It is hard for me to believe that around this time last year, I resolved to learn Welsh properly, with the help of SSIW. Thanks to being unemployed, I was able to charge through everything in just over three months. This enables me to engage with the Welsh language. Indeed I have done no real formal learning since April. Nonetheless I can note I have continued to progress.
I have listened to and continue to listen to a fir amount of Radio Cymru’s output. This has been immensely useful. I can clearly hear every word, even if i don’t know what it means. More recently, there are little periods when i can listen in Welsh, without my mind attempting a simultaneous translation. I even caught myself recently, not noticing that i was listening to Welsh, it has almost become merely another way of saying something. The listening practices, really helped, it was difficult at first, but it was hugely rewarding and helped me so much.
Another thing was reading. I am indebted to the Nofelau Nawr series and the works of Lois Arnold. Again it was a real struggle to begin with, but again, so rewarding and slowly but surely my reading has speeded up. I’m currently taking piles of childrens books from the library and reading without a dictionary and finding just the odd word, to guess at.
The third thing was join a Welsh conversation group. Again, this was challenging at first, I was just listening, but slowly but surely I began to be involved in the conversation. Although jokes did take a few seconds to register with me at times!. Again, I am massively indebted to the Wednesday night group at Arvon Ales in Llandrindod.
I think what all this experience of engaging with Welsh has done, its hearing the words in lots of different contexts, so I can get the meaning in Welsh, rather than in translation. Things then make so much more sense.
So, what of 2017? More please! Trying to ensure at least 10 minutes of doing something in Welsh (which is harder now I’m working full time) and keep improving. Looking forward so much to going to Bootcamp in April, hopefully that will push things onward another step to fluency. Also now I’ve got the language bug, to not flirt with it, but learn Spanish in a similar way.
So, really, a massive thank you to everyone in the SSiW community. I hope you all make progress with your Welsh and whatever other things you want to do this year.
Blwyddyn newydd dda i pawb!