I think Challenges 12 and 13 have beat me

I do not think that I have retained much from these challenges.
Not sure how or if to continue.
Would redo 12 & 13 be the answer or press on with Challenge 14 and hope that when the tutor reintroduce phrases from 12 and 13 I can retain them better.

12, 13 & 14 are infamous! It gets easier again after those. There are lots of threads where people hit the same wall, so don’t worry too much - press on, and the material does get reintroduced, and you can always go back to them at a later date when you’re further into the course (and lots of people say they actually find them easier then).


From my experience (I’ve just finished all thee levels of both the new and old courses), it’s definitely better to press on at any point in the course.

Do each lesson a couple of times and then move on, even if you don’t think it’s stuck. Not only will all the material be repeated a lot, but you’ll find that when you’re concentrating on the new material in subsequent lessons, you’ll have subconsciously remembered more that you expect of the old ‘difficult’ stuff.

But don’t go too far ahead. If you’re on 13 now, do 14 and 15 a couple of times, then go back to 11 and do them all again, before you go on to 16. I was always surprised to find how much easier they were on the second run-through.

BTW, this method (do the course in ‘chunks’ of 5, then review) is the one Aran later recommended – it actually supersedes the ‘repeat till you can do 80%’ advice that is recorded in the lessons. The new method is essentially: make mistakes, move on, repeat in chunks… I found it really worked for me.

Of course this isn’t a panacea – there will still be bits you find hard to grasp – but I found it really helpful advice to follow.

And just to reassure you, lessons 12,13 and 14 are among the hardest you’ll do out of the 75+ lessons of the entire New and Old courses… the pace slows down after them. Still very challenging, of course, but the pace of 12-14 is relatively more difficult than any other.

Good luck!


I still don’t understand why my brain absorbs some of it so easily whilst other pieces seem to be rejected entirely.

Brains are weird. I would like some sort of downloadable option where I can just know it! :joy:


As others have said, it’s normal to feel like those challenges haven’t sunk in, but the challenges ahead of you will continue to repeat and reinforce the things introduced in 12 and 13. Don’t worry if you feel they’re out of your grasp. In the long run, it won’t matter. You’ll still get there.

@iforwynnjenkins you’ve received excellent advice from others above, but perhaps I could just add that learning a language isn’t hugely different from learning to play an instrument. I used to play a piano accordion as a child, and I distinctly remember having parts of some pieces that it didn’t matter how many times I practised, I just couldn’t get them right. I would get so exasperated I had to just leave them and move onto something else. After a while I would go back and suddenly, I could just play the tricky parts almost without concentrating.
When you hit moments like that with your Welsh learning, just move on. As others have said, you will get more chances to practise them, and eventually, if you go back to those Challenges, you’ll find them a lot easier.

I found with SSiW that bits I had struggled with and cursed myself for repeatedly getting wrong did just bed in, in the end; but by pressing on, I wasn’t really aware how much progress I was making because, by then, I was busy getting something else wrong instead :laughing:


Thank you ivorwynnjenkins for raising your concern about not absorbing challenges 12 & 13. I too reached a stage where I wondered if I just wasn’t up to it. I’ve had a little break from it all, but those comments have been hugely helpful and I am ready to pick up again and move on. I’m currently doing a ‘cwrs ar-lein’ and getting a bit despondent, but I’ve come so far now, I’m not giving up and after those comments, I’m ready to get back into my SSiW asap. Diolch pawb

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I’ve completed all of the new course and the first two levels of the old course. I too despaired at the point you got stuck and wanted to give up. However I now realise that my brain sometimes just needs a bit of time to shake the new learning down and let it settle. I also realise that when I hit one of these walls the next bit then seems really easy - I have no idea why.

My top tips for getting over these difficult patches are:

Take a break from doing it for a week - giving your brain time to categorise and put away new learning in an accessible place.

Or sit down, somewhere relaxing with no time pressure, play each phrase in English, press pause and then allow yourself as much time as you need to formulate the phrase in Welsh. Go through as much as you can cope with in one session until you are fed up. Then come back and finish the rest at one or more very slow sessions. Going through the whole thing without the time pressure has helped me retain stuff that just won’t go in.

Print out the vocabulary and use it to refer to when doing a challenge - use the pause button as much as you want.

Learn the vocabulary - put it on the fridge, write it out in your handwriting loads of times, make it in Lego, whatever makes it stick in your brain.

But don’t give up. This is absolutely the most difficult patch of the whole course. The rewards of persevering are definitely worth it!

Be encouraged! Keep going!



I have been bashing on through 12. 13 and 14 feeling a bit defeared and not realising I could do them again or that its ok to write things down or indeed pause. I thought I had to sign off on Sunday night and be ready for the next one Monday morning. It’s been relentless and has taken me over!:grimacing: ChrisG

Hi Chris,
I have requested a delay in sending the next challenge when one week I just simply did not have the time or access to a computer.
I found 12,13 and 14 very wearing . Too much coming at me and I felt nothing was sticking.
I have now redone 12, 13 and 14 by breaking each into 3 parts
I am doing 15 now and it is very much a broad revision of all challenges. There is little new Welsh to absorb.
I struggle also in responding as by the time I have remembered the Welsh for the first phrase I have completely forgotten what the tutor had gone on to ask!
Yes I use the pause and yes I flick back to remind me the response required to part of the question.
I am now setting down groups of responses eg I am and how that changes when used for the past through to he and she for past, present and future, hopefully that will be a good way to remember but also explain the source of the words.
I feel better about 12,23 and 14 now although I hesitate to say anywhere near 90 percent.
All the best, Cofion Ifor

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Hi Ifor.
I’m sorry I didn’t answer you. My problem now is finding my way around the forum. I have recorded everything I have been asked to do but the recording doesn’t work for about a minute into it which isn’t great and I don’t think I have posted anything yet and I can’t see any buttons going pink or anything. I feel a bit useless over this, but I bash through each week and seem to cope. I hope it doesn’t matter. How about you? Are you getting your pink, red, green buttons? I am now struggling with week 21!!!
Dymuniadau gorau.

I am on Challenge 22.
I only do the Challenges and no extras.
I have found a dictionary called ‘Wiktionary’ and if I see or hear a word I will put it into the Search facility and go to the Welsh section. Often I find most roads lead back to Gnwneud or Bod.
I find knowing where for example, the root of wnest, locks that word into my dim brain a bit better.
If the tutor responds with a mass of shortened words ie ‘di bo’ etc I may miss the use of a word that is in the vocabulary but has now itself been clipped. So I will pause I will look at my notes and I will find the word I need.
As most challenges around 36 minutes I break each into thirds, perhaps where the Tutor introduces a new word or phrase. That way I do the challenge twice with a day off on Sunday.!!
To be fair some Welsh is sticking I will just have to jot down each day those other bits that allude me and trust they become common place.
I will do the 52 weeks and if necessary I will repeat the whole exercise but level 1 is as far as i go.
Good luck, Ifor