Online Bootcamp - Bernard H's 10 day challenge

Started with Challenge 6 of the Level 1 (New) course today. I did mange to start every sentence before Cat, but, on longer sentences, she usually passed me before I got to the end! As per the rules I am resisting the temptation to revisit it today! (Maybe if I still feel the need, after day 10, I will) I did find it hard to recall some of the phrases used in Challenge 1 to 5 (from 4 weeks ago). I didn’t use the pause button, but will probably need to somewhere along the line!

The Bootcamp Daily Challenge to greet everyone in Welsh met with some strange looks and the only response in Welsh was from a visitor, to our house, who was born in Barry but never learnt the language being raised in Manchester. I will carry that challenge forward every day. I already wear a “Dysgu” Learners badge all the time. I also hope to find a welsh speaker for the 10th day at a “Sgwrs a Diod” session on Thursday evening. Roll on Day 2 and Challenge 7!.

on longer sentences, she usually passed me before I got to the end!

That doesn’t matter at all! As long as you’re giving it a shot, it’s all valuable…:smile: And well done for resisting the temptation - you’re absolutely right about being able to go back to it at the end, although you’ll probably find it’ll feel far too easy by then!

And well done with the challenge! If you keep on throwing yourself into it like that, you’re going to do brilliantly…:star:

Day 2 and Challenge 7 done and if making lots of mistakes means I am learning more then I learnt a lot today!!! There were a few things I couldn’t recall, even though I had just said them, whilst others popped out like I had known them all my life…I hope they stay around for the next challenge! I used the pause button a lot more today, surprisingly on the shorter sentences rather than the longer ones - go figure.

I haven’t done the conversation dialogue yet - that will have to wait until tomorrow morning, when I can get someone to add 'things they feel I usually say" that are translatable, but I will catch them in the morning even if it has to be on Skype!

As we’ve no visitors today I thought I would start the next challenge (8) earlier in the day (day 3), hoping my brain and memory would be a little fresher. I am learning a lot, judging by the mistakes. Some things are beginning to seep in, whilst things I knew yesterday refuse to appear in my memory! To be honest I would normally need to repeat all three of the Challenges done this week to get to 80%, but that isn’t the challenge, the challenge is to do each lesson once and then move on.

It does work as some phrases from Challenge 6 came to mind in Challenge 8 although they didn’t in Challenge 7 so I guess repetition does work. Previously, on Course 1, I got stuck on one lesson and couldn’t move on - now although it goes against the grain, I am moving on and I am learning that because everything is repeated you are constantly revising the earlier lessons!

Yesterdays challenge to co-write a dialogue in English was done by email with my friend writing my part whilst I wrote his replies. It was weird for both of us, with a few emails along the lines of “I wouldn’t say that, would I?” Translating meant modifying the wording a little to stay within the Welsh I knew. I can write better welsh than I can say in conversation!

As my friend and I will meet up tomorrow evening in the pub, before the others arrive, we will have the conversation live in Welsh without the script, and he will probably alter the wording to suit his level of welsh!

Bernard, you’re doing exactly the right thing to embrace the process and let go of your (entirely natural) urge to repeat sessions - llongyfarchiadau!

It does work as some phrases from Challenge 6 came to mind in Challenge 8 although they didn’t in Challenge 7 so I guess repetition does work.

It’s completely counter-intuitive, but it really, really does work. When you revisit (even if just for curiosity’s sake!) Challenge 7 after you’ve finished the 10 day run, you’ll be surprised…:smile:

Day 4 and Challenge 9 (Level 1 [New]) completed - it seemed a little easier today, but still making a lot of errors, so learning (dwi’n gobeithio) - but I am starting to realise that I said something wrong before Cat says the correct version! It is surprising how some things just won’t stick for example “you said” I keep translating as “ti di deud” instead of “ddudest ti”. It will come I am sure.

My friend, who helped me put the dialogue together was due to test me (as per Aran’s Day 3 Challenge) in the Pub tonight now has to work so as there are a number of others in the group I will have to ask them to test me! That should be a challenge as they will adapt their lines after I get it right … it’s meant to be a challenge so I will just go for it!

but I am starting to realise that I said something wrong before Cat says the correct version!

And that is an excellent sign that you’re getting the neurological ‘boost’ from the ‘error’, so it is definitely working well for you…:smile:

And the way you’re throwing yourself into the challenges will bear all sorts of fruit for you…:star:

Day 3 Challenge completed managed to work through the dialogue with three people in the pub tonight. All welsh speakers (well learners actually) They wanted me to add that my overacting during the dialogue was endangering their drinks so they wanted points deducting rather than adding 'brownie points".
I confess I didn’t manage to remember all the script and they did vary odd words to throw me off.

That sounds like a definite extra brownie points scenario! :seren:

Day 5 Challenge 10 (Level 1 new) completed yesterday whilst taking a break from driving on my way to Derbyshire. I didn’t have internet access so had downloaded the lesson to my tablet. Which is also why this wasn’t posted yesterday. I was surprised when Cat’s voice didn’t appear after you said “I come from Japan” it just shows how we get used to a pattern but only really notice it when it changes!

I played the Listening Lesson 2 on loop in the car whilst driving - hopefully when I play it again today I will catch more of the sentences than I did yesterday!

I think that was probably the hardest lesson in this set so far. The mix of repetition and refresh material certainly gave my ‘little grey cells’ a good workout. I got confused over which “I didn’t” to use - although in live conversation it wouldn’t really matter.

Today I will catch up with the challenge for day 5 before moving onto lesson 11 this afternoon.

Day 6 Challenge 11 (Level 1[new] Course completed. I must have learned a tremendous amount today - going by all the mistakes I made! Even more surprising were the things I got right first time and ahead of Cat!. I think it was just one of those days - hopefully this course will eventually mean a lot more days like this! I found it hard to extract much from the Listening Lesson 2 - but I did get some sentences however for every one I got several more shot by - my brain seemed to go into slow mode but for a few phrases I didn’t consciously need to translate them - I heard the Welsh but my mind saw the English - if I get to that stage with all my welsh and can think of the English but say the Welsh then I will consider myself truly bi-lingual.
I did my long sentences, Arans Bootcamp Challenge from yesterday and managed to get one sentence out to a neighbour (todays challenge) who eventually looked up from gardening to say “I think it will be nice this week!” (absolutely no connection to the sentence) then he went inside his house and hasn’t come out again since! I will try again with some friends, who used to be welsh speakers many moons ago on Monday.

Day 7 Challenge 12 (Level 1[new] Course) completed 3 days left. Not that I will stop then, but I will take a week off to try and absorb the ten challenges from the boot camp, whilst playing Listening Practice 3 as much as possible.
Today I was able to stay just ahead of Cat but when Aran jumped back to a phrase from a previous challenge it took me longer, so whilst I know it is in there somewhere my brain hasn’t organised the information yet. For now it is back to Listening Practice 2.

Day 7 Bootcamp Challenge : Download a Pigion podcast ( I downloaded one from 12th August) listen to the first 3 minutes of it and try to pick out as many words as you can without stopping pausing or rewinding the podcast. Then replay it a few times to see how many words you can pick out.
Pass 1 I picked out 48 words and on Pass 2 I got 98 words. Pass 3 got 99 words.

Day 8 Challenge 13 (Level 1[new] Course) completed. Wow that was heavy going. I am still making a lot of mistakes so it must be doing me some good. The complexity of the sentences is certainly building up. I will try to do more Listening today along with some Radio Cymru and S4C.

Day 8 Bootcamp Challenge Northern: Myfyrio yn Gymraeg tua 10 munud. Ysgriffennu y gair cyntaf, ti ddim medru deud yn cymraeg.
There were three things that I couldn’t think of the welsh for during the 10 minutes - There were a lot of times I didn’t know the Welsh for a direct translation but where I could say it another way!
The three things were:-

  1. “affect” (as in “how it will affect the class”) which I mentally said as ‘affectio’ but which I think should be ‘efffeithio’?
  2. “of the same” as in “level”. “Lefel” I knew was level but “of the same” wouldn’t come. Afterwards I looked it up and got “yr un” so to say “people in the class are at the same level” would you use “Mae pobl yn y dosbarth ar yr un lefel”?
    3 “Event” as in “the event will continue” what came to mind was “gwyl” (which I think means festival or feast) the dictionary gives “digwyddiad” so “bydd y digwyddiad yn parhau” should be the way to sat it?

A brilliant exercise which left me thinking of how much I could say rather than what I couldn’t. It may become one of my regular practice routines.

Day 9 Challenge 14 (Level 1[new] Course Northern) Well my head is certainly spinning now. I think I need a good nights sleep to absorb all of that. My error rate today went up several notches - so I guess I am learning still. The last lesson of the bootcamp is tomorrow and it sounds like it will be a challenge and a half. I will take a break after that but I will continue to do some intense sessions 5 lessons in 5 days seems a sensible target. Next week my traditional class resumes as does my Desuggestopeadia course - the other learners are in for a shock when they find I can now hold a reasonable conversation in Welsh. A few of them who have been to “Sgwrs a diod” sessions across the summer will know I have improved but the majority don’t…

Bootcamp Challenge Day 9: To record 3 minutes of myself speaking welsh. That should be easy after doing the 10 minute meditation exercise, I thought. It wasn’t - as soon as I began to speak into a recorder my mind went blank. Yet I have done this in company before so maybe I need an audience. I did record 1.30 mins and if I take out the “erm…'s” I have at least 45 secs of me talking and in that short bit there were 4 errors, two of which I realised immediately I said them.

This recording exercise, especially the playback, has dented my confidence in speaking aloud. I know my written welsh is far better than my spoken welsh - this emphasised the gap even more.

Fortunately I had already told my friends about the challenge and set up to talk for at least 3 minutes tomorrow night during the weekly “sgwrs a diod” sessions we began 5 weeks ago. I will pick one of three subjects they will suggest a few minutes before. The advance learners (Year 12-15) in our group will record and log the errors, they will also discuss the errors with me. Should anyone else in the group (who are mostly working towards the Sylfaen Exam) want to have a go will be encouraged to do so.

Day 10 Challenge 15 (Level 1[new] Course Northern). The last challenge - well for a few weeks anyway! It does seem to be coming together, although at the same time it seems to be falling apart! The last 10 days has been a hard although enjoyable slog. I will keep playing the Listening Lesson 3 as much as possible. I will even revisit the Bootcamp Challenges and the last lesson or two (and any lesson that introduced something that I didn’t absorb properly). Then in 3-4 weeks I will come back to lesson (sorry Challenge) 16 and work through to 20 then take another break.

I have realised doing 5 in 5 days is probably as far as I want to push myself as 10 days didn’t allow my brain to organise the content of all of the first 5 sessions via the Listening Sessions. I also plan on carrying my voice recorder, to record everything I say in English - then every evening to try to think how I could have said each sentence in Welsh.

Well done. reading you ‘blog’ has encouraged me a lot. I’m only on day 2.

as 10 days didn’t allow my brain to organise the content of all of the first 5 sessions via the Listening Sessions.

Don’t be hard on yourself, Bernard - particularly with regards to the listening material, it takes time for the brain to finish the job - but the fact that you have pressed on with new lessons, and got your mistake rate up to a healthy level, is an excellent sign.

Take the break, and revisit the last lesson you did when you get the email prompt - and I’ll bet anything you’ll really surprise yourself! Many congratulations on your huge achievement…:smile: