How to spice things up?

Hey everybody!

I’m on week 9 and though I have been doing them for such a short time, I can’t enjoy the listening exercise anymore! For a few weeks I have been listening to the first one daily, and now I have to listen to it TWICE daily and though I am very sure it’s an important process… I can’t get myself to press the start button! Listening to the same conversation three times twice a day, so in total 6 times… I just feel like I have memorized the track already and am not learning anymore… I literally know the exact time when Iestyn (I think?) says “oh daro!” (though I never checked the spelling… it sounds like this to me :slight_smile:)

And as a confession… I haven’t done them twice most of the time. I just can’t. My attention span is shorter than a goldfish’s and my willpower is nonexistent.

And I have a very similar situation with the speaking exercise as well, though I think this is 100% my fault. I just feel like my sentences are not different enough from the day before or the other day before or… I mean… I started using “when” or “you said” and other words that I learned last week but my sentences are still incredibly boring and I just can’t continue when I start, becoming extremely restless and irritable and fed up with myself for not thinking of better ones after a few sentences.

So I wanted to ask if anyone has some tricks to spice things up because I think neither of these are becoming habits for me. I LOVE the challenges and the small videos and all that but these! I really have to find a way to solve this because I’m sabotaging myself and I know I won’t be able to learn Welsh if I go on like this.

Best, Derin
PS. Sorry for any typos and incoherent rambling in advance, I’m a bit tired :confused:

Edit: Even if I don’t do the listening exercises, I really do love hearing Welsh! Nearly half of the songs I’ve been listening to the past few months are Welsh nationalistic rock or folk. I sometimes try to watch cartoons though I don’t understand much.

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Good news @derinkutlay - week 10 will see you onto a new listening exercise :slight_smile:
But are you doing the listening exercise just sitting listening to it? Try using it more like background noise while doing something else - getting up, making breakfast, washing up, exercising… don’t focus on it too hard. As you move on to later exercises and they get quicker, stick with this approach - just let them happen.

Re: sentence ‘starters’, that’s a bit of a misnomer - so long as you use the words somewhere in your sentence, that’s fine. Maybe see if you can use several in the same sentence. Definitely introduce new things into them - if a new word/phrase is giving you hassle, perhaps try and include that. Use them to relate to what you are doing, or have been doing during your day. They’re useful because they get you to use words you know to create your own sentences - if you have a dog, perhaps use them to talk to him/her while walking. You may have to get creative because of words you don’t know - or be inspired to learn new ones.
After some time of having to tell my dog I didn’t want him to go slowly, I was really pleased when I could switch to telling him I wanted to go quickly! Always remember - even if your sentences seem boring, they’re deceptively useful, because they’re getting you to use your Welsh, so do keep going. Sometimes just going through the list backwards for a change can help…


Helo @derinkutlay,
I know what you mean by not being able to enjoy the listening practices anymore, because I’ve been there myself. And I imagine we’re not the only ones :slight_smile:
I did what ann-6 suggested to you and it helps me a lot: I’m using them more like a background noise and don’t try to actively understand them. I, for example, like to browse through Pinterest oder tidy up my room a bit or scribble on a piece of paper…occupying a little part of my mind or my hands does the trick for me.

As for the speaking exercise: I wrote each word/pattern on a different slip of paper, put them in a jar and, after after giving them a good shake, draw.
So I never now beforehand with which word/pattern I’ll form my next sentence and I’m challenging myself to come up with a sentence as quick as possible.
Granted, I still end up with similar sentences quite often…so perhaps I’ll start drawing two slips of paper and try to form sentences which include both of them.

Other than that, I started to talk to myself in Welsh while I’m going for a walk. Being on the move helps me to start speaking without thinking about it too much.

I wish you all the best :four_leaf_clover:


Hi @derinkutlay, Well the thing that struck me most when reading your post is that you’re actually doing very well! Whichever course you’re on (6-month?) is set for the average learner going at the average pace, but you find that a bit confining and need to go ahead a bit faster. (Bear in mind that beginners sometimes come on here from the opposite perspective who find the pace too challenging and are looking to slow down a bit.) Not having done the course myself, I’m not sure whether it’s possible to move ahead a bit faster with the challenges, but it might be worth investigating with admin.

In addition to the ideas suggested by Ann and Camilla, it’s always a good idea to get chatting to people as soon as possible because it’s then that you start putting into practice what you’ve learnt in real conversations. I assume you’ve already joined the hangouts/group chats on the Slack 6/6 workspace? In addition to that there’s the Welsh Speaking Practice site also hosted on Slack, where you can join in group or 1-to-1 chats. I would also say that for you some alternative listening practice such as the Radio Cymru pigion podcasts for learners might not be a bad idea - you don’t need to understand them at this stage, it’s about just getting your ear in. Pob lwc.


Hi Derin!

I easily get bored myself, and although I can’t find them now this forum has more than one comment from me trying to find good excuses to avoid listening practice and wondering how to improve my vocabulary fast.

I’ll write you more next week cause I happen to be in my first long weekend out of town since January and I just want to stay away from the web as much as possible.

But for me the key was basically finding my own balance to keep the whole process enjoyable!


Derin, I am a very sad person but I combine doing my ironing, washing up and mending with SSIW sessions. Kills two birds with one stone. I find that I need to concentrate totally on Welsh some of the time but if it gets dull I am listening while doing the other more mundane thing. It is surprising how moving about aids concentration. What an achievemen-, a half hour challenge, and a pile of pressed clothes to boot.


Hey everyone! Every single time I post something here, I am amazed by how many great replies and recommendations I receive so here is a big virtual hug and an even bigger thank you before I say anything else.

@ann-6 :smiley: A new listening exercise! Thank you for the long awaited news. Well… I don’t do them sitting all the time but I am only listening when I do them, or at least 85% of the time. I was always afraid that I won’t “get it” or at least get the benefits of it if I didn’t concentrate and missed sentences. But your approach will definitely make me do them more and I really should try it. As for the speaking exercises… do you recommend any website, channel, etc. to learn more vocabulary? I think maybe adding a bit more variety to my list can help a bit. Thank you so much! Actually wait, diolch yn fawr iawn.

@Camilla_Walker Thank you so much for telling me about that jar trick! I like games of chance (at least safe ones :slight_smile: ) and I am definitely going to try that. And I agree with Ann’s “background noise” idea as well and will switch to that from now on. Diolch eto! (or is that not how you say “thanks again” :face_with_raised_eyebrow:)

@AlanP Helo! This is so embarrassing to admit but… I am actually too shy to join the Slack chats! I don’t even know how they work, but I am so afraid that I’ll be an awkward nuisance to others, never being able to answer any question directed at me… I don’t even understand most of the Welsh people squeeze into their posts! I am pretty sure it’s a very dumb fear that is holding me back and you just reminded me to work to fix it. And I will, I promise. And thank you for recommending me that podcast, I’ll definitely check it out.

@gisella-albertini I am definitely twice as guilty when it comes to finding excuses! But I won’t bother you for now - enjoy your weekend out!

@SusanBurt Diolch Susan! I will definitely be doing something else while listening from now on just like you and Ann and Camilla. Hm… maybe while washing the dishes? :slight_smile:


Two things to remember here, Derin - firstly, every learner has has experienced that shyness, the fear of being thought a nuisance and worrying they won’t understand what is said to them - it’s all perfectly normal and nothing at all to do with your level of Welsh and all to do with your level of confidence, and the folks on Slack are well used to helping you overcome it - and you don’t have to jump in with a group chat - you can build up your confidence with one-to-one chats where you can go at your own pace if you prefer - and they can be as long or as short as you feel comfortable with. :slight_smile:
Second thing to remember is that the Welsh squeezed into posts comes in all different levels - some of it will certainly be too advanced for you because those people may be further ahead in the course, so it’s natural you won’t be able to follow it. Other posts can be people trying out their Welsh which contains mistakes they haven’t got to grips with yet - so it’s natural that they might be confusing too. It’s the main reason we encourage people NOT to post only in Welsh, as that does tend to discourage new learners. So don’t worry about not understanding it now - it’ll come in time. :slight_smile:

Dal ati! (Keep at it!) - you’re doing fine!

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This is a common apprehension for many beginners, believe you me, and is one reason why some of us prefer 1-to-1 chats where we are free to stop and translate, revert to Saesneg, then back to Cymraeg, just to suit ourselves. There’s no pressure whatsoever.
I’d be very happy to have an introductory chat with you on WSP if you wish. If you’re not already on there, you can join simply by sending an email to - with ‘WSP’ in the title. Or alternatively, Skype or Zoom would do just as well for starters.