Finished Level Three

As requested @aran, my thoughts on finishing level 3. First, I never expected to get this far even if it has taken me a while. I can carry out conversations, albeit very stilted and with a small vocabulary, I am meeting lovely helpful Welsh speakers on WSP, I have read four and a half books in Welsh, I watch S4C and only use subtitles after I have tried to understand a programme in Welsh and my knowledge and interest in Welsh culture has been broadened. So thank you for all that.
I do still feel very much a learner. If I don’t understand the beginnings of conversations I easily lose my way, for instance. I know still have a long, long way to go and sometimes I despair at my ability when others seem to learn so much so quickly. But I would like to encourage other slow learners like myself to stick at it and not get too discouraged because I do feel I have stepped up a pace with my learning.
So, onwards with Becca’s advanced conversations👍

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Da iawn @franhunni! Just keep at it! To understand more, just listen and join in more, to speak more quickly, just speak more. And remember, while despair is a feeling, it is only that, a feeling, but every successful communication, spoken or understood, is a triumph!

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Thank you @margaretnock.

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I will try to remember that - it is a great way of thinking. I tend to go for the more ‘bang head against brick wall’ kind of approach!

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Huge congratulations! Sounds to me as though you’re being a bit hard on yourself - you should be extremely proud of finishing Level 3, not putting yourself down by comparing yourself to others…:star2:

What’s the longest conversation you’ve had so far? Adding more time in one-to-one conversations and with the advanced listening is what will get you to the point you’re longing for, where it all starts to feel genuinely easy…

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I have recently joined WSP which is a brilliant link from here. Everyone is super nice and I feel I have gone up a gear (or maybe half a gear) in the short time | have been able to join in conversations. I must admit to sometimes feeling like I will never ‘get there’ because I have a sieve for a brain when it comes to embedding new words in it, and I lose the thread of some conversations, but I also feel it is possible, if I keep going, to improve if I don’t lose the momentum.
As I said, though, I never expected to get this far, so all credit to the system you (@aran and your team) have built up and the friendly, supportive atmosphere here.

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I have just finished level three. I feel I know more Welsh than I at once thought possible.
Unfortunately I haven’t spent my usual time in Wales this year because of the Covid lockdown, but hopefully next year will get back to normal after the vaccine, and I will be able to at least try to speak to my native Welsh speaking neighbour who is very encouraging.
It is all over the place here because we will be moving house within the next couple of months, so what I intend to do is to go back to the beginning of course one and do one lesson each day.
When we have completed the move, I will probably move on to the advanced course.
Does that sound sensible?
Thank you to all of you good people for the sterling work you do here.

Jess x

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Hi Jessie, congratulations! I would recommend the old course too, it is really quite different to the new one and so you learn loads of new words and patterns. I did that, and am now going through the new course again which is a great confidence boost. The advanced course is brilliant-it felt like a big step at first to me, but persevere with it and your listening really improves. Also plenty of radio Cymru, and start reading books for learners :grinning:

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Wow! That’s fantastic @jessieskinner.
If you mean the “old” courses when you say that you’ll go back to Course 1, as opposed to Level 3, you get the advantage of a large vocabulary that is not presented in the Levels (the Courses effectively form a nice complement to the Levels).
I have been doing the Advanced Course, and I find it very difficult - which is no reason not to do it, and I gradually advanced from finding it impossible to finding it merely very difficult :slightly_smiling_face:.
And I would strongly advise you to actually talk in Welsh - via Slack or whatever if you can’t find live people with whom to talk. My massive mistake has been to neglect this, and it’s only very recently that I’ve started having regular chats in Welsh on Zoom with people, and I noticed a fairly rapid improvement.
Best of luck to you!

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Llongyfarchiadau @franhunni and @jessieskinner! You should both be really proud of such a great accomplishment! :tada:

You are all so kind.
I know I still have so much to learn.
I watched the whole series of Yn Bore Mercher which I had recorded from S4C last weekend.
I put the English subtitles on. I certainly couldn’t have understood it without them, but also, Welsh no longer sounds like a completely “foreign” language to me, and I did understand a lot of the words, even if not in context.
It was very good…but very sad.
"Diolch yn fawr iawn for all the encouragement,

Jess x

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Having read all this thread @jessieskinner and @Baruch et al, can you answer a query for me.
Prior to SSin I was doing some duolingo which helps with vocabulary, and I still do a little bit have noticed the sentence constructions are different to SSin. I’m only half way through Level 2.
Would you suggest I leave Duolingo and supplement vocabulary elsewhere and if so any suggestions. I was looking at DysguCymraegcymru.

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Can you do the old course as well as the current one? I am trying to listen to more Welsh on radio and TV but when trying to construct sentences I need more vocabulary

I haven’t used Duolingo much as it’s not my cup of tea, but as far as i know, the content is good and is based on the dysgu Cymraeg materials. If some sentence construction is different, then i imagine that’s because sentence constructions do vary, and it’ll help you to understand more widely. I would personally finish the new course then do the old course rather than do at the same time. And plenty of ssiwers do dysgu Cymraeg courses too :grinning:

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@emma-ireland Thank you so much Emma, that’s helpful for me. I have managed to get on the free Saturday Dysgu Cymraeg course in January so that may prompt me to join one of their courses too. I’ve opted for Sylfaen 1Foundstion so hope I’m not being too ambitious :flushed:

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Great, pob lwc on the course! Xx

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@christine-parry I haven’t used Duolingo yet, so no comment from me.
As to how you should supplement your vocabulary, I still maintain that the vocabulary from the old SSiW courses is excellent. There is also rote learning on Memrise which has helped me add to my vocab, if you like that way of learning.
It’s really up to you and how you learn. If you’re still on Level 2, it may indeed be a good idea to finish Level 3 and then do the Courses, simply because it’s a lot to do at once. There are also many other suggestions constantly being thrown around on the Forum - TV with subtitles, radio, Welsh books for kids…
And as for your comment that sentence construction differs between Duolingo and SSiW, I see no reason for that to throw you off (again, stressing that I haven’t used Duolingo myself), because there’s simply no one “correct” way to speak colloquially in any language (as far as I know). But when learning the basics, it may be best to learn one way first (in your case, Duolingo or SSiW) if you find that you’re getting mixed up, and then do the other way when you feel that you already have a solid basis. But, as I said, everyone’s different. Part of the process is learning how to learn.
Good luck!
“Who is wise? One who learns from all people.”

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@Baruch Very appreciative of your considered response, thank you, and will concentrate on SSin

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I am trying everything at the moment - the original levels, duolingo, advanced listening (which is proving very challenging) WSP. (a lovely supportive community of people who speak really good Welch), telly, books. I am making very slow progress but I am making progress.
I think there are some very different learning abilities on this site. Some lucky people seem to crack it straight away. I am not one of those. I-am-a-slow-learner. I find it very hard to retain new vocabulary and to get sentnece structures correct. But I really want to move forward so am trying to have a bit of a blitz in my approach at the moment.
I sometimes feel I am the only one struggling after having completed level 3 and I do get discouraged at just how much more there is to learn. I have to give myself a stern talking to every now and then because I have learned loads since that first day of starting on Level 1, when I didn’t believe I would learn anything!
Good luck, especially to any fellow s-l-o-ŵ-l-e-a-r-n-e-r-s out there :turtle:

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@franhunni Another s-l-o-ŵ-l-e-a-r-n-e-r checking in. It appears we started about the same time, though I didn’t really get going till much later and am still nowhere near the end of Level 3!
However, I have had many 1-to-1 chats and am often told that I speak Welsh fairly confidently (albeit at a quite basic level). But here’s the paradox - I still find understanding what others are saying difficult, and am aware that I need to do a lot more listening practice. I believe you were on the WSP session on ‘traditions’ the other day - it was the first one of those I’d done in a very long time, mainly because I was interested in the topic. As you say, there are a lot of really good Welsh learners/speakers on there, and to be honest I find trying to understand what’s being said extremely challenging, even now. If you can cope with these on a regular basis, I would say that you’re doing a lot better than you think you are. I usually avoid them as I find them too discouraging.
Against all that, like yourself I remind myself how far I’ve come. There’s no point comparing oneself to the fast learners (often younger in my case) - the only way this can work is to go at one’s own pace and be able to enjoy the process.
So take heart. On the forum, on Slack and elsewhere I’ve come across learners too nervous to even take the first step in speaking to anyone; I’ve heard of others who’ve been doing Welsh classes for ten years who’ve not spoken to anyone outside the class. So I don’t think we need worry, really.

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Heya @franhunni, if you’re watching telly, reading books, and doing things like chatting about gardening, that sounds to me like you’re a Welsh speaker. You may have plenty more to learn (don’t we all?), but you’re using Welsh for communication and entertainment, not just in a classroom setting or drills. That sounds to me like a whopping great success, no matter how you’ve got here. :smile:

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