Has anyone here gone through both the SSI Welsh Northern and Southern courses (old and/or new)?

I know that when we start learning with SSI Welsh, we have to choose between the Northern or Southern courses, however I was wondering whether anyone here has gone through both dialects? Also, has anyone here done both the old and new courses? Maybe there’s someone here who was hardcore and went through ALL the courses, Northern and Southern, old and new?

I have completed all 3 levels (25 challenges each) of the new Southern course, and I’m currently working through the old Southern course (I’m currently nearly halfway through the intermediate course).

I’m wondering if it would be beneficial to do all the Northern courses after I complete the Southern ones, or whether it would be a waste of time? I’d especially like to hear from people who gave done both, and what you consider the advantages and disadvantages of it were. Ultimately, I want to be able to understand Welsh from all parts of Wales, so how do I learn the Northern structures and vocab after the Southern courses?

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I worked through all the southern material and through quite a bit of the northern material as well (but not all). On the whole I think it is beneficial if you want to “broaden your horizon”, but it certainly isn’t necessary. The courses you do give you the tools for the things you want to say, and you can pick up the understanding of northern stuff in other ways – especially if you did southern, you can benefit enormously from Beca’s advanced content, because there’s loads of northern stuff in there.
Also there is watching tv, listening to radio and reading books. But most importantly, just speak to people as much as you can - that’s the best way to pick up new stuff and learn to understand different patterns.
Pob lwc, dal ati!


I know that @tatjana is doing the Northern course after doing all the others in the Southern version.
I think she can give you an insight on her experience.

I’ve done the Southern, too. I tried to listen to a few random bits of the Northern now, out of curiosity but I find it really confusing! :dizzy_face:

And anyway I’m a big fan of the Southern accent sound, so I don’t want to mess it up too much! :rofl:

However, there’s just a few expressions that I intend to borrow from the North. Like angen, that seems way easier to use and write than ma eisiau fi! Shorter, no need to rethink the whole structure from first to third person, less confusion with “rhaid i fi” no mutations after, not even the yn to place somewhere…ah!

p.s. Don’t tell @Iestyn and @aran! :wink:


I’m on the Northern course, and can’t help but agree. That sounds way more convoluted than the simple “angen” I’m working with. :joy: I have plenty of words and phrases to remember and modify already. Not long ago, I was befuddled by the “mae” in “Achos mae dysgu Cymraeg yn ddiddorol”. Got to love those new, unfamiliar grammar rules.


I’m not far into the Northern though. Level 1 Challenge 20 for me today but as much as I know I can tell here if anyone wants.

In 7+ years of learning with SSiW you just have to be hardcore however I’m not hardcore with listening the advanced content though. Not that I wouldn’t understand anything but when I listen (just as when I learn) I have to sit and listen because I don’t want to miss any bit of what I’m listening and from my comute time a day the lesson is the only thing I can pack into a day (mostly).

But yes. I’ve done all the Southern material including all Vocab lessons but in early days of Growth Club I also listened to approx 50 sessions @aran and @CatrinLliarJones have recorded and to be honest in times Northern part of the things looks a bit less complicated.

If you struggle with understanding people from north then surely making this course is beneficial also. At least you won’t struggle to understand northern dialects. Especially it’s beneficial if you constantly wondering when hearing northern dialects why this is used, what does this word mean etc. If this is not the case you can do it from the curiousity of it and for broadening the knowledge (that’s why I’m doing the whole thing). But as much as much northern material as I’ve gone through so far, beware. If you were able to say everything in the gap inbetween English and Welsh it might not be the case in northern version. Catrin replies almost immediatelly after Aran says his English bit with exception of longer sentences where you have a bit of a space to answer. If you’re not struggling too much with the memory, words and vocabulary, then you still have all the chances to answer without pause button (I manage to do it so far though), but there are people who need more time to think and remember the words. Of course it will happen many times you’ll blurt out the southern thingy you already know but don’t take this too much to the heart. You can say things and you can understand them no matter what version they’re said in and that’s really important.

I’m flying through the course really (lesson every 2nd day) but then on I’m on level 1 so I’ll be able to tell you more when comming to level 2 and especially 3 for which @brigitte, who originally made northern course and afterwards went through some southern material, says it’s quite different from the southern Level 3.

As @gisella-albertini says, northern things can be prety handy especially those where you dont’ need mutations etc. I love mixing things and using the words which seem easier to me to use. So far everyone can understand me as long as I don’t get into too complicated debate where I mix everything and forget those so needed “yn” etc and my speach starts to sound like the speach of very little kids who just start to speak … But you know that one … Paid â phoeni a siarad Cymraeg. :slight_smile:

So, my advise … fly through the northern course. Catrin’s and Aran’s voices sound great too and Aran tends to speak a bit slower so you can really hear the words. However, to be honest, I’m not sure I’ll go through old Northern material though. Maybe, who knows …


Yes @neil-kendall, I did both Northern and Southern, old and new, all three levels and courses(!!). Observations on doing both dialects:

  • It’s certainly not necessary.
  • It teaches you certain language structures and vocab that could be confusing for learners during normal exposure if they haven’t learned them previously.
  • It has the advantage of repeating material in different ways.
  • It helps to internalise that there is a range of Welsh dialects and accents across the country.
  • It made it much easier for me to recognise both main regional dialects when listening.
  • I realised that I was becoming somewhat confused between the two versions during the speaking exercises that make up the bulk of the levels and courses. I therefore decided to concentrate on one dialect only, in my case the Northern one (simply because for family reasons, when I visit the UK it’s easier for me to get to North Wales). But I listened to the Southern courses without actually speaking, concentrating on listening instead. It seems to have significantly alleviated the confusion that I’d been experiencing.

In the end it’s up to you of course. There are advantages to doing both dialects, but it takes much longer. And remember that people learn in different ways.
Good luck whatever your decision!


Wow, well done, that’s quite an achievement! I was wondering how long it took you to complete everything? Also, do you do the review lessons every so often in order to maintain everything you’ve learned etc?


I did it all slowly over a couple of years or so. Occasionally I do go over some of it to revise the vocab - yes. I listen to it when washing the dishes!


Baruch! So helpful to hear/read (details of) your experience and the conclusions you reached!