Listening + transcription practice...and mistakes!

A few months ago I had heard a few polyglots suggestion of transcribing podcasts, or any audio, to practice listening and writing.
It sounded interesting, but at the time I wanted to focus on speaking, so I didn’t really do much.

Now I’d like to give it one more try. My first attempt was with actually a TV show that I’ve been watching from time to time basically since I started learning Welsh, also to measure my progress :smiley: “Parti Bwyd Beca”.

The episode I had started with is not currently on S4C Clic, but there are still 2 available for a few more days. The intro is always the same, so I thought I’d share what I understood, if someone would like to check it out and find what I got wrong or what I missed. It’s also a test, in case we want to try it on Journaly as well in the future, but for now… a little bit at a time!!

Transcription as I hear it:

Beca dw i, a (d)wi’n ol ar yr heul a’n barod am barti.

(D)wi’n moyn rhannu’n receitau ‘da chi, beth i di teithio’r wlad yn cynnan a sweitsiau (whhaaat?) pop-up. O Syr Fon i Syr Gaerfyrddyn, byddai’n cwrdd a phobol fel fi sy’n ddwli a’r fwyd.

Bydd ambell wyneb cyfaeroed, ac ambell i’n newydd.Felly os chi’n llwgu, chi di dod y lle iawn.

That was really good. I’ve made a few small changes but welcome anyone with sharper ears who might like to make any more adjustments.

Beca dw i, a wi’n ôl ar yr heol a’n barod am barti.

(D)wi’n moyn rhannu ryseitiau ‘da chi, felly dw i’n teithio’r wlad yn cynnal nosweithiau pop-up [pop-up evenings]. O Sir Fôn i Sir Gaerfyrddyn, byddai’n cwrdd a phobol fel fi sy’n ddwli a’r fwyd.

Bydd ambell wyneb cyfarwydd, ac ambell un newydd. Felly os chi’n llwglyd, chi di dod i’r lle iawn.

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I’ve also had a go at this once or twice, but I used the Pigion podcast. If you wanted to and had a program like Audacity, you could even slow the speech down a little.


Oh right, diolch!

A few of the things I find very interesting of the transcription process is how

sometimes I hear the right sound but just doesn’t click for the meaning, even if it’s a very simple thing (like i’n = un :rofl:)

Sometimes I just can’t help but hearing a “phantom” sound even though I can’t make any sense of it (like the “n” after rhannu) or the wrong sound even though for the meaning I would have guessed it right (like “beth i” didn’t make sense, and I thought it had to be “felly” but there’s no way I can hear it there!)

Sometimes I just don’t have the slightest idea of how to decode a set o sounds for where a word starts, where it ends and next one starts (like “cynnal nosweithiau”) - therefore I can’t even get to make a vague guess.

I think it’s an interesting way to become more aware of how understanding works and possibly help refine the skill.

p.s. If you (or anyone) happen to feel like having a look at another bit of Pwllheli episode, that I’m now giving a go at…do you have any idea of what she says at min 02:31, in the beginning of the sentence and before unrhyw llysiau chi('n) moyn? According to the English subtitles it should be “you can use” but I can just hear something like “yllachiddeddie” :sweat_smile:

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I often heard Pigion mentioned but I don’t remember why I never found it motivating enough to go back and listen to it more often. Maybe the topics? I can’t remember. I’ll check it out again - just in case!

Slowing it down may definitely help a lot. I have Audacity but I hadn’t thought of using it to slow Welsh audio files down.
When I had to try and figure out or transcribe some English dialogues subtitles or songs I had used
It really worked great!
There’s a reasonable fee, but my subscription ended and I didn’t need it so much to renew it - but maybe if I get heavily transcription mode, I might use it again (especially helpful to speed up the pause/play/go back etc

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I had to listen multiple times to the “nosweithiau pop-up” to catch that.

Re what she says at 02:31 in the Pwllheli video, helped by the English subtitle, I think it’s “allech chi ddefnyddie unrhyw llysiau dych chi’n moyn.” I’m assuming “ddefnyddie” is a southern pronunciation of “ddefnyddio”.

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Makes sense!
But whoa, no matter how hard I tried and try to hear all that syllables, there’s always at least two or three missing! :rofl:


I think this is a great idea. 30+ years ago I went to Germany right out of high school. I had studied the language for a couple of years in school, but didn’t have any German-language media to listen to/watch at the time. I was there for a few weeks, and by the end, what I’d realized is that I could tell what people were saying, even if I didn’t know what it meant. I could have transcribed it all, in other words. That seemed like a huge step to me. People sometimes talk about beginning to dream in a language as being a milestone, but since that experience, I have believed that what amounts to “reliable transcription abilities” is a more important one!

Thanks for the idea with my Welsh. I’m going at my own slow pace, but I’m sure this will really help.