More vocabulary lessons please

I don’t know if I’m the only one but I would dearly love you to do more vocabulary lessons. The 3 courses give most of the grammar you need and some useful vocab, and the SSIW method is the best i have found in getting welsh to stick in my head. The vocab lessons for courses 1 and especially 2 are fantastic. But I still have lots of gaps and need to pile on the vocab now. Any chance of another 10 vocab lessons for course 3???


The current work plan is to get to Level 3 of the new approach, by which stage we hope to be building a listening-based approach to getting to the first 4000 words as quickly as possible as a post-Level 3 supplement.

In the meantime, you’ll find that there’s new stuff in Level 1 (which won’t take you long at all to run through) - might be some help. But after getting through Course 3, your best bet for now is to have Radio Cymru on as much as possible…:smile:



One thing I have found is very useful (and it’s not an original idea of mine of course) is to read learner’s books in the “Novelau Nawr” series, published by Gomer (in a place called Llandysul which may ring bells for some of us…). They come with vocab on each page, but they craftily don’t give you every word that is likely to be new to you , so you still have some to either try to work out from context,or to look up.

They are aimed at people with a year or two’s Welsh, so I think are ideal for people who’ve gone through the SSiW courses.

I also listen to Radio Cymru as well, and find I’m picking up more and words on it than I used to.

I get words from other sources, like S4C, and here of course. I just gobble 'em up like a sponge, if you’ll pardon the mixed metaphor. :smile:

The good thing about discovering words by reading is that you see them used in context, and how they are used, and any mutations involved, etc.

Thanks Aran and Mike, that’s useful. I have been reading lingo and that’s been useful. Also trying other techniques to learn vocab such as the goldlist method. Early days on that one. Am working my through the north version level 1 course as I’m heading north on hols in September so thought id learn some of the differences. Definitely some new vocab in there too.

Yes, the new level 1 is an interesting approach, and some useful new vocabulary, as well as the structures.

Although you might not think you’d get all that many new words from the little “Nofelau Nawr’s”, I’ve now managed to get over 1,000 headlist words into my goldlist book in only 2-3 weeks, mostly from just two NN books. Only trouble is, there aren’t all that many of them as far as I can tell. I’ve got 3 more on my shelves to read, and there may be one or two others on Amazon, but after that, I’m not sure where to go.

Ideally, I think I’d go for slightly more advanced versions of the same kind of thing, but I’m not sure what there is.

There’s also memrise for vocabulary, but I find it doesn’t stick as well as what I’ve learned on SSiW. There are words that I encountered on memrise weeks ago, and only vaguely recalled, but after later encountering them in a SSiW lesson they are firmly bedded in. I guess, though, that there are only so many words Aran and the others can teach us directly.

Hmm. Think I’ll try the nofelau books then. To be honest, I am disappointed there won’t be more vocab lessons, or at least not for quite some time. They are amazingly helpful, especially at getting abstract words locked in like to realise, to intend etc.

Will look up memrise too.

Thanks for the tips

Just as a follow up about memrise, I’ve found that if I learn a word there, then hear it on the radio later, that does wonders for locking it in. I think the real-world context helps a lot in convincing my brain that this is something worth remembering.

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@Mike Ellwood: I did the Nofelau Nawr books for a while then moved on to the Stori Sydyn series. I’m told they’re not designed for learners but rather for people who are out of the habit of reading Welsh. Either way they’re pretty accessible and I get a bit of a kick out of reading things designed for speakers not learners. I’d recommend them anyway.

Diolch yn fawr @Steve. That’s just the kind of recommendation I needed.

@Jeff Anderson:: Agree with you “yn llwyr” about hearing words on the radio having previously learned or come across them. I think that’s a good point about convincing the brain that it’s something worth learning.

@mikecavanagh I agree of course that the vocab lessons are a great way of bedding things in and they really stick. I’ve often thought about, but never quite get around to (perhaps because it’s not as easy as it sounds), is making my own speaking and listening exercises out of new vocabulary that I’ve picked up from wherever, sort of DIY SSiW vocab lessons.

Going back to reading, I have remembered that there is Gareth King’s "The Routledge Intermediate Welsh Reader ", which I have wondered about getting in the past, but it’s not especially cheap.

Gets 4½ stars on Amazon from 6 reviewers, FWIW.

I had a good look at Gareth King’s Reader in a Bookshop.
I thought it was ridiculously overpriced for what it was. I didn’t find the items chosen interesting. I didn’t think there were enough of them to make any difference in someone’s reading skills.

So just my opinion, but I believe it to be horrendously overpriced and ineffective. (Did I say I thought it was overpriced?)

And I am someone who has always strongly recommended every other one of Gareth King’s books (though they are not perfect, what books could be?) but he’s fallen down on this one.
(Just my opinion, as I say!)

For that amount of money, you could by a shelf-full of effective, interesting reading material.

It’s very personal what you find interesting (and thus effective) of course, so I’ll just tell you what I found effective.

I found Children’s books more interesting than books for learners.

I found translations of the “Horrible Henry” books (Henri Helynt) to be simple, interesting, and effective. Readily obtainable, collections of short stories, simple language.

Similarly Welsh children’s books by Michael Morgan - the “dad-cu” series or the “Twm a Mati tat” series. Simple language, kept my interest, if you can let your inner child out, as it were!

Bob Eynon’s books are written for learners, but are relatively interesting.

Then there’s loads of children’s books up a level, as it were, if they are too simple- but I find reading books which are “too simple” helps my reading skills!

Just a few at random-
Dirgelwch y dieithryn, by Elgan Philip Davies ( who also writes novels for adults).
Castell marwolaeth boenus ac erchyll (a wonderful price of nonsense by Rolant Ellis)
Y pysgod coch, collection of folk tales from round the world by Emrys Roberts.

Random collection, loads of others before you get onto reading stuff like Harry Potter or Artemis Fowl in Welsh.

Or, indeed, the “Tir Tywyll” series by Elgan Philip Davies.

All these just at random, all better for reading than Gareth King’s reader (in my opinion) and much better value for money!

But loads and loads and loads of other interesting books, at all levels of reading.

Might be worth setting up a book review thread. I might start one in the near future, but might not :wink:

Diolch yn fawr iawn i ti Owain.

(Think I’ll wait until I can find GK’s book in a library then :slight_smile: ).

Talking of libraries, that’s one advantage people living in Wales have of course: the ability to browse Welsh material in libraries and bookshops, that by and large isn’t available to those of us outside. (But I also realise that not everyone in Wales lives within convenient distance of a bookshop or library either).

Must admit I’m a bit resistant to books for children per se. Teenager books may work better for me. But that’s where being able to browse casually would be a great advantage.

BTW, a book review thread needn’t be only for full-blown reviews: quick summaries like you’ve already done would be fine. :smile:

“(Think I’ll wait until I can find GK’s book in a library then :slight_smile: ).”
Ah, now then I could heartily recommend it! :wink:

Yes, as you say, a library is absolutely wonderful for that. As is the opportunity to pick up Welsh books from second-hand bookshops from discount bookshops like the works. Unfortunate that people outside Wales have to pay through the nose for postage on such things (sad face icon.)

Aye, I will probably start such a thread later unless someone else does. Will give me something to do in the evening! :wink:

I’m finding watching soaps …rownd a rownd for us in the north …is incredibly helpful to hear words we’ve already ready learnt the siiw way in a different, spoken, natural context and it feels like like a logical extension of the siiw method. Can’t speak for pobl y cwm but I’m guessing its just as useful. I don’t use subtitles any more but keep a dictionary to hand just in case!!

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Definitely agree about the power of soap operas. I’ve been watching Pobol y Cwm for a few months and recently took my stabilisers off and ditched the subtitles. I don’t get word-for-word sentences, but it’s surprising how much you can make out with the help of visual context, and that’s all good reinforcement.

One thing I would say in praise of the Welsh language subtitles is that they are a good way of improving reading / translating speeds. The pace at which they turnover forces me to develop a skim-reading approach which I’d do quite naturally in English, but I guess I have to learn in other languages.

The positive words about libraries are most heart warming as I’m the chief librarian for Pembrokeshire library service! I already half half the Welsh language collection on loan to me!!!

I too have thought about recording new vocab into sentences in the ssiw style, and I too have thus far failed to do so. Great idea though.

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@Mikecavanagh:: Is it the case that some Welsh libraries make available Welsh e-books and audiobooks to their borrowers? That would be a fantastic resource to have available.

(I assume you have to be a council-tax-payer or at least resident in the relevant council area to qualify for membership, which is fair enough.)


Well, I know Swansea has a few shelves of audiobooks on CD’s, ranging across genres. Which is nice.

And ebooks are available, as far as I can tell, centrally as it were. As long as you are a member of a Welsh library, you can borrow ebooks centrally.

Unfortunately, not all that many ebooks available in Welsh- eg,
Children and young adults- 14 available.
Fiction and related items - 31 available.

Better than nothing, but more would be better!

Interesting. I looked at what was needed to join Cardiff library (as an example), and find the following:

If you’re already a member of another library service in Wales, England, or Northern Ireland, you can join Cardiff Libraries by presenting your existing valid library card.

So we Saeson are in luck, apparently, although I think you have to go in person to join. But once a member, you can then register for online access to e-books (and e-audiobooks, apparently).

Ooo, now that is interesting!

There is actually a Welsh book I want in Cardiff library, so I will hopefully be able to get it next time I go up! Thanks for that!

Interesting. Cardiff has its own e-audiobook lending service, apart from the central service for all Welsh libraries (which doesn’t do e-audiobooks).

I can’t seem to find any Welsh e-audiobooks on it though- but, bizarrely, when you search there is an “Irish” language filter but no Welsh one!