Brand new

So I’ve been toiling with whether or not to gamble and sign up to the 6 month course for a while, particularly after I picked up some of the free introductory lessons and for the first time ever found myself translating phrases using the words I’d learned back and forth between English and Welsh (no doubt with plenty of mistakes!).

I’m English but have lived in Wales for the last eight years (have only very recently moved away to be closer to an ill family member) and despite many attempts at learning the phrases have never been confident enough to use them outside of practice.

I used to work in television in Wales and I’ve crewed on Pobol y Cym, but never had the confidence to utter more than the odd bore da, or prynhawn da to colleagues.

This may be a silly question, but I’m most worried about mastering the pronunciation. Is this something that you pick up along the way, or could I end up being a function Welsh speaker that nobody can understand? :laughing:

Regardless, I’m looking forward to starting and if you’ve read this far then I hope I didn’t bore you too much! :slight_smile:



Well done you!

No such thing.

Yes and no, and yes. Ah-hah, that snagged your attention didn’t it? Pronunciation is something that you can definitely pick up as you go-but you will want to focus on it a bit so that you minimize the risk of being a bi-lingual numpty :rofl: :laughing: :smirk: (thinks of own early pronunciation of ‘dweud’ & ‘gwneud’) :thinking:
I found that listening to Radio Cymru and S4C helped to tune my ear in, and listening to myself via recording and playback tweaked pronunciation.

We are a difficult lot to bore!
Croeso/welcome to the forum.


Welcome, Matt!

I’m American, have never been to Wales, and knew nothing about the language when I started learning. I’ve done my best to copy the pronunciation from the SSiW lessons. While I’m sure I have an American accent, people seem to understand me just fine! So you needn’t be concerned at all about being understood, especially since you have the added advantage of having lived in Wales for 8 years. :slight_smile:

We’re here to support you and always willing to answer questions, so never hesitate to come on the forum! (As @Sean-O said, we’re never bored! :grin:) Keep us posted on how you’re doing, and best of luck!


First, Matt-X, Croeso i’r ffwrm. Welcome to the forum.

You and every other person who learns another language has the same fear. I’ve been learning for about a year and I worry about it all the time. Guess what happens? I make mistakes and I learn and some of them are very funny, such as the time I asked, “If it was still raining beer?” :rofl: You know what else happens, I have a lot fun speaking yn y Cymraeg!

Everyone makes mistakes with pronunciation, wrong word and sometimes all my Cymraeg falls out of brain and I scramble to pick through the mush laying on the floor looking for any Welsh words. :grin: Have fun with the language and know worrying is a normal part of learning.

Here’s an excellent 3 minute video that I think should be required for all Welsh learners. It’s well worth the listen.


Even if you don’t get the pronunciation right people understand you. I’ve always struggled with the ‘ll’ sound. The nearest I can get is a sort of ‘clu’ noise. Before anyone says stick your tongue in the roof of your mouth I just can’t do that.


oooh, no, no, that’s not where it needs to be! Try this - put the tip of your tongue behind your teeth as if you ar going to make the normal L sound but then instead of making any sound, just blow (keeping your tongue where it is).
That’s the basic LL sound - then start to practice adding vowel sounds to it :smiley:
You’ll be LL’ing like a native in no time :wink:


Hi and croeso Matt. I’d say just base your pronunciation on the examples in the course that you are following. Don’t worry too much as the pronunciation changes between people from different parts of Wales as you know. So they’ll just think you are from another area :grinning:


One of the things other people working in the field of Welsh learning say most often about SSiW learners is how good their pronunciation is - which seems to be straightforwardly just because you spend a LOT more time listening carefully to model sentences than is the case on any other course.

So no, don’t worry… :slight_smile: And welcome to the forum! :slight_smile:


I’ve been banking on this one :wink:



Croeso matt-x,

I don’t live in Wales and am a slow learner. However, I can assure you that something magic happens on this course. Just relax and let the course flow over you, making mistakes is part of the fun - you learn faster by your mistakes :slight_smile:

I ground to a halt just 4 challenges away from completing Level 2 (considering I didn’t even think I would learn enough to pass Level 1, this speaks volumns for how good this course really is). I decided to pause the course for a few months. Now this is the interesting part. I recently re-started and, even though I haven’t spoken/learned Cymraeg for nearly 6 months, I found myself remembering loads of words and phrases - they seemed to come without effort. So I’m feeling more confident I’ll get to the end Level 2.

btw I’m hooked by Pobol y Cym!! It’s one of the recommended programmes to watch as we’re learning, and I did try to keep the sub-titles off - but I found myself wanting to know what was happening and turned the sub-titles on. Might seem like the easy way out - but the more I’m listening the more Cyrmraeg I’m recognising before I read the words.

Good luck!