Building vocab

Diolch @gruntius ac @owainlurch

Sometimes it’s that feeling of going backwards or not getting anywhere.

I need to remind myself that I spoke virtually no English for 48 hours last week and followed it with an hour and a half conversation in Welsh Monday evening.


After the initial stage of going through the courses and starting having conversations the learning does, invariably, slow. Let’s face it, after the SSiW magic you pretty much know all the structures you will need so it is just (mostly) about adjectives, verbs and nouns. I feel like I’ve been standing still for about 3 years but if I look back to where I was I look like a spec on the horizon. You may feel like you aren’t moving quick enough because it’s difficult to track your progress after the lessons have finished … but you are.


Diolch. Dwi’n cytuno efo chdi. Dwi’n trio ymarfer bob dydd a dysgu rhywbeth newydd. Dwi’n licio sgwennu pethau yn y Gymraeg hefyd, ond mae’n ddrwg gen i am y camgymeriadau!

Thanks. I agree with you. I try to practice every day and learn something new. I like to write things in Welsh too, but sorry for the mistakes!

1 Like

You need to remind yourself that you are doing the most important thing- getting out and speaking the language with people!

You are now a Welsh speaker, whether you like it or not! :blush:

Its just a matter now of becoming more and more comfortable in the language - and that is a journey which will never end, which is a wonderful thing!

So from now on, the important thing to do is simply enjoy being part of the Welsh speaking World. :blush:


I rather like the sound of that :smiley:


“Oh, beth yw’r pwynt?” I was thinking, because every time I think yn Gymraeg, I have to slip into English. I just don’t have the range of words to express the nuances…But isn’t ‘nuance’ a French word? I’m not sure, probably, but English has gobbled it up, as usual. If Welsh grabs an English word, it’s Wenglish and wrong! Or is it? If I was in Wales, wouldn’t I, if living near and meeting with Cymru Caymraeg, just prattle and not care if I said nuance or colour or naws or lliw, and my terrible spelling, sillafu ofnadwy wouldn’t matter at all!!
So all of you who can and do mix and mingle with those who speak more Welsh words than you can, keep meeting, keep chatting and maybe you’ll learn at the same time! Back when I read a lot, but it has all gone from my brain because I didn’t keep it up and unused it drifted off into the ‘junk’ file! So, if you read, pick things you understand most of, so you only need to guess or look up a word here and there and keep at it!
Here endeth the unsuccessful preaching to the much more successful!


If you are successful in enjoying the journey of learning or relearning as much Welsh as you can in the situation you are, you are as successful as anyone, henddraig!


well said.

I think thats very true…i was very surprised how many words i know for example…and doubtless many others too.

It was a revelation the other day watching something on s4c and realising i knew exactly what was going on!


English words keep doing that, Bach! It’s called aging! Names, OK, I’ve had trouble with those all my life and I’m used to it, but names I know well, words I go to say and have lost… oh they come back, but the filing system is overloaded and pathways are congested!! Ble mae’r Gymraeg? Under layers of English and the odd bit of French, Latin, Italian and even long-forgotten German!

True story: me on boat to France for rugby sometime in 70s (that;s the earliest I could afford the trip!). Trying to speak French and “I must not speak English!” firmly in my mind! So, when I am looking for salt, in the cafeteria, what do I say? “Oes halen gyda chi os gwel…oh dear. Wrong language!”


On one trip there were some Breton lads on the boat and none of them spoke any Breton at all!! One said his Grandad spoke it!! I told them that people had come to Wales when I was a child, selling onions in Breton and conversations in Welsh/Breton had worked fine!! (No, it wasn’t me who remembered, a very dear friend raised in Cymraeg told me!). The lad wasn’t appreciably younger than me and my friend was only about 4 years older, so I guess it was a matter of where in Brittany you lived as well as where in Wales!

1 Like

Yes, my father remembers talking to the Sioni Winwns in Welsh when they came round in his youth!

Obviously the similarity of the two languages meant Breton and Welsh speakers could learn to communicate more quickly than say, German and Chinese speakers, but the exact method if speaking together, how much it was a sort of pijin made if the two because of the similarities and how much towards learning Welsh I don’t know.

And my father, though he isn’t daft, wasn’t sure either- but both the Bretons and the Welsh were struck by the similarity of the two!

We have a lot of basic vocabulary in common - verbal structures are pretty different, but while I couldn’t imagine a Welsh speaker just understanding Breton, I can easily imagine Breton and Welsh speakers figuring out a fair bit - bara, gwin, glaw, ffa/fav, pwy/piv, gen ti/genit, enw/anv, iechyd/yec’hed, nos/noz, dwr/dour, dysgu/deskin and many more… :slight_smile:


download Lingo Newydd app. It has three ability levels and a narrator reads each of the levels. It’s brilliant!

1 Like

always siwni winwns and never johnny onions as I’ve heard in some places.

1 Like

Yes, also, all our informants are those who were pretty young at the time! I know how quickly I picked up enough German to get by, no doubt with sign language and English as well, when we were at the POW Camp. I wasn’t really aware which was German, just that I talked this way to, say Alfred, and that way to my Mam!! Kids may well have actually helped their parents chat to the Bretons without realising it!!

1 Like

Well amazing. Last night i revisted level 2 lesson 25 and course 3 lessons 24 and 25. Going backwards? Maybe not. Even the dreaded last lesson of course 3 was better. :slight_smile:


I’ve been reading more stuff in Welsh now. I held off for a few months until I’d completed level 2. I’m quite happy with my pronunciation (although there are always tongue twisters in every language), so I felt I could start to push forward. It’s helped my vocabulary loads! What I have found is that it’s worth investing sometime in learning short forms of verbs. Most of what I have read uses them a lot. A first they can throw you and it can be frustrating (as all encounters of new things can be). However, it’s worth the pain. It’s built my knowledge of different verbs which would have taken a long time to grasp just speaking the language. It’s also helped me understand more on the telly and the radio.
I still find I’m slow on these (Dal Ati is fine now because it’s aimed at learners). I try to push forwards with speaking to first language speakers and I avoid learner events. Learners are wonderful, well intending people. However, speaking to “pobl go iawn” is more challenging and, therefore, has a greater risk-reward result.

So, my advice, although the wlpan courses are slow. They do help in this area. So sometimes, building vocab can be helped by traditional courses. If you’re going to do it, push yourself and aim for the highest level. If you think you’d be comfortable on a sylfaen course, join a canolradd. If it’s canolradd, get yourself on an uwch.

I started learning Welsh August 2015, I joined a sylfaen course in September. This year I’ve jumped to uwch. My experience with SSiW has more than prepared me for it. As a class we pretty much stay in Welsh the entire 4 hours a week. With small bits f saesneg for clarity.


Totally agree. I’m doing a mix of canolradd and uwch by myself with help from memrise and other apps. I revisit SSIW every week too and constantly have radio cymru on in the car.

This week i watched the rugby on S4C. I do silly things like translate songs into welsh.

I try to get to saith seren. I post stuff in welsh etc.

All in all its definitely improving :slight_smile: