Being De-railed by a couple of negative comments

I would like to share something with you that has de-railed my learning and confidence disproportionately.

I signed up to a Facebook group called ‘Iaith’ and it states that learners are welcome. Until yesterday i had just lurked on the group. I then inadvertently commented in English to a post linking to an English report on Gaelic without realising I was on ‘iaith’.

A lengthy reply in Welsh was made to my comment and I repled in Welsh saying 'Mae ddrwg 'da fi. Dw i’n dysgu Cymraeg a dw i ddim yn deall '(Sorry, I am a learner and don’t understand). I was dismissed with ‘use Google translate then’ to which i replied in Welsh that I had tried but it was rubbish.

Upset by this dismissal i posted in the group asking that learners not be dismissed and to please respect us. What followed was a massive surge of support for me…apart from only 3 people who were scathing and dismissive.

Now you would think 120 supporting emojis, 40 supporting messages and 3 personal messenger messages would boost my confidence. But NO. The 3 dismissive unfriendly ones have totally derailed me. 3 times today I have tried my latest Challenge(14) and failed to concentrate and had to abort.

I have cried at the frustration of not being fluent in my own language and raged at those who take their fluency for granted and don’t realise its a privilege to be fluent. I feel stupid at my little attempts to add some simple comments in Welsh on Facebook.

In other words I am having a bad case of self esteem and confidence. I cannot see a time when I will ever be fluent in my native language.

Any advice?


I understand that so deeply. You’re not alone in your feelings, Christina. And it would be massively, massively valuable for the future of the language if we didn’t have any BLOODY IDIOTS at all.

Unfortunately, they’re out there, just as they are in any community.

But you can’t - you just can’t - let a couple of nasty idiots stand between you and YOUR OWN LANGUAGE.

You’re on the right track. You’re doing the right work. And more importantly than anything, you’re coming in here for guidance and support - and there is no better, kinder, more caring or committed community anywhere in the world. We’ve got your back.

Yes, you can do this. Your brain just needs the right exposure - and that means you just keep on doing the right stuff, and refusing - point BLANK - to let nasty people stand in your way.


Hi Christina.
I’m so sorry to hear about what happened to you. It just goes to show that even Welsh speakers can be (expletive of your choice)! But that you are not one of these people. And that sort of behavior is not acceptable. You made a mistake. That’s not the end of the world. SSIW begins, explicitly, with the idea that mistskes are to be made. Most people in that other group have been supportive, so will we be. There may well be some others who are in both groups. YOU ARE DOING FANTASTICALLY WELL!, (Sorry for shouting!) My advice? Have a drink, a swear, a bath, a whatever you do when people have been mean to you. And then remember how far you have come. Then go back to challenge 14 when your brain is in a better place. You are already more fluent than a month ago. And in a month’s time you will be even better. Onwards.


:arrow_up: This :arrow_up:


Look @Christina! There’s sun shining for you!

I see you’re “5 Minuter”. Do you think it was just given to you like this! I wouldn’t say so. You’ve accepted the challenge and did it so you are on the way to fluency. I presume it’s a while you did 5 minute challenge so you’re even more fluent now that you were at that time. As all say, Don’t let some self esteamed people put you down and away from learning your own language. You will succeed! I know you will and I believe in you.

And … if I’d be admin of that group I’d probably give those 3 a warning and if even that wouldn’t help, I’d ban them for sure. Such people don’t earn the place in the group no matter how fluent they might be or even native speakers.

Keep going dear Christina! We’re all with you!


Yes, I’d say ignore any negative comments and focus on all of the members who supported you. Especially as the comment from the Grumpy wasn’t really language related anyway (by the sound of it).

Sorry that you have been upset by this, especially as I have recommended the group in the past, because it’s such an interesting group for vocabulary.

As everyone else has said, concentrate on the warm comments that you received and ignore the unkind ones.


Christina, I’m so sorry you had this bad experience. I totally understand how three mean people can overshadow all the other nice and encouraging comments. It’s hard to put that aside. But this is the crux of the matter:

Don’t let the mean, stupid people win. Treat yourself extra nice today, come back to your SSiW challenge tomorrow when you’ve had a chance to get your equilibrium back, and keep on doing the fantastic job you’ve been doing. We are all here for you, and there are no mean stupid people allowed on this forum. You WILL get to fluency, no question about it. And we will all help you get there in whatever way we can.


I’ve took the look into the group and I established it’s prety much Welsh only so might be wise to search for another group on FB which members don’t mind to post in English too and they don’t mind questions to answer. I’m the member of "Dw in dysgu Cymraeg/I’m learning Welsh Well it might be you’re already a member of it but if you aren’t you’re, I’m prety sure, very welcome to join us.


someone was horrible to me 2 years ago, and i understand how you feel, i was UTTERLY devasted, felt low, useles, grieved that i’d never be a welsh speaker, and cried off and on for a week, BUT after a while, i started to feel very angry at how horrible and unreasonable that person was, expecting me to be a perfect welsh speaker with no tolerance for the learning process, and that anger is still fueling me today!! i’ve improved vastly, and these days, if anyone says can you speak welsh, i say (in welsh), “yes! i’m not completely fluent, and not perfect, but i’d appreciate it if you speak welsh to me, even when i might have to speak english”. so please please please please PLEASE don’t give up! sending you a hug and best wishes, no-one understands ‘the struggle’ better than us eh? xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


My advice Christina; stand in front of the mirror, have a good rant, say what you need to say in order to rid your wounded self of any feelings of frustration and angst because you can do this, you ARE doing it. You’re here, in the best and most supportive welsh learning community there is (I’m not biased at all):wink:
Us learners are doing an amazing job! We are helping to revive this language and we are contributing to its growth. We are learning welsh because we appreciate its beauty, its culture, its history. We may not have spoken this ‘beauty’ throughout our lives BUT, we have made an informed decision to learn Welsh and THAT adds up to an awful lot of hiraeth.
Keep on keeping on. xx


Thank you ever so much for all your kind and motivating words of support. I have had a good cry and rant and feel a lot better now! It really really helps to have such fantastic back up from everyone here.
I have come off the Iaith group and for now will stick to the learner groups as Tatjana has suggested.
Onwards and Upwards! Christina x


That’s the spirit @Christina! You’re a hero!

DAL ATI!!! :slight_smile:

And croeso to the learner’s group!


Ignore idiots, @Christina. Simple advice that works well not only on FB, but also in life generally.

I am very sure that you will achieve your goal of fluency! :slight_smile:


The kind words on here have enabled me to forge on and i am half way through my aborted challenge. Thanks to everyone x


I can. You are clearly very passionate about your beautiful language. Since you asked for advice: fluency is like perfection: it is something to strive for, but one can never be fully satisfied that it has been reached. The day will come that you are content within yourself about your participation in the community of Welsh speakers.


HI again Christina. I’ve just had another think. All of this happened in writing. SSIW concentrates 200% (that was an unintentional, but accurate mistake) on speaking and listening / understanding skills and if we want to learn more about reading and writing we need to go elsewhere. I have met people high up on the conventional learning ladder, who can read and write wonderfully but cannot string a sentence together face to face. When confronted by apparent perfection, remember that you may well not be comparing like with like. Have a great weekend.


In my experience, you will get far more positive responses from people when you make the effort to speak to people in their own language, whatever language. I’ve tried Gaelic on Skye, Norwegian in Trondheim, Urdu in Rochdale and Welsh in Pwllheli and seen the positive reaction in their faces. I play in a brass band and had been playing in a retirement home on the Scottish Borders a few Christmases ago. I spoke to one resident whose Scottish husband had died and she told me of how she missed her native Wales. I don’t know which of us got the most out of it when I spoke to her in Welsh. Such experiences stick with you and outweigh any negative comments from idiots. Dal ati @Christina


Well DONE. When you can get back on the horse after falling off, you’re a sure bet… :slight_smile:


I think it’s always good to remember this kind of reactions have nothing to do with Welsh language. It may happen in any group/community: record collectors, swimmers, bass players, sound engineers, filmmakers, pizza makers…the aggressive/defensive kinda guys can (unfortunately) pop up anywhere!

And they often do. But if you learn to ignore them, and just go on your way no matter what they say, you’ll do just great :wink: (and usually they also shut up after a while).


I’m very late to reply and you’ve received excellent advice, kind words, and I’m really happy you’ve overcome your setback. I don’t really have anything more to add except to re-post this video. It has many lessons for us beginners. Pay close attention at 2:06 into the video, as it applies directly to your experience.