Languages in the Wild

I’ve been trying to learn Welsh for a few years, but for one reason or another I have a good run doing lessons make progress then something gets in the way and the rut kicks in. As a result I haven’t got as far as I would like.

When I was in school I did German from year 9 to year 13 and got an A at GCSE and a D at A-level (unfortunately stopped working hard at A level but that is a different story) Recently we went to Germany for a family wedding and I found myself actually attempting to use my German and able to follow bits of some conversations.

This experience brought three thoughts- one was if SSI did German and I worked on my vocabulary I could become confident and able to use more German.
The second was I really need to put the effort in with Welsh to get the confidence and the vocab and the way to speak Welsh properly. Especially as my daughter goes to Cylch in October.
Third thought was do speakers of foreign languages humour learners because they tried even if they speak German/Welsh with a Midlands accent.

So now I must start doing the work and getting the practice

What’s the furthest you’ve got with SSiW, Theresa? You should find that however long a gap you’ve had, you can get back up to speed very quickly - judging by the experience of loads of other people who’ve had long gaps…:smile:

And we’ll have some family-focused stuff out at some point this year, which I hope will help with your daughter!

As for German - fingers crossed we can start to get somewhere with other major languages next year…:smile:

I speak some German and what always stops me in my tracks is the case system. It’s frustrating because it’s a very easy language to comprehend - much easier than French, Welsh, and many other languages, but to reproduce it’s very tricky because of the cases. I’ve always said any language with 16 words for “the” is going to present problems, and then there’s the noun declensions, the three genders. I remain interested in German though, and my overall feeling with the language is that the only way to learn it is via a method like SSiW - don’t ask questions about why it’s dieses instead of dieser, or why certain prepositions change case - just say it as you hear it on the file. That could work, I think.

But never read this:

But instead, read this: :slight_smile:
Reads like a page from the SSi book!

Theresa Corbett: Third thought was do speakers of foreign languages humour learners because they tried even if they speak German/Welsh with a Midlands accent.

In my experience, Welsh with a Midlands accent (or a Kent accent or a Wahington / Sydney / Outer Mongolian accent) just sounds like Welsh spoken with a differenet accent.

That may sound a bit of a twp thing to say, but what I mean is, I understand and speak with people with accents very different to mine in Welsh - even people from the north! - so speaking to someone with a different accent is just that.

Personally, I love hearing the different accents that come through in bootcampers’ Welsh. Little things like the French “r”, or a particularlu Australian sound to one particular word. It’s amazing how natural SSiWers sound in Welsh, and the colour that comes from their natural accents is a beautiful addition to their Welsh rather than something that first language speakers have to somehow “humour”.

I look forward to eharing your midlands accent sometime, Theresa! It’s about time we developed a Black Country Welsh speaking Enclave, I think…!

It’s about time we developed a Black Country Welsh speaking Enclave, I think…!

In Llanfihangel Rhydieithon?

Theresa, you’re right that you’re just lacking a bit of confidence. You quite rightly decided that your German from years ago gave you the opportunity to have a bit of a go with it when you were in Germany. Now all you have to do is to use your Welsh in the same way - even though you may feel that you don’t have as much Welsh as you do German, and you haven’t learnt it in the same, formal way.

Are you coming to Penybont on Saturday? Maybe we can have a chat in a corner away from the others. Don’t forget about the barbecue coming up to celebrate the opening of the new Welsh centre in Llandrindod - I’ll post the details of this prominently elsewhere when I have them fully!

Sorry Rob hadn’t actually seen your reply when I saw you on Saturday. What bbq what new Welsh centre?

I like the idea that my accent just adds to the language :slight_smile: My accent isn’t as strong as Black Country but definitely Midlands.

Hi … id suggest not getting bogged down by cases in the first instance in the same way we dont get het up about mutations with ssiw … if you say der katze to a german instead of die katze … you’ll be understood! There are some veey food audio courses written by pimsleur and ‘michel thomas’ for German and advanced german and iv done gcse , iv used them both in yhe past and lived briefly in germany. They operate in a similar audio format to ssiw and these might be useful to you until the excellent ssiw do a german course

@Theresa (or anyone else wanting to get into spoken German), you might want to look at “You Speak German”. It’s a bit heavier on grammar than the SSi approach (hard to get away from grammar in German really), but it really gets you speaking.

Wish I’d had something like it when I started German getting on for 20 years ago. While I know heaps of grammar and vocab in German, I still don’t feel as confident in speaking it as I actually do now in Welsh! (knowing only a fraction of the vocab and no formal grammar to speak of).

Michel Thomas is also quite good of course, but I think YSG is more thorough…