Hi, Just Joined

Hi all,

Just joined and it seems that everyone is already speaking a lot of welsh! I’m just going through the course 1 main lesson 1. It’s taken me two nights, 20 mins yesterday and 20 mins to get through 22 mins of it. Keep getting mixed up with dwade/say? and gnade/do because do and dwade has the same first letter.

Anyway, should I just keep going through til the end even though I’m struggling?

Also am I going slow if i’m only this far through after 2 nights?


Hi Dan, welcome to the forum and to the course! I’ve not been doing it for long either, just about 3 months, but I’m near the end of course 1 now.

It’s not unusual to mix up 2 words from the same lesson - I have done it lots of times especially in later lessons and I’ve read posts on the forum about others doing it too, but that does improve as you move forward. I kept mixing up dweud and siarad for ages! Words that have the same initial letter, or similar meaning, or even if they rhyme are very easy to confuse, but the brain gets better at sorting and separating them.

I’d say carry on and complete the lesson and don’t wait until you get the dweud/gwneud thing perfect - that will happen by the by (I have found, anyway).

It doesn’t sound to me as if you are going slow, I bet we all work at different speeds over different lessons anyway. I spent about a week on some lessons, and a day on others, sometimes I felt that I could have done 2 lessons in a day (not very often lol), other days I could only manage 10 minutes or much less if tired. Finding your own speed is probably more useful than comparing yourself with other learners. Can I be the first to tell you not to worry about it? WinkingWinkingWinking

Hope you enjoy the course as much as I do :slight_smile:

Thanks for the advice Carole…

Yes I have also had the same problem with dweud and siarad, as they mean say and speak which are practically the same thing haha.
Also two others of want and go, both sound like “mynd(sp)”.

How has your welsh improved after 3 months? Has the time you’ve spent been worth it?

Also do you have any other websites/books/ways that you have found useful?

Hi Dan and welcome/croeso. The course has a lot of repetition so there will be plenty of chances to practice. Do not worry about perfection. You will naturally progress and time goes on. If you get stuck, don’t try and hammer it in. Move on, then come back if it remains a sticking point.

Croeso (you’re welcome) :slight_smile:

I can see the confusion with moyn & mynd, and altho they weren’t a problem for me I had plenty of other ones…wait till you get to later lessons, you’ll get lots of little mix-ups! I still confuse something with nothing (as in life, he hee), and open with close, and ask and remember…well the list is endless! It really does get easier though, and the great thing about having a forum for support is that you can post about any difficulties.

I think my Welsh has improved hugely over the 3 months…I could already read Welsh because of previous attempts at learning the language and I could understand a lot of the Welsh subtitles on Pobol Y Cwm (don’t know where you live, but that’s a Welsh-language soap opera, and very helpful if you’re a learner). But I couldn’t make up sentences myself or hold a conversation. I’m at the stage now where I feel I could hold a convo with someone, albeit still pretty limited. It’s the ability to make your own sentences without studying lots of books that makes this course so valuable. I feel I only need the confidence now to hold a conversation, which I believe is an immense leap in just 3 months.

Good websites: I use s4c (www.s4c.co.uk) to watch Welsh-language programmes which is a brilliant help with listening skills (you’ll really need to develop these in order to hold a conversation), in particular Pobol y Cwm, and I listen to Radio Cymru too (http://www.bbc.co.uk/radiocymru). Where are you based? These are tv & radio that can be accessed in the uk, but if you are outside the UK then I’m sure someone else on here will be able to point you in the direction of useful resources.

Apart from that, the only book I have is a dictionary, which I don’t use so much right now because I want to adhere to the SSIW guidance of keeping away from the written word for now.

The most useful thing really is practice, and I’ve worked ways to do this into my daily routine. My next step will be to pluck up the courage to get a Skype or phone buddy to practice with. Courage is my weak point but it’s on my list!

has the time been useful? Oh yes, it’s been hard work, but enjoyable and enriching. I really hope you feel the same when you get going.

I’m sure you’ll get lots of other replies to welcome and encourage you. Right now, even my insomnia has a limit so I’m off to get some zzzzzzzz’s. Pob lwc with your learning (good luck - got that from Pobol y Cwm :slight_smile: )

Hi Dan. It usually takes me about a week to get to grips with new lesson so I dont think you are going slowly. I have followed the no writing dictum religously and dont write in Welsh at all! but I do have a dictionary Ap on my phone because cant resist knowing what a word means.

On the mixing up words thing I create a mental picture of someone carring out the action of the word. For gwneud it is my Grandad at his workbench ‘doing’. It just helps me pull the word out and as it becomes more familier I dont need to imagine it any more…

I really hope you enjoy the course, I think it is true to say that all you need is a bit of time and enthusiasm and you will speak Welsh very soon!

Dan H: Keep getting mixed up with dwade/say? and gnade/do because do and dwade has the same first letter.

Hi Dan, well done on your progress so far. I know exactly how you feel, words that sound similar and get introduced together are a problem for me. But there is plenty of practice in lessons to follow and you’ll soon forget all about it. Good luck and keep us posted!

Hi Dan, and welcome to the site.

I’m Iestyn, the man you’re hearing on the course, so I’m the one to blame if you can;t hear a word clearly etc!

Actually, that’s not entirely true. Part of the strength of the SSiW way to learn is that it trains your ear to start hearing the subtle differences in the language that you would just gloss over if you were reading and listening. This is why you’ve taken so long to do the first 22 minutes - you’re adjusting to a whole load of new stuff. It’s not just the language, but the method as well, because it’s highly doubtful that you have learnt anything purely by ear since you learnt to read.

But don;t worry. “so long” is actually a very short time, and if there wasn;t a counter on your mp3 player, you probably wouldn;t be worried about it!

It looks like you’re off to a great start, because you are obviously doing things right, including coming to the forum and asking for advice. As Carole says, you will continue to mix words, but they will be different ones as you progress. You’ll make some cracking mistakes - enjoy them! In fact, make more of them, because the more mistakes you make, the more progress you’ll make. And have fun.

It’s interesting that you ask is it worth it. I think that depends on why you are learning Welsh. The achievement on it’s own is worth it to some, but for others, taking part in Welsh language life is what makes it so important. For others it’s the community feel here. It’s purely personal. What i can just about guarantee is that if you put the work in, you’ll get results with this course. Unfortunately that’s not always true with language courses generally.

Finally, you ask about other websites and books. I would advise you course-wise to stick with SSiW and not do anything else until your getting comfortable with the basics - lets say lesson 10-15 or so. I’m not trying to stop you going to “the competition” ro anything, it’s just that we are very different to anything else out there, and if you start mixing things too early, it can cause confusion. It’s amazing how a tiny bit of doubt can de-motivate you completely. Get on to BBC Cymru and S4c, of course, but remember that some find them really helpful, and others just ind them frightening at this early stage.

As others have said thoug, definitely don;t read! If you’ve not had much exposure to Welsh, trying to read beofre you can speak will do you no good at all, and could do quite a bit of harm to the development of your accent and natural pronunciation.

Mostly, though, enjoy.

We have a number of HowTo guides, including How to learn the SSiW way, available in the FAQ section (top left of this page). you may find some of them helpful.

Hi Dan, welcome to the course and the forum.

If you want my opinion I think one lesson every two days is really slow … that means it will take you almost a year to complete the whole course by which time you will be able to live and survive through the Welsh language alone. Less than one year! Ask anyone doing a “normal” classroom based course and they’d struggle to reach that point within 5 years … if at all. For me the secret to success, in whatever you want to do, is consistency. You are off to a fantastic start. :wink:

Remember … it’s not a race.

Hi Dan, Croeso cynnes, a warm welcome to the forum!
If Iestyn hadn’t talked about listening I would have - it’s such a key skill it’s hard to over-emphasise it. Don’t worry about other books for a while, the SSiW lessons really are an effective approach. It takes us back to when we learned our own first language, listen and copy.
Just move on to the next lesson as Iestyn advises, when you are able to say about 80% of the Welsh before he and Cat do and you’ll be fine. As you go through the lessons, you’ll realise that you are practicing and revising all the stuff you’ve learnt in previous lessons, so it’s not as if you only have one chance to get something and that’s it, the repetition really helps!
Pob lwc - good luck and keep in touch!

Hi all,

Wasn’t expecting so many responses to be honest, I thought you’d find me quite boring…But yeah I will take all advice on board.

I’m from Liverpool (Carole), but I often go to Aberyswyth and sometimes Llangollen.

Iestyn, to why I asked “Has the time you’ve spent been worth it?” and “How has your welsh improved after 3 months?”… Because I suppose I’m sceptical, I do want to learn welsh but I have no idea how successful SSIW is. I just want to make sure that the time I spend here will actually bring about progress… So far though, I am enjoying it and I do like the whole community feel about the place.

Gruntius, I’m going to take a guess that you meant to say “really fast”? hahaha

All in all thanks once again for spending the time to read my post and write a reply… and just so you know I’ll only use the lessons and watch a bit of S4C. Maybe listen to Radio Cymru later when I can understand more words.


I do want to learn welsh but I have no idea how successful SSIW is.

Great point. I think we tend to forget that people who are new to the course don’t know about all the various things SSiWers have achieved. What sort of stuff would it be helpful for you to see as evidence? Would a video roll of all the SSiWers who’ve been Learner of the Week on Hwb (the S4C show for learners) be useful? Although of course those clips have all gone through a professional editing process…

I don’t think we’ve got anyone who’s completed Course 3 who isn’t an impressive Welsh speaker happy to use their Welsh whenever they get a chance.

But the truth is that whatever evidence we provide is going to be less important than your own feelings once you’ve done the first five lessons or so - if you get to Lesson 5 and feel that you’re disappointed with how your Welsh is improving, and you’re not enjoying the process, then it would probably be time to look for a different approach. Fingers crossed, you’ll get to Lesson 5 and realise that you can say a remarkable amount and that it’s becoming addictive…:slight_smile:

[Geraint (that’s Gruntius!) is very fond of being mildly sarcastic, in the nicest possible way. You’d understand if you saw his beard…;-)]

What I meant to say was this … “If you want my opinion I think one lesson every two days is really slow ;-)” That smilie would have made all the difference.

If you want to meet up next time you’re in Llangollen just give me a shout and we can practise our Welsh together. :wink:

I’m on lesson five right now and I’m amazed how much I’ve picked up already.

Listening on the go, using the app, has made it so convenient.

I’ve gone through lesson five twice so far, and will probably take another go before moving on. For some reason lesson four has been the biggest challenge so far - nine listens before I took at punt at the next one!!!

I’m on lesson five right now and I’m amazed how much I’ve picked up already.

Excellent work - and once you’ve got that far, you’ve shown that you can cope with the method, and you’re a really good bet to end up an impressive Welsh speaker…:slight_smile:

Don’t get hooked up on too many repetitions - everything you cover will be revisited at carefully designed intervals, so even if you don’t get it the first time round, you will get it eventually - and, in particular, brace yourself for lessons 6.1 and 6.2 - the second and third worst lessons I ever wrote…:wink:

“Listening on the go, using the app, has made it so convenient.”

I’ve got an android phone but I cant find it on the play store… Is it only available on iPhone or do I need to go on the website to get it?

Yup, sorry, it’s just iPhone for now, although we hope to change that at some point.

Thanks for the encouragement Aran. I really think the course is fantastic!

Dan - While you wait for the app to hit Android you might be able to try downloading lessons and putting them on your mobile or MP3 player? I think it makes a huge difference.

Cheers Rob mate, I was thinking of burning them to a CD and playing them in the car as well haha :smiley:

(Been busy with University the last few weeks but I’m on lesson 3 now…)

But about S4C and the Carmarthen soap (pobol cwm?), I tried watching it but I have no idea what they’re saying. I have seen a few mentioning developing listening skills, but will they develop if I don’t know what’s being said?

Also, is it worth having english/welsh subtitles on?