Pause button use, and pronunciation

I don’t live in Wales and it’s hard to get practice. I have a lot of worries at the moment due to my 99 year old mother’s declining health, and travelling across London for 2 hours to support her, on public transport. I’m finding i can only cope with doing the challenge once, using the pause button nearly all the time. I still can’t speak quickly enough to do it without the pause button. However i get the words right a lot of the time. (Except for wrong past tenses sometimes or leaving yn out occasionally). I have come to the conclusion I shall just have to do my best even though I can’t do all we are meant to do. I also do Duolingo a lot (which helps vocabulary) but that’s because is more portable (it is hard for me to do the SSW challenges on my mobile, I need my laptop). I don’t feel I am wasting my time but I can’t keep up as we are meant to, and I am often half a week behind or a whole week.
A question about pronunciation (just interested) - I do the North course. Catrin says Wnes i as ‘ness i’ and Aran says it as ‘nesh i’. Is this a regional variation within North Welsh?

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First of all let me say I you’re doing great, especially considering the complicated situation you’re going through. Well done!

As for this:

I actually did the whole course exactly like this. I just couldn’t do it without pause button. And it worked fine anyway!
I think the idea behind it is striving doing one’s best to answer as fast s possible, with what you have (rather than taking a minute to stop and think, trying to remember or even look up missing words).

I’m sure that someone else in the forum can answer about Northern accents more in detail than me, but in general in the Southern course they tried to give a few pronunciation variations too, so I would guess that’s probably the case here too!

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Yes, absolutely, it’s just a variation - pick the one you like best (or whichever gets to your tongue first!)

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You might like to look at this previous thread re the pause button. General conclusion: if you need to keep using it like quite a few of us do, then do so; it doesn’t matter one little bit. You sound to me as if you’re doing OK anyway.

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Thank you all for helpful answers - I do feel reassured! I think it is amazing I can remember as much as I do and I think it proves the system works. Quite a lot of words and expressions are bedded down in my brain now. I am starting to speak Welsh to my cat - though from England she understands me and is not fussy about wrong mutations.


Hi Lindsay. Completely understand. I live in Yorkshire and have no Welsh family, but I visit N Wales a lot (or used to before last year). I have a (learner) friend I met on a course and we chat once a week on the phone. Big help, even if a bit of Wenglish creeps in. And watching S4C. For example, there’s a daily 5-minute news programme for children called Ffeil - a bit more accessible. Pob lwc!

Watching TV is a great idea. Thanks!

I started learning with Duolingo, graduated to SSiW - very different, both excellent - but it was and still is a huge jump to understanding real Welsh at real speed where you don’t have time to stop and go back and have a think. But I listen as much I can and slowly it’s beginning to sink in. Stick with it!

Yes the speed makes it really different! I also often need to see things written down. My hearing is not very good so I have difficulty distinguishing p/b t/d, LL/si LL/ch, dd/th. Oh and more than that even. I often can’t catch the begnning of words. Seeing things written is a huge help. I think when I was younger I would have found SSiW easier going. But of course it is now I’m retired I have the time.

Hi Lindsay

I think using the pause button is fine if needed.

Just one thing - a lot of people don’t realise that there is a vocab and sentences button with the lessons. At least, there was pn the iphone app when I did SSiW.

I would recommend not looking at it while doing the lesson itself, but looking after you get to fhe end.

Thanks Simon - yes I look at it afterwards and it does solve some mysteries. I copy all the vocabulary and examples into a file.

@lindsay-2, you have a lot on your mind right now, and it’s okay to take a step back. You can email to pause the emails with lessons, or even set them back to an earlier point if you need to.

I’m in the Northern course, too, and my understanding is that Catrin is speaking carefully in standard diction, while Aran is using informal pronounciation that you’re likely to hear in the north, such as “nesh i.”

That’s really helpful. I’m one and a half lessons behind at the moment and I might ask for a pause. But I’ll still be paying monthly won’t I? I think I might catch up this week. Hopefully! I am not doing other things we are meant to on my lessons - I don’t seem to be able to access my past recordings for instance. Some tech hassle.

Yes, I think you still pay monthly, but it might be worth it for the peace of mind.

After I wrote my first reply, it occurred to me that you have a ready source of Welsh listening practice on Radio Cymru. You may already have the BBC Sounds app on your phone. With ear buds, you could listen while you’re on public transport. Don’t worry if all you can pick out is the odd word. Over time, your ear will adjust, and you’ll understand more and more.