I’m only finished the second challenge of level 1. I decided to try the taster lessons and if i stick with them I might then continue and subscribe or pick a course. (I have a habit of strarting too many things and struggling to continue and I don’t know any welsh speakers but I’ve always wanted to learn welsh)
I’ve learnt that I can’t listen and do something else as I’m now getting muddled between saying I ‘need to’ or I ‘still need’ to which is very silly. I looked at the vocab list as I think remembering how the word looks might help. At the moment I’ve been suffering with headaches and doing the challenges, most is sticking just that one little thing.
I tried this course first years ago, the old course, and I’m finding that my brain is remembering stuff from before. Which is surprising. I’m going to carry on and I’m sure I’ll get there. Hoping I finish it this time, third time’s the charm?
This is the key Jen (and no surprise really!) - this is how this type of learning method works (it sneaks words into your memory without you even realising! ).
Although it’s very natural to pick up on the stuff that “isn’t” going in, actually, it is going in, because the way the course is structured means that you’ll come across the same things over and over (maybe in slightly different sentences, but similar constructions) and eventually something you felt you’d be stuck for ever on suddenly clicks.
Don’t worry about making mistakes - we only notice them more because we’ve been ‘conditioned’ not to make them, but actually it is perfectly normal and rather helpful (because if we don’t make them, we can’t learn from them!). Keep it fun - try and laugh when you say the wrong thing instead of letting it be annoying, as that will turn it from a negative to a positive and maybe make the phrase ‘click’ sooner.
Pretty much all of us here have been through this, or are going through this, or are about to go through this, regardless of whether we know Welsh speakers or not, so stick with it and pop back on the forum for support - we’re all with you
Your experience of being confused and forgetting is absolutely normal, I can assure you. The SSIW method is designed to get you saying something, anything, to begin with, in the process of which you will necessarily be confused - but if you push on with it you will find that over a period of time you’re saying things which originally you found quite difficult. So it’s no surprise that you remember stuff from the old course - your brain does a lot of this work without you being really conscious of it.
I too had a protracted slow start, but have stuck with it and now have regular online chats in Welsh. Yes I still often get confused about the correct way to say certain things and misremember things, but folks I chat to tell me my Welsh has come on by leaps and bounds. And like you I suffer from a lot of headaches. But if an old-timer like me in an obscure corner of Lloegr can manage it, then I have no doubt whatsoever that you can!
TBH. I don’t think there will be a prob with using the forms you know as long as you soak in the new forms in case you need them. Just had a chat where people were using different words for something, and first language speakers said they were all ok.
Hi @jen! I’m glad you posted in the forum so you could get support from all the lovely folks above, and I just wanted to say that I agree with them and I can relate to your experience.
I am about to finish the six-month course, and I still have what I sometimes call “false starts,” where I’ll start a lesson and get overwhelmed and then come back and start again later. I also still confuse words, but the ones that used to give me so much trouble have sort of magically worked themselves out as I do the challenges, uncovering new and more exciting mistakes to make and learn from.
The brain registers these mistakes like pain, and it wants to avoid that pain at all costs, motivating it to remember and get it right in the future. I wrote an email in Welsh last night and I am agonizing over the “silly” mistakes I made, confusing next/last (i.e., next month vs. last month) and forgetting entirely that I should use the past tense and going merrily on in the present. Oh well! My brain screams at me every few minutes, and I just try to laugh it off like @siaronjames said.
Anyway, I just wanted to add my story to the pile so you know, you really are not alone. Pob lwc! Good luck!
Just stick at it and carry on @jen! You do get there in the end.
As for your remark about making mistakes: English is my mother tongue and I still make mistakes when speaking it, and I’m sure everyone else does too …
My only advice is, keep going. I felt the same some time ago now.
I had an advantage of doing GCSE Welsh (and passed). I left school (jn '95) and apart from flirting with courses and stopping, the odd Welsh place name and football commentary not available in English, I had very little access to Welsh.
We then decided to send my daughter to Welsh medium School. Last year she had an A in first language GCSE this spurred me on to learn. I stumbled along SSIW on Twitter.
I started SSIW in July last year but took it seriously from September. Whist I’m far from fluent and don’t understand structures and patterns completely I’m a little competent and can get by in most situations.
This isn’t meant to be narcissistic and about me but my point is I had no access to welsh from 95 until 2018. What I learned in school I remembered and the way this course teaches you had me speaking quickly. You think you won’t remember but you do. You get confused and make mistakes, its all part of the fun. there’s no rush, its not a sprint and you don’t have to finish in a particular time.
Three tips, if I may;
Don’t worry about looking stupid (I do always)
This forum is a great resource too. I don’t post much, I lurk a lot but it helps.
Three people stand out as contributors to my development
Aran - helped my nerves on the radio and always compliments
Nicky, Bachgen Rhondda Yn Aberystwyth - His videos are superb and he helped me with a sentence structure on the day he crashed his car bless him
Hendrik (the Welsh German) - he’s more knowledgeable than any welsh speaker I’ve come across and his explanations are amazing.
I guess what I’m saying is the material is there, trust the method, The help is more than there. If a self confessed lazy git like me can crack it, anyone can.
Thank you so much. I’ve just done the third challenge but I’ll redo it. I’ve had a rubbish brain week this week. I feel better after all the support and just heard them say in the third challenge about breaking the lesson up which might help. So much in half an hour.
I too did GCSE Welsh and got an A. But it never taught how to speak it properly. We even auditioned/competed for the Eisteddfod! Very Scary I missed the last part of the competition, family holiday but i didn’t mind.
I’ve tried learning Welsh using a teach yourself Welsh book but it was hard. Wow I was in my teens doing GCSE Welsh when I did that. And I did start working through a Cwrs Myneiad book even though I wasn’t going to one. I remember learning a lot more doing the old SSIW course. I think I found it difficult to find time to do it back then, living with my family found it tricky to find space on my own sometimes. But that was ages ago.
Sorry… Essay. Ive been itching to continue with the challenges all day so that’s a good sign. A customer said “diolch” to me earlier but I never have the guts to respond in Welsh. Soon. Thanks for the support what an amazing forum. And sorry for the huge reply.
Having the same trouble as you. (I need etc). Apart from that which I know I will get past I really like the feeling of saying the Welsh phrases out loud. I’m a ‘Pembroke boy’. I’m actually 66 and lived most of my life outside Wales and fed up of being dismissed as not proper welsh- you know, the ‘little England Beyond Wales label. I really feel I have left it a bit late but I am surprised and encouraged by my initial progress.
Join the club. Like you I had reservations re the age factor to begin with but have since discovered many learners on here in their 60s and 70s, some in their 80s, and even one learner (so far) in their 90s. If it takes some of us a bit more time, what does that matter? At the same time, there are many threads on here which reveal that there are some quite fast learners in our age group, whilst there are many younger ones who need to take it more slowly (alongside the whizzkids, of course). It doesn’t seem to be about age, but rather aptitude and confidence. Pob lwc.
Thanks for those encouraging words Alan. How about welsh radio conversation? Every now and then I recognise a word but not the context. Mostly it’s just a blur to me. Sometimes older radio interviewees speak more slowly and though I don’t yet understand their words they are distinguishable and I can look them up. Also I can get the gist of a news item from prior knowledge of the news combined with the names of personalities featured.
Not only aptitude and confidence but desire and discipline also.
This is where the mature exel as they are more disciplined (usually)
When I set my mind to it I learn a lot more than when I’m half hearted.
Don’t let the age bother you gents, keep going and you’ll smash it
Well I’m probably not the best person to advise on radio, though I agree with what you say. I need to up my own listening practice and get back to listening to radio on a regular basis. But the topic has been discussed extensively on the forum. Type in ‘radio’ or ‘radio cymru’ to the search box (magnifying glass) top right and you will find various discussions on the topic, such as:
How best to listen to the radio
Listening: radio, tv, subtitles vs no subtitles
to name but a few. The Pigion radio podcasts are also very useful and chosen with learners in mind.
I was looking at radio myself. I downloaded the BBC sounds app and it has Pigion on there. It’s surprising how many odd words I already know from the old GCSE Welsh but that’s it. For now at least. Looking forward to understanding more
Update: I’m just finished the 5th lesson and surprisingly all those things I thought I didn’t know are coming together and I’m getting muddled with others. Just like they say in the challenges. I’m enjoying this and I’ve been looking forward to doing the challenges, though I can’t always doing it when I’m doing something else as I can’t concentrate.
Maybe I might be lucky enough to have some welsh speakers come into the shop I work in and if I’m not in too much of a panic I might say something in Welsh. The idea is there anyway.
Dw i’n joyo dysgu cymraeg :)
I absolutely adore Deian a Loli, it’s lovely. The episode in the link is super-cute, and it’s expiring in three days, but there are new episodes every week and they stay up for about a month. I will also link to a thread on the topic where other shows have been mentioned that you may wish to try. Enjoy!