Lost in translation

I’m hopelessly confused!

So I was up to lesson 6 until I realised I was doing the course, not the levels, and taking the advice on the forum, I switched at that point. I had also got the emails saying try to do 5 or so no pause/no repeat (but the pause button was my best friend! :wink:) so it seemed like a good time to change things up.

So I have done challenge one and two (no pause/no repeat!) but it’s hard. It’s a lot harder actually and there seem to be longer sentences and I get a bit of stage fright or something and just can’t get the words out… no matter, I think, it will all come up again for later practice… in the mean time I will just look at the guide to the courses and check my pronunciation etc on that for the things I didn’t quite get…

And so I check the guide and I recognise the words, can pronounce them, but can’t remember what they mean at all (the things I have trouble distinguishing are all the ‘I…’ phrases - I need, I still need, I can’t - some of these are different than in course 1, so maybe my head is just full already and I need time to adjust?).

I look on the forum and there are some links to dictionaries etc, and these are good for individual words, but not for phrases really - so I look at translation programs (knowing these are notoriously rubbish) and I find that ‘mae eisiau i fi’ translates to ‘he wants me’ (!) but ‘mae dal eisiau i fi’ to ‘I still want to’ (correct I think?). ‘Alla i ddim’ (I can’t?) translates to ‘you cannot’…

Obviously this can’t be relied upon, but what then can I do?? I guess I am after a decent online translator (if one exists!) just to help me and my ailing memory out a bit, and a bit of reassurance that event he long sentences will stick eventually without the pause button! Who’d have thought it would seem so daring and uncomfortable just to ditch that pause!! :smile:

Anyway, sorry for the long post - couldn’t see anything quite like this, but happy to be pointed in the right direction!

Diolch! :blossom:


I think it’s more important that you use the Pause if it makes you feel comfortable initially and helps you to get started. It’s like trainer wheels on a bike. Some kids can just launch themselves off without them, some need them for a couple of times then they’re fine, others need them a little longer.

It’s much more important that you gain some confidence and feel that you are getting at least a bit of a grasp of things before launching yourself into deep water if that’s what works for you.

But you really don’t need to be hunting about for online translators and other sources at this point. Everything you need IS there in the lessons if you can relax and let it flow in. ‘Eisiau’ is a word that is notorious for having various meanings depending on how and where it’s used. It’s much better to just learn the way it is being presented to you now, and to move on to other meanings when you have this under your belt.

Relax and enjoy your Welsh and it WILL come. Before too long you’ll look back at these teething troubles and wonder what on earth the problem was. It happens to most people like that so you are certainly not alone.

Pob lwc,


Oh, I wish I had had those!!! I got my first bike when ever so old (10 or 11). It had 26 inch wheels and had been rusting all through the war. My dad worked and worked to make it like new. I then hit the same tree in the same place over and over again until I finally learned to steer it round the corner which kept defeating me!!! Poor Dad!! He made it all like new again and heaved a sigh of relief when I was declared safe to leave our little square!! (Poor Dad, I rode it across country, lugged it over styles and gates… we followed the local Hunt on our bikes!) I know hitting a tree isn’t quite the same as forgetting what a word means, but I recommend you get with that pause button until you are sure you can, in effect, steer your bike!!! :grinning:

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Dropping your use of the pause button is very beneficial - but not if it makes you despair and stop…:wink:

It’s absolutely common (in fact, it’s a sign that you’re pushing your limits very effectively) to feel out of control - if you look at some of the things I say while learning Manx, you’ll hear a very similar lack of control: www.saysomethingin.com/manxday

I think it would be very valuable for you to push on through to challenge 5 in Level 1, and then revisit challenge 1 and see if it’s starting to fit itself together - as Dee says, if you start hunting in lots of different directions for lists and vocab and so on, you’ll not really be doing the SSi Method any more…

And as for the long sentences - some of them are just too long! I can be heard complaining about exactly that with the Manx - just let them wash away, and don’t worry about them… :slight_smile:

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Oh @aran, I love you for that!! There were times when, I now realise, I had a certain feeling much like that I had as I was nearing a certain tree all those years ago!! At times like that ‘pause’ is wonderful!


Thanks Dee, Henddraig and Aran, for your support and wise words! Love the bike analogy - I have to be careful though, I didn’t want to take my training wheels off!

When I started the course, I was running through once with the pause, then again without, and felt I was doing OK, until lesson 5 which had those dreaded longer sentences… so I think it’s that more than the not pausing perhaps.

Anyway, I’ll be brave, do the next three lessons ‘with the wind in my hair’ and if it’s not easier on challenge one after, I can always go back to how I did it before.

No chance me despairing and giving up just yet - I’m enjoying the challenge (really I am), I think I just needed some reassurance that my experience was ‘normal’! Also everyone is so friendly and encouraging, which really make me want to stick around! :smiley:

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I realised my bike actually had 28 inch wheels (71cm). It was very, very heavy and looked a bit like this without the strings over the back wheel!

The one in the picture dates from 1901 and I suspect mine was of similar vintage! I got it round that corner eventually and you will find you are talking long, long sentences almost without a thought before long!! Every time you press ‘pause’ think of me heading for that tree again!


Yes, it absolutely, absolutely is… :slight_smile:

A regular pattern of once with pause, once without is absolutely fine, and will certainly get you where you want to go - but you will find that if you can get used to the ‘wind in your hair’ approach, it’ll all be a bit faster (which isn’t always the most important point, of course)… :slight_smile:

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They’re all the rage again, that sort of bike. Very hipster! :wink:

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Well, I am on the 4th challenge today, and… it seemed easier. Don’t get me wrong I still spend a fair amount of time looking like a goldfish, but I either knew what I should be saying, or could at least understand what was said in welsh (obviously I knew what to expect, but hopefully you know what I mean).

So I’m happy to keep going like this for now which is good! Although you’re email today @aran did rather ramp the pressure up (go on, just do them ALL in one go!! :smile:).

BTW, I am lucky enough to have found a Welsh speaker at work (he speaks Welsh as a second language, and learnt at school), and he was interested in what I’ve been doing - however, he didn’t have a clue what ‘alla i ddim’ was… he’s from mid Wales - is it a very south Wales thing? Excited I now have a native (victom) to practice on! :wink:


I do not think the pause button should be used. I think you (and me) shall get into a state when you answer without really thinking, it answer just pop-ups.


With a basket on the front and a generator to power the lights, so if you stop, your lights go out???

Does your friend use ‘medru’ for ‘can, is able’ instead of ‘gallu’? I think in some ways, the north starts pretty far south!! But I use a lot of gog-isms and medru isn’t one of them, so maybe it depends what part of mid? Oh, I am happy to hear medru and I might use it then to answer…in fact I would use it!

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This is an excellent description of what I would always expect accelerated learning to feel like - out of control, because you’re not waiting for perfect conscious control before you move on, but with a certain intangible sense of progression - so all the signs are that you’re doing excellently :star: :star2:

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Oh yes, very eco friendly too! :wink:

My friend said ‘yes!’ when I asked if he was more used to ‘medru’. But he knew gallu (my phone insists on correctimg that to hallucinations! :slight_smile:). Just not alla. He’s from Aberystwyth…

Well I just finished challenge 5, more goldfish-like than ever - now to retry challenge one and see if it’s easier… if not, I’ll go back to my old method, and add in the listening exercise in the hope I’ll get a better ear for Welsh :slight_smile: thanks for all the encouragement btw!

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Samantha, i have never been good at languages and as i approach 50 i have to say this method does work.

I started in the second week of may this year and can just about hold a slow and stilted conversation now.

Ive done levels 1 and 2 and most of the old course 2 and 3. I forget loads and from time to time still repeat levels.

Despite only learning for under 3 months i have been able to understand others (at times!), had several conversations with other learners and greatly enjoyed doing so.

There are many many people who say the same thing about this course. It gets you speaking quickly and i know there are plenty who have progressed far more quickly than me.

Stick with it. You will start to use patterns naturally without having to think about them. Many a time i have reached the end of a challenge and thought that was useless but have ploughed on and found i could then use them.

Dal ati. Dw i’n edrych ymlaen at ffeindio allan bod ti wedi gwella. A paid a phoeni. Ti’n gwneud yn dda iawn.


Viewed from Gower, or even Llanelli, Aber is very gog!!! :laughing:

Well done you! Being willing to test a way that doesn’t feel immediately right for you is a huge sign of courage and determination… :slight_smile:

Yes, this is very important and will be very helpful - it always makes me fret when I see people not committing just five minutes a day to the listening exercises… :slight_smile:

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@aran, I suspect, in @Samantha you have another Tatjana!!! (It’s OK, @Samantha, @tatjana is a lovely, lovely Slovenian who is brilliant at tech and was convinced for ages that her Cymraeg was rubbish because she made a few mistakes!! I think a lot of skype talks showed her otherwise! But perfectionists put themselves through a lot of anguish!!! :sunny:


And she, @tatjana, has been enjoying every minute of bootcamp. I went up to Tresaith last night to see the Noson Lawen and she did her party piece, as did many others. And no one was perfect, even @Iestyn broke the rules by singing in Italian.