Best way to start learning Welsh


First of all apologies if this isn’t the right place to post this.
I am a Spanish girl living in Wales. About 6 years ago I tried to learn Welsh with a very basic book, my reasons back then for wanting to learn were that being my partner Welsh, and all her family and friends Welsh, I wanted to be part of all the conversations without the need of them translating, saying lots twice etc, and also to speak to all the children not very fluent yet.
I gave up, mainly because I wanted to be able UNDERSTAND more than SPEAK, and my partner kept saying after every page, we don’t say that, people would understand you but nobody would say it like that. So I couldn’t see the point as my main focus was to understand more than being fluent myself. We were living in England and Spain 50-50

Now, many years after, I’m willing, or I should say, I’m desperate to learn it. The situation has changed. We have two daughters, the eldest, 3, is doing brilliantly speaking Welsh and Spanish. And I thought I could learn that way, with her.
Which is working fine, but I’m basically stuck in children’s level. Ti di blino, ti isio pwyd? Gwely, chwarae, etc… (All heard, not written) I understand 90% of what my husband says to them.

The main problem is that

  1. Soon they’ll be well ahead when they start school
  2. I need to be able to talk with adults. Mainly school groups, mothers, helping with homework etc.

I went to my first meeting for “cylch Meithrin” last night, and I felt bad making 14 people speak English only because of me (minus one woman who clearly couldn’t make the effort and only spoke Welsh, but actually I have to thank because now I’m determined to learn- after my initial depression and feelings of wanting to pack my bags and go back to Spain with my children)

Anyway, to cut a long story short. I’m in emails, whatsapp groups, ti a fi groups, and can’t understand a thing. Being Spanish and already trying to get as fluent in English as I can, I could give up and socialise only with English speakers, but wouldn’t be good for anybody, family, friends etc, so I want to start. Now.
I just don’t know where because I don’t have the time to assist to classes, looking after a 1 and 3 years old full time with no family nearby.
We live in north wales and all books I can find are very much south-Welsh.

Many thanks and sorry for the long post!
PS. I’m happy to help to any Spanish learners, but I think I can only log in into one group


Erm, little bit confused here…

Are you doing SSiW? I mean, you are on the forum for it :blush:
That sounds to me like a good course for what you describe :blush:

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Bienvenido al foro, Blanca!

If you click on ‘Welsh’ up at the top there, just underneath your thread title, you’ll then be able to choose from a set of categories, including the Spanish one - you don’t need a separate account to post in there… :slight_smile:

And if you click on ‘Challenges’ (up at the top right) you’ll be able to access all our free sessions - I’d suggest you try the first few of Level 1 (all 25 are free, currently) and see what you think of it…:slight_smile:

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Ummm … @aran now you make ME confused. If I understood correctly @Blanca is Spanish who wants to learn Welsh so it’s not neccessary for her to post in Spahish category I believe. I’ve just edited the post into the right category so all well regarding this.

But now I’m more intrigued to think something else … Does learning Welsh though Spahish still exist? Why not trying this since Blanca’s mother tongue is Spahish? I don’t see one could access it on the learning page at the moment so it’s probably hidden.

And … since you’ve joined the forum just 2 hours ago Blanca - Croeso ar y forwm! from me too.

The Welsh through Spanish course isn’t available any more - as I understand, the plan is to get both courses into SSiBorg and then use that to generate courses between them.

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A, ye … I remember now this was said. It’s just super pity not to have it here yet because we just have someone who could try it at our hand now. :slight_smile: Don’t run anywhere @Blanca! - hehe :slight_smile:

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I have no idea, but the OP doesn’t live in Patagonia. I specifically was talking about this website’s courses - they used to have a Spanish through Welsh and both English and Welsh through Spanish.

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So did I.

Yup, that’s true. I’ve tried first lesson of Welsh through Spanish but I just couldn’t quite make it. For @Blanca this would be super fine though.

Hi Blanca,

Congratulations on your determination to learn Welsh!

My advice (in no particular order):

  • get stuck into the SSiW lessons, they really do work, and are ideal for someone in your situation with kids to look after
  • listen as much as possible to Radio Cymru, watch S4C as much as possible
  • ignore people who try to correct you (may be difficult with your partner :wink: )
  • what is most important to you - understanding, speaking, reading or writing? It sounds like your understanding is very good already, I would caution about worrying too much reading/writing if speaking is very important to you; reading and writing will come in due course quite naturally
  • people learn from making and discovering mistakes more than from being corrected, so go ahead, speak and don’t worry about mistakes!
  • speak Welsh wherever and whenever you can - from what you are saying, you have a very good basis to work from already

Pob lwc!


Welcome @Blanca - I think you have already found your way to the right place…

ssiw is all about speaking and understanding everyday Welsh, as spoken by Welsh people, including all the little slangy, abbreviated, eccentricities that really make a language come alive. Like a lot of people here I’ve struggled in the past to learn other languages, and just assumed I was not good at it - I have learnt a lot here, and (shockingly, to me anyway) I am remembering what I learn, because it is a very natural way to learn language and above all its great fun :slight_smile:

So have a poke around on the forum, get started on the levels and come and tell us how you are doing!

Ps @tatjana i think it was suggested how she could access the Spanish forums because she offered to help Spanish learners, I think…?


Possibly, yes … I had to miss this bit somewhere. Sorry @aran and all the rest if I missunderstood this part. (Still learning - hehe) :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:


Thanks! I haven’t started yet, I guess I need a desktop computer? At the moment I only have my iPhone but planning to buy a proper PC soon.
I just don’t know how to access the levels.

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Go to App store and download SSiW app, log in and download lessons. However, you have to login with the name and password which you used to create SSiW acount on the site (where challenges are) and not on here on the forum. Usually data are the same to log in, but anyway. If created acount here on the forum only (I don’t know if this is possible nowdays though) and you didn’t create it on the site (where lessons arre) yet then you should do that first and then give app a go.

I hope I’ve made this post understandable though …

Tatjana :slight_smile:


I believe there is an iOS app, which is probably the easiest way to use the site. You should be able to use the main website via your phone’s browser, but I’m not sure what the layout looks like. There is a “see all challenges” link on the main course page, and this will show the various courses. You’ll want Level 1.

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Thanks Louis! My understanding is very very basic. Good for 2 years old conversations but not good once I leave the house and try to have a coffee with other mums.
My main priority is understanding, so nobody has to change language during a group chat. Even if I spoke English initially and the person could carry on speaking Welsh that’s ok.
Then with time speaking it would be fab. Reading and writing not so important at the moment
Thanks all for your input!
I’ll do the course through the English medium, only wanted to post in the Spanish forum to help people learning Spanish, although maybe not grammatically correct I can help with what we would or would not say in daily life.

I’m off to Madrid now for 4 days so I’ll get back here and try to start the course once I have a desktop pc
Diolch pawb !


You can access SSiW through smartphone, either with the app (as @tatjana and @hectorgrey point out) or through just going on to SSiW through the web browser on your phone and using it as you would on a Desktop (at least, that’s with android phones! I can’t see it would be different with iPhones. Pob lwc! And most importantly, enjoy!)


Heh no worries - I had to go back and reread it anyway! :wink:

Really, Diolch o galon to every single comment and help here, I’m rubbish at quoting or posting individually, but thanks to every comment, can’t wait!


Buena suerte! :slight_smile: