I'm a beginner having difficulty telling the consonants apart

Hi all. I’m a complete beginner, and I’m four lessons in to Course 1 (South dialect). There’s a lot I like about this method of learning, but there’s one aspect I’m finding so frustrating that I’m on the verge of giving up the whole course.

In the introduction, we are instructed to put away pen and paper and not read or write anything, at least in the early stages. I get that, I really do, and until today I have stayed well away from the written vocabulary lists so that I can give full attention to what I’m hearing. I can readily understand that trying to read words in Welsh, with a spelling system so very different from English, would get in the way of really listening to what the instructors are saying. After all, toddlers don’t learn a language by reading it. They learn by listening and watching and imitating and being corrected. So I completely understand why we have been given that instruction.

The problem is that we can’t SEE the instructors. We can’t see their lips or tongues, so we can’t see how they’re forming the sounds, the way a toddler does when learning to speak and trying to copy Mummy or Daddy. And - unless you personally know someone who speaks Welsh, which I don’t - we get no feedback on whether we’ve heard the sounds correctly and are copying them correctly.

When I studied phonetics as part of my linguistics degree, I learned to make all sorts of sounds - but I had a tutor standing in front of me demonstrating them. I could see her mouth forming the sounds, so copying her was easy.

All we have to go on here is the audio file. And for me, the sounds on the audio file are not clear enough to tell them apart, especially the fricative sounds.

Some examples of where I know I have gone wrong, or suspect I have gone wrong:

  1. The fricative in the middle of the word that means “can”, that Iestyn referred to as a “hissing goose” sound. When I first heard this sound in Lesson 1, I thought it was a voiceless velar fricative, like the [ch] sound in Bach or loch. It was only when Iestyn described how to make this sound that I realised he was describing a voiceless lateral fricative, not a velar one. (I already knew how to produce this sound, and I already knew that it is spelled “ll” in Welsh. I don’t know any other Welsh spelling, though.) My point is, although I know perfectly well how this sound differs from a velar one, the recording is not clear enough for me to be able to hear the difference.

  2. The word that means “something”, that I have today discovered is spelled rhywbeth. For almost two whole lessons I thought the sound on the end was [f], i.e. “roo-bef”. It took a long time - and a fair bit of ingrained wrong pronunciation I had to unlearn - before I realised the sound on the end was not [f], but [th].

  3. The word that means “to buy”, that I have today discovered is spelled prynu. For ages I thought this was pronounced “thrun-ni”, because that’s what I heard - and that’s what I still hear. It was only when I reached the lesson where the initial consonants on the verbs were being softened by the [i] sound preceding them that I realised I was wrong. I could see the softening pattern straight away because of my background in phonology, and I realised the sound I had thought was [th] was softening to a bilabial [b], which made no sense, so the original sound must start with a bilabial too, i.e. “prun-ni”, not “thrun-ni”. The sound I had heard as a voiceless dental fricative [th] was almost certainly a voiceless bilabial plosive [p].

  4. The word which means “not”. Four lessons into the course, I still cannot tell whether this is pronounced “vim” (with a voiced labiodental fricative, as in the English “veal”), or “thim” (with a voiced dental fricative, as in the English words “this” and “that”). I have now listened to countless sentences, playing Lessons 1 to 4 over and over and OVER again, especially the bit in Lesson 1 where the word was first introduced, and I STILL do not know. To me it sounds much more like “vim” than “thim”. But while looking up the other words in the vocabulary list today, I discovered it was spelled ddim - which alarms me, because the Welsh pronunciation guides I consulted today (out of desperation) all say that Welsh dd is pronounced [th]. So I feel I now cannot trust what I am hearing. Please, someone, I beg you, put me out of my misery and tell me which one it is. If it turns out NOT to be “vim”, I’ll have four lessons’ worth of wrong pronunciation to unlearn.

The last straw was receiving the “I Am Not Going Back” email from Aran today, urging us to push on rather than playing the same lesson over and over again. I appreciate the encouragement and the intention behind this email, but how will it help us push on if we’ve misheard the pronunciation?

It is very hard to UN-learn a bad habit once it has firmly taken hold. We need something or someone to put the brakes on us at an early stage and say - no, you’ve misheard the word, it’s not “thrun-ni”, it’s “prun-ni”, go back and practise those sentences again, to wipe the wrong pronunciation from your brain and replace it with the correct one.

Exactly what that something or someone could be, I do not know. It would help enormously if we could SEE a short video with the instructors reciting the vocabulary list for each lesson. All of the examples I described above could have been easily overcome if only I could watch Iestyn and Cat say the words.

Failing that, how about a written vocabulary list with a phonetic transcription? (And yes, I realise that will be difficult for sounds such as [ll] which don’t exist in English.) At least then we will know whether we’re somewhere close to the real sound, or wildly off course. I realise there’s a vocabulary list with the Welsh spelling, but that doesn’t help if you don’t know what sound each Welsh letter represents, or if you aren’t sure how regular the letter-to-sound correspondence is in Welsh.

In the absence of such a pronunciation aid, I’m feeling very discouraged. It’s so frustrating listening and listening and listening to the recordings and still not being sure if I’ve heard the words correctly, no matter how many times I play them. If I ever attempt to speak Welsh with anyone else, I risk having them fall about laughing at my bizarre pronunciation because I’ve misheard half the consonants.

I’m close to giving up. It’s a pity, because apart from the difficulty in hearing these sounds, I’ve been enjoying the course. Any suggestions (and an answer to the vim/thim question) would be much appreciated.

Dear @Matilda.

First of all … welcome to the forum.

Secondly … I’m not the tutor neither advanced enough to teach you here and I’m other nationality then English so not keen to your way of expressing the pronunciation. I’m Slovene, living in Slovenia, not having even a bit of Welsh blod in my vains and probably the only person learning Cymraeg in my country also not having even one single person (until recently by fortune) infront of me live to chat with and learn, so you might see through how many difficulties I had to go in the past to reach my level of knowledge of Cymraeg with addition of I’m (was) too much of a perfectionist to just being satisfied with my progress.

I was at the edge of quiting several times myself aswell, but it pays off if you’re pushing through. I can tell you from the first hand that obaying @aran’s instructions about pushing through will pay off at some point because lessons are designed so that you’ll get a lot of repetition along with doing new lessons, new stuff. I’ve “heard” wrong many stuff myself aswell and only later discovered I was all wrong in my pronunciation. Some things are not undone even now but the first step it might maybe be you’d stop “torturing” yourself with if the sound is said “really” rightly or not. It will “click” at one point, you’ll see. So PLEASE!!! do me a favour and just don’t quit, will you?

Well, usually I don’t post those things but remembering me being frustrated with pronunciation I know for sure this will help you enourmously but use it just as a reference to if you hear things correctly rather then learning to read or something like this.

The helping (and maybe saving) hand is here: Guide to Course 1 (South)
Use it well and as a reference. All the rest you can find in FAQ section under the title Where can I find the lesson guides and how should I use them?

If Course 1 at one point seams not to be what you would learn trhough, you might always try Level 1 which is newely composed basic course through which some progress faster and seams easier to them so maybe you’d find it that way too.

I hope I’ve helped at least a bit and most of all I hope I’ve persueded you not to quit but going further.

Pob lwc Matilda and don’t hesitate to say your difficulties as well as happy moments on this forum. If problems here’s always someone to help and if happy times we’re as happy to hear about them as you are experiencing them.


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I’m afraid it is “ddim” - with a voiced sound equivalent to the “th” in English “that”. :slight_smile:
Ssiw is a marvelous resource though, isn’t it!
I, like most people I know using ssiw in Wales (and I stress., just that I know!) use ssiw along with other written sources - this helps me (again, stress me! ) with questions such as the ones you raise. (and according to the ones I have talked with on the matter, helped them) . Again, just my experience!
So my advice, for what little it is worth, is -
Don’t lose heart! Keep on using ssiw with any other resources, and keep on trucking! :slight_smile:


I had similar problems particularly in the former lesson six. I really couldn’t hear the difference between byddi and fyddi to start with.
I would say don’t worry too much about going back to redo the lessons. All the material covered so far will be repeated again within future lessons as part of the learning process. Now you know the correct pronunciation it will be reinforced without having to go back.
In the northern course Aran gives a really good physical description of how to produce the ‘ll’ sound, telling you how to hold your tongue etc. Maybe this sort of thing could be included more? I agree a video of someone speaking would have been helpful at times.

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Yes, I did just the same in the Northern course and got to lesson 6 before frustration forced me to find advice about what I thought I was hearing and found that I had to re-learn ‘fim’ as ‘ddim’. Fortunately I had guessed the others correctly; since then I seek out a Welsh speaker as soon as I can if I am in doubt and I commit the item to memory as ‘modifiable’ until I get a reply.
Actually, I think now that I was being too particular. I had no problems ‘re-learning’ the pronunciation and it probably didn’t hold me back. I went a long time before trying to read any Welsh and now I sometimes find that Welsh people ask me why I don’t pronounce Welsh like most English people do. (I’m sure that was meant as a complement!).
So stick with it, it works in the longer term. As you say, children learn by imitation. But they don’t worry if it’s not quite right as long as they communicate successfully and they adjust as they go along. You can, too.


Thank you all for your replies and encouragement, and for making me feel so welcome.

I wrote that post in the wee small hours of the morning (I’m in Australia), then went to bed, and have now woken up to the dispiriting news that it is indeed pronounced “thim”, not “vim”. I swear it sounds like “vim”. Almost every single time I hear it. Dwi-vim-in. Ti-vim-in. Vim. Vim. Vim.

So I’m now feeling a bit glum.

You are all lovely and encouraging (and so is Aran in his emails and Iestyn in the recordings), but - if I may use an analogy - I feel a bit like a marathon runner who has gone way off course without noticing. I feel as though I have been plodding along mile after mile, while spectators stroll by on the roadside and shout encouragement to me, and it all feels good, and I’m making progress - until suddenly I realise I left the official marathon course ten miles ago and no one told me, and now I have to make up all that extra ground.

The “vim” pronunciation is now firmly lodged in my brain and it’s what is automatically springing to my tongue when Iestyn says “I don’t” and “you don’t” and “I can’t” and “you can’t”. It’s going to take quite an effort to unlearn it, and that’s now slowing me down. I can’t get my responses out in time before Cat’s voice begins - I have to keep turning my instinctive “vim” response into a “thim” - yet I’m trying to stay off that pause button. Half the time my brain locks up and I end up saying nothing.

Worse, I’m still hearing “vim”. I tell myself “he’s saying ‘thim’”, but it still sounds like “vim”. It’s so hard to try and tell your brain something different from what believe you’re hearing.

Worst of all, with every new word, I worry. Am I hearing it correctly? Is this going to be another vim-vs-thim situation?

I should have mentioned in my original post that I’m no longer young and my hearing is no longer quite what it was. I can understand people perfectly well when they’re right in front of me and background noise is minimal, but I do have trouble in noisy places, and occasionally on the phone because I can’t see them. These days I watch TV with the subtitles turned on, just to be sure I’m getting everything. (Except for live broadcasts such as the news, because the delayed subtitles are so distracting and often hilariously wrong!) So the problem is more likely my hearing, rather than Iestyn and Cat’s pronunciation or distortion in the recordings. Nonetheless, it’s a real problem for me.

Tatjana, I looked at the reference list you mentioned. It’s a very handy summary of the words and phrases introduced in each lesson, but it has nothing to say on the subject of pronunciation. If the student is like me and doesn’t already know something about Welsh pronunciation, it won’t help.

Emma, you said that Aran gives a really clear description of how to make “ll” in the northern course. Yes, Iestyn does the same in the southern course. As soon as he said “put your tongue in the L position”, I instantly knew he was describing a lateral fricative, and that the sound was [ll], not [ch] as I was hearing.

I agree, it would help for hints like this to be included when there’s a possibility that sounds could be misheard (in the same way pilots and police and other folk who use radio communication say Foxtrot and Sierra to distinguish between the easily confused F and S, or Mike and Nero to distinguish between M and N).

Hints such as:

“That sound on the end of roo-beth? It’s a [th], the same sound at the end of the word both, or at the beginning or the words thick and thin.”

“To make a sentence negative, you say ddim. If you’re having trouble hearing the sound at the beginning of ddim, it’s the same sound that begins this and that and these and those.”

In the absence of such pronunciation hints, I’m really not sure what I should do. Should I print off a vocabulary list before each session (the reference list Tatjana suggested would be a good one), and use it as I go along? But the problem with that is, Welsh spelling doesn’t mean a thing to me (apart from ll and now dd), and I might be misled by the spelling into trying to pronounce it like an English word.

Maybe I should leave it for a day or two and hope I feel slightly less deflated when I pick it up again. Or maybe I’ve taken on a task that’s too difficult at my age. I decided to start this SSiW course for two reasons. One was to try and keep my mind active and sharp by tackling something that’s completely new to me. (I’ve studied quite a few languages in my time, but never a Celtic one.) The other reason is that I think Welsh is exquisitely beautiful. I love hearing it spoken, even when I can’t understand a word. So when I stumbled across the SSiW course, with its delightfully friendly (and funny!) instructors, I thought “Welsh it is! This is the course for me.” I’d hate to be defeated because my hearing is not up to scratch.

Thank you all again for your advice and encouragement. Much appreciated.

I have to confess that I always check how the words are written. My native language don’t have th or dd and I really can’t hear the difference (unless I know which one it is). Also saying dd in words is really difficult for me (and every other Finn, I’ve been listening).


Now …

Many of us aren’t quite young here anymore, including me, despite I always say I’m 16 in my heart and not as old as I am … Ask @henddraig and she will tell you all about being in senior ages … :slight_smile: and ask @MarilynHames and she will tell you ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING about not hearing well. She had to “fight” her own way through the lessons as she’s hearing impaired person so yes … maybe they can give you some advice about how to deal with hearing problems. (this is warmheartedly aimed advice not dismissing your difficulties (to make things clear)).

Now, let’s do another trick …

In this dropbox folder you have the little guide from Teach Yourself Welsh which I found quite helpful with how to pronunce and in there it’s also a guide to mutations. The book is rather old but still very relevant I believe and I hope with Lessons guide I’ve posted link before it can come to any additional help. Well, I don’t doubt you might already looked into one of such guides but just in case …

And it is the course for you, believe me. Again, here’s the thread of Marilyn which, I hope will give you some helping idea about how to prevail your “not hearing well” difficulty.

I’m sure when @aran returns from Monte Carlo where he has intensive bootcamp right now, he’ll wave his magic wand and give you just the right instructions about how to deal with your troubles but in the mean time, you might get some useful things written in my own thread Tatjana - Progress reports which Aran kindly created for me at one point but rather go for Arans advices then my stubborn replies to them. - hehe :slight_smile:

I hope I could give you some additional help at least for the time until Aran comes back and does his magical tricks on you. :slight_smile:

Pob lwc @Matilda and don’t hesitate to sing out (as Aran says) your difficulties on here so we (somehow) could prevail them together …

Now, boldly go further!


Most Welsh learning courses contain, in their earliest stages, a description and explanation of the Welsh spelling system. It is thankfully comparatively phonetic! Especially when used for describing individual sounds in the language and words such as “ddim”. Such courses and books are widely available. Most people in Wales I know use these along with ssiw, and this seems to help with such things you mention. In fact, it is inevitable in Wales! I can’t say if this is different for people in England - but it seems to help the English people I know learning Welsh in Wales as well. I can’t say my pronunciation of Welsh was harmed by using other Welsh written sources along with Ssiw :wink:
Edit- ssiw is excellent for pronunciation, as you say though. That is to say, ssiw (I found) is excellent for pronunciation of Welsh (and other things) along with as well as instead of other learning sources!


Thank you all for your replies, especially @tatjana for providing lots of links. I shall work through them and take on board all your suggestions, and let you know how I go.

I must say, this SSiW forum is one of the friendliest and most welcoming places I’ve ever encountered on the internet. Even if I don’t end up being able to speak much Welsh at all because my hearing isn’t good enough, at least I’ve found a community of friends and some recordings of the beautiful Welsh language that I can get pleasure from listening to.

Warm regards to all.



Here is the aged crone responding to @tatjana and you! I totally agree with the quote above! If it was less welcoming and friendly, my Cymraeg would be a lot better! I spend too much time on the Forum and not enough re-learning, and there lies another rub! Yes, I am 74 going on 75 or 7, depending on the circumatances, but, I learned Cymraeg at least twice before, some North and some South. I lived in England all my working life but spent holidays in Gwynedd and Gower. I early retired to Gower, in a definitely non-Welsh speaking area, taken by the Normans very early by a con-trick!
I moved to Scotland for reasons of finance and convenience and then found that my health wouldn’t let me move again and hiraeth was anguishing! So I started watching more and more S4C and then found that not all subtitles were much good and not all programs had them. I looked around on the net and may even have heard a mention on “Cariad @ Iath” or “Hwb”, and found SSiW.
But, for you I am useless because I know how the language should sound when written. I have serious reservations about sounding like Iestyn and mainly say what I already know. If I hear something I’m not sure of I try listening to @aran and sometimes find the Gogledd word is different and is one I know. Sometimes the sound is different and is one I know!! In extremis, I look at the Vocabulary list and can then say what I read!
So I’ve posted a magnum opus just to say that I can’t help you!
p.s. One tiny point. If nobody has helped with this, ‘dd’ is like the ‘th’ in ‘the’ and ‘th’ is the ‘th’ in ‘thistle’. ‘dd’ is a buzz, not an explosion of sound. Does that help? The tongue is in about the same place as for ‘th’ but buzzed over. ‘v’ is quite different because the tongue isn’t involved at all. Try listening to @aran. Some Gogledd word are different but he pronounces very clearly.

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I hope you’re not too swamped with links because I’m going to suggest another!

You need to scroll through to 35mins 30s and they go through the alphabet. You can see Nia saying each letter. I found this really helpful.
The clip is from a tv series where they take celebrities and teach them welsh in a week. On youtube you can watch all the lessons. I think 2014 was my favourite season so far. I prefer watching the lessons to the actual show.


Hmmmm … watching this I have a thought my mother tongue doesn’t have like dd, th etc sounds but as our language is even more phonetic now I know why I actually don’t have any problems with that except “ll”. :slight_smile:

I’m just watching this and what I surely wouldn’t do is (what I’ve seen in a video further on) comparing one language with another (in this case Welsh to English) but just go with the closest sound of the language I learn (in this case Welsh). I’ve learnt quite some languages but what I didn’t do really was comparing them to my mother tongue because I believe this has no point. I’d do that now, knowing much more of the language I learn but not in the early stage for sure.

Oh, but this is already another story.

I find it quite useful for example where we have only one symbol to represent the two welsh sounds th and dd. If they say th as is thistle (th) or th as in then (dd), this makes it easier for me to remember which is which. I think the more links we make the stronger the learning will be, and this can include linking existing knowledge to new knowledge.

Bore da Tatjana, Helo Matilda,

If you have hearing problems, join the club–and a very active, engaged and interesting club this is. I am totally deaf on one side and profoundly hard of hearing on the other, but with a lot of help from my friends on this forum I romped through the first course in both styles. In fact it gave me so much self confidence I then enrolled on a Master’s Degree in Celtic Studies and have just passed the first module with flying colours–hey and I am 65.

However, for all I learned on the Master’s there is nothing as good as SSiW, so it is with absolute joy I have been going over those first courses quickly again and find it is completely natural now. I have also been gradually picking my way through the second sets which I can now focus on with the same gusto as the first.

There is a LOT of help here–I asked if there was anyone on this forum who had the same hearing challenge, and hey presto another member came forward to mentor me. We Skype most weeks and have become the best of friends.

Now I must go for now–an early morning Service to go to here in Vancouver, but if I can help, just ask away and I’ll do my best. However, Tatanja is an angel and a wizard at this.

All the best,

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Hi @henddraig. Yes, that makes perfect sense, and in fact, because of my linguistics background, I can even provide the technical terms for what you’re describing, for the benefit of anyone reading this who wants to be able to sound like a real linguist when they talk about these sounds. :wink:

That “buzz” you refer to, we linguists call voicing. A voiced sound is one where your vocal folds vibrate as you make the sound. A voiceless sound is one where they do not.

You can tell whether a sound is voiced or voiceless by placing your fingers against your throat (on the exact spot where the Adam’s apple is found in men). That’s your larynx, and your vocal folds are located inside it. If it’s a voiced sound, you will feel a vibration in that spot as you make the sound. If it’s an unvoiced sound, you won’t feel any vibration.

In phonetics, you can often arrange consonants into pairs, where the sounds are articulated in exactly the same location with the same type of airflow, but one sound of the pair is voiced and the other isn’t. In English, all consonants can be arranged into pairs like this, except for [h] (proper name: voiceless glottal fricative), which stands alone.

For instance, say zzzzzzz, then say ssssssss. (I’m talking about English sounds here, not Welsh ones. I don’t yet know enough about the Welsh alphabet to give these examples in Welsh.) Do this with your fingers against your throat. You will feel a vibration with zzzzzz that you won’t feel with ssssss. That’s because [z] is voiced and [s] is voiceless. Apart from that, they’re articulated in the same way (an alveolar fricative, to give the sound its technical name). [z] is a voiced alveolar fricative and [s] is a voiceless alveolar fricative.

Similarly with [v] and [f]. (Again, I mean the English sounds for these letters, NOT the Welsh ones.) Say vvvvvvvvvv, then say ffffffffff. They are both labiodental fricatives, but [v] in English is voiced while [f] is voiceless. (“Labiodental” means they are produced by placing the top teeth on the bottom lip, and “fricative” means the sound is made by forcing air through the narrow passage created by two articulators, in this case teeth and lip.)

Similarly with [b] and [p]. They are both bilabial stops, but [b] is voiced and [p] is voiceless. Similarly with [d] and [t]. They are both alveolar stops, but [d] is voiced and [t] is voiceless. Similarly with [g] - the hard [g] as in “get” - and [k]. They are both velar stops, but [g] is voiced and [k] is voiceless.

And thus we come to the sounds which (I now know) are represented in Welsh by [dd] and [th]. They are both dental fricatives, but [dd] is voiced and [th] is voiceless. They are called “dental” because they are made by placing the tongue between or against the teeth. This makes them very different from the [v] - [f] pair, which as I said earlier are called labiodental fricatives because there is lip involvement.

So I can describe exactly how these sounds are all articulated, I can make them myself, and I can tell the difference between them as long as I can watch the person making them. It is very easy to see whether there is lip involvement or not.

My difficulty stems entirely from that fact that on this audio recording, in a strange language, with no visual cues whatsoever, I can’t hear the difference between these sounds. I used to be able to, but on this SSiW recording, I can’t. I manage fine with vowels, with nasals, and with stops as long as they’re not followed by approximants, but fricatives are just one big blurry mess. The labiodentals blur into the dentals, the laterals and palatals blur into the velars. I listen and listen, over and over, but in the end I’m forced to guess, and - as I’ve now discovered - I end up guessing wrongly. I don’t know whether it’s due to the quality of the audio recording or my deteriorating hearing, although I suspect the latter.

So if I’m going to continue with this course, I will have to break my original resolution not to look at any printed material in the early stages. I need to know what sound I’m expected to make, and I just can’t get that from the audio recording alone. I’ll need to learn the sounds of the Welsh alphabet, and then as Iestyn says each new word, if it has a fricative in it, or a stop I can’t quite make out, I’ll look at the spelling of the word.

Thanks @emmamartindale too for the video suggestion with the Welsh alphabet. I’ll have a look at that. And thanks everyone else for your suggestions and words of encouragement. It helps me a lot to know I’m not the only one who has struggled in the early stages. If you have any more suggestions of things that helped you when you were a beginner, please keep them coming. I’ll be reading them all with great interest.

It’s after midnight here and I’m off to bed now. Good night, all.

@Matilda I know your profession strongly involves phonetics and the knowledge about it but maybe your problem here actually is you go too proffessionally into studying the language, maybe thinking too much about how words sound even before you really hear them cause you don’t give yourself a proper chance to really hear them. Just a thought maybe. I’d like to convince you to go with the flow. What should I and all of us whos mother tongue is not English or Welsh say as we don’t have even sound “th” in our language. Well, fortunately we all learnt English otherwise we wouldn’t use this course, but still. Maybe it’s time to let yourself a bit of “cheating” on others. When you’ll be able to talk fast enough you wouldn’t be noticed if you’d say “f” instead of “th” or slight cheating “v” instead of “dd” … And of course I don’t say you should stop trying and mastering these voices, I’m just trying to make things easier for you. I know what’s “hard learning” not letting yourself go way around, believe me. I was too much of perfectionist to let all just flow in and be as I imagine to be rather then as it should be, but in time, with a lot of given support and encouragement here I one day just realized I have to let myself step a step down from my “castle of perfection” and go with the flow, making some ways around. Now you have alphabet, Course guides, video and instructions about how something is spelled so 5 or 10 minutes a day standing against the wall or infront of the mirror speaking Cymraeg to yourself and with yourself, would do some magical trick. If you like to sing, just do it. First time it will be wrong or awkward, next time it will be better and the more you sing the more you’d want to sing more. When you speak Cymraeg, don’t just speak, but listen to your sound. As a lot of us don’t like how our voices sound, we (at least I) like the sound of language we speak. Record yourself and listen to yourself to determine is it really so bad or not … do whatever comes to your mind and let your profession tights loose a bit, just a tinny bit so you’d get some space around to “move”. And, despite our tutors say you shouldn’t read or use written guides there’s no one who can actually forbid you to do that. So if you really feel you must use these resources by all means do so.

What you’ve written here is highly interesting about sounds etc, but even this shows how deep into your proffession you are not letting yourself breath lighter when comes to learning languages and I’m afraid not having fun while learning. The course here is designed to be educational and fun at the same time and when (I deliberately won’t say if) you come to Bonus lesson 6 of course 1 you’ll have endless laugh, I promise so even for this part of happenings it’s worth to go on.

I hope you don’t find my writings as kind of preaching. I just want to spread more ideas how to make everything easier and possible for you to continue with learning this beautiful language with us.

[size=9]Oh, boy, I inspired even myself. :slight_smile: [/size]

Then further …
[size=20]Welcome back @MarilynHames![/size] and if even for a single post. I’ve missed you already and I have no doubt the others missed you too. I’m glad I could get your attention here.

Thank you @henddraig also to “answer my call”. :slight_smile:

Well, I hope I could make you go at least a tinny step further Matilda.

Dal ati! Dim stopio nawr, plis! :slight_smile:

Oh, and pardon my misspellings. They (in majority) don’t occur because I couldn’t spell but simply because I’m typing too fast … :slight_smile:


The differences in sound becomes more apparent as you persist. I too couldn’t distinguish exactly the differences between dd, f, ff, th etc incredibly well, I remember struggling to differentiate the sounds, but it really does come with time.

I don’t ever recall looking up the words, but eventually I was able to hear the difference, and I now do the dd sound instinctively. I am of the opinion that it’s ok to not pronounce perfectly at first, and instead work on it as your ear for welsh improves, after all that is how we learn as children. Initial poor child pronunciations don’t become permanent bad habits!

I guess everyone has different approaches, but a more relaxed attitude has made learning Spanish and Welsh more enjoyable for me, and I don’t think my accident has suffered.


Oh, yes … I remember that time when I FINALLY took on learning Cymraeg more relaxed way. :slight_smile: