Old age amnesia

Bore da pawb.
I thought I’d try to find out how oldies (very) like myself are managing to absorb SSiW and share my experiences with anyone who finds this of interest.
I’ve completed course 1 and it’s accompanying vocabularies and I have to admit it’s been a bit of a slog at times. In fact I’ve tended to do each lesson twice, which seems to have helped my ability to retain material, although I can then find I’ve forgotten some of it by the time I start the next lesson. However, I’m aware that my age (77) must be somewhat against me, although I’m finding that the exercise has brought some improvement to my general recall abilities.
I have now moved on to Course 2 and will stick at it even though, occasionally, I feel it’s a case of one step forward and two back.
Sorry to burden you with this folks, but as this a solitary learning experience, it’s nice to be able to share and compare it with others

Here’s a link to an old HWB programme with Helana Jones who was 93 at the time of recording and had started learning when she was 90…To be honest a lot of younger people do the lessons a lot more than twice…Twice is impressive.
Dal ati Bryn!!!

As a comparative youngster (69), I forget lots of things every day (why I’m putting a mug of coffee in the fridge, whether I’ve taken my meds today, my wife’s name, etc) but, surprisingly, I’ve had no particular problems (yet) with the SSiW lessons… I think the reasons are that I have always loved languages and I am highly motivated when it comes to Welsh, my mother tongue.

Far from “burdening” us with this interesting topic, I’m glad you’ve shared it with us. I hope you find this forum helps to make it far from a “solitary learning experience”

Pob lwc :slight_smile:

At the risk of sounding patronising, I really really hope that when I’m 77 I’ll be like you and think, “you know what, I’m going to learn another language”. That’s inspiring. Dal ati, and I look forward to hearing how you get on :slight_smile:

I have said this on the forums before - note I am doing the bootcamp headed "First bootcamp lesson and I started three years ago just before my 70th birthday. Unlike you I have always been useless at languages (5% in French 0 levels! - yes 5 NOT 50!!) but I have always wanted to speak Welsh and finished all three courses last Spring. There is no doubt at all that it has improved my memory and the lessons and learning vocabulary have become easier and easier. One of my friends who is a doctor said that learning a new language is the ONLY thing that will make a new “Tunnel” in your brain which really encouraged me. Although I cannot write Welsh at all I can read quite a bit and understand 90% of Pobl y Cwm and depending who is speaking on S4C, between 60% and 90% - all that is gueswork of course. I can also chat and understand other people at the “Bora coffees” and went on a two day trip last June speaking and listening to Welsh all the time with no problems at all.
I apologise if this sounds like boasting but I wanted you to know that we wrinklies are just as good as the youngsters - in fact I am sure our grammar is better.
I hope this is of help to you but one warning, I have a nastly suspicion that the more Welsh that goes into my brain the more English has to go to make room for it and I could finish up unable to speak English and only very bad Welsh.!!!

Carolyn: but I wanted you to know that we wrinklies are just as good as the youngsters - in fact I am sure our grammar is better.

I wouldn’t disagree, Carolyn although I suspect that our “better ? grammar” may no longer be considered a virtue, rather an encumbrance.

I would certainly agree that any brain-stirring activity keeps senility at bay.

I hope Bryan is reassured by the number of fellow septuagenarians that are enjoying the SSiW learning experience.

I’ll go ahead and join everyone else telling you that actually, you’re doing just fine. Two or three goes per lesson is completely normal, even amongst us relative youngsters. Also, if you’re doing the daily practice sessions, don’t worry about not being able to understand everything in the listening practice or say everything in the speaking practice - they’re designed such that even first language speakers are unlikely to get everything 100% right.

One thing I definitely suggest would be going on one of the bootcamp holidays - it’s not too expensive, it’s loads of fun, and the practice you get from speaking to other people regularly will improve your Welsh enormously.

I think those of us in bus pas territory, as well as perhaps a stronger grasp of grammar than those in the fast lane, tend to have more patience and stickability, to help compensate for the possibility that we are no longer quite as sharp as we once were.

I’ve been reading recently about Linus Pauling, who was working productively until his death at age 93, and also about Dr Abram Hoffer, who died at a similar age. They were both advocates of megavitamins, Pauling, famously for vitamin C, and Hoffer for niacin (although both also used other vitamins). Do your own research of course, but it may be something to bear in mind if one wants to delay ageing. Good diet, moderate exercise and sufficient sleep are of course also essential, but those of us in the bus lane don’t really need telling that. :slight_smile:

Well done Bryan you are doing fine. You cannot expect to remember everything especially if you do not meet people daily who speak Welsh. I’m 76 and have the same problem even although I lived in Wales during WW2 and picked up the odd phrase. Finished course3 and revising daily.Keep at it.

Thank you so much everyone. What a positive and helpful set of replies to my first ever post. Trouble is, I might be tempted to make a nuisance of myself by getting addicted to posting stuff !
Seriously though I have taken great comfort from all you have said and it’s given me new enthusiasm to press on, treating periods of difficulty and repetition as just part of the learning process.
I intend to try a bootcamp one of these days and also to get involved in a gyfarfod, as well as the local Welsh group in U3A.Hopefully these will both help.
Again many thanks to youall

i have enjoyed following this thread and find the examples and stories very encouraging. Thank you.
I have always felt that memory is like computer space - the more folders and files you create (memories and different spheres of activity), the longer it takes the computer to retrieve the particular file you are looking for. The Welsh Course I think has been fantastic for speeding up the brain processes and getting those folders and files in order.
You might be interested in this podcast which I found very affirming. It is very easy listening and makes a lot of good sense.