Course 1 Northern Am I Normal? (plus remaining Level 2 North course notes)

Hello all. I am very new here. Have only completed the first 5 lessons, and currently on lesson 6. I’m really loving it and I want to thank the course creators for such a brilliant FREE course. I was never very good at French at school and so did not have any expectation when I started that I would actually stick with this beyond a couple of lessons. It is a testament to how straight forward and well devised the lessons are that I’m still here!
I don’t know why I have left it until now to try and learn Welsh as for all of
my life I have wanted to live in Anglesey, I actually live in Stockport. I am determined my dream will come true one day!
Now my question…have I left it too late to ever become reasonably fluent? I am 51 now, and although the lessons are going in and I remember all the words so far…I am just very slow. Im finding it frustrating. Am I normal to be so slow or is it an age thing?


I’m a good few years older than you and I understand your feelings very well. I’m well into Course 2 (Northern) and at times it’s been a hard slog, especially as I have many other demands on my time.
You should persevere! Never allow yourself to feel you can’t do it, even when the going gets tough. It’s one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done and I endorse your views on Aran’s method of teaching, which is excellent.


51? Sounds like a young stripling to me! :slight_smile: You’re only half-way to your first century! :slight_smile: Don’t worry about the age thing.

Definitely not too late. Jyst dal ati. Just keep at it.

I sometimes found it helpful to break the lessons up into, say, 10 minute chunks, and just be happy to do one chunk at a time.

But it depends how it’s going. Some times or some days you may feel you are “on a roll” and want to keep going.

And it sounds like you are doing very well in any case.
If that is Course 1 (as opposed to Level 1) then the lessons 6 (there are more than one, as it got split up) is recognised as a bit of a hurdle, but not an impossible one. Once over that, you will never look back.

Pob lwc.


Agree with that!! I’m not sure what the others think, but I think I’d recommend switching to Level 1, if you are doing Course 1. But I’m not a typical learner, so my feeling that level 1 is more useful may be atypical too!!


No, you certainly haven’t :sunny:

Are you doing Course 1 or Level 1? And how often are you repeating sessions? How long has it taken you to do the first five? I suspect that you’re doing better than you realise, and that your frustration is because you don’t fully grasp how much faster you’re going than someone in an evening class - but even so, we can probably find some little tests for you to help you go a bit faster, if you want to try them :sunny:

What are these Aran?

High Intensity - a series of blog posts



Thanks to everbody for their kind and helpful replies!
Aran, i started about 4 weeks ago and I can’t thank you enough for this fabulous course! Im doing Course 1 as opposed to Level 1. I just started on that and seemed to be getting along well with it, so Im thinking I’d prefer to stick with it, although I now realise the Level 1 is the newer course. I am doing the lesson I am up to every day. Sometimes just 20 mins on my way to work in the car, sometimes an hour or so when dog walking.


Thank you very much indeed for your extremely kind words :thumbsup:

In which case, you are (as I suspected!) going at an excellent pace compared to anyone in an evening class, so don’t be tough on yourself!

You might like to have a read of some of the high intensity stuff - you can cut down on how often you repeat a lesson, you can cut down on how much you use the pause button - but the important thing is that you keep on moving forward, and don’t let yourself feel frustrated - just come on here any time you need a pat on the back or a bit of inspiration! :sunny:


Thanks Aran I will. Thanks everyone for the encouragement.
Ruth x


Let us know how it goes - I’ll look forward to hearing if you survive the beastly 6.1 and 6.2 (and don’t worry if they’re tough - it’s because they’re not very well written!) :sunny:

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6.1 has more or less gone in, so after reading the link you posted about high intensity I’m going to press on with 6.2. Will let you know!

Fab! Good luck :sunny:

Just sitting reading this in a 5 minute break from my P bass. It struck me there’s a similarity for me in learning a language and practising music. 20 mins concentration and 5 mins off works best for me. The musos say there’s some science in this and a breather for brain and paws seems to cue me up to concentrate again. The break’s also a test of muscle memory. Aran is best placed to advise on the language thing as no doubt, I’m probably malu cachu eto😜 Keep going, though, you’re clearly doing brilliantly.


It’s true that we sometimes find that our mental processes slow down as we get older. But I would argue that in many (perhaps most?) cases it’s not age in itself that causes this.

If we don’t take enough exercise our bodies become flabby and unfit, and surely the same applies to the brain/intellect/memory. A case of “use it or lose it”! The trouble is that (in my experience), a lot of people stop learning when they reach middle age - or before. They do not take up anything new which involves mental exercise or effort outside their comfort zone, with the result that everything seems to be creaking and slowing down. It’s easy to blame “age”, but it’s not necessarily the culprit!

I can only speak for myself, but I’m in the second half of my sixties and up to now (I realise that things could change at any time), I haven’t noticed any real difference in my memory, or in my capacity to learn new things as I’ve got olderr. I like to think that it’s because I’m a “lifelong learner”!

So go for it, don’t worry about the age thing, and pob lwc! It must be great having a specific target/aim - such as moving to Anglesey in your case - because it must surely give you even greater motivation to learn Welsh.

As far as SSiW itself is concerned, I really cannot praise it highly enough. I’ve dabbled in Welsh on and off for a few years out of interest, but haven’t really learnt very much - until SSiW came along. This method must SURELY be the future of language learning! I’m also doing Course One (in my case, the Southern version) and I agree with you that the course is straightforward and well-devised. Not only that - the presentation is brilliant - a combination of informality, friendliness and encouragement, with a bit of gentle humour thrown in. It’s all a challenging but very enjoyable experience.


I am 73 and have suffered from nominal ephasia forever!! I always said that, when I forget the words ‘nominal ephasia’ it will prove I have Alzheimers!! (Which I can’t spell!!). However, I do notice that I literally lose words now… quite simple words in ordinary conversation, and have to talk round them or say, “I’ll remember in a minute!” (Which I do!). I do crosswords and sudoku. I read. I keep my Welsh ticking over by doing SSiW off-and-on. I certainly am still learning a lot about a lot of subjects!! I do think lack of use makes ones brain ‘rusty’, but I also think that age and/or illness takes its toll!!! People vary, some aged 95 are bright as buttons and some have galloping Alzheimer’s at 55!!


I’m sixty and agree with everything you’ve said. I find learning new things as easy now as when I was younger. Actually, much easier - I don’t feel any pressure to learn…


Sorry, not Welsh, but hammers home the message that it’s …

…Never Too Late! :slight_smile:

(and those boys refuse to lie down, well into their 60s (even if some people (not me!) wish they would… :slight_smile: )

There are somethings wrinklies should not do, Mike. No!!! :smile:


Oh dear! Status quo naked…take it away!
Thanks everyone for great replies. I do agree very much with the ‘use it or lose it’ ethos, having said that 6.2 aaarrrggghhhh!!
Ba va, ba vi, vi di ddim, va vith, bith bath bother!!! Tongue twister or what??!!! Reckon this will require more than a few listens!