My ears can't go that fast

Why are the listening exercises in the Challenge Course played at an unintelligible high speed?. I am making great progress with speaking and translating English to Welsh exercises, but find the listening to Welsh very difficult. Are there any normal speed listening for Challenge course, as there are many new ways of saying the same phrases heard in Course 1?

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This question has come up quite often: it’s deliberate. The short answer is that if you let yourself listen to it without worrying about not understanding it, your brain will learn to pick out and recognise fragments here and there, slowly building up to the point where actual native speakers sound quite slow and comprehensible by comparison. Give it time: it actually does help.

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I like the idea but I think there is a shortage of listening exercises unless I’ve missed them. I suggest making them also available at normal speed.

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It is suggested somewhere in Level 2 or even 1 to start listening to Radio Cymru. Did you try that? Or watching S4C might be even easier to start with. And everybody speaks at normal speeds there :slight_smile:

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Although actually not easier than listening to the accelerated exercises - because they only (well, almost only) use content that you’ve already learnt, whereas S4C throws the whole range of the language at you. If you listen to the accelerated exercises for 5 minutes a day for a couple of weeks, you’ll have a real head start trying to pick stuff out on S4C… :slight_smile:

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I meant S4C was easier compared to Radio Cymru :slight_smile:

I find the listening exercises very manageable now, mid Level 2, probably because I’ve been doing them regularly since L1 Ch5. They are not “chipmunky” at all and the tonality is pleasant to the ear, I feared it would be worse :see_no_evil:

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The big thing here is, as is frequently requested, that you trust the process. You’re not meant to understand everything, you’re just training your brain to work harder and will find it easier to comprehend conversational Welsh as a result.
Give it a go. Mae’n gweithio.
Hwyl,
Gareth

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I’ve been going through this recently and at first I didn’t know how I was supposed to ever pick out any words from the double speed exercises, but it did start to happen. The key thing is to keep listening to them every single day.

I do still feel like I don’t understand any of it because although I can hear words I recognise, I mostly don’t get time to mentally translate them, but SSiW has been going for at least a decade now so we just have to trust that we’ll get there.

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I am a recent ‘convert’ to the double-speed listening exercises, having (somewhat shamefully, it transpires) written them off as ‘not for me’ for the first 10 months of my learning with SSiW. I still only pick out the only odd bit here and there, but my unconscious brain (which is much cleverer than my conscious brain, apparently) is taking in those other bits without me realising it and it DOES start to make everything a bit easier after a while. Just don’t expect to notice anything to start with! But as others have said, ‘trust the process’, as it’s there for a reason.

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Indeed it does. I found the very first lefel un speed learning exercise unintelligible for a very long time, no matter how many times I listened. After getting to the 3rd of 4th one I returned to the 1st to find i could understand most of the dialogue. Wierd but wonderful

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I havent signed up to pay for SSI yet, as my heaing isnt wonderful, and I worry that I will miss out on words or mishear words simply because of my somewhat rubbish ears. Can anyone advise on whether or not I will be able to do this course?
I wear hearing aids, but still struggle with certain sounds. I the course completely done by audio? or are there transcripts or a list of vocab?

Thank you

Hi Sian :slight_smile:
Have you done any of the free lessons yet to see how you manage?

The course is pretty much all through audio although there is some vocab available and some people have produced transcripts of the lessons even though the general rule is to avoid following any notes until after doing the audio work. But of course, there are always exceptions to rules!

There are people with hearing challenges who have done the course - @MarilynHames is one, as you can see from her post here: Struggling learner so I’ve tagged her here too, as she is the best to advise further.

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I think an issue that seems to be forgotten when suggesting people just trust in the method is that when you are not feeling good at something it is easy to become disheartened and this is especially the case when you are on your own. When you follow a challenging programme you need support structures in place to keep you in a positive frame of mind. And the harder the challenge the more important that becomes.So for every "I’m rubbish at this!:cry: " thought you need several “I’m getting better at this! :smile:” experiences. For SSiW maybe the option would be to highlight how well a person understood their speaking partner or whatever.

Hi sarassner,
I understand the sentiment very well. But the method does work even with as little as 6 minutes practice a day. Obviously more practice helps you learn faster. The thing is, the SSiW community is so supportive there is no need to feel alone. If you join the forum there is a plethora of threads to enable you to communicate with other learners: ask questions, seek listeners or conversation partners or even just seek reassurance. Learning languages isn’t simple but we can all do it. Even people with quite serious learning difficulties can still learn their mother tongue and it is quite possible to learn more than on language during the same period. But there will be times when you really struggle and become disillusioned. Seek help on the forum at those times. Conversely there will be times of great elation when everything slots into place and you are able to say things you didn’t know you could say without much prompting. We all have to remember that SSiW is a vehicle to help us learn the language but in the end it is the people involved as tutors, mentors and students that make it happen. I think you would really benefit by seeking a conversation partner if you haven’t already done that.

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Hi Gareth,
I didn’t really mean for myself, but just thought I should point this out as it seemed like it was missing from the discussion.

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Yeah, I’ve been learning through SSiW for a month now (starting Level 2 now) and I remember (because it wasn’t that long ago) how quickly it felt like Aran was speaking for the first exercise! Now it’s so slow that I can understand everything. I’ve been practicing with the later exercises as often as I can, and while I zone out occasionally, I can pick out long stretches of Welsh that were just gibberish before. If you stick at it, it really does work!

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