Feeling depressed

Hello , one and all. Just like to say, I have been studying SSiW for …on and off…some time. The more I felt Id’e learnt the more I wanted to learn, ( I’m NOT someone to give in easily, I love learning languages. I learnt Swedish…the hard way… by moving to Sweden and started working with people who didn’t speak a word of English. I now speak it fluent.) ( I even speak a little Indonesian, I live here now ) so I carried on and have reached Lesson number 25. After going over the lessons several times, backtracking etc etc I thought I had a fair knowledge of the Lessons. Today I listened to Lesson 25. It felt as if I was a new beginner. It was as if Id’e never learnt the other 24 lessons. I couldn’t remember anything. Having said this, I shall carry on, Iv’e come this far and cannot, will not, give in now.This last week Iv’e spent 3-4 hrs a day studying, maybe it’s too much?

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Shwmae Thomas, croeso i’r fwrwm if you haven’t posted here before!

You should know that what you’ve done is a massive achievement, and you should be very proud of that. That said, perhaps you’ve burnt yourself out - 4 hours a day is a lot. A short rest might do you wonders. But seriously, your dedication is something to be admired - I don’t think I’ve spoken to anyone who routinely does 4 hours a day! Da iawn ti and dal ati! :smile:


Lesson 25 is brutal. It’s more random than the other lessons. It seems like it should be easy but it isn’t. Don’t let it get to you. Just keep at it (dal ati), it will get easier.


Hello @thomasmalcolm and huge WELCOME TO THE FORUM first.

It’s like I’d read my own story so I’ll say nothing more but just give you the link to my topic Tatjana - progress reports. It contains 493 posts. I believe my frustrations will not help you as I’ve gone through many of them, accusing myself not learning enough, not being perfect enough, learning too long time having nothing rememberred etc, etc, but what WILL HUGELY HELP YOU I believe are the answers and encouraging posts many members of this forum gave me. And … maybe you need the same thing I needed - turn the mind a bit toward “growth mindset” not striving to perfection too much but rather celebrate what you’ve acheaved. It all is there. And yes, as @craigf says, Lesson 25 is brutal. It contains everything what you’ve learnt so far in a bit (just tinny bit) accelerated speed, so you really mustn’t be frustrated with that.

You’re doing just fine, believe me and, please, don’t drill into lessons and stuff for 3-4 hours a day especially if it isn’t particular fun to you (I know I’d be tired and even this for a bit frustrated to do something 3-4 hours a day). It is too much

(O boy … and I said something more, didn’t I? I just can’t stop “talking” … :smiley:)

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I agree with everyone. 4 hours a day is very much and lesson 25 is very hard. And some confusion is unavoidable at the beginning, because you’re absorbing so much information. Do you have someone to talk to, to practice the new things you’ve learned, via skype or in real life? It would be a great help: it’s fun, it motivates you greatly and it helps settling all these new words and pattern in their right places in your head.
Anyway, I don’t know what this phenomenon is called, but there are times when my best students come to the class and can’t remember anything. I mean anything. No matter how well we have drilled the patterns, there seems to be chaos in their heads. It’s natural - just a part of the learning process. Try not to get depressed about it - your dedication is so admirable and I’m sure everything will be fine. There are times in learning languages when we need just to carry on without being able to see the result of our efforts at once. I, myself, feel terribly frustrated when I watch TV or listen to podcasts in Welsh. I don’t understand anything without the subtitles. But I trust that one day my efforts to listen will make me better at listening, so I try not to give up! :sunny:


And then I was dreaming that one day I might be one of Stella’s better students - but at the price of chaos going on in my head and not being able to remember anything (unfortunately, I recognise myself there) , well, I’m having second thoughts!! :innocent:


Fear not, Justin, it’s not their permanent condition.:slight_smile:

Sounds like a combination of burn-out (which can happen at different times for different people) and (as everyone else has said already) the fact that 25 is really tough - because it revisits everything in the entire course.

When you say you couldn’t remember anything - do you mean that when you heard the Welsh, it sounded like words you’d never, ever heard before? Or do you just mean that you found it tough getting everything out in time? 25 doesn’t give you much build-up, unlike the other lessons - it jumps quickly from pattern to pattern - so in many ways, it’s (deliberately) considerably more difficult even than a normal conversation.

So, be of good heart, and press on the next level/course - come back and revisit 25 in a couple of weeks, and then again a month after that, and then every couple of months from then on… :sunny:

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Hi Thomas

Please don’t worry about hitting the rocks with Lesson 25 - it’s a real stinker, and a good number of people have expressed this view on the Forum! I was feeling VERY depressed after a similar experience to yours, and then a message on the Forum from @AnnaC made me realise that I wasn’t alone. For what it’s worth, this was my posting following Anna’s message, and I hope it gives you encouragement to realise that it’s not “just you”. Pob lwc!

When I reached the end of Lesson 24 of Course One I was really pleased with all I’d learnt in a fairly short time, and bursting with enthusiasm about the SSi system. . And then…that horrendous Lesson 25. Probably one of the most depressing experiences of my life. I seemed to be struck almost dumb, my brain froze up, and my performance was absolutely hopeless. I tried running through it for a second time, but it was no better.

I know it sounds silly, but I had sort of regarded Lessons 1-24 as the “coursework” and Lesson 25 as the “final exam”, so by this measure, I “failed” pretty badly!

To rescue and restore my badly dented sense of self-worth, I took a somewhat drastic measure - I did the whole course again at top speed over the next three and a half days! - determined to not only say the Welsh before Cat came “on air”, but in the case of the simple and short sentences, to say it twice or even three times before Cat. It fried my brain, and I must have sounded like a supercharged auctioneer, but I did it, and I only started to flounder at Lesson 23.

I did Lesson 25 again at the end of this “personal bootcamp” and there was certainly an improvement. And having been able to go through the whole course again at breakneck speed in such a short time really proved to me that I hadn’t “failed”, and in fact had done pretty well. So I gave myself a good kick in the appropriate quarter and pushed on with the Vocab units. I’m now up to Vocab #5, and really enjoying them.

I’m doing the daily listening and speaking exercises for the whole course, and I STILL can’t produce the Welsh at twice the speed of sound. The short sentences are OK, but the long ones still floor me. But as @Iestyn advises, I’ve been pumping out some Welsh, any Welsh, before Cat, and have tried to stop being such a perfectionist.

I’ve come to accept that perhaps I will NEVER be “up to speed” (in a literal sense), but even If I’m not, I’m trying to celebrate my achievements and not dwell on my “failures”.


@thomasmalcolm Oh, yes, Lesson 25 :frowning: I still don’t like thinking about the first time I went through it - total despair. I was so thankful when @gavinM posted that he had had much the same experience as mine. Here’s the link to the full thread that Gavin referred to in case you’d like to read through it: :C1 Lesson 25 experience

You don’t really need my two cents when the horse’s mouth has spoken, but…Do this. You will be surprised by how it all comes together. :slight_smile: Dal ati - as Iestyn told me back then, there is much fun to come!


Thanks folks, this post has been a real tonic for me - diolch am y gwybodaeth, pawb!

The first time in course 1 that really floored me was the tail end of lesson 22 - long sentences and random patterning. So after struggling a bit with that portion of lesson 22, I wasn’t surprised when I was similarly all over the place with lesson 25! I have recently worked throught the vocab units 1-9 and did them twice, and then did vocab unit 10 which walloped me! I fell flat! So before I try it again I am going to try a couple of things:

(i) Trying to ‘consolidate’ the Cymraeg I have learnt so far, by watching TV programmes (Pobol y Cwm in my case) with the Welsh subtitles switched on - I don’t really follow what is going on, but is useful to pick out the odd phrase and the odd word I have encountered (I think that the more I do this some will stick). Also having Radio Cymru in the background when I can.
(ii) Working through some of the course 1 units again - I am going to look through the text of the lesson guides, and pick out anything I had forgotten or feel weak on, and then go over that lesson again.

I am also working steadily through the new Level 1 (have done 3 lessons so far) - am unsure whether this will be in conflict with Course 1, it doesn’t seem like it so far: there is a great deal of overlap with COurse 1, but also interestingly new material being introduced which is different to COurse 1. Again, I am hoping that this will ‘consolidate’ the Cymraeg learnt so far.

Will let you know how it’s going; if what I’ve suggested above rings the alarm bells with anyone then be good to hear any amendments / alternatives!

Am really enjoying the SSiW experience…and enjoying Iestyn’s sense of humour in the lessons!

Dydd Dewi Sant hapus, pawb!


Nope, there’s no conflict between doing Level 1 and Course 1 - you’ll get earlier access to the short forms and a bunch of other useful dialogue-driven stuff in the Levels - it’ll certainly be a valuable part of the progress for you… :sunny:

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Hi Gavin, I did the same as you, I started from 6-1 through 24 and then HIT the 25, it was better I must admit.
It was’nt perfect but it was better. I think I’ll give it another crack tomorrow morning, starting at 08 00 hrs and see where I am at 16 00 hrs. I believe it’s good for the brain to get a hammering now and again LoL.

You won’t break anything with a hammering, it’s true - but you’re also not giving your brain a chance to take advantage of two important aspects of learning - the natural consolidation that happens as time passes (which is a very well studied phenomenon) and the value of spaced repetition (equally well studied, if not more so).

If you revisit 25 once a month, you’ll find it easier and more effective than trying to hurry it… and if you move on with Level 2 or Course 2 in the meantime, you’ll be learning/progressing/achieving far more…

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“…If you revisit 25 once a month, you’ll find it easier and more effective than trying to hurry it… and if you move on with Level 2 or Course 2 in the meantime, you’ll be learning/progressing/achieving far more…”

…I think that this ties in with my approach over the last couple of months.

I got the the end of Course 1 lessons and vocab units, which I think I rushed through a bit - as I mentioned above, the last vocab unit (no. 10) really found me out!..so I went back and revisited lessons in Course 1 that I considered I had most weakness on (I did this by printing out the lesson guides, and looking at which vocab was used).

But I think what has helped me most is that rather than look to move onto Course 2, I have gone onto new Level 1. The newer format of the lessons and their greater variety is really helping my Welsh. There is also sufficient difference from Course 1 so that I don’t feel I am going over old ground. The listening exercise at the end of Level is also proving really useful for something to listen to when I need to concentrate on doing another task.

I have ‘learnt a lesson’ so to speak from Course 1, as I have a good idea now of what rate I can move along with lessons. It itranspires that I re-visit a lesson when I get 3 lessons ahead of it e.g. when I got to Level 1 lesson 4, I listened to the lesson 1 again (about a week or so later on). I had sufficiently forgotten enough material for this ‘re-visit’ to be useful, and reinforce what I had learnt when I had listened the first time around. Not sure if this approach may help folk?

Admittedly, I have approached Level 1 from having done Course 1, so I think that may be a factor in my getting alot out of it; so it will be interesting to see how I fare when I get onto the new Level 2.

I have complemented the learning with a bit of , Radio Cymru, Pobol y cwm and some reading (‘lingo newydd’) and came back to lesson 25 this morning, and pretty much nailed it, so am moving on. I will see if I can get through Course 1 by getting through vocab unit lesson 10, but I think the New levels will occupy me mostly now.

So I think sometimes a bit of ‘consolidation’ with the learning process i.e. letting things sink in over a period, is a good thing.

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