Helo! Progress updates (and probably questions!)

Helo! Two lessons down I thought I’d introduce myself.

I’m from Lancashire, though my parents have moved to Ireland (south), so why Welsh? Well, my boyfriend is from Cardiff and speaks Welsh as his first language at home with his family, so rather than them try to remember to speak English when I’m visiting, I’m going to try and surprise them with Welsh! Despite him being from the south, I decided on the Northern course, as his mother is from North Wales and she taught him, though he was in Welsh education so he speaks a weird mash up. He laughs (light heartedly!) at my new “gog” accent when I practice, but hey, hoping for brownie points from his mum!

Hoping this forum will help spur me on on bad days and inspire me on good days, the last forum I joined was pretty much the only reason I managed to keep running through winter, so I’m hoping for a similar effect with language learning (but without the need to be outside in shorts in the snow…).

My biggest challenge at the moment is actually remembering the English phrase I have to translate. I get halfway through my translation and then forget what I’m meant to be translating. I find for anything longer than a few words I have to pause, repeat the English and then attempt the Welsh. Is this something other people have experienced? Is it something that will get better with time? I’m not finding the Welsh words themselves particularly hard to remember (yet!), if I could have the English written down then I think I’d be whizzing through!


Hi Rachel, welcome to the forum.


Yes. Or, at least, it did for me.

My pulling-a-hunch-out-of-thin-air explanation is that when it’s hard to do the English->Welsh lookups (when you actually have to think about it), you’ve used up lots of your brainpower before the English has finished, but that when the lookup becomes easy over time, your processing power’s less swamped and has more of a chance to get through it. Not the slightest clue if it’s true, but it’s how I’ve explained it to myself.

You’ll get to the point where you’re not bothering to hear what the end of the sentence is before you start translating alongside before you know it!


Hi Rachel, a croeso i’r fforwm!

Absolutely this is very common. It will get easier to remember, but here’s another take on it. So what if you don’t say exactly what you are prompted for? You are still saying something sensible, something with its origins in your thoughts. If Aran suggests you say “I don’t remember what you said” and instead you say “I don’t remember what you wanted”, well, who is to say you’re wrong? As long as you know what you’re saying and it makes some sense, it’s all good.

I envy you having your boyfriend to speak Welsh with. That will be a big advantage for you.


Shwmae Rachel, a chroeso i’r fforwm!

The ‘forgetting the English’ problem was something that happened to me quite a lot when I was doing the old course. The new course is a little bit easier in the sense that the longer sentences are built upon from the last sentence.
For example, the first sentence could be “I went home”, then the next would be “I went home with my sister” then the next “I went home with my sister and her dog”. Because you’ve already produced the Welsh for the first sentence, you know the second sentence will start with “Wnes i fynd adre…” and you just add on “…gyda fy chwaer i”. Then the next one you repeat the first 2 sentences again, then add “…a ei chi hi” to it.
A method used in the old course was to say one sentence, then say another sentence, then say both sentences together, which also helped you to remember the English.

It’s also important to remember that the pause button is your friend! Certainly at least while you’re getting acquainted with the lesson styles and when you’re attempting a lesson for the first time. Over time you will find yourself using the pause button less and less, and eventually hardly at all! All this will come in time though, so don’t worry too much. It sounds like you’re getting stuck into the lessons rather well so it won’t be long before you get the hang of it all!

The forum is here whenever you need to ask anything or check something. You will usually get an answer within hours of asking, and in many cases within minutes! So don’t be afraid to ask anything, we’re a friendly bunch here!

Wel, pob lwc gyda’r cwrs! Wyt ti’n gwneud y cwrs newydd neu y hen gwrs?
(Are you doing the new course or the old course?)

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Wyt ti’n gwneud y cwrs newydd neu y hen gwrs?

I’m doing the new course, I read a few posts here and decided to do Level 1 first, then maybe some Course 1 vocab, depends how much vocab I learn from Tomos additionally.

I’m glad it’s not just me forgetting the English, it was making me feel a lot older than I am. I might try starting translating whilst still listening, it’s probably a skill I’ll need at some point anyway.

About the pause button - I’m using the android app on my phone, and when I need the pause button I have to unlock my screen every time, so I often miss the break to pause in! Is there anyway something could be added to the app so my phone doesn’t go to sleep whilst it’s open?

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Croeso yma @RachelH (hope I can say this though)

Make screen unlocked on the phone and you’ll do just fine. You can always switch screen off so it works practically as locked when you don’t need it. At least I have the phone settled so (using Samsung Galaxy)

About forgeting … You can never imagine how much I forget even when listening to English sentence. When the sentence is over I already am not sure what I’ve practically heard and start babbling something what possibly isn’t in sentence at all but it could be. :slight_smile: However I NEVER translate. I just intuitivly say what I think is right. At least one thing I obeyed from the instructions @Iestyn gives in the courses all the time. More then with Welsh words I actually struggle with structure of sentences and even more with remembering what was said in English.

So, yes, it’s all perfectly normal (what I didn’t get used to yet though).

Pob lwc.

There isn’t anything in-app that can stop this (at least not on the iPhone app, which I used), but there may be settings on your phone that can stop the screen from going to sleep, or even increase the time it takes to go to sleep. The problem with changing your settings is it can take a few seconds depending on which menu the setting is on, and you will need to remember to change it back again when you have finished (if you’re security conscious).

What I did was tap the screen somewhere away from a button or ad when the screen started to dim, which happens around 5 seconds before the screen goes to sleep (on the iPhone - this may very with other models though).

I am actually very glad that all you young people forget!! At my age, I have trouble remembering words just generally, so long sentences whistle past my brain before I can take them in!! To be fair, some of that is due to being distracted and not listening properly!! I tend to hear the Cymraeg and think, “Oh, that’s what he actually said in English!!” from Jackie

A very warm welcome to the forum, Rachel :sunny:

We usually see that people who are ready to jump into the forum at such an early stage in their learning are the most likely of all to end up confident speakers, so that’s a great first sign :thumbsup:

Don’t worry about this at all. As Jeff said, production is much more important than accuracy - the faster you can throw yourself into giving the response, the better.

It’s fine to take your time and use the pause button, as Gav suggests - but there are also some real benefits to be had from weaning yourself off it - you might find some of the suggestions in this blog post interesting:

I’ve actually downloaded your HILT book, and have 6 hours on a bus this weekend to make a start on it. That blog post describes me fairly accurately, I guess I just have to go for it! Making an effort to say the few words I do know when talking to my boyfriend, even if it’s just the odd couple of words in a predominantly English sentence, hopefully that’ll gradually transfer to the odd English word in a predominantly Welsh sentence!


That is certainly a great approach - the more you use the better :sunny:

You should find those 6 hours more than enough - that introductory booklet isn’t very long…:wink:

My only word of caution about letting go of the pause button is that if it starts to make you feel like throwing yourself off a bridge, and those feelings don’t get any better after two or three sessions, then it would be much better for you to use the pause button (rather than going ahead and throwing yourself off the bridge)…:wink:

I find this works really well, as it becomes ‘habitual’ and any self-consciousness soon drops away. And others (non-Welsh speakers ) pick up an understanding and sometimes respond. Today, Mrs Shak surprised me a bit at a special lunch by saying ‘dw i’n mynd i’r tŷ bach’ followed by a grin and ‘useful, Welsh isn’t it ?’ . Yes, and compeletly normal. So please, let it flow whenever it bubbles up to the surface😀 Of course, Mrs S (er’s from East Anglia) then mimicked my West Riding saying, “I bought Howie (our Grandson) some ‘shat hissen kex’ yesterday”. A wonderful and fun thing, language, and there to be enjoyed.

Well done, you, keep going!


Remembering the long sentences in English: I find you can usually divide them into 2 or 3 logical chunks and do them a bit at a time, either with the pause button, or you can sometimes do it in your head.

@andygildon: “shat hissen kex” is a phrase I shall treasure from now on. :slight_smile:

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I’ve completely lost my voice, so even English is out of the question for a few days this week! Hoping to gain something by osmosis whilst I’m forced to be silent. Listening to the lessons and will repeat them when I get my voice back, not sure what else I can do!

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I believe repeating in your mind will do some of the work I believe, better then not repeating things at all. :slight_smile:

As well as Tatjana’s suggestion, you might try whispering the responses, if you can do that painlessly. Or just move the mouth, tongue and lips as though you were speaking (without even whispering). So long as it does not cause discomfort. May be worth a try anyway.

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I can vouch for what tatjana and mikeellwood suggest. This is often what I have to do when I’m running while doing a lesson, since I don’t have the breath to make any sound! The only caveat is you can’t tell for sure if your going to make the correct sounds when actually speaking. However, once you get your voice back and start speaking with lessons again, you can tell. You can also then make up lots of your own sentences to say with any words that don’t sound quite correct! Feel better and pob lwc!

A belated welcome to the site. Where abouts in Lancashire are you from? I grew up in Bury, so…

I do this when I’m on the bus. Prevents strange looks!

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I’m from Lancaster.

I can’t whisper without initiating a coughing fit, so will have to stick with listening for now. I might cheat a little and listen to the first listening exercise (managed challenge 3 before my voice went).