Emma's online boot camp

Day 0.5
My email came in half way through the day (while I was at work) so tonight I’ve done my first class and will do the challenge tomorrow. Not sure what the customers will think…
I have decided to do new course 1 for the boot camp. I haven’t listened to any of the lessons for a while after being totally overwhelmed by course 3 lesson 1. I was a bit worried that it might be a bit boring going over old stuff, but challenge 1 was actually really interesting. There is some new to me material (fedra i ddym, gwella) and it took a few goes to remember that stuff mutates after y. OH was suitably impressed with the complexity of the sentences, although he thought some of them were a bit negative (though they have to be when practising a negative construction! ).
I’m looking forward to my first full online boot camp day tomorrow!

Well done for starting your thread straight away!.. :sunny:

I think Level 1 is going to be a great match for you with this approach - it’s got a lot of extra flexibility, and you’ll get far enough to be using the new listening exercises, which are very valuable… :smile:

Where do you work? I’ll look forward very much to hearing what the customers think!..

I went to work with all good intentions, but then completely forgot to greet the customers in Welsh. I remembered periodically throughout the day that I should be speaking Welsh, but as soon as a customer walked in everything else went out of my head. A poor excuse, but the genuine truth. I will try again on Monday (my weekend off -yay!)
Aran, I work in a cafe at a visitor centre in the Lake District. We do get visitors from all over the world, so some of them must speak Welsh.
I completed session 2 this evening. I’m loving the mixture of tenses and expressions.

I was up not far from there recently - stopped off at the Rheged visitor centre - so there definitely has been Welsh to be heard in the Lake District in the last couple of weeks :wink:

Well done on getting through session 2! :star:

Emma - I had a primary school teacher in Kendal with the surname Martindale, which is the only other time I’ve ever seen that surname. Don’t suppose you’re related? :slight_smile:

I don’t think so. Possibly very distantly, but my dad and grandad were both only children, so it would be from way back if at all. I don’t know how common it is as a surname, though I have heard of a couple of other people with it. There is a large drug company in America called Martindale (they make Methodone amongst other things). We’re not related to them at all, but it makes you wonder if the founders came from N England originally.

Day 2
Session 3
It’s starting to make my head spin a bit now. That ‘bod fi wedi bod’ construction…but I’m not going to worry about it. It’ll either stick or it won’t.

This is a conversation I have at least a million times a day. I had to look some words up online because my dictionary is a bit small, so they might not be quite right and I’m sure it is grammatically awful, but here goes:
Me: helo! Sut fedra i eich helpu chi?
Customer: Dau banad o goffi ac un panad o de, os gwelwch yn dda.
Me: Beth math o goffi dych chi isio?
Customer: coffi cyffredin. Un du ac un gwyn.
Me: Ydy coffi ffilter yn iawn, neu dych chi isio Americano?
Customer: Mae Coffi ffilter yn iawn, diolch.
Me: Dyma un panad o de a dau banad o goffi, un du ac un efo llefrith. Mae’r siwgar yn y cwpwrdd fancw.

You might need a translation:smile:

Hello. How can I help you?
Two coffees and one tea, please.
What type of coffee would you like?
Ordinary coffee. One black and one white.
Is filter coffee ok, or would you like Americano?
Filter coffee is fine.
Here is one cup of tea and two filter coffees, one black one with milk. The sugar is in the cupboard over there.

Day 3
Session 4 no real problems today. I’ll be honest I was assembling and stapling newsletters whilst I did this, but I really felt as though I could have done session 5 right after. Unfortunately an unexpected visit from my parents prevented me from actually doing it.

Today’s challenge: OH was surprisingly keen to help. I don’t know if it was my handwriting or what, but in the customer part of the conversation I definitely heard the words ‘giraffe’ and ‘clutch’…

You’re clearly doing excellently, Emma :star:

Switch that to ‘Sut fath o goffi’ and you’re pretty much perfect, which is a huge achievement - and you’ve built a brilliantly useful interaction there :thumbsup:

With ‘bo fi wedi bod’ - don’t worry about it. It will stick eventually, once your brain has had enough opportunities to get the indexing nailed down. Every time it comes out ‘wrong’ is another piece of useful input which your brain will take advantage of, so don’t worry about it - just go with the flow until it starts working ‘magically’… :smile:

Oh wow! Thanks Aran. I was fairly sure what I’d written was mainly gobbledygook.

Day 4
Session 5 and still no problems. I’m still mutating in the wrong places and jumbling up word pairs like ymarfer/gwella, siarad/dweud etc. but I’m not worrying about it :smile:

Today’s challenge
Remembering to do anything while I’m at work is proving a bit of a problem. Sorry.

Ideal! The more you do it, the sooner they’ll all fit neatly into place… :thumbsup:

See if you can get some bits of the challenges to work around either the beginning/end of work, or some other social interaction… :sunny:

Sorry I didn’t post yesterday. I ended up having a crazy busy day. I’ve tried to make up for it by doing two sessions back to back and it didn’t melt my brain as much as I thought it might! There is some really interesting and useful stuff in sessions 6 and 7. I am loving this new course!
I got a bit behind with the challenges though. I’ve done day 7s challenge this evening - listening to the podcast. I was pleasantly surprised that I could understand some whole sentences on the second listen! I was stupidly excited about that! I really thought I would be picking out one word in twenty. And even though there was still a lot of sentences I didn’t understand I managed to fill a page of words I could pick out. This is definitely one of the best challenges yet!
I know I will have to get up the courage to speak to actual living people soon. Well, my OU course officially started last weekend and I have a tutorial secheduled for this Friday, so I imagine there will be the opportunity to do some speaking there. And if there isn’t I should be able to at least meet another learner to practise with.

That’s a huge discovery - no reason at all why you shouldn’t double up every time you have room in the future… :star:

And thank you for your kind words - great to hear that you’re going so well with it all!

Well done with the challenges - excellent work :thumbsup:

Thanks, Aran!
Short report tonight as I’ve already done the podcast challenge. I’m really tired this evening and was struggling to stay awake listening to session 8. Welsh has such a lovely soothing rhythm to it. I’m hoping it lulled my brain into a receptive state and my learning will have been super efficient today! :smile:

It’s genuinely possible that it might have - a lot of the barriers to learning are made up of our own school-trained resistance to making mistakes - so if you were able to keep enough focus to say something in the gaps, but didn’t care much about what, that might just have been a perfect language acquisition session… :sunny:

The other thing which helps, of course, is alcohol! Although more with production than with initial acquisition, I rather suspect… :wine_glass:

Well maybe it worked. I just whizzed through session 9 no problems.

I had my first online ou tutorial tonight, so now I can say I have actually spoken welsh to a real live person! And even more, I was understood! :smiley:
It really did show the difference between the ssiw approach and more traditional learning. We had about an hour and a half and we talked about where we live and where we come from, and looked at soft mutations (after o) and nasal mutations (after yn). And that was it! There seemed to be a lot of talk about nothing. Because only 2 students turned up the tutor promised an intense session, but it was really slow and we didn’t get to say that much at all…
I guess I’m just a fan of the ssiw approach and enjoy melting my brain. Maybe I’ll book a day off work then I can do a proper job of it :smiley:

Once you get that kind of pleasure out of challenging yourself, it’s only a matter of time (and not all that much of it!) before you’re a confident Welsh speaker - and then you’ll probably feel like picking up a few other languages as well :fire:

Session 10 done and I managed to choose the wrong past tense nearly every time! Yay! This is progress, right?
Really - a two week holiday! Well at least I can watch tv and read and stuff…
I would like to say I’ve really enjoyed this time, even if I did fail at most of the daily challenges. I’ve loved the focused intensity of doing a new session every day. Without the discipline and accountability of the boot camp I would probably never have even set out on such an undertaking. Really, Aran, a big, big thank you for organising this.

And every time you realised that, it strengthened your indexing for those tenses, so yes, it is progress :thumbsup:

Delighted to hear that you’ve found it helpful - great to see you get the rewards for your hard work - and I’ll look forward very much to hearing what you think after your two week holiday :sunny: