I'm going to quit learning Welsh (rant)

Thank you, I suppose I could have a go.

I’d you wouldn’t mind sending me the link that would be great.

Should I try to complete a certain number of SSiW lessons first? As I said before I use some different phrases to what’s taught on here.

No, you don’t need to do any particular lessons. It may be useful to think about what you might say about the topic - click here to go to the meeting post - or just listen - it’s up to you.

The topics are really just to allow some ‘gathering’ of thoughts beforehand - no big deal.

I’ll send you the link.

Rich :slightly_smiling_face:


Thanks, that’s great!

I don’t have anything to say about rugby in English either really, so I’ll probably just listen if I do end up joining!

Thanks again.


If you have a look in #1-start-here in the Slack workspace, you’ll see the timetable for the online chats and that explains the ability levels they’re aimed at.

The initial option is to come into the Q&A session, ask any questions in English if you have them, listen to the other questions, then once there are no more questions we practise the Welsh from the beginning of Level 1. There are often more advanced learners there, but they know to tailor their Welsh to those early Challenges to support newer people.

Nia also runs 15-minute 1:1 sessions at the beginning of the “Newydd” sessions, and she posts a link for you to book a slot in one of those. That could be useful for you.

When it comes to differences like “moyn” and “eisiau” (pronounced “isio” in the north), you’ll hear them all in the chats as we don’t separate north from south. It’s a good way to become used to the different dialects that you hear in Wales, so you understand them but you can stick to speaking the way you’re used to.


Well…the good thing about the topic is that it is the start of a conversation whatever you think about it…e.g.

I don’t like rugby
I don’t like football
To tell the truth I don’t like sport
I enjoy…
I go to…

…of course you can listen if you want! :grin:



Thank you very much- I really appreciate the detailed answer.

I’ll give it a week or so to get over the worst of this negative headspace and hopefully give it a go.

Thank you!


You’ve had some great advice and support in this thread, so I won’t add much to that. But I just wanted to note how sad it makes me when I hear about someone full of intent and enthusiasm being totally put off by judgemental comments from others. I know that often people have the best intent when they jump in, but they need to hear how much it affects people’s confidence and is therefore totally counterproductive.

You will find your own way, I am sure, and I hope you are able to find the path that is best for you (whether or not that involves carrying on with Welsh). But my main point to make was that the slogan now is that Welsh belongs to us all, and that is totally true. You do have the right to learn, own and use the Welsh language whatever your background, and I shout that loud and clear at every opportunity.

I wish you all the best for whatever you decide to do next.


I’m sorry to hear about your negative experiences. It doesn’t take many bad experiences to become discouraged.

My own experience as a learner has been that native speakers (and more advanced learners than me) have been overwhelmingly supportive in the right environments. As @margarethall pointed out above, some of the most common apparent opportunities for speaking Welsh, such as in a shop or at work, can actually be unhelpful. Not only is time (e.g. when there’s a queue in the supermarket) and accuracy (e.g. when ordering lunch in the cafe) important, but also the person you choose to speak to might be taken by surprise and not used to speaking to learners. I’m not sure some people even realise that they’re being discouraging. The key I think is to practice in low-stress environments, and that means both low-stress for you and for the person you’re speaking to.

So where is good? A few places that come to mind:

  • Anything for learners – Dysgu Cymraeg lessons, SSiW meetups, stuff online e.g. Slack and Zoom groups etc., “Panad a sgwrs” in person, guided walks, pub meetups, etc. Everyone there will be expecting to speak to learners.

  • Book shops – I have had nothing but positive interactions in Wales’s independent book shops. Every one I’ve ever set foot in. The people who work in them appear, without exception, to be friendly, encouraging and helpful to learners.

  • Galleries, museums etc. – they tend to have a slower pace than, say, shops. Less stress. Nice people work in them.

  • Eisteddfodau or anywhere/anything that has an intrinsic Welsh language focus – because whoever you speak to will be more likely than normal to stick with Welsh rather than switching to English.

As you develop more confidence and more skills in using the language, you’ll find that other opportunities open up too (i.e. things not aimed at learners). But until then, practice on your own terms and with people who you know are going to support you – and enjoy it! :slight_smile:


That is so nice to hear! I hadn’t heard about this- Diolch!

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Thank you. I would definitely have to work my way up to even attending an Eisteddfod but there are some bookshops by me I could try.

I am going to force myself to go to a Slack group from here today too.

I went to my Dysgu Cymraeg lesson this week and it did remind me how supportive the tutor is, as well as the other people in the class. It does feel too valuable of an environment to let go of when I think about it.

Thank you.


I’d take a break and come back to it later. It will still be there for you as well as the treasure house of ideas that have never been translated which only an understanding of the language will unlock.

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Hello @Snufkinsbf I just wanted to reply to your message as firstly I feel sorry for how you’re feeling and secondly I have felt something a bit similar and so thought if I shared my story it might help.

I have been learning Welsh with SSIW for a few months now, I’m on level 1 and up to challenge 18. At first I was like most people, found it challenging but very excited at the prospect of learning Welsh. I too found it quite hard going moving through the levels and when I got into level 12 and 13 and the sentences became longer I thought I can’t actually do this because I am forgetting the English and therefore can’t possibly know what to say in Welsh. I felt a bit disheartened I also didn’t have many people to practice with, but I nervously went out with my beginners Welsh and didn’t get the response I thought I might. I found that a lot of the time when I tried out my Welsh on Welsh speakers they answered back in English, or just very quickly reverted back to using Welsh. I found that I became even more nervous of using my new Welsh words (albeit a small amount)

I too felt like giving up. But! I kept going back to learning it, everyweek realising just how much I was taking in and that it was me doing that! I felt a sense of achievement. I was no longer beating myself up for what I thought I wasn’t achieving, but praising myself for what I was. Don’t get me wrong, I still feel there are days that I can recite what Aron and kat tells me and when it comes to saying it in conversation I’m like a rabbit caught in headlights, but I’m hoping it will come in time.

I decided to contact someone from here that seemed to be on a similar level to me and we started to zoom call each other, not only has it helped my confidence but I have met a lovely person and he is helping me to structure my Welsh and learn new things.

I also go to a little hub in my village where they get together and speak welsh, I have no idea what’s being said but they are so accommodating and encouraging.

What I want to say is that, we will all face set backs, they will always be people who are not as supportive as others. But there will always be a number of people that are really really supportive and will help you along your journey and this is the encouragement that you need as well as understanding and remembering why you choose to learn the beautiful language in the first place. Maybe it would help if you could have conversations with someone who is at a similar level to you through SSIW?

I wish you all the luck and hope that you will continue and find a way that helps you.


Hiya @Snufkinsbf , You do have some great advice on this thread! I am sorry, you don’t feel you have the support you need, that can be quite disheartening. I am sure a lot of learners feel despondent, cut off or just plain fed up when learning a new language. If I can add my two cents worth as they say here in Canada…

There is a great group of us here on the West Coast of Canada/US, all learning Welsh, all at different levels, all doing different things. Why we are all learning Welsh differs. Some of us were born in Wales or were never taught Welsh as a child, some have relatives/friends who speak Welsh or simply have intellectual curiosity/love the sound of the language. (It took us a while to find each other mind!)

What keeps us (well me!) going is the support of other learners. There an 8 hour time difference between the West Coast and Wales, which makes scheduling talks, chats and lessons a challenge, with people in Wales. A few of us are doing Dysgu Cymraeg (evening classes) and we all do SSIW and have adapted to Zoom, Slack, FT or whatever to connect with other learners in the US and Canada.

I am lucky that @christine-o-byrne set up West Coast Welsh, (every Friday and Monday afternoon 3pm PT) and she and @davidhamilton make sure there is always someone to host and chat to. I am thankful that they are my support group and great with technology too! Some people drop in when they can and some are regulars, I always enjoy it.

How you can spend your learning time is pretty varied these days. There are so many resources available on line. Classes are great and they are a fantastic tool in your toolbox of learning. I love the SSIW way of learning and still do the challenges from time to time and sometimes have Iestyn and Cat burbling away in the background when I am doing other things. Personally, I have found watching S4C the most helpful - reading subtitles and hearing the Welsh. For me the challenge was plucking up courage to read books in Welsh, I had a real mental block about it! We are all different.

It is great that you have a supportive tutor and classmates. Good luck with your learning journey, where ever it takes you!


Hello @Snufkinsbf
We have all been there and still going there. It’s at these times I don’t want to try and “siarad” but I take a deep breath and dive in. These are often moments when I have the best time and that “aha” moment pops up. The thing(s) I had been struggling with are clearer. Just when I am about to throw in the towel (like last week), someone, somewhere, in our Cymraeg network, is there to encourage. When in doubt I have learned to “PLAY” with the Welsh language. No big deal if I eat gloves instead of strawberries.

If children can learn a language then I relish in playing in their sandbox.Learning a childs Welsh song is good for a smile 'cause it’s FUN.

If you are on North American time please drop by our North American/West Coast ZOOM Monday and/or Friday at 3PM Pacific Standard time. We would love to have you join in our “siradding”. We have fun and don’t judge. We each have our methods of learning and we do it with a smile.

Zoom info on SSiW Slack in “American Chat”


If you live in Wales or on the borders Cymdeithas Edward Llwyd provide an excellent opportunity for walking in a completely Welsh environment each Saturday. There are three areas - Gwynedd and Môn, the North East and the South. So wherever you live there is a walk available. We welcome learners at all levels and as the walks are completely in Welsh you will get 3-4 hours of conversation as well as a guided walk in the Welsh countryside. You will learn about some history and the world of nature. This society is one of the three main Welsh societies in Wales and is fully aware of the importance of Welsh learners to the language. Last Saturday we were walking in the Swansea valley and saw a bit of Wales that no-one sees on a car journey. Three young ladies joined us on the walk, all learners. They were welcomed by the leader before we set off and I was very pleased to see that within 20 minutes of the start all three were in one-to-one conversation with one of our members. I spoke to the three of them at the end and each expressed her enjoyment, they had had a day of speaking Welsh, their first experience of speaking Welsh in a real situation. They were both physically and mentally tired - of course they were. But each said that they are looking forward to the next opportunity. The programme for all the walks is available on our website www.https://cymdeithasedwardllwyd.cymru/ . Stories about our walks in the South can be read in Y Wennol which is a free magazine for learners - send me an email to go on the distribution list: bobwennol@ntlworld.com Looking forward to seeing you.


Hi Rob. The walks sound great. I can see there’s one coming up in the Mumbles in March which I’ll stick in my calendar, and I’ll email you to be added to Y Wennol distribution list.

I noticed that the ‘Dysgwyr’ page of the website isn’t available in English, or at least, when I use the language switcher, I just get taken back to the homepage. It could be useful/reassuring for learners to have a guide to the walks and walk etiquette in English.


I feel for and with you. A few months ago I hit a similar moment and wrote about it on SSI. I’d like to say I’m back to emailing translation in Welsh, but actually I still use English.

Lots of good suggestions here about things you can do to get back into it/feel some love for the language again. With language learning, I’ve always thought it a good idea to think of things you love doing/are really interested in in your native language, and find ways to tie them in to the learning process. Cooking, sport, nature, whatever. Last week I had a go at translating a short poem by Cavafy into Welsh during my lunch break. Obviously, not everyone’s idea of fun, but it works for me!

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I am really struggling with not the Welsh translation, but remembering the English. Some of the sentences are far too long for me. There again, at 76, I have a problem remembering anything. Last year on holiday in North Wales I did buy fish an chips, shop for sausages, milk and bread, and had a primitive chat with a very understanding lady - all in Welsh. I think the secret is to tell people you are a learner.


I moved to Ceredigion last July from Cheshire having reached a rocky level 2on SSiW… I joined two local CLONC classes which are focused on conversational Welsh and welcoming learners… I try and speak some Welsh to someone every day…, postman… shops…at the surgery… people I meet when dog walking… and maybe because it’s a very Welsh speaking county I have encountered a very positive response… best advice the Welsh speakers gave me was… dim vexio! Don’t worry… just go for it… A


Yes, that does really help. I was up in north-west Wales recently for the first time in ages, and was suddenly hearing Welsh everywhere. (Really amazing experience if you’ve mostly been learning Welsh in south and mid Wales.)

Anyway, I found starting with “dw i’n dysgu’r iaith o hyd. Alla i ymarfer?” was a lot of help since it let the person I was speaking to understand my agenda, and felt as if it took some of the pressure off me as well. I was using it in customer service settings though where the other party was under a bit of an obligation to be nice and helpful!