, maybe even Level 3) - I thought I knew a reasonable amount, but when it came to trying to hold any sort of conversation, nothing much would come out of my mouth! Rabbit in headlights moment! Head knowledge wasn’t enough. So it’s a process you do need to go through and the sooner you can steel yourself to do it, the quicker you will progress. I find the hardest thing is working out what someone has just said to me in Welsh, before I can even think of a reply! I still struggle with it nearly 3 years in. But the more I practice conversation, the better it gets (Although I still have a LONG way to go!). Good luck! :grinning:


Thanks, David. I talk to myself in Welsh all the time and often repeat what I’ve just said in English when I realise I know how to say it in Welsh, but I do need to take that next step. I know what you mean about the delay before answering, when you’re still working out what someone has said (I lived in France for a year as part of my degree course)! I’m far less worried about just having a go these days, I just need to find opportunities to do it, I suppose. I’d not thought about it being OK to just drop an English word or phrase in when necessary - that will help - and I should have considered that. I was a French teacher and the kids on exchanges did that all the time - spoke to each other in a complete mix of French and English. I’ve just loved the Challenges so much, I don’t want them to end! :joy:


Hi @ruth-richardson,
I joined a local group (in Oxford) while I was still on Level 1 and it was the best thing I could have done. At first I hardly understood anything but everyone was really helpful and I am still meeting them 3-4 years later. Like @david-44, I still have a long way to go, but it has encouraged me more than anything else. If you talk to yourself then you can choose the subject of conversation, but when you talk to others, any topic can come up. This can be a bit alarming at first, but it is extremely useful and we learn a lot of new words. Do give it a go!

You could always go through the old material or even swap North/South.

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@ruth-richardson I totally agree with everything that’s been said about it being essential to start speaking Welsh in real conversations - the same is true for any language. If you find a group or an individual through SSiW with whom to chat, remember one thing and don’t ever forget: we are all learners here. Just as we expect our Welsh to be far from perfect, we expect the same from whom we chat with. So don’t - ever - worry about it, and jump straight in. And good luck!

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Thank you, everyone. I’ll definitely look into ways of meeting with other Welsh speakers.


There is a Welsh coffee morning every first saturday each month, except January when it is on the secong saturday, at10.00 am in the cafe of Phoenix Bowl, Milford Waterfront. Full range of abilities from early learners to first language speakers to help keep conversation going. This will be our first time backsince start of Covid. We used to be up to 10 or 12 present
Conrad 07748116669

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Is that the Saturday after next then? I’ll give you a ring.

Hi Ruth.
l’m living in Fishguard and also approaching the end of level 3.
l’m wondering if you might be not too far away so we could meet up for a sgwrs.
Faith Bowers

Had to look up sgwrs, so not a good start!
Definitely! I’m near Haverfordwest, so I’m sure we could find somewhere in between. I’m going to go to the coffee morning in Milford too, as soon as I can. My life is a bit chaotic at the mo - don’t work, but still settling into our new house (which is not quite finished, so builders etc. often on site).
How do I send you a private message with my mobile number? (I’m hopeless with technology :joy:)

To send a private message to someone, click on their name and then click the blue “message envelope” icon :grinning: