9 months ago I finished ssiw and after 18 months of learning, I can get by quite well in Welsh. I have decided to have a go at Spanish. I am nervous that I dont have the real basic desire in me that I had to learn Welsh, I still want to improve my Welsh each evening and spend a lot of my spare time on it. However, I have decided I can fit in half an hour a day for Spanish and see how I get on. To help me on my way I have roped in 3 other my fellow office workers and I am hoping they will keep up with me at the pace I know is necessary to get somewhere.
Here’s what got me to an ok place with Welsh. Playing each challenge 4 times in total in 3 to 4 days and then moving on. So three mornings and one repeat one of the afternoons. With Welsh i mixed in Duolingo and other things that I don’t think i will have time to do but I know, trust and love the ss system. I know it will teach me to climb, get me to basecamp and then if I want to go mountaineering, I know that i have the basic equiptment and knowledge, how high i climb is upto me.
At the end of challenge one, gosh there was a lot of welsh jumping out of my brain please with itself that it knew all the answers. I was wondering how people found doing another language after learning one, were you hindered by that.
My top tip that i am taking into spanish is I have printed the weekly phrases and I am sellotaping them to the stairs at work so the ten times a day I go up and down the stairs I will be drumming them in. The other thing i did with SSIW is took the subborn difficult to learn phrases and made a voice note repeating them again and again 20 times and played that back to myself.
I didn’t actually learn Welsh with SSiW because I started learning Welsh long before SSiW existed. However, I did go through the three levels which helped wonderfully to get the knowledge out of the depths of my memory and onto the tip of my tongue.
Like you, I thought I’d try the Spanish. I’d got to about challenge 10 when the pandemic happened and any hope of a short holiday in Spain vanished. However, I’m feeling more hopeful now and I went through the challenges again and I’ll be starting challenge 14 tomorrow. I’m currently doing them while washing up each morning, about 15 minutes of the challenge and then the listening exercise.
So far it’s going OK, but like you I need to repeat the challenges several times. I don’t repeat the same one though, I’ve devised a sort of rolling repeat so after I’ve struggled through Challenge 14 for the first time, I’ll repeat Challenge 13, then repeat 14 and then struggle through 15 before returning to repeat 14. Everything gets repeated 3 times and I think when I get to 15, I’ll go back and repeat 10-15 before pushing on.
Anyway, good to hear someone else is also tackling the Spanish.
Hola! Dw’i dysgu Gymraeg pero he estado aprendiendo español por mi cuenta. I’ve been learning Welsh here, but teaching myself Spanish. I’m not far with the SSi Welsh course (Level 1, challenge 7), but am starting to launch into the SSi Spanish, and wonder if I’m going to confuse my languages, because the approach will be similar :). I took Spanish in high school, and have taught myself on and off through the years. There is a Spanish-speaking community here, but no Welsh, as I live in Washngton State, US. I love the SSi method, so it makes sense to me to ramp up my Spanish, because after all this time learning Spanish, and my exposure to the language, I’m a deer in the headlights when it comes to speaking it. I’m still at a fairly beginner-intermediate level. Gracias!
I would be interested to hear how your experience goes with this. I used the SSiW southern course when I was originally learning Welsh, then I used the SSi Spanish course to brush up my rusty Spanish. I found that I associated Welsh with Iestyn’s voice and Spanish with Aran’s, so although at times the response started to come in the wrong language, I got that under control fairly quickly. I’m not sure how I would have gone if I’d been doing the northern Welsh course though and had Aran’s voice for both.
If you do start mixing them, it might be an idea to do one language to the end of Level 1, then when you move to Level 2 with that one, start at the beginning of Level 1 with the second one. I don’t know how that would go, but it could be worth a try.
I did the Northern SSiW course and I’m now intermittently working through the Spanish. I do sometimes get a sort of echo of the Welsh response in my head as I think of the Spanish, but mostly it’s not been a problem. However, it’s quite a few years since I did SSiW so I think the immediate Pavlovian reaction has been broken. I don’t know about trying to do both at the same time.
You’ve listed two things that I think can really help me. I’m doing the Northern SSiW course, so being careful to (in my head) think in the female Spanish-speaker’s voice, will, I think, help. I find I’m patterning after her already, so I can be more conscious to do that. Also, waiting until I reach at least the end of Level 1 of SSiW might be helpful too, so that I’m working on distinct chunks of vocabulary etc in each. I’ll report back on this!
I’ve been having a similar issue to @Deborah-SSi . I did the Southern Welsh course a few years ago, and now I’m doing the Spanish, but I find that I’m constantly thinking the Welsh first, I think because the sentences are the same - though maybe just because it’s all been thrown into the same language drawer in my brain. At first it was a bit of a struggle. I did do some of the Northern SSiW lessons as well, though, to help me tune into local speakers, so I still have some association of SSi with Aran’s voice.
I don’t think I appreciated either, how much knowing how to pronounce Welsh helped with SSiW. Although I didn’t speak it at all, and hadn’t done it in school, I did have a familiarity with it in the form of Welsh place names, etc around me while I was growing up, and learning pronunciation, etc. I didn’t use the written vocabulary while I was doing the course, but I had a better grasp of the words somehow, while with Spanish it’s proving difficult to get my head around the words that are being spoken and I sometimes have to look them up. It’s frustrating, but I think it’s kicking in slowly (I’m on lesson 8 of Level 1). Having said all that, I haven’t allowed myself to repeat anything, even though sometimes I feel as though I’ve bumbled and coasted through a lesson, because I know from experience that things will be repeated throughout the course and I trust that they will eventually bed in. We’ll see…
I’ve been doing some Duolingo, which helps with visualising the words, and I like it, but I do find the progress very slow in comparison! I’ll be sticking mainly to SSiS.
I’m pretty much sticking the techniques I used when learning Welsh: repeating sentences to myself as often as possible, challenging myself to tell myself in my head in Spanish whatever I happen to be doing, and annoying my partner by saying things to him in Spanish before I translate to English. For motivation (as well as annoying my partner) I have a niece who’s way ahead of me in Spanish, and who takes no prisoners when it comes to checking how I’m getting on… - It’s got me working, though!
¡Muy bien, Isata! So next time I’m visiting Cymru we’ll have to get together and speak Spanish. Do you still live somewhere near Natalia? That would be a good meetup
Remember to use listening to the radio to help with your Spanish. There’s a great app called Radio Garden that lets you wander round the globe picking up radio stations. You can use that to find ones in Spain that you like and just have the sounds of Spanish in the background. That will help tune in your pronunciation, just like growing up with the sounds of Welsh did.
Great suggestion, Deborah, gracias! I’ll have a look for Radio Garden.
A Spanish meet up one day would be great, whenever you’re around, and it’d be lovely to see you again! I’m about half an hour from Machynlleth so that’s always a good option, or Llanidloes _ or anywhere in that general area.
I just recently discovered that I had access to SSiW Spanish. I was so excited to realize that! I have been learning Welsh for three years and had a subscription for most of that time. I struggle with finding time to have conversation time. But Welsh was the first language that I got excited about learning. I live in Florida, and I had never tried Spanish. But here, I have so many more opportunities to practice. Even my music minister at church, she even speaks Spanish.
So, I had asked a friend whether it was good to learn multiple languages at the same time. They said yes because once you have started doing so, your mind is more open to accepting another language. I had already started using Babbel and Duolingo, but when I found SSiW, that is what helped me. SSiW helped me get over that hump to have a real conversation which I did last Sunday. I’m only on lesson 2 and it has really helped me. Diolch / Gracias
That’s brilliant to hear, @rdavidclark! To help with Welsh practice, have you joined the open Welsh Speaking Practice Slack group? There’s a channel there especially for people in #the-americas to connect up with each other, so that could be useful for you.
With Spanish, I can’t imagine you’d have any trouble at all finding people to practise with
I finished the Northern version of SSiW two years ago and now I’m on Challenge 11 of Spanish, cheerfully remembering Welsh phrases every time Aran says something. On one hand it’s motivating (gosh, this method hammered Welsh into my brain for life!). On the other hand, I’m struggling especially when I try to speak freely without prompts, like yesterday with Gaby.
I don’t need to repeat the Challenges more than once (yet) so I’m doing one a day, filling the rest of my alotted time with one hour of listening practice, one or two hours of Spanish TV and sometimes a Challenge from the tourist course. I’ve started on Duolingo to pick up some more vocab and also unearthed my old Uni workbook for some very basic stuff that’s not covered in SSiS.
Just like with SSiW back then, I constantly feel like jumping asap to the next Challenge now. This spaced repetition thing is addictive.