I am guessing it might be pretty normal to feel a bit discouraged at this point. The first flush of 'wow, I can understand a speak a bit of welsh" has passed and now I’m just facing up the vast mountain of language I need to learn.
I thought I would post here as I’m guessing other people can tell me how it was for them and what encouraged them to keep trying. I’m worried I might even be going backwards with my welsh. Had a long weekend away from it completely with no practice and I think that might be one factor.
Am also muddling through the first few challenges of Level 2, not made great progress, there have been some stresses recently. I think I mostly start the cd in the kitchen at Challenge 3 and join in with what I hear of 3 and 4 as I’m working in the house. It’s mostly familiar but I need to count up and see if I am gettting 80 % and maybe move onto 4 and 5 instead.
One thing I know I am not doing much of is daily listening so it might be time to fit that in. Maybe download a podcast so I can put that on the kitchen stereo instead (don’t think I can get welsh radio directly as am in Lloegr).
Don’t panic Alice! Lots of people experience this same kind of ‘ebb and flow’ when learning Welsh - somedays you understand lots, then other days the tide goes out and you wonder where all the words went, it’s completely normal!
Passive listening will certainly help - just let it wash over you in between actually ‘listening-to-understand’ now and then. As far as Radio Cymru in England goes, radio waves don’t neccessarily stop at the border, but if you definitely can’t get it on FM 93-104.9 MHz DAB then maybe you could get it on your TV -
Sky (UK only): 0152
Virgin Media: 936
The feeling of going backwards is often a positive thing. I’m of the opinion that it’s a sign that you are changing gears, switching from the stage of everything having to be filtered through the English part of your brain, to both speaking and listening, at least in part, bypassing that and going straight to the Welsh section - which is still a bit underdeveloped at the moment and prone to getting scrambled when it encounters anything unexpected. To me this is the first sign of your eventual bilingualism. Embrace it!
Yup, all completely normal, just stick with it, don’t worry because things will get better then worse then better. The dips get less alarming. The radio’s a big help, just let it soak in when you’re doing something else. BBC iPlayer radio app is a good help and if you ever fancy Gaelic, that’s there too😀
Phob lŵc a chofia, have a drink and listen to Radio Cymru on iPlayer😜
I recommend trying to build up your time with one-to-one conversations gradually - it’s great that you’re brave enough to jump into a meetup, but they’re always going to be more challenging when you haven’t spent much time in one-on-one conversation.
I’d recommend finding a one-on-one partner, and gradually building up the time you can spend in conversation with them, while continuing to go to the meetups - you’ll see the difference in a matter of weeks…
Just crackle with some faint sports commentary in english at 93 FM so too far from the border. No AM on the radio. DAB channels just scan through names, was looking for BBC Cymru but nothing there.
Not got a TV though got TV card in desktop computer here, but can’t hear it from the kitchen. We watch some S4C and BBC iPlayer from the websites (have to turn off adblocker to get S4C working). No digibox. No Sky. No Virgin Media.
No mobile phone either, I know it’s an odd choice. In the dark ages here, probably I need locate a suitable podcast from the radio website, burn it onto audio cd, take to kitchen. Possibly could get a usb stick and download it to that and connect to kitchen stereo, but I don’t have one to hand. I will solve it.
Since you’re writing here I presume you have a PC, right? And … here’s the wonder of it. Go to TuneIn site and search for the BBC Radio Cymru (not Wales but Cymru) and here you are. Clicking play will make wonders and if you create a free acount on there you can put it into your favourites so you can always listen to it when wanted. The bright side of all is that there are thousnads and thousants of radio stations on there from allover the world so if you’ve leanrt some more languages and you’d like to listen to something, here you are. Even our - Slovenian radio stations are there.
And I back @henddraig on those 80 %. I’ve counted the percentage my special way so I can asure you this doesn’t help. Throw this counting away and trust your feelings. If you feel likd flying then fly.
In the group chats it’s always so that some time you’re more talkative, some time less or not at all but that doesn’t mean you can’t speak or you don’t understand. I remember being on Bootcamp last year, when we went in Aberteifi (I think it was Aberteifi) to meet with the one of such groups, I almost spoke nothing but just observed things. Well, I’ve answered questions when someone aksed me something but it was not much asked so there was not much answered from my end too. So, don’t worry. There will come the theme to just jump head first in and all of a sudden you’ll find yourself understanding mostly everything.
Good luck and don’t worry too much! It will all come to its place at one point.
Hello everyone. Next meetup tomorrow, thought I would give an update.
One thing was I hadn’t revised Level 1 recently in the struggle with Level 2, so have been practicing L1 Ch25, and now I’m happy up to the beginning of L2 Ch5.
Also have found local welsh teacher and hoping she can come and do some ‘socialize in welsh’ for me and the children, please cross your fingers for us and for the family budget. I think now I am hooked on welsh paying for some conversation lessons might be a real help just now, since I can’t get away to bwtcamp just yet.
Still not sorted podcasts but have usb stick and confirmed the kitchen stereo has a usb socket.
Ahh – light dawns – is it that the instruction given by Iestyn in Challenge 35 to “revisit Challenge 25 regularly, every few weeks and then every month” etc dates from the era before the Level 2 lessons were recorded? Hence not relevant now?
Seem to have got myself unstuck and onto L2 Ch 6 now. It helped that I think I understood more of the discussion today at the meetup, heard “saw chee” ie “you (formal) don’t” (pls excuse my ridiculously bad welsh spelling) in the wild as well as was able to follow quite an involved story about someone’s dad learning carving when the person’s brother was a baby. SO I really am still making progress, I just need to push through to the next stage of my learning process.
Not sure where 35 is - but if it’s a typo for 25, then yes, as an ‘end of Level 1’ comment, that holds true - but once you’re working through Level 2, it’s not necessary any more (although no harm in it, unless you start to overdo it, and start aiming for perfection with 25)…
I realise I’m adding a post on here - and I admit I haven’t fully read everyone’s replies yet…
Don’t beat yourself up. Everything comes with practice, and with practice it will definitely come.
I go to a lot of meetups, and you’d really be surprised at how many people turn up and just listen at first also. So if you feel like you’re being quieter than most, it’s nothing at all to worry about.
Found some motivation to press on with my learning from somewhere. Maybe I could finish Level 2 this year if I press on. I started studying Level 1 (with my daughter) last Jan.
Thanks for the recommendations for podcasts. And thanks so much for the encouragement, everyone. It is hugely appreciated. I know I am not one of the high flying learners who zooms through the Levels in weeks, but I hope my welsh is getting to a useful point at least.
I am mainly doing the Challenges in the kitchen where I have a CD player. I don’t use a mobile phone, I know I probably seem a bit stuck in the past as far as many people are concerned.
I have just burned the latest Pigion highlights podcast onto my CD for listening practice along with Ch 12, 13, 14, 15 of Level 2, I’ll see how that goes.
Local welsh teacher turned out not to want to do conversation practice and play in welsh for us. She usually teaches adults with maybe the odd secondary school student or two, with a focus in her lessons on grammar and spelling so the idea of meet and play with me and my little ones wasn’t of interest to her. I’m disappointed, but maybe something else will turn up locally.