Thanks so much Aran. Your advice and encouragement are much appreciated. =D
I had listening exercises 4 and 5 from Level 1 on the last CD. Actually it’s the bits around listening exercises 2 and 3 that I feel a bit less confident with so maybe I will put all four of the speeded up ones on the next batch. For the next few days I’ll practice the Level 1 listening exercises when I have to be at the computer for 5 minutes to make sure I’m not missing those.
The one on one conversations is still a bit of a sticking point, so I need to work out my way forward on that. I am sure it is the thing I will most see the benefit from, in addition to actually getting on and doing the Challenges.
At the moment I have two (fluent new speaker) friends I can phone, one of whom pretty much won’t talk to me in English (which is awesome) and the other who said ‘my welsh sounds like it’s coming along well’ this week, which may have been the point when I picked up my motivation again, as I had been feeling that my welsh was very bad. I struggle to make or even arrange calls to people as I feel they are always busy doing something more important, so maybe thinking my way through that mental knot would help me in achieving more conversations. I know a few mam iaith speakers a little less well, but haven’t managed to get any of them on the phone or Skype just yet. Maybe I need to try some Skyping with some other SSiW-ers here.
I can relate very well to how you feel about your Welsh learning: I am in roughly the same boat and have been attempting to learn thru SSIW for quite some time now, sometimes in a more applied way than others (but in a part of England where there is no local support whatsoever). I am wondering whether it might be worth trying a Skype conversation? (I do now have Skype but have not yet had cause to try it out.)
I recently did the 5-day Welsh intensive near Llandysul, and can recommend it as giving a great boost to one’s learning motivation, having got thru most of Challenge Level 1 over the 5 days - whereas it had taken me forever and a day to finish the old Course 1. But even there there were some real ups and downs: if I had 30 seconds to prepare I could often come out with something quite good but at other times my brain seized up and I couldn’t even manage the simplest words such as ‘gwybod’.
There are so many inspiring stories on this website with some folks achieving amazing things in such short time periods, but I sometimes think we need a special area for those of us who find the whole thing a longer, more circuitous process - so that we may be reassured there are others out there who are likewise finding it tough-going!
Thanks for the encouragement Alan. Wow well done, the Intensive sounds great. I can’t get away from home just yet, but looking forward to Bwtcamp or something in a few years.
Thanks for the offer of Skyping, I will send you a private message to see if we can arrange something.
As far as lack of speed is concerned, I surely must be the slowest learner on here, having been at it on and off for over 50 years! OK , most of that time, if I was actually tryng to learn, it was to read, not speak, and mainly archaic material like the verses of Taliesin and Aneurin! But I have forgotten everything a number of times over. Currently, I am back to reading the Forum and doing the ofd bit of duolingo as I lose any expectation of being anywhere where i can chat yn Gymraeg with anyone on a regular basis. All of you young things, the internet is a great resource, grab it with both hands while your brains are young and you will prosper!
It does sound - since you’ve got the listening exercises covered, well done! - as though this is the key issue for you here.
If you’re feeling a bit nervous about it, I recommend trying to find someone you like/trust/get on with who would commit to doing a 5 minute chat once per week. You’re definitely ready for that - and then as you start to feel the benefits from that, you can gradually increase it… and by the time you’ve got to an hour a week, you’ll be doing superbly…
There are a fair few of us here.
Feel free to add me: email@example.com
I’ll be around a lot more now as I’ve got most of December off work - and I’m more than happy imposing “Welsh-only” rules
This points to something I have noticed – am I right that most people who become really confident in using another language use it with another adult in their family at home? I have the feeling it’s much harder if your spouse isn’t learning. Husband hasn’t quite got the bug yet, though I’ve been hinting that the children would be much keener if he would study welsh as well.
Right, will do that Aran. I am sure one or other of my friends will be willing to do a regular chat with me for a few weeks and in the meantime I can explore Skyping with new people.
Aww you star Nick, thank you, I would love to. Look out for a pm from me.
You don’t have to only talk in welsh, I was just trying to express that I think it’s awesome that my friend is so determined to be a welsh speaker that he seems to always reply in welsh no matter which language my last sentence is in. I definitely understand a lot more than I can say, and more in conversations than the radio/tv in general.
No, I don’t think so - I think it’s more common not to share a specific new language with a partner. It’s a great help when it does happen, of course - but most people find their way through to confident usage without this particular helping hand, I’d say…