Level 4 question

I’m getting thrown a bit by the changes to words in level 4 that aren’t discussed and I don’t know why they change so I can’t anticipate them. Is there a handy chart or something?

Can you give some examples? - there isn’t a level 4, so I’m guessing it’s a challenge 4 but I don’t know which level (1,2 or 3).

Sorry I mean challenge 4 mainly where words seem to change to starting with a v sound or from (and this is purely my English phonetics bearing no relation to the Welsh spelling from Vee to Veen

ok, so is it words that begin with b or m that you’ve noticed changing? If so. it’s because some Welsh letters in some circumstances ‘mutate’ to a different letter, and in the case of b and m, these mutate to f - which in Welsh is pronounced like a v sound.
There are certainly charts which tell you what letters change and to what, but the list of when/why they change is much more complicated and to be honest, at this stage it’s best not to get bogged down in that. It’s better to just let the patterns flow into your head than to ponder the whys and wherefores! As far as mutations go, I promise they will ‘click’ eventually, and even if you don’t mutate when you should or mutate when you shouldn’t, it really is an acceptable mistake and absolutely nothing to worry about.

With vee to veen, I think this might be fi becoming fi’n. fi on its own is ‘me’ or ‘I’ e.g. mae hi’n siarad â fi - she is talking to me. The 'n is short for yn, and can follow fi when there is an adverb is used e.g. mae hi’n siarad â fi’n araf - she is talking to me slowly.

It’s not an exhaustive list of reasons because there are so many, but do those examples help at all?

Ah that’s very helpful thanks one of them was the fi change. It sounded like the m of going also changed to a v it’s just as it’s not mentioned on the level I wondered why

Yes, mynd will change to fynd after certain words - e.g. in “Dwi’n mynd i fynd” (I’m going to go), it’s the ‘i’ that causes the change.
It’s not mentioned specifically because the SSiW method intentionally doesn’t set out to explain grammar rules because it’s something that a) will be picked up subconsciously if you let it, b) it actually slows down learning how to speak because it tends to make people overthink things and c) those who really can’t resist learning how the grammar works will explore that in their own time when curiosity gets the better of them!

Ah right. I think I was just getting a bit frustrated because I won’t know when I need to change it :slight_smile:


Are you on the North course or the South course, @sianelagreen? (I ask because it may be easier to work out which phrases you’ve heard that may be causing difficulty…)

Hi on the North. I think I unstated some of the changes relate to what they follow it’s just that they don’t mention it on the challenge so they come unexpected plus they don’t highlight the fact they are adding words like in, on, etc without saying what they are

I found the mutation tricky to start with as well. I was aware it was a thing but I didn’t know when to mutate, or in what way. I decided I’d just not worry about it and use the non-mutated version, and just throw in the mutation if I happened to remember.

Believe me when I say it’ll eventually just happen. That’s been one of the most remarkable things for me. Long before I got to the end of level 1, I found that I could usually ‘feel’ whether something should mutate or not and just did it. I’m not 100% right, but more often than not. It really does just start to work after a while.

One thing I would say, though, is watch out for f versus dd. I find they often sound almost identical when Aran says them. I’d been saying ‘fis’ as ‘ddis’ for weeks before I realised. Now I check the vocab list when I hear one of those.

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That does take some getting used to. Hearing new words added and having no idea what they are or when you should use them (or why) can be…difficult. I’m into level 2 and those moments still make me tear my hair out a bit. It’ll be ok though, honest. Remember: you don’t need to be perfect. The aim is to be understood, not to be flawless.


Agreed :slight_smile:

There’s a Level 4? Where have I been?

No, sorry Alison, there’s no level 4 - the query was to do with challenge 4.

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Oh no! My hopes went up. I’ve found the step between the end of Level 3 and the Advanced, just too big a gap.

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I have to agree, @alisonspencer. I find those dialogues extremely hard to listen to. Partly because of the gogledd accent, which I know I need to get used to, but…It’s just not fun, in the way that even the most frustrating challenges are.

I keep trying out other possibilities that I find more enjoyable. “Learner” novels that have been adapted with easy vocabulary; hymns, since I really love some of them on choir CDs and get curious about the lyrics–good for learning new words; online chats through the Slack website or Ty Tawe bookshop in Swansea. And I listen to “Beti a’i phobol” podcast from BBC Cymru–it’s frustrating to understand so little, but in small doses I at least get excited when I recognize a word or phrase, and the pronunciation is pretty clear. And of course reviewing Level 2 and 3 lessons from time to time.

And how are you proceeding without a Level 4?

Hi @alisonspencer and @violetsnow

There are quite a range of different conversations now - at different levels. Try the Deg Y Dysgwyr conversations to start with, for example, with people who have learned comparatively recently; this means they are not talking too fast, or in a way which is too complicated. They are grouped on the SSIW website, although not on the App - so look there first.

With the harder ones, personally I went through the transcripts and translated them myself… which was quite time consuming but gives you (gave me) an absolute transformation of understanding when listening again. And, the fact that this happened gave me confidence that I wasn’t wasting my time! :crazy_face:

This takes away the time constraints (ie instantaneous) to figure out/ understand things as they are said.

Rich :slight_smile:

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Thanks, @rich. I’ll give it a try.