Newbie to Welsh Lessons

Bore Da Pawb

I am just starting Course 1. I have 3 questions
First question am I on the right section or should I change to New Level 1.
Second - On Course 1 where does the vocab sessions fit in
Third - Where do the Weekly Practises ans Daily Practises come in

Hwyl Fawr

Hi Mark,
It’s up to you whether you go with Course 1 or Level 1. The intention is to eventually deprecate the old courses, but we’re not there yet (and, indeed, if you want to learn Southern Welsh, Level 1 isn’t complete yet). General reaction to Level 1 has been that it’s a significant improvement, but it’s your call which you do (I’d choose L1 if it was me). The vocab fits in at the end of the associated course - so C1 vocab after the last lesson of C1. You can start listening to the listening exercises at any point. For Level 1 they’re linked with the lessons that have introduced the vocab needed, and there are several. For C1 there’s an early one and one for the whole course.

Hope that helps.

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Shwmae Mark, a chroeso i’r fforwm!

As mentioned earlier, it is up to you whether you start with course 1 (the old course) or level 1 (the new course). Both are going to be available until the new course is completely available. The northern course is the only one that has a complete level 1 now and level 2 is being recorded as we speak, but either course will be effective.

If you choose the old course, you normally start the daily and weekly practices after completing the lessons 6 (there are 3 lesson 6’s!) which cover just those lessons. Then once you have finished lesson 25 (or 26 for the northern course), you can then advance to the course 1 daily practices (there are no other weekly practices), and the vocabulary lessons.

If you choose to do the new course, you will do get listening practices every 5 challenges, so challenges 5,10, 15, 20, and 25 will have a new listening practice covering everything you have learned up to the respective practice.

I hope this hasn’t confused you too much, and that you enjoy the course - whichever one you do.

Are you doing the northern or the southern course??

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What is not yet clear to me is what SSiW’s plans are for the vocab that is at the end of the old Course 1. i.e. whether there will be a “Level 1” version of it, or replacement for it. Until there is, presumably it’s worth while for new students who choose to start with new Level 1 to also do the vocab from old Course 1 as well (afterwards).

S’mae Mike?

I do not believe that there are plans to replace the vocab lessons at all. I think that Aran has plans for a new kind of vocabulary-building method, aimed at getting us to 4,000 words of vocab, via listening exercises, but I am not certain of the exact form these will take. As always, I’m sure Aran will comment on this thread soon.



Nope, there won’t be - the vocab lessons grew out of the fact that early Bootcampers who had done Course 1 were missing some key blocks for communication - in other words, my first attempt at a course framework wasn’t as good as it could have been - and the vocab sessions were to fix that, and to respond to people asking for days/months/etc.

Level 1 doesn’t have the same kind of gaps - people who’ve done Level 1 will be far more flexible in a Bootcamp environment than people who’ve just done Course 1 - and while extra input is always valuable, I think our learners will improve far more quickly by carrying on to Level 2 than by focusing on vocab lists.

After Level 3, we’ll be developing a listening/dialogue-based approach to getting you to a passive understanding of the 4000 most common words - I’m expecting that to be the final piece in the jigsaw for people who feel light on vocab! :sunny:

And then after that, we’re planning to produce listening exercises (with transcriptions/translations) for local dialects, to help people drill down to a genuinely natural understanding of their local variations (which should keep us busy for the rest of our natural lives). :sunny:


Coming in late 2034 - “How to understand farmers from that bit of Montgomeryshire just west of Penfforddlas but south of Dylife, kind of North of Fforest Hafren, but not exactly. Yeah. That bit. How to understand farmers from there.”


I was hoping we’d have reached Kent by then…:wink:



I myself would say definitely do level 1 of the new course next.

It’s worth it for the short form verbs alone. But other stuff as well, as has been pointed out- you definitely won’t be wasting your time just going over old stuff, whereas you will learn some very important stuff!

Don’t worry about the ‘lack’ of lessons if you are doing the South- in fact, it’s even more important then to know of the short forms! But there are enough lessons in the new course to keep you going for a while, and give you a good grounding, then you can go back to the old course if you come to the end of them. :wink:

I am doing the Southern Course

Thanks for your help


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Did you switch to the new Level 1 or did you finish Course 1 and then do New Level1. What do you think of this course , Are you able to have a conversation in Welsh

Hwyl Fawr


S’mae MarkM?

I cannot answer for Owain, but if your question is “does the SSiW course/method work?”, then the answer is a resounding “Yes!” as afr as I am concerned. Can I have a conversation in Welsh now? Most certainly - I use no English at all during the twice monthly meetups I go to. I survived Bootcamp (a week in North Wales where anything other than Welsh was forbidden). And I have SSiW to thank for this, the fulfilment of a long-held dream; the key thing is to trust the method, because it really does work.

Pob lwc efo dy Gymraeg,



Hello Mark. I’ll be glad to answer your question.

Actually, I finished the old course before the new course was written.
Now, I had been following other Welsh courses- reading teach yourself Welsh books and going to classes before doing SSiW, and also whilst doing SSIW.

Now, I have Welsh conversations with Welsh speakers most evenings a week- my social life is pretty much 50/50 in Welsh. I would certainly be less far down the road in that way if it were not for SSiW.

I did find both the classes and the books on Welsh to be of a great deal of help along with SSiW, and of course the lion’s share of succefully learning Welsh is getting out and speaking it with people! But SSIW is always the course I recommend.

It’s through talking to people in this area that I know that understanding the short form verbs would be important, for instance, and I (personally, for what it’s worth!) was very glad to see it introduced in [edit- “in level one of” I meant to say] the new course.

Are you in a position to do that? Get out and talk to Welsh speakers, I mean?
That might be an odd question, but I sometimes think that though most people studying SSiW are in Wales [assumption on my part, come to think of it!], the majority of people active on this forum seem to be outside Wales!

If you are not, though actually having conversations with fluent speakers is some thing difficult to reproduce, would chatting over the Internet on Skype with someone be a possibility for you? Ffrindiaith might be a way to go there.

Television, radio in Welsh, all things which will open you to new vocabulary, other ways of saying things and a familiarity with the language.

If you are in Wales- get out and use the language as soon as possible! There will be somewhere for you to do this, wherever you are in Wales! Some more than others, but there will be somewhere- maybe even an SSiW group somewhere!

Thank you for your queries, and always ask if you have anything else you wish to know.


Shwmae Stu

How far did you go with the courses



Diolch @owainlurch

I have a girlfriend who is a welsh speaker and i work with a lot of welsh speakers. at the moment having only just started i can only say very small bits and pieces but Im sure that it will improve. I will continue with Course one I think at the momment and see where it takes me. My plan is to do both level one courses. Did you complete the other advanced courses which abv are the old ones

Thanks for your advise


Hello MarkM, I am ancient and in exile in Scotland. I am on here mainly to fight hiraeth, but I did Course 1 and part of Course 2. Now I’m dipping into the new course. I tended to flip from de to gogledd because my previous experience was gained in Gwynedd, Caerdydd & Gower!! All this is to help me feel wrapped in the warm cwtch of Cymru!! I actually think that the new course is much better, and even the old course was a huge improvement on any other language-learning method I’ve ever met, except the purely natural one of immersion at a young age!! Lwc dda iti!! from Jackie

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Heia Mark,

At this point, I have completed all of the available courses for SSiW - C1, 2 and 3 with the vocab units, L1 and what is posted of L2 (all Northern).



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Trying out what Welsh you can say on a partner who speaks Welsh can be very very useful indeed! Switching to mostly speaking Welsh with a partner (further down the line) can be far more difficult, but it should be rewarding to you now to simply have someone with whom you can try out and speak what Welsh you can! I don’t know the ins and outs of the situation with your colleagues at work, of course, but be sure to take advantage of similar opportunities there if possible!

I would strongly reccomend you do the new course first, but if you are able to practise speaking with other people, it shouldn’t make much difference!

Like I say, and I agree with henddraig, I think the new course is better- but ‘even’ the old one was better than any other course I know at the speed at which it could get people to a level whereby Welsh speakers would stick to speaking Welsh with them. But yes, the new course is even better - being able to use those short form verbs from the start will put you at an advantage :wink:

Myself, I have done all the advanced courses- well, all the Southern lessons in both forms that is. After course 2 of the old courses, mostly in an “off and on” way, as I was mostly learning through talking to people combined with other stuff as well, but for getting you quickly to that level where Welsh speakers will simply chat to you, as I say, I found SSiW to be by far the best.

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@aran @owainlurch I ahve now started doing the new Level 1 course and found it vey different to the old Course 1 ie much more intense. However after a few repaeats it seems to be sinking in. I am about to start challenge 3. What I would like to know is do we have any sheets with the vocab that is used written down. ~I think that it would be very usefull if the new words used in a new level / challnge could be referred to

Fianlly I am finding that a good basic knowledge makes building sentences quite good even if there are one or two words missing

Please let me know about the vocab sheets and if they are available



[quote=“MarkM, post:20, topic:1736”]
However after a few repaeats it seems to be sinking in. [/quote]

It might be worthwhile trying to run through to about session 10 without doing any repeating - we’re seeing more and more signs that you don’t really need the repetition, because if you have enough faith in the process, the way in which we revisit words and structures will get them into your long-term memory if you keep moving through the course - and, of course, if you’re not repeating sessions, you can get further faster :sunny:

I think some very kind volunteers have done some summaries - can’t quite remember who/which course off the top of my head - but I hope one of them will see this and give you a heads up - if not, it’s something that we want to tidy up a bit in the next few weeks, so it won’t be all that long :sunny:

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