Sgwrs 16 - Spoiler Alert! (Advanced Content)

Sgwrs 16 is up! (I hope I’ve posted this in the right place…! :see_no_evil:)


Yay! Perfect.


Okay, so I have done the first listen…a little easier this week I would say… although on first listen I still have a similar top level situation:…(which is ok - I think it is part of the process)

…patches which I understand well…

…patches where I feel I am both partially and nearly understanding (strange sensation) which I think is my inability to pick out and process some of words fast enough…

…patches where I have poor understanding where there are a few words I don’t understand together which combined with everything else means they ‘go missing’ in terms of in terms of understanding.

I have also worked through the transcript - translating and looking up words I don’t understand. The good news is that this was much easier again this week - quicker and fewer unknown words - my vocab is definitely improving slowly.

This confirmed the situation above…,in that there were comparatively few look ups - and therefore it is true that I was just unable to pick out the words and process them quick enough in the fuzzy areas.

Previously my understanding of these sections has improved dramatically on re-listens.

The vocab I didn’t know this week were around Cynghanedd, Talwrn y Beirdd, consonants and rhymes…also the collected mentions of recipes, puddings, spinach!..for the book which as clusters made for poor understanding in these sections.

It will be interesting to see how much this one improves with second and third listenings as it feels like a good starting point after the first pass.

Fingers crossed!

Rich :slight_smile:


Just to reassure you - there are loooooads of first language Welsh speakers who wouldn’t know what ‘sbigoglys’ is! Most Welsh speakers would say ‘sbinaets’. So you’re a step ahead of half the Welsh speaking population!


I think your aural understanding is quite a long way ahead of mine @rich. On first listening, I am still just picking up the gist of what’s being said.

I know my vocabulary is building, because it is taking me less and less time to read the trawsgriff, and I’m using the dictionary less. But picking the words out of the rapid flow of speech is tough.

After reading the trawsgriff it gets easier, but it is more like ’ okay, now I can match what I just heard with what I know is there’ rather than true understanding. But I can feel progress is being made.

I am pretty sure there is a knock on effect on what I am able to say, too, because I have recently held some really long conversations ( with fellow learners / my mum) without breaking into English at all.

And I have to say all this is making me VERY excited about coming to Caernarfon in May. So many things to see and do - tantalising!

Meanwhile, I guess lots of listening to the speeded up exercises is called for. Actually I was wondering about downloading the Southern ones too, so I am not just listening to Aran and Catrin, but Iestyn and Cat too, to retune my ear a bit.


…it’s really difficult to describe how much you do and don’t understand isn’t it. I’m usually good for the first and last sentence! Ha, ha.

The specialist areas that the individuals talk about are nearly bound to be difficult aren’t they because of the relatively unusual words that crop up…

…I had one lucky break which was the lady who was the translator, who spoke about sentences and words and vocab and translating (obviously!)… I happened to have tried to learn the Welsh words for those vocab sort of things…so that one felt better…but it’s the dictionary for the key words in these areas usually.

It is hard to avoid a domino effect in these portions when listening - trying to think what the word might mean, meaning you miss more - and so on.

At the moment if the conversation is more measured in any way and regular vocab - I stand a chance - accent and clarity permitting. Faster conversation is very difficult to keep up with…a weird partial understanding results…I think this is my brain cell overloading!

I think the most encouraging signs are a) when the transcript starts to get a bit easier to understand and doesn’t require too many lookups…b) having read it and re-listened chunks of it become clearer.

After a second listen today I understood a lot more…

It is hard to know exactly how it develops or at what pace. I’d guess the smaller areas of ‘good’ understand get bigger and eat into the others.

Just need to keep going and find out I guess!

There is absolutely no doubt I have improved a lot since the beginning. Dal Ati…dal ati! :smile:

Rich :slight_smile:


These threads are a very nice idea.

Yes, I agree with the ‘domino effect’ - I quite often think ‘Aha, I know that word, now what does it mean again, I think it’s blah oh wait no is it blah? I think it was something like that anyway.’ Meanwhile, I have completely missed what was being said over the next 2 paragraphs :smile:

I am also interested in the idea of using dictionaries to understand what is going on - maybe this is a useful addition to the suggested process?
This could be what I have been missing - it might help to make the link between the sounds and meaning, as well as the letters/words on the transcript and their meaning, as so far unfortunately I don’t think I have really made much connection between the three things (sounds, letters, meaning) as every word is buried among a thousand others.


TBH, I find the translation pdf to be better than a dictionary, unless you know where to look, as the transcript tends to use spelling to reflect the relevant accent. a for e etc.

Another trick is to read a word out loud a few times in my best attempt at a Welsh accent. It worked for me with ecop.
I was so impressed with myself when I told my wife that it was egg cup. All she said was “Yeah, what else could it be?” :confused:. Born and bred members can just read in their own accent.


Ha, ha, that’s amazing - I had an extremely similar experience with the Trystan Lewis Sgwrs with…,hen fotos… I said it out loud …hen fotos … hen fotos…,and there is was - old motors! Up to that point Trystan had been saying hen geir.

When I relayed my genius to the wife …I can’t tell how unimpressed she was - she said it was absolutely obvious. :open_mouth:

Ok so maybe it was .

…but still… :smile:

Rich :slight_smile:


Yes, I think it might depend on both the person and the stage they are at.

In the early days, the lookup method is ‘quite a big job’…so it wouldn’t be for everyone…the translation is certainly a boost /quicker which might make the difference between getting through it or not, when getting started - and perhaps to focus on the many other aspects at that point.

Ironically, I look it up because I am trying to avoid the simplicity. It forces me to ‘engage brain’ a bit more, think about the word - what does it start with, is it similar to a word I know already, is it made up of two words…what do they mean…ie it is a very crude attempt to get more brain cells involved in one way or another, which seems to help me remember… I think.

Rich :slight_smile:


Ok I have some news of a small breakthrough which should possibly go in the ‘Small Breakthroughs’ section but somehow this time it feels like it should go here.

So, I was driving back from taking the dogs for a walk in the Dales this morning and I pop the Sgwrs on in the car…and I realise that I am understanding every word!!!

…I even spotted myself considering how someone had said something with a view to using it myself… ie other thought processes going on!!! (very different to the usual scrambling brain cells, clawing for words - let alone understanding!).

I have to say I think Nici speaks in a very measured and clear way…but I’ll take it!

Ok, I’ve been through the transcript and listened to it several times…but i’ll take it!

And of course when the next Sgrws is released I won’t understand a word when I first hear it…,but I’ll take it!

I’ll take it, I’ll take it, I’ll take it!

I am very happy. :smile:


Oh bless you! ‘Moto’ is a colloquial word really, you don’t hear it much these days and it tends to be mainly older people who would use it - but Trystan is quite a vintage type of guy, despite only just hitting 40!


That’s fantastic! Yes, Nici is quite a measured speaker but she has a quiet voice, plus there was background noise competing as we were in the Galeri foyer, so I think you’ve done really well. :blush:


I’m glad you’re excited about the Caernarfon visit! I’m trying to give a taste of the town for those who are coming to the party, and it may tempt others to come at different times, because Caernarfon is a great place to immerse yourself in Welsh!


Just to carry on this idea, I am also wondering about whether the length of time between each stage of the ‘process’ is important - I have been leaving considerable gaps between each listen / read through (usually a day or more) just due to 30 minutes at a time being about as much as I can take! (Or sometimes being more than I can take, as like others I tend to get distracted, particularly when reading).
But it occurred to me, maybe we are meant to be doing the whole lot in one go? Or maybe it doesn’t matter?

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Personally I have squeezed these things in whenever I had time available.

As I was using the look up method I was also chunking this up too eg to a page at a time, to make it manageable.

I have noticed more recently that if I do the ‘desk work’ just prior to listening…as opposed to the other way round - it seemed to help a bit. Although I don’t think I would have found that possible in the early days for both time and brain capacity reasons - as you say. :smile:



I think there are probably marginal benefits to be had from doing them as close to each other as possible - but I don’t think it’s mission critical… :slight_smile:


Ah I think I understand, so I take it that you read the transcript and the translation at the same time as each other.
This would definitely seem like a good way of cross-referencing to enable you to pinpoint exactly which bits (e.g. words / phrases) in the transcript correspond to each other.
I had been trying to resist doing any of the 3 things (listening, reading the transcript, reading the translation) at the same time as each other as I think I remember Aran advising to focus on one at a time - I think there was a reason, though I can’t quite remember it off the top of my head!


Ah yes sorry, that was after the standard routine that Aran describes in the advanced section. So after following that, I tend to mop up any words that I still havn’t caught. A bit obsesive, but ther you go.


Don’t worry - we’re all obsessive / persistent here, otherwise we wouldn’t still be here! :smile: