I can’t tell you how long Ive been trying this program and I just cant get past lesson 3 on the new or old course. Its just not sticking. Over and over I go. Going to give it up soon, Maybe I have no apttitude for languages. But this is really frustrating now. Any suggestions?
First of all, you’re not alone. I and many (perhaps most) others on this forum will have experienced frustration at some stage in their learning.
I would encourage you not to give up, though. Talking of encouragement, you’ll find plenty of it on this friendly forum as well as support and advice.
On the several occasions I have encountered brick walls in my own learning, I’ve found walking away for a few days (or longer) and coming back refreshed works wonders for me.
Keep at it - you won’t regret it.
@aran will be the best one to go through this with you, but my suggestions would be these -
Try not to feel that everything has to have ‘stuck’ before you move on. It will seem counter-intuitive, but the way the course is designed, you’re not meant to get everything in one bit right before moving on to the next. There is spaced repetition built in, so you will revisit things and very often the things you thought you weren’t getting will suddenly be ‘got’.
The key is to say something in the gap before the Welsh sentence kicks in - even if you haven’t remembered all of the English, make up an end to the sentence, but say as much as you can. You can use the pause button sparingly if this is absolutely necessary but it’s best to try and do without it.
Thirdly, my best piece of advice would be to remember that everyone learns at a different pace, what comes easily to some takes more time for others, but you don’t need an aptitude for languages to be able to learn them - I promise there are many SSiW members that can attest to that!
I really want to learn it. For one thing as an American English speaker who likes to spend a lot of time with his thoughts I’d like to have a civilized language to think in. But in adiition as I get older and considering where i came from I discover I have Welsh and German ancestry. In exploring them Ive been reading books on Welsh and German literature, myth, culture, history, watching videos, etc and trying to learn the languages. Ive done better with German but still get tripped up on those articles der, die, das. Working on it. Id like to be able to visit Wales one day and have an an actual, even if very basic, conversation with someone in the language my ancestors spoke… Just doesnt seem to be happening as far as the language goes. Maybe I should try Bantu or Black Feet Indian language instead lol
Coming to Wales to do that would be fantastic, but it’s not the only way - ok, you won’t get to see our stunning landscapes and taste our marvellous produce, but you can certainly have an actual, even if basic, conversation from right where you are these days… have you seen this thread:
Well done for not just giving up, posting here whenever you’re struggling is a great idea.
When I started out I did have to repeat the first few lessons many times. But with time I learnt that If you’re getting most of the sentences out correctly, or nearly correctly, then it’s time to just move on. Don’t aim for 100% perfection.
If you’re not already, try using the pause button, to give yourself time to speak the sentence out loud.
Lastly if nothing works, and if in a week or two you’re still struggling, don’t give up. Come back here, to this forum, report your progress and someone is sure to help you out with some encouragement or a useful tip.
You’ve had great advice already, George - I’d just add, can you tell us a little more about how you’re going about it? In particular:
Are you using the pause button?
Are you saying something in the gaps (whether it’s right or not) almost all the time?
Are you repeating lessons before moving on (eg 1111111,2222222,3333333) or are you doing them in batches (123, 123, 123, 123)?
Roughly how many of the sentences in Challenge/Lesson 3 are you getting right?
About how many times have you repeated 1-3?
And… have you any sense of improvement for Challenge/Lesson 1 at all?
With the answers to those, I’ll be in a better position to advise…
I live on the pause button.
Yes I struggle through and say something in the gaps.
I afraid to tell you how long I have been repeating the lessons.
I’m not having a problem with vocabulary. Part of the problem is that I am finding the sentences too long toward the end of lessons. I do fine with the shorter ones …I am trying to learn Welsh…I want to speak welsh, etc But when it gets to those longer ones…I want to learn Welsh but I have forgotten how to remember…that sort of thing…frazzles me. Often I have to write the answer out because even after I say it I cant remember what I said on hearing it back.
I also have a problem with tenses.
I have tried using the old with the new material.
I do fine with lessons 1 and 2 on the old and new. Then by lesson 3 I start losing it all on both courses. Forget about lesson 4.
One other thing I have started trying is to break the lessons into more bite size sections of 10 or 15 minute bits and then come back later
You might find that doing shorter sessions will help. I’m actually using the course for revision, but even so, at the end of 30 minutes, my mind felt exhausted. However, having now worked my way through to Level 3, for the first time I did two challenges back to back yesterday (7 & 8) and felt fine at the end.
So basically, the more you use the method, the better you will get at doing it, but you may need to do half a lesson in the morning and the other half in the afternoon at first.
But doen’t be afraid to experiment. As I said, basically this course was revision for me, but I’m still doing each challenge twice because the less familiar patterns don’t sink in if I only do them once. And even when I can do the lesson confidently, I’ve found that I’m not using the new patterns in conversation right away as it seems to take even longer for the material to work it’s way into my active language speaking.
Unless you can say absolutely nothing for the Challenge 3, first level, do 4 and 5, then try 1-5 again! You may be surprised. But I suspect you are doing 1 and 2 easily, in which case do 3,4,5,6,7 and then repeat!
Okay - this is intriguing.
One the one hand, it’s possible/likely that you’re what we call a Higher Repetition Learner - worth having a listen to this:
But also, it sounds as though you’re setting your goals a bit high… it’s normal to struggle with the longer sentences, and to have hiccups with tenses and so on.
So the key next question is - when you say ‘I do fine with lessons 1 and 2’ - does that mean that you get almost every single phrase correct?
And ‘by lesson 3 I start losing it’ - does that mean that you start making mistakes?
It may be true that I set my goals too high. I have a tendency to do that.
I think the High Repetition Learner may be a correct assessment.
Giving it some thought Im thinking the following:
I am 56 years old. My mind is still very agile but I have never had experience lerning a language in 56 years and perhaps just dont know how.
I am a classical musician as well. But I also find the same issue. It takes me a very long time to learn a piece of music. And it takes a very short time to lose it again. Therefore I have to be constantly on my game and not let any time elapse between practice. It may take 3 months to learn a piece but if I dont practice it for 4 or 5 days I have to start over. It is why even though Id like to be a walking encyclopedia of classical guitar music I must settle for haveing a small repertiore and playing it very well.
I think the same is happening in trying to learn welsh.
In answer to Aran’s question by the time I try lesson 3 everything is gone. No, I dont mean I make mistakes. Mistakes would be fine. I mean that by then everything jumbles. I use wrong words, wrong tense, wrong form,
I’ll see how breaking it into smaller sessions works. I may be able to sit for 3 to 5 hours with my instrument in my hands but by the end of half an hour with welsh Im exhausted.
I would like to thank everyone for their support and encouragement
It sounds to me more as though you don’t know how to measure what you’re doing, so you’re grading yourself very harshly.
It would be a bit of a grind, but I think if you ran through (say) the first 10 minutes of challenge 3 (it won’t be helping you, by the way, to be switching to and fro from the Levels to the Courses and back again - stick with the Levels) - and recorded yourself doing it.
Then we could have a listen, and tell you what exactly is going on, with the ability to compare it to the learning curve of hundreds (or thousands) of other learners…
As others have said, great job coming onto the forum expressing your frustrations. Like you, I too, am from the US and want to learn Welsh as I recently discovered I am 69.7% Welsh. Also, I have a very busy life and cannot sit down for 30-40 minutes at a time to learn the language. I would be exhausted too and agree try shorter time periods. Lastly, I would not try an learn two new languages simultaneously. I’m not a language wizard but I if I tried, I’m pretty sure I’d combine the languages and end up with “Sprechen ze Gymraeg?” Or worse! “Wie ist Ihr oren heddiw?” How is your orange today?
This is how I learn. Personally, I catch 5-15 minutes at a time, either when I’m driving in the car or walking the dog. Honestly, I don’t have much time other than that. In an average day I do get between 20-40 minutes of Welsh a day. The other item I do, is I try to use what I’ve learned in everyday life, if I can as it reinforces what I’ve learned. Thirdly, as I really want to learn Welsh, I’ve found a couple of sites like learn-welsh.net that provide additional words to add to what I’ve learned. For example, at learn-welsh.net, the word for kitchen is “cegin.” From SSIW, I’ve learned, “I’m going - Dw i’n mynd” I add “cegin” and get “Dw i’n mynd cegin.” I know that’s not exactly accurate, but it reinforces what I’ve learned. Lastly, when I speak Welsh, I try and picture how the word looks in my mind, because Welsh is an odd language that doesn’t fit into any categories I have for “Language.” It’s odd and backwards. Picturing the words in my mind helps me get my head around what I’m trying to say.
Hope some of this helps. Good luck!
You need a boost. Go to Wales, Germany or the country where they speak your chosen language. Refuse to speak and read English. Say no if they ask if you can speak English. Speak only the language of your choice. Spend a month on the location. See it as an English detox.
That would be simply wonderful!