This is part of my garden taken last year in September. It will soothe me if things get tough in the next 10 days.
This is part of my garden taken last year in September. It will soothe me if things get tough in the next 10 days.
Day 1 in Rock and Morpeth.
The Lesson: Whizzed through Lesson 5 of Course 3, much to my amazement. Why? Because I’d struggled with Lessons 2,3 and 4. I used the pause button a bit, and missed a few words or parts of sentences usually because I had forgotten a particular word. (Why can’t I remember benthic?) I realised afterwards that I had been concentrating particularly hard - trying not to be distracted by other things in the room…
The Challenge: I set off for Morpeth to spend some time with my lovely, tiny granddaughter, with Welsh phrases going round in my head - forgot to stop for petrol so had to drive extra carefully to reserve what was in the tank for 20 miles! I stopped for petrol - “Bore Da,” I said to the lady in the garage, “I’m learning Welsh, and I’m greeting everyone in Welsh today”. She told me she had learnt Gaelic as a child, but could now only remember the words for counting the sheep! “Bore Da,” I said to the cashier at the bank. “That’s Welsh for Good Morning”, I said, " that’s how I’m greeting everyone today. "Bore Da!, she said to me! (No - she wasn’t a Welsh speaker…) And so it went on from shop to shop, and to the family. I sang Heno, Heno to Lottie, and now I’m home, and hope to exchange a few words in Welsh with my partner Gwyn later this evening.
Pob lwc Anne!
Day 2 in Rock and Alnwick
The Lesson: Gwers chweched, Cwrs 3. Not quite so “whizzy” this morning. My brain seemed to be processing more slowly. However, apart from a couple of sentences, I managed to get something out before Catrin spoke. I probably used the pause button for about one third of the sentences. But I remembered “benthig”!
The Challenge: this was fun. Here’s a current kind of conversation between Gwyn and me. My granddaughter is just over 5 months old.
G. When are you going to see your granddaughter, Charlotte?
A. I don’t know yet. Maybe on Thursday afternoon or Friday late afternoon.
G. Why do you want to go late on Friday?
A. Because I like helping with bathtime and bedtime. It’s fun!
G. But we normally have gin and tonic on Friday evening.
A. Don’t worry! I’ll be back in time to enjoy that!
G. Pryd wyt ti’n mynd i weld dy wres, Charlotte?
A. Dw i ddim yn gwybod hyd yn hyn. Efallai p’nawn dydd Iau neu p’nawn hwyr dydd Gwener.
G. Pam wyt ti isio mynd yn hwyr dydd Gwener?
A. Achos dw i’n licio helpu efo amser bath ac amser gwely. Mae’n hwyl!
G. Ond, vel arfer dan ni’n cael jin a thonic fin nos Gwener.
A. Paid a phoeni! Bydda i’n nol mewn pryd i fwynhau hynna.
Ooh, you’re off to a flyer
I must admit, I would have thought that you were a long way past needing Bootcampy stuff - your Welsh is excellent - so I’ll be really very interested indeed to hear how you feel about the process by the end
I wasn’t sure - but felt I needed a boost/challenge to get me going in Cwrs 3. So far, so good. Also I think the 10 days of the bootcamp will help me to speak more Welsh at home. I’ve already described yesterday’s challenge to Gwyn - popeth yn Cymraeg. Will keep posting - maybe sometimes in Welsh and English.
The Lesson: I just did lesson 7, and made a real mess of it! I had a technical glitch after about 12 minutes and I had to delete and re-download the lesson. My concentration went to pot after that. Hopefully it will be back on track tomorrow.
Y Gwers: Dw i newydd gwneud Gwers 7, a wnes i gwneud llanast iawn am y peth! Roedd gen i broblem ar ol tua12 munud, a roedd rhaid i mi ddileu a ailllwytho i lawr y gwers. Roedd fy nghanolbwyyntio wedi mynd i gyd ar ol hynna. Gobeithio bydda i iawn yfory.
It’s good to make a real mess of a lesson every now and again - keep on pushing through with new material on the next day, and we’ll see how much of a problem the ‘messed up’ session really was by the end of the run…
The Challenge: I didn’t do this until early evening and then went straight out to a party. I had memorised the conversation from Day 2, and so we sat down to act it out. Gwyn asked the first question - and instead of instantly remembering what I had memorised, I started to answer the question as if it were part of a new conversation. Diddorol iawn! I took a deep breath and returned to the script. All went well after that.
The Lesson: Gwers 8, Cwrs 3
Concentration pretty good this morning, so mostly it went well. I forgot the future for “I’ll go” - probably due to the mess in yesterday’s lesion, but by the time we reached “He’ll go” - I was back on track. A few things caught me out - especially when two short forms make up the phrase we have to translate. e.g. Ddidodd o beth ddidest ti. I wonder what tomorrow will bring.
This was quite tricky. I started straight away trying to say in my head what Gwyn was saying in English. But in doing so I stopped talking to him - so conversation was not continued. So I think it is hard to do this with just two people. This afternoon was my granddaughter’s Christening. I found I could listen with pleasure to the minister and repeat phrases in my head in Welsh. At the party afterwards it was very difficult to concentrate properly as there was just too much going on. I also tried it with the radio - but that didn’t work very well either. I think the best way to do this challenge is to sit quietly in a room where 2 or 3 people are chatting, but you’re not involved fully. I may try again during the evening…
That’s actually a brilliant sign! Shows that your brain is more comfortable just speaking Welsh than working from scripts
Yup, that challenge is trickier with just two people - but the christening sounds perfect, and you’ve clearly done very well with it - any extra playing with this is bonus material
Thanks Aran. I was thinking about the challenge again yesterday evening - and realised just how apt the title of “Echo” was. The little voice in my head was just like an echo. I will look out for good opportunities to do it again.
One of the main benefits is that it will help you spot things that you need to use/understand on a daily basis, and then you know that it’s really worthwhile figuring out how to say them
The Lesson: Gwers 9, Cwrs 3
Done and dusted. Found the future short forms for ‘to come’ a bit mind boggling - but found when we returned toward the end of the lesson it had mostly sunk in. Found the use of ‘Na fydd…’ difficult today, but I think I just need to hear it more often and then it will work. So plenty mistakes and plenty pauses, but lots of right stuff without pausing - so ok!
The Challenge: Writing 3 long sentences
I think I may have overreached myself in this Challenge. I went for a walk, and thought it out in my head (muttering to myself I expect; lucky I didn’t meet anyone!), and then scribbled a few notes when I got back. Later I wrote them out in detail, but they are so long I don’t think I’ll ever be able to memorise all three and say them one after the other!. However, I’m pretty sure I could tell them as a story - but the words and the order could turn out different! I’ll keep trying to get them in my head - and hope tomorrow’s challenge isn’t too dependent on my ability to memorise. Not sure if we are invited to put the sentences here - but here they are anyway. Lots of ‘To bachs’ missing. Take a deep breath…
Tri Brawddegau Hir
Yn y pimdegau
Pan o’n i’n ifanc, o’n i’n byw mewn ty eitha mawr efo fy Mam, fy nhad, fy mrawd Alan a fy mrawd John, pwy syn licio chwarae yn y ardd yn y cefn, lle oedd fy rhieni yn gweithio yn galed pob wythnos.
Yn yr wythdegau
Pan oedd fy mhlant yn ifanc, roedden ni’n byw yn Sir Efrog mewn ty eitha mawr, sy oedd yn wreiddiol twlcau moch ar y fferm efo caeau yn y cefn, lle oedd hefyd ein gardd, lle roedden ni’n gweithio yn galed, pan oedd gynonni amser.
Yn y presennol
Ruan dw i’n hyn dw i’n byw efo Gwyn mewn ty eitha bach, wrth ochr y llyn bach efo llawer o adar dwr, ac o gwmpas y llyn ac y ty, bod llawer o goed efo gormod o ddail, sydd wedi cwmpo i lawr yn fy ngardd yn y hydref, ar ol i mi wedi gweithio yn galed i’w cadw hi’n hardd, fel bod medra’i eistedd yno er mwyn mwynhau y planhigion.
I think the way in which the right kind of exposure to a new language lets the brain map meaning even if you’re not consciously aware of having ‘understood’ it is extremely exciting - and the more you witness it, the more you’ll be able to relax and welcome mistakes and enjoy the process
They are certainly pretty impressive! I’m not surprised you couldn’t memorise them neatly - to be honest, if you get anywhere near, you’re doing remarkably well! The key here is just to be able to keep talking - and you’re already a long way ahead of the game with that
The Lesson: Gwers 10, Cwrs 3
A lot of this was plain sailing, although I am still using the pause button sometimes to think before speaking, and sometimes if I’ve got it muddled, I’ll pause a repeat what Catrin says, before listening to what Aran says. The ‘Mohon i’ caught me out completely as I don’t think I’d ever heard it before. I could say it but didn’t really understand the construction. However, I guess that will be repeated tomorrow, and will be easier.
The Challenge: speak your 3 long sentences to as many people as possible.
Well I had nearly memorised them yesterday, so I revised and tried again. Once it was more or less settled in my head, I spoke it out loud in the garden! Then I contacted some of my friends from bootcamp to see if they had time to listen. So I said it to Jen, to Vaughan, then to Doug (my local welsh learning friend) and then finally to Gwyn. So 4 times all to Welsh speakers. I might have tried to find some more people to listen, except I had half-hour conversations with Jen and Vaughan about lots of other things too, so I thought I’d better catch up with some other stuff - like shopping for food etc.
I think I forgot to memorise the bit about the birds on the pond, as I missed it out every time! I also noticed that if I deviated from the original script, I found it quite difficult to get back into it again, as my brain started to improvise and pushed me off track. I’m happy with that, as I realise that it’s vital to be able to improvise when having conversations in Welsh!
Yeah, that little word mo is taking me some time to get used to. Now I mostly remember to use it in lessons or revision, but I have no idea if it will come out naturally in a real conversation!
I am enjoying reading your reports btw.
Er, yes, most people need to do that pretty much all of the time, so you’re clearly hot stakes on the short term memory stuff
The Lesson: Gwers 11, Cwrs 3
Great start this morning - probably only used the pause button about 6 times in the first 15 minutes. This was partly because I had already come across ‘Ges i’ etc, when I was using course Sylvaen, and because a lot of the phrases and sentences were relatively short. The second half of the lesson was more challenging with the constant changing of past/ present and different constructions. But I did begin to understand the use of mo honno fi better. What will happen tomorrow I wonder?
The Challenge: listening to Pigion, and writing down words that I recognised.
I found it difficult to type and listen at the same time! I did it 4 times - gradually getting better (35, 45, 49, 57), and then I did it again hand writing my words down - and got 56. This is certainly something I would try again - but also it is a great source of listening material without the writing bit.
Excellent work! Llongyfarchiadau mawr iawn