Playing around with the audio

I use 2 free programmes to edit the lessons to be more useful for me -

  1. Audacity to edit out the music and one of the repetitions of the Welsh - this reduces the time of a lessons by 30% approx. I save this short version and then edit out all the English, leaving enough time for me to repeat. Audacity can also be used to reduce the speed - sometimes a 5% reduction makes a huge diofference in comprehension. The new versions can only be saved/exported as WAV files
  2. I use FreeSoundRecorder to record the WAV files as mp3s. This final edit brings down the length of a lesson to roughly 10 - 12 minutes.
    I keep all 3 versions but for simply listening and spoken repetition it saves an great deal of time

I’m not the advocate of any editings of copiryghted materials (which SSiW lessons surely are) so @aran, @iestyn and the crew might not be very pleased with any editings at all.

However if you do this simply for your own purpose to learn easier (although the lessons are well designed to be suitable exactly for what SSiW wants to acheave) then I’ll say no more and let the others tell their share if needed.

But regarding Audacity - it can save MP3 files but you need plugin for that. You can get all plugins on Audacity site and if you associate them with Audacity properly you can save files not only in .mp3 but also in .ogg and many more formats. To save files in mp3 format you’d be prompted when trying to save in this format to get LAME third party encoder - lame_enc.dll - and in the dialogue window which appears you also have the button to click to get it.

How to do this I’m describing in these PDF instructions:

So, you see, you don’t need 2 or even more programs only to be able to save files in another format. Audacity offers you all. You can get other plugins for Audacity aswell which enables you to use many effects and edit tools.

Happy Audacitying. :slight_smile:

Heia Rerab_rerab,

I would venture to suggest that listening then repeating are not really part of the SSi method (in my view)l, so I personally could not recommend using the materials in this way. SSi is all about production of the target language - production of Welsh from the English in this case. It is this act of production that is so valuable and gives the method its power and remarkable effectiveness. Sure this kind of repetition can work, but it will be much slower and less effective overall when compared to doing the lessons as designed, I would say. I suggest reading some of Aran’s short booklets on the subject, which are available for Kindle (and software readers) via Amazon; they are not expensive, and some may be Spanish titles, but the principles they contain are common across the SSi language method. As always, these are my personal opinions on the matter and other peoples’ mileage may vary.



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Hi there,

We don’t mind you playing around with the files for personal use - and of course everyone is welcome to try to learn in the way they choose! - but you are removing certain levels of effort here which will have a very negative impact on your learning (you might like to read more about ‘desirable difficulties’ - see Dr Robert Bjork - if you’re interested in the science behind this).

Repeating the target language is very easy. Far too easy. It’s a different neurological process to producing the target language from a prompt. If the only conversations you want to have in Welsh involve you repeating what someone has just said to you, this will work fine - if you want to be able to say your own sentences, repeating instead of producing will slow down your learning dramatically.

This is true - but again, unless you’re planning on using Audacity to slow down the people who speak Welsh to you, it’s not going to help - you’re much better off getting used to the initial speed of production, and then moving on to the listening exercises which are actually at double speed - they train your brain to process the language faster, and make understanding Welsh speakers significantly more achievable. If you train yourself to need slower speech for understanding, you’re going to find the process of starting to talk to real people far more painful than it needs to be.

I hope you don’t think this is an unfriendly response - it’s great that you’ve come on the forum and talked about what you’re doing, and having ideas and trying them out is all good - it’s just my responsibility to you as a Welsh learner to let you know that there is good scientific evidence that what you’ve decided to try is actually going to make things tougher for you - which I don’t want to see! :sunny:

Wishing you all the best,


Hi - the point of my editing is to customise the audio for myself. Initially I work through the full lesson as per your system. Subsequently there is no need to go through the whole thing again. The edited versions are more of aides memoire. So I m not actually short circuiting the process but adding to it in a way that helps me.
Diolch am eich ateb.

I’m really glad to hear that, because I’d hate you to put time and effort into an approach which wouldn’t work.

This is absolutely true…

…but the most valuable thing you can do is carry on to the next session. Now I understand that what you’ve put in place is essentially a revision structure, the key point I need to flag up to you is that revision is built into every session, based on a rigorous process of spaced repetition and interleaving.

It’s normal to want to revise, because you like to feel the greater sense of control it gives you - but counter-intuitively, your learning will actually be faster if you press on through new sessions, and let the spaced repetition do what it does best.

By the time you reach the listening exercises (if you’re on Level 1) you’ll then be getting scripted audio which covers every word and structure you’ve learnt up to that point - so again, much more efficient than re-listening to individual lessons again.

Good luck with it :sunny:

What I’m doing wrong then that this doesn’t work for me? When I pushed forward, no matter how hard I tried I only got stuck. Am I not trying hard enough then?

My best guess, Tatjana (and it can only be a guess, since I haven’t listened to you working through the sessions) is that you find it impossible to accept the number of mistakes that comes with this approach, and that when you make a lot of mistakes, you tell yourself that you are failing.

Have you read my blog post on the book ‘make it stick’? There are some important points in there, particularly about the value of ‘mistakes’.

So I suspect that it’s not about ‘how hard’ you’re trying, it’s about how long you keep progressing when you feel you’re making mistakes - and, perhaps, how accurate your judgement is about your learning (it’s normal for people not to be very good at judging their own progress). I was particularly struck by your response to Kev that when you go back to the very first lesson of Course 1, you are no better now than you were when you started. If only you had a recording of your first attempt, I’m certain we could show that your judgement is letting you down on this point.

I also think that you would benefit from having a 30 minute call with someone in which you commit to using nothing but Welsh - because from the sessions you’ve worked through, I think you would find that you can produce more than you realise, as long as you don’t switch back into English.


Now I’m sorry I don’t have one. It would be real challenge to hear what I’ve produced that time and when I did it once again. To be honest I had a feeling that I produced even more when doing Lesson 1 first time then when i came back to it for second time. But, yah, that could be only my feeling.

I have to get new comp first as my phone was just about to die yesterday too (fortunately it didn’t yet though). Obviously technology doesn’t love me these weeks. Might be I’m pushing it as hard as I push myself. - :laughing:


Take a look this post - it’s a log I kept when I did Spanish course 1 a few weeks ago.

To summarise - I felt as though I was stuck, that I was not remembering anything. But I pushed on, 1 lesson a day and then graded myself on the last lesson, to be pleasantly surprised that I could remember some of it.

Some lessons were straightforward, other lessons were complete mysteries to me. There were times when I finished a lesson and I felt as though all I’d done was say blah, blah, blah for half of it.

I completed the last lesson and felt disheartened that I only did 22% of it correctly, until @aran pointed out that I had done 60% of it sort of correctly. 60% is enough for me to be understood in Spanish.

If I redid 3 Spanish lessons I struggled with badly (15, 16, and 17) I think I would feel as though I was stuck as well. I would get half of it right, but be blank on the other half.

So I’ve not bothered. I’ve simply gone on with course 2. If I can remember 60% of course 2, then together with the 60% of course 1 I’ll know a lot of Spanish. I’ll worry about the bits I’ve not remembered in the future.

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This has really interested me. At the moment I am working through Course 2 New having previously started Course 3 old and giving up because the new course was available…

I have been keeping right up with the Course 2 releases, and when I reach the last lesson I have had to repeat the revision lesson in course 1 and then re-started Course 3 while waiting for the next release.

But, I think, having reading this thread, that this is why I currently have a feeling that actually I am very confused about what I am learning.

I mention it because throughout this thread the ‘progression’ and the ‘just keeping going’ has stood out as being very important. So, I think I might be better in slowing down a bit because by jumping about I think I might be interrupting the

"rigorous process of spaced repetition and interleaving.

Would it therefore be better not to ‘devour’ the new Course 2 lessons so quickly, and if not, what should the alternative be to jumping around the courses? Andy

Interesting case, Andy. In an ideal world, we’d have Levels 1, 2 and 3 ready, and you’d just go straight through them.

But you’re caught in the middle of us being in production - which isn’t helpful for you.

I suspect the best thing for you would be to go and do the whole of Course 3, and then come back to Level 2 afterwards (by which stage we will probably have finished it).

Going from one to the other will certainly give you some extra confusion (although it’s not the end of the world, if you’re willing to roll with that). :sunny:

Great, thanks Aran. I will have a think about it. I am not fantastically confused, just a vague feeling of ‘disjointedness’ and unease and feeling on the ‘back foot’ all the time. At least I know it is not me!


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