Just not sticking

Dont know how many times I am going to have to review from the beginning or how many times I have. But yesterday I went through lessons 1 to 6 and its just not sticking. Even lesson one which I know Ive done at least a dozen times over more than a year
still causes me to use the pause button and I still get some of them wrong.
I really want to learn this but this is really getting old now

You can learn Welsh. It can be frustrating and often the trick is not to allow yourself to get frustrated. All I can suggest is have a good think about your mental processes when doing a challenge. Often getting rid of mental baggage about learning is useful.
If you just want something different have you thought about switching dialect, North to South or vice versa. Or even find the old course, just for different structures? Eventually something will click!


Hi George, have you tried carrying on regardless of imperfection? That would be my advice. Mistakes are the friends of learning, perfection is the enemy.
Remember too that all lessons have repetition built-in, so you will encounter previous material before long, in any case.


It sounds as though you’re aiming for perfection - the important measure is when you revisit Lesson 1 after reaching Lesson 5 or 6, does it seem more familiar than it was the first time you did it?

If it does, the process is working - and even if you’re a higher repetition learner, you should be pushing on. You’re NEVER meant to get all the phrases right - and if you need the pause button, you need the pause button.

I’d strongly recommend pushing on through to 15 in one run - using the pause button as much as you like - and then give yourself maybe 2 or 3 repetitions per lesson (in batches - so 7, 8, 9, 10, 7, 8, 9, 10 - not 777, 888, 999) - and then carry on further. :slight_smile:


If it’s any comfort, you’re not alone. I’m only in week 4, and I must admit I’m not feeling overly positive about this particular method of learning. It’s not that I’m aiming for perfection - I’m an experienced learner; as an adult, I’ve learnt Spanish to an intermediate level and Korean to an advanced level of fluency (and have studied several other languages for fun - this to say I do enjoy learning languages). But this learning method doesn’t seem to be working for me. So many people seem to love it, so I keep trying, but I often end up feeling cross and frustrated. At this level, I’d rather be able to speak six simple sentences with one verb in each than try to stack six verbs in a single sentence. Yes, I admit my working memory is poor.

What happens when you pause the course? Is there a maximum number of pauses? What happens if I don’t finish the 6 month course in 6 months? Is it possible to lose access? Can I quit and request a refund before the six months are up?

I think this should be addressed to Aran or Iestyn. It needs answering by one of the people with experience please @aran @Iestyn

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Hello Jill!

I agree with Ann in that Aran, Iestyn or a moderator should answer your question in relation to pausing or other options. They are wonderfully supportive! Perhaps it might be worth exploring switching to 6 minutes a day to slow down the ‘official’ speed, but you can still press on ahead as you feel able :upside_down_face:

That having been said, I can relate somewhat with your sentiments from time to time:

Unlike most other learners, I have an in-home Gog learning along-side me who picks it up faster than I do (don’t tell her I said so :laughing: )-but that does not stop me from feeling frustrated when I can’t seem to spit out the Cymraeg that has gone in yet can still come out with Italian and bits of other languages from decades ago!
It is working though, because when I am spoken to in Welsh, or am listening to Clic/S4C/Radio Cymru I am understanding (even if sometimes it is only words and phrases here and there) as I hear it spoken.
I have not yet leapt in to talking on Slack; but I have used it to chat with the ever-helpful @Deborah-SSi


When it comes to making things stick, I’ve found that I can remember nothing until I try to use it for real. Generally when I try something new in ‘real life’, my memory fails me, I feel a bit embarrassed, I go away and look at it again, and then miraculously, the next time I try to use it, I can recall it without too much trouble!

Everyone is different, but it might be worth a try! If you can, maybe try out some of your new language in a real life situation?


Yes, of course you can - just ping admin@saysomethingin.com and they’ll process a refund for you straight away, at any time… :slight_smile:

How are you measuring that (if you’d like me to try and help trouble-shoot)? :slight_smile:

I hope you are still here and reading this!!

In 2008 I was teaching Maths, but was edging closer to a nervous breakdown (so I was told afterwards by my doctor). Basically I was overusing my working memory and it all came a head when I spent an hour and a half trying to remember an incident that I needed to recall. (It would have taken about 40 seconds to write it up…) When I realised it took that long, I went to see my doctor who signed me off for a month and arranged an appointment with a local psychological service. I did not return to work that academic year and I have had terrible trouble learning anything since.

When I started driving lorries for a living, I would ask another driver where somewhere was, but could never remember directions. (Satnav was a great friend) After doing deliveries to a set of destinations, I became more familiar with where these places were and was able to ignore the Satnav. It took a while, but the repetition worked. I use Satnav a lot, still, but only to go to places I’ve never been to before. And the other drivers are really supportive.

When I decided I was going to finish learning Welsh because I had only studied (formal) Welsh as a second language at school, I became amazed at the success I had and at the support that was being given by fellow-learners. That was about 9-ish years ago and although I haven’t reached the level of competence I would like, the same level of enthusiastic support is still there.

I hope you always find the same kind of support on the SSiW forum and just make the decision that:- “I’m bigger than it, it’s not going to beat me” and push on, enduring the frustration, sharing that as well.

“Repetition works.”

(Sometimes, eventually.)


Hi George,

Good for you to come on the Forum, because this is the place where folk listen, take whatever the problem is seriously, and really care for one another by offering suggestions and encouragement—as you will have found already.

Others have already offered some helpful advice and useful perspectives, but the words that jumped out at me were ‘pause button’. Some of us need to use pause buttons in many conversations, leave alone in trying to SSiW. If you are one of those folk who takes time to frame whatever you are going to say, then the pause button is your natural friend that allows you to be who you are.

OK some folk are ‘quick on the draw’ when it comes to responding, even when repeating something or considering how to do it, but not everyone is. Many of us need lots of repetition—LOTS. It’s not a race, but a process that works—eventually. The key is to relax, not fret and take as much time as it takes.

Someone once said ‘the journey of a million miles starts with the first step’ which you have already taken—in fact, many steps! With every step you move forward towards your goal (even when it feels like you are standing still or going backwards). It is a hero’s journey—and all my heroes are folk who find the going tough but carry on. I think you are a hero and hope you keep going so that in time you will not only reach your goal, but be able to help others who struggle.

All the best,


I relate to those who are struggling , would be really interested to know how others with dyspraxia, dyslexia etc cope with the auditory memory and processing speed demands of this type of learning. I am having to write the English sentences down and then press pause or I get overloaded and very fed up… and I’ve only just done lesson 3 :scream: