Stepping back and taking a wider view here, there is a mis-conception at play that I see very often in emails and other discussions. It’s a misconception that I am very pleased about, but can be a bit of a nuisance when we trip over it as here.
SaySomethinginWelsh, and the SaySomethingin project generally, is basically an amateur project, run by two people from their living rooms, with a third person, paid peanuts, taking on the software and web development / maintenance duties.
Worse than that, we are trying to do two opposing things simultaneously, which is to give the opportunity to as many people as possible to learn Welsh, and develop the SaySomethingin method and company to be a world leader in language learning, so that we can finally start to develop the eco-system / structure / practise hubs / online chat functions that will allow normal people, rather than our current trail-blazer clientele, to learn a new language. this will allow us to totally change the situation of the Welsh language, but also allow others to use our models and products to turn around the fortunes of other minority languages in similar, or in most cases much worse, situations to Welsh.
The former needs us to keep the prices down, the latter needs us to spend eye-watering amounts of time (our own, and that of our amazing volunteers) and cash developing the background systems that will allow us to get on with the big plan.
The misconception that I talked about at the beginning of this post, is that we are a professional big-company outfit, possibly making lots of money, who really ought to be getting on with stuff, who really ought never to make mistakes, who really ought to be producing the material that we need to learn.
And the reason I’m pleased about that misconception is that it shows how good our web developer is, how effectively Aran has managed to crystallise his research into language acquisition into language courses that work, and how professional we have managed to be despite our personal challenges, and the realities of working for a small and cash hungry start-up.
You are all pioneers and trail blazers, but because you can see that people have gone before you, it doesn’t feel that way. In 20 years time, though, I hope you will all be looking back and saying “wow, I remember that early days of that course…”. You’ll occasionally come onto the forum to tell people how you managed to learn despite there being no practise function, no formal network of first language speakers to ease you in to the Welsh speaking world.
You will reminisce about how it took real commitment and self discipline to learn “back in the day”, that the essentials were all there for you, but that you had to trust, had to work through on your own even when you came across problems and road blocks, had to use a text forum to ask questions (who knows where that will be in 20 year time!)…
You will look at what you achieved, and be amazed that you ever managed it, because what you have at the moment is really poor compared to what people will have in the future.
We also will look back on these days and laugh… (and if we’re going to laugh then, we might as well start now…)
So, I totally understand your frustrations at the delays - if you didn’t have the drive that leads to frustrations, then you wouldn’t have done as well as you have with the course! - and I am, or rather we are, trying to get my end of the project up and published so that you can get on with your learning as soon as possible.