How to avoid 'freezing'/mind going blank when speaking?

Title says it all really. When I’m trying to speak Welsh to people at work, even if I try to prepare sentences in my head, my mind just goes completely blank.

Often even with simple things like ‘shwmae’ or ‘bore da’.

I come away from the interaction and know what I should/could have said, but in the moment I go blank.

I’m worried because I can’t get any speaking practice in otherwise, and I’ve also signed up to do my Sylfaen exam in the summer, which includes a speaking part.

Does anyone else experience this? Or know how to solve it?


I understand what you mean and sadly have no answers myself. (Twice just today) Except to say I will eagerly await your replies!

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The only advice I can give you is practice, practice, practice, but maybe the work environment isn’t the best place to do that.

If you are trying to spark a conversation with someone just because they speak Welsh, that might be awkward (if you don’t know each other well enough), or maybe the other person is just busy – after all you are at work.

Are you on the Welsh Speaking Practice Slack? In my experience the group chats on there can be very helpful, just for the sake of getting your brain into gear when it comes to speaking Welsh. (They can also be a great sounding board to test out pre-planned phrases, so that you’ll have more confidence when push comes to shove in real world scenarios)


Ditto Hendrik on this about practice being the best medicine!! :star_struck: Lots of people comment on getting “brain freeze” so I believe its a perfectly normal part of the learning process - but it is just a phase, so it is something you go through and come out the other side of (Whew! :sweat_smile:) I certainly don’t get it to any great extend these days, but I do remember the pain!
Group chats were the most helpful way to sort this for me and they were essential to my learning and building confidence. The earlier you start doing these the better as they build confidence quickly. There are so many ways to get speaking practice these days, with plenty to choose from online, so you don’t need to go anywhere, and they’re also available in several time zones.
I can recommend Nia’s chats if you’re doing the SSIW course and these can be one to one or in a group, there’s Welsh Speaking Practice as Hendrik has mentioned where you can join group chats run by friendly volunteers (or create your own), Dysgu Cymraeg provide things like “Sadwrn Siarad” and “Sul Cyber” etc and quite often for free (check out their website, there are group chats available from this forum (like Rich’s Saturday at noon).
If you’d like face to face interaction (rather then online) then there are immersion weekends at Garth Newydd (Welsh Weekends / Penwythnosau – Paned.Cymru) which are really fun and aimed at building confidence. It sounds like you may be in Wales, so your local Menter Iaith may also offer opportunities. I really hope you can find something that works for you - I think it is just a matter or practice and building confidence and something you will pass through!


Nearly forgot - there are Bwtcamps too! See the thread on this forum! :slight_smile:

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Thanks everyone. Sorry I don’t really have the time to reply individually. I might try to go on the Saturday Zoom session again if I can find the link. I wasn’t sure if it was a one-off thing or if it’s regular. Lots of fluent and native speakers on there for some reason but it was still good.

Not really sure what Slack is or how to access it- can anyone point me in the right direction? Thanks

Slack is an online platform where you can post and join chatgroups. SSiW has two groups on Slack - there is the 6/6 group for people doing the subscribed course with tutor support. Details of how to access that is sent in an email following subscription to a ‘structured’ SSiW course e.g. the 6-minutes-a-day method. The other group is WSP (Welsh Speaking Practice) which is open to anyone, whether they’re doing a SSiW course or not (though a lot are!). To access that group, you need to send an email to asking for an invite.


If you contact @rich he’ll send you the link! :grinning:


Hi @Snufkinsbf

I’ve just sent you the link by private message.

If you keep an eye out on the forum I usually post a topic for you to pre-think about, if you want to.

Rich :slightly_smiling_face:


Diolch yn fawr!

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Diolch yn fawr! Will try to attend at some point soon!


I have subscribed again to WPS (Welsh Speaking Practice)
When I used it before with the app on my laptop and also my mobile. It was synced so I could access Slack on either device.

This time I cannot find how to sync them. I have now chosen the groups under WSP on my laptop but the mobile only shows an old group which I used with Nicky called Zero to Hero.
I am not sure how to sync with WPS on the mobile. I tried the search box by typing WPS and Welsh Speaking Practice but neither title is recognised.

Not sure why but will copy this to admin who can probably help

I do agree that the groups are definitely the way to go. I didn’t do enough of this and many thanks to everyone for the helpful replies.

One to one on Signal or WhatsApp should work too. I believe they are encrypted and will be easy to use.

yes, admin should be able to help. I only use a pc, so haven’t a clue about synching.

Thank you Siaron,

I think I am sorted now. Someone called Nickie from admin got straight back to me with clear instructions.
Hopefully all will be good now :partying_face:

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@annmoore I’ve answered your email about this this morning, so hopefully it will help.

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