I was listening to Radio Cymru yesterday and I heard words that I could pick out and understand which felt quite exciting! I think they have a slot where they talk about how people have learnt Welsh. There was a lady who was talking and what I think I gathered from the conversation and from the little snippets that I understood was that she had been going to Welsh classes, but also had been working with children in a school which was what helped her improve her Welsh hugely. She also said that she practiced every day and spoke with people. I didn’t know the inbetween conversation but I was happy that I (think) I understood something!
Because of SSIW, I can now listen to Radio Cymru and challenge myself to work out what might be being said from what I’ve learnt so far.
I do feel at this point (just on the verge of turning into Level 2) that I’m understanding more than I can speak. I get a bit stuck/lost for words/tongue tied when it comes to having conversation in Welsh, is this common? The stringing of sentences is not forthcoming as I’m too busy trying to translate the English to Welsh in my head!
It’s very common to be able to understand more than you can speak. This applies to any language, even your first language. There are words that I recognise and understand in English but would not think to use myself.
Congratulations, Laura -I am at a similar stage, I think. It is good to hear some recently learned SSIW phrases come up: today there was an item involving trust (ymddiried), considering (bwriadu) and plans (trefniadau) so I was very happy!
I have been told a tip: read BBC Cymru Fyw first, as that will give you the gist of the news items, and then listen; it allows you to pick up the story quicker…
Sounds like you’re doing well @LauraDI! I listen to the radio regularly and it’s great when you get a new little leap forward in understanding.
One trick that has been helping me is to look up words that I keep hearing but don’t know and then either work out what they mean or look them up. Then next time I listen, a little more of the mist clears away!
Yesterday’s discovery was pennawd. At first I thought they were saying “pen awdur” and I thought “head author?” and I thought maybe they were talking about the editor. But no! I finally twigged, from the context they were using the word in, that it means “headline”…
I like to listen to Post Prynhawn while I’m doing the hoovering. If I’ve dipped into the news that day I can generally guess what they’re talking about and the nice thing is the headlines repeat, so you get a few chances!
Also, the news is less depressing when you only get 10% of it!
Hi Patrick, thank you and also well done on picking words up… You’ve just taught me three more to add to my vocabulary . I will try that tip thank you. I’m currently trying to learn 10 new Welsh words a day to increase my vocabulary but I’d rather hear the words first than see them as I’m never sure on the pronunciation - that’s why I feel SSIW has helped me and given me more confidence that (hopefully) I’m saying it the way it should sound.
I agree about the less depressing part Generally I’m not a big news watcher for that exact reason. But this is a great idea thank you, I’ve just googled it now and so I’ll have a go at that tomorrow. I’m Looking forward to being able to follow more of the conversation. Thanks again.
Thanks Ruth, that’s a good idea. When I’m listening to the radio I think oh I know that word but I can’t quite remember what it means in Welsh - mind blank! I have tried to look it up later on, but the problem I have is not knowing the correct spelling if I’ve only heard the word and not read it.
Well done to you too, it sounds like you are starting to understand more as well, it definitely does give you a little smile when you think you’ve had that little break through of understanding
Tell you what, @LauraDI - the real game changer for me has been to make flash cards (using AnkiApp on my phone) of all the new words I’m picking up. It’s really helping to develop my vocabulary. My deck has grown to more than a 1000 cards in a few months.
I agree though that spelling is a problem. I took me ages to sort out pennawdau because I thought it was pen-awdur - and online dictionaries like Gweiadur aren’t good at the kind of fuzzy searching that we need! Apart from doing a bit of research on BBC Cymru Fyw I guess we just have to treat the mystery as part of the fun
Well done all for getting stuck in. I’ve listened most mornings for months and I think I’m noticing an improvement in my comprehension but it’s a glacially slow process. I might follow the weather or traffic news, but be completely at a loss to understand even the basic gist of a discussion, except when the odd English word is used. But then, I learnt Spanish rather casually and remember it being around 4 years before I could follow news reports. And listening comprehension is something I struggle with in English anyway!