Building vocabulary

I’m getting so many ‘lightbulb moments’ that my brain is lit up like Blackpool illuminations. Things are finally making sense (I’m nearing the end of Level 1 (challenge 22 I think).
I recognise that I know a fair few verbs and nouns, but I’m severely lacking in the adjective/adverb department. The good folk of Caernarfon are growing suspicious of me buying time to process with ‘Hmm, mae’n ddiddorol…’ :roll_eyes:
So, what’s the SSiW way to build up vocabulary? In ye olden days, I’d have given myself a list of likely words to learn…


Two main ways…

1 - press on with Level 2

2 - have extended periods of time (from 5 minutes onwards) where you don’t use any English at all. The words you need most often (but don’t have) will be flagged up and solved for you fastest this way than any other… :slight_smile:


When you are ready (and no need to rush, maybe wait until end Level 1 or later), if you feel like listening to the Radio Cymru Pigeon podcasts, which are here:

You will see a tab labelled “Geirfa’r Podlediad”. If you click on that and follow the links, you will find vocabulary for the current podcasts, and for quite a lot of the old ones.

I certainly don’t say that’s the fastest way of building vocabulary; it’s just another way, when you feel ready for it.

(Edit: You can always download them now, and listen to them later. The vocab should still be online)


I like the ideas previously mentioned. I’m only Challenge 11, so half way to your level. What I do to increase/reinforce current knowledge is look up words I need in everyday life. I live in a house with my family. What are the rooms called? What the things in each room called? What activities am I doing frequently? Lots of words in these situations. I did buy, used, The Welsh Learner’s Dictionary by Heini Gruffudd. What I really like about this dictionary is each Welsh word has the English pronunciation. I live in the US, so currently the only conversations I have are in my head, but if I was planning to converse, I’d pre-plan a few topics and learn words for those.


I love Pigion and have podcasts downloaded going all the way back to 2011. It’s not exactly easy to understand, but it’s a little more clear and measured than the usual rush of speech in other podcasts. The program is excellent for background listening when you’re trying to get the lilt of the language into your head.


I’ve used Memrise. They have various vocabulary courses. Just go through it once a day - takes 5 minutes at most and it really does help to expand one’s vocab. I know that word lists aren’t encouraged in SSiW, but at 5 minutes a day you’re not going to go nuts or get driven into despair and discouragement.


Ooo I’ve not heard of memorise; is it a phone application or desktop based?
I’d suggest Duolingo, I’ve learned quite a bit there. I can be frustrating sometimes as it wants perfect answers but in regards to vocab it’s pretty decent.


Memrise can be used for both desktop and as a phone app, although I prefer the desktop version personally. Give it a try - nothing to lose and maybe a lot to gain.

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I fancied the idea of Memrise, but having downloaded the app I didn’t see Welsh listed. I don’t use a desktop/laptop at home, so perhaps Welsh is on the full website? But thank you for the suggestions @Baruch :star:

Yeah, they removed the ability to search for user-made courses on the app :confused: You can still use them, just find them on PC and they’ll show up on the app :slight_smile:



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For those on FB, I’ve just noticed the group called Iaith. There are a few familiar faces on there. It can sometimes be a bit difficult to understand as it seems to be 1st language-based. Anyway, it gives a word or phrase and asks for members to give regional variations. so, plenty on there to try to get your head around and to try to absorb.


FWIW, I finished level 3 last week and I’m now doing the vocab units of old course 1. Some revision some new. (Btw, I did old course 1 before doing level 1). The plan is then to go to old course 2 and then 3. However I’m also doing a bit of reading online, watching videos with subtitles and trying to write with people on iTalki. Conversation practice is also important on the slack channel and I’m averaging 2-3 conversations per week just in Cymraeg. Out of all these my main thing is SSiW. But at some point I’ll run out of SSiW material and I’ll hafe to change gears to doing a lot more listening/watching and writing and talking. If you want to go from a B1/B2 level to a C1 level, acquiring new vocabulary is the way to go and best, in my opinion to do it the natural way once you’ve got the huge backing of a solid foundation from SSiW.

Interestingly, my vocab in German is much greater than in Welsh, but I am much much more fluent in Welsh than in German and I make many more grammar errors in German than in Welsh (even though I’ve studied German grammar but almost no welsh grammar). I easily see a point soon when my welsh will vastly overtake my German.

Oh, and think about your interests and hobbies or your work. What vocab do you want to be fluent in? No point studying the intricacies of the lifecycle of Sompopo de Mayo ants in Central America if you’ll never need to talk about it in detail. Chose books, shows, radio programs, etc in which you would be interested in English. More likely to be fun that way and much more likely to be useful to you for your spoken welsh too


I can relate to a lot of this. I learned a lot of German (over many years) in the fairly traditional way, concentrating on reading and writing. The consequence is that I still don’t feel particularly confident speaking German, although in theory, I know a heck of a lot by now.

I also agree that vocab is key.


Trying not to repeat myself, but my German learning, at school, must have been slightly irregular. Although we learned grammar, it was through conversation (the old CSE school course). When I toured some German-speaking countries, years later, I was able to speak a bit of German in shops etc.

That’s why I love SSiW.

I’m using Radio Cymru news type programs as well as songs. Also as many word for the day type stuff and social media items that I can absorb.

Of course also the SSIW voice recorded conversations and the Slack Hangouts as well as chatting to friends when I bump into them, Sadwrn Siaradau, meetups etc. I think the stuff in this paragraph is in a different league to the rest.

Finally, I’m making an attempt at filling out with Duolingo, Memrise and also all of the notes etc for the Welsh for Adults Courses.

I’ll probably let you all know how it goes.

Thanks for sticking with this :open_mouth: (Yawn)