Boosting learning at home

Just a thought that nay help people.

Today i decided to watch somsome telly. S4C obviously.

I watched a catch up Dal Ati about welsh learner of the year. Then watch three lots of Cegin Bryn.

After the first i looked up a couple of words i wasnt sure of eg blawd, ychwenegu (excuse spelling if its incorrect). I then watched the next two programmes. All of a sudden a little more made sense.

I had kind of taken a little break from learning over the last couple of weeks what with the school holidays. (i know i’m a teacher but i lost a little motivation). I found this worked quite well for me. Learn a few new words on a programme that interests me and then hear them again but in different sentences.

Just a suggestion for people. :slight_smile:


I never look up words unless I recognise them and have seen/heard them repeatedly. Means all the learning is spent efficiently on words that’ll actually come up!

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It’s exactly why I looked them up…a cookery programme where words were repeatedly used. As its one of my interests I decided to look the up and they were used n the next programme thus enhancing my understanding and hence enjoyment of the programme.

Similarly if football or rugby are your thing I would suggest the same approach. It means you can talk to people who share your interest.

I had done this previously a few weeks ago and over lunch on Saturday with other Welsh learners I could talk with the tutor about the fact that whilst my lunch was tasty, I couldn’t find the chicken and suggested it should be called a vegetable curry. I wouldn’t have been able to do this unless I had looked the words up.

(and totally irrelevant…here’s some of my cooking)


I’ve just started doing something similar, but from the other direction. A few days ago, I started writing a journal totally in Welsh. What I decided to do is to write free-form as much as I can. When I come across a word I want to use but don’t know, I write it in English in red font. Then, when I finish writing the whole journal entry (only about a paragraph or so at the moment), I look up all the words I’d written in English, swap the Welsh words in for the English words in red still, and make myself a little glossary at the bottom of the page.

The next day, I read through the previous day or so’s entries, trying to use just the Welsh journal without looking up the red words if I can avoid it. As petermescall says, this way, I’m learning words I know I’d actually use in real life; because those are the words I’m writing about what’s happening in my actual days.


I do something similar when writing email or texting etc. I write as much of what i want to write using my existing vocabulary. I change what i want to write as much as possible do it fits with my existing vocabulary.

However i recognise it is limited. Sometimes I need new words. Of course I do. But once a word is added I try and reuse it as much as possible.

So yes I now know llysiau, pys, halen, pipir, garlleg, sos, sospan, berwi, ffrio, cig moch, wy, melyn, melynwy, menyn, selsig, tatws, cartref, canol, beic, popty, meicrodon, pysgod, sewin, gwyliau, yr almaen, ffrainc, ffraneg, gwlad belg, almaeneg, awyr, awyren, gwesty, ty bwyta, bwyd, caffi, dosbarth, mathemateg, etc etc etc.

I have learnt my colours. Learnt the weather. Basic directions. All things i have learnt through things i want to understand from programmes I watch or from messaging people about the things I like to do. No surprises, i like cooking, eating out, holidays and i work as a teacher.

I am not showing off. Anyone who has spoken to me in Welsh knows i am a very nervous welsh speaker. In a cafe at the weekend i was once again shaking with nerves at asking for a black coffee and saying no thank you when asked if i wanted something else.

My point is that SSIW cannot provide you with a wide enough vocab on its own. However it works so well it gives you a great foundation to be able to pick things up but in order to progress further you need to find a way of extending your learning. S4C player is for me great. I can choose a program of my liking. Watch it. Find new words. Watch another porgram and then understand more. I can then talk to people about these things and improve my confidence. Similarly as i live in wales i try to read road signs in welsh, look at shop signs in welsh. The more i use things the easier everything becomes.

Sorry for another very long post. I’m just offering people somesome ideas of what has worked for me and hope it helps.

I sure regular forum readers know I am someone who has lived in Wales all their life but outside of a couple of years very poor secondary welsh education 35 years ago have never learnt any Welsh. But despite my lack of confidence speaking I know of several people who react with total disbelief that I only started with SSIW 14 weeks ago.

This is down to the brilliant course. However we have to extend it and I hope my experiences can help people too.


Thanks for this. I was just starting to journal in welsh only as I enjoy journaling. I like the way you do it so I’m going to do the same.


Lots of good ideas have been suggested here.

Another simple little one is to make shopping or “to do” lists in Cymraeg.

On the subject of free-form journals, there is something that I always intended to do regularly, but have in practice done only a little, which is to use a voice-recorder, or a voice-recorder smartphone app. i.e. instead of writing things down, speak them (or speak them as well as writing them down if you prefer).

If anyone does any experiments with recording their own voice as part of their Welsh-learning or Welsh-practice, I’d be interested to hear how they get on.

(And I will try to do a bit more of this myself, and if I find anything useful to report back, I will do so).

All your posts are very motivational! I’m still on Course 1 lesson 5 so it’s exciting to think I may be as competent as you all soon. I find if my colleagues ask me simple questions I can translate them into Welsh (eg do you like sport, no I do not like sport) but that’s it at the moment.
The Welsh Peppa Pig programs are good, they speak slowly and there’s limited vocabulary so it’s quite easy to recognise some of what they’re saying. Only trouble is justifying watching it to the wife!


Recording your own voice sounds horrific - correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m under the impression that most of us hate the sound of our own voices. Part of learning another language is somehow getting used to sounding a bit like someone else and wondering if people you know might be thinking that you’ve gone a bit bonkers.

If you are actually a bit bonkers that could be a real advantage maybe in learning languages?

I don’t care what she does! I have learned lots from Peppa Pig, with and without sub-titles. That’s where I first came across cyfrifiadur (at the car wash), pryf cop (in the tebod), cacen siocled (in the supermarket). How else would I ever manage? Also, Bob the Bilda for bwgan brain. My grand-daughters would think me a simpleton if I didn’t know what to call a scarecrow or be unable to use blasus iawn and ofnadwy. It’s all fun and we need fun.