Introduction from across the pond

I’m loving this course though I have to admit it is a bit harder than suggested. Maybe because I am an American learner?

Any way, I have two questions:

  1. While at the very beginning I am also listening to some welsh radio and music to develop my ear. The question is, how do I know what I am listening to, North or South dialect?
  2. Also. is it appropriate to try to communicate directly with other students to practice learning by email, skyp, hangouts, etc?

Thank you


Hi George and welcome. As I’m still relatively new myself, I’m sure someone more established will advise you about Skype etc, when they wake up. :slight_smile:

Don’t worry too much about the dialects, as they are very similar with only a few actual variations thrown in, as with any language and country. There is a bit of an accent/lilt difference around the country though, and this also happens from East to West, again as with any country.

You will find that the broadcast presenters tend to regulate their accents to an extent, but as a rough guide the town in which the relevant studio is situated might be a give away. Feel free to track them on a map. Again, as a guide:
Bangor and Wrexham are in North Wales; Cardiff and Swansea are in South Wales.

I hope that this helps,

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Welcome to the forum, I’m not sure if being an American learner will particularly make a difference, as far as I’m aware there’s quite a few, and a number who actively use the forum

Listening to Welsh Radio is invaluable and at this stage I wouldn’t worry in the slightest about trying to distinguish between the slight differences between dialects. It’s more a case of letting the sound of the language ‘wash over’ you. I often have the radio on in the background without focussing on what was said and now, 10 months after starting learning so often surprise myself that I’ve been following and understanding what’s being said.

And … I’ll Skype!


Welcome, George - it sounds like you are doing pretty well to me!

Definitely use your Welsh as soon as you’re ready to! And I mean as soon as you are ready, not when your Welsh is ready. It sounds like you’re ready now, so go for it!

Listening to the radio is a great idea, and don;t worry about the accents - as you get more experienced with your learning, you will start to be able to differentiate between people you understand a bit of, and people who are impossible to understand. And you will get a broad range of listening experience that will only help you to improve and naturalise your own language as you develop.

I’m interesting that you are finding it “harder than suggested”. There are two main things that might make our course difficult, I think. One is working memory difficulties - there’s nothing much you can do about that except to keep pluggina way, and letting the “mental muscle” build. You will find that you get better and better at the short term remembering needed for translation and recall of words in the excercises.

The second thing is an over expectation of the instant results. That we can deal with quite easily, depending on your willingness to change your attitude to mistakes. We get trained in school to avoid mistakes at any cost, and to learn “the unit” before moving onto the next one. That is not how SSiW works.

The best way to work through the challenges is to just fly through them “bull at a gate” style, saying the first thing that comes into your head each time we give you the opportunity to speak. It doesn’t matter if these are right or wrong, as the Welsh that follows twice will “correct” your subconscious. What is important is that you get used to coming out with something fairly quickly, that is relevant to the English sentence that you have heard.

Don’t try for perfection, ever, and don’t think that you have to go over challenges again and again to “master” them, just go with the flow, and trust the system.

In other words, if you are finding it fiddicult to get the challenges “right”, then don’t see that as a difficulty, but jsut as part of the process!

All the best, and make sure you enjoy the trip!



Helo @georgefear Croeso - Welcome to the Forum. @Sionned who runs the SSiW Map lives in the USA and speaks very fluently now, I believe!! In fact there are a lot of you on the map! I can’t add anything to what Iestyn told you - he is the Voice of South Wales! @aran who came up with the whole idea, is the Voice of North Wales! I’m sure you’ll do great. Where in USA are you? Or is it Canada? Skyping with folk your side of ‘the pond’ would be easier to organise, I guess?

Welcome, and best of luck!