I’m a bit down the dumps at the moment with my learning. Anyone got any good news stories to share to reinvigorate me? Lessons you’ve completed that seemed really tough a few days ago… Sentences spoken… Things read… Reasons you love the course… Anything will do. Big or small. It’s amazing how far a bit of good news in the forum goes
Well, not very spectacular, but a couple of days ago, I was saying something and thought: hey, I can say that in Welsh entirely! Happens more and more, all thanks to the course and I haven’t been learning Welsh for a long time.
Hi Steve. My good news is about discovering osmosis in action…I mentioned recently how I was hoping to Welshify my chap by stealth because he managed 10 minutes of lesson 1 and then nothing since. My cunning plan has been to say anything I’m able to in Welsh to him before then saying it in English. This is for my benefit mostly for practice but with an ulterior motive mwah ha ha ha.
So, I’m sitting watching S4C the other day and he is nearby doing something else. Then he starts chirping up out loud every time he recognises a word…‘siarad’ from his few minutes of gwers 1…‘cysgu’ from my repeated enquires most days. Later on, I’m in another room from him and think I hear his voice, so I go to him and say “Wnes ti siarad gyda fi?” and before I can say it in English he says “yes I was just saying…”. He’d understood the Welsh!!! To cap it all, I’m doing my lesson last night via headphones, and say the Welsh “Wyt ti rhwybeth rhwybeth?” and he comes out with “Wyt ti wedi blino?”!!! Well, I knew that he knew the phrase wedi blino from an old Learn Welsh podcast, but it was a real surprise to hear him putting it together in a question. I love these little reminders of how natural it is to pick up language in this way, and he made my day with them.
Hope you get lots of posts and the boost you’re after.
Does accidentally translating Iestyn’s motivational speech bits, not realising they weren’t part of the challenge, count? That amused me a bit (I’m easily amused).
Actually, I’ve started to put in a concerted effort to learn again, after mostly falling off the wagon a year ago when I finished course one. The course1bis release has motivated me - together with the new forum forcing me to speak to you lot again
These ups and downs are part of language learning - and also musical instruments for anyone who has done that. I suppose anything you learn. Boost? I’ve been watching Welsh programmes with Welsh-only subtitles for around six months. I started to get concerned I was using the titles like a training wheel, so two days I decided to switch them off and suck up the consequences - even if it meant a shock like not understanding anything. To my infinite delight not only could I understand around 75% of what was being said, but I was understanding it in a different way because the nuance was arriving in the original Welsh and not being transliterated, so to speak. So my point is you probably just don’t realise how far you’ve advanced. Dal ati.
Thanks everyone, that all made such good reading. I knew I could rely on the forum :
@James: Those conversations in the wild are amazing aren’t they. Even the blurry ones
@Bie: I should do more of that! Congrats on your success, those sentences in you rhead are just going to get longer and longer the more SSiW you do!
@SJ: Wow. The three year success thread you posted should be compulsory reading for all SSiWers! A real pick me up.
@Carole: Definitely worth a smile! There seem to be a lot of partners out there who are doing the SSiW way by osmosis. My daughter’s sat through a good share of lessons now and can throw out a surprise Welsh sentence now and then which leaves me open mouthed.
@Wondersheep: Yes, translating Iestyn’s motivational speech at the end of a lesson sounds very familiar! (As does the opposite “he expects me to translate that!” feeling, followed by “OK, I can do it…”)
@Bontddu: Congrats on the S4C success! 75% sounds astonishing… really astonishing.
Thanks again to all. I think we should fill up the forum with as many positives as possible. The great thing about the old forum was that it had had enough time for lots of these stories to develop. I remember just trawling back through the archives to dig them out. The more good news we can get on the new forum the easier it’s going to be for new users to realise just how good their SSiW journey is going to be.
To deal with the lovely “what’s up?” questions some of you posted. I think I’ve just fallen into a trough after a long good spell where everything was going right. In the last few months I’ve done a fabulous course at Nant Gwerthyrn, discovered I can read (simple) books in Welsh, completed Course 2, did 10 new Course 1 lessons back to back without the pause button, and started to convert parts of my working day into Welsh (well I receive my emails from Welsh speaking colleagues in Welsh now).
But then I hit the doldrums of the vocab lessons, found I couldn’t make any of the dates for Bootcamp this year, and started focusing on the things I can’t do instead. Stupid really. It’s only temporary though.
Obviously 75% is an estimate, and I should add that the rate drops when I no longer understand the general context of the programme properly, but all in all I’m really pleased. It freaked me out a little - I finished watching about an hour of TV shows and it took me about 10 minutes before I realised I had understand nearly all of it and without subtitles - I was kind of “hang on - you can speak Welsh!”
I’ve been out canfassing for the Euro elections. I’ve been able to canvass Welsh speakers in their own language, including one lovely old lady who had just moved to the area and was unsure if any of us around here spoke Welsh at all. She wasn’t on the electoral roll yet, unfortunately, but she now has the information I gave her to connect with other Welsh speakers in the area. Big wins all round!
Since finishing course 3 I’ve worried that my rate of learning new words will slow to a halt. However, I now get nearly 2 hours of uninterrupted listening to Radio Cymru where I’ve found I’m getting the gist of what is being said and I’m learning a few new words everyday.
Nothing to do with SSiW really, but I was pleasantly surprised to receive an invitation to a “bilingual Welsh-English lunchtime garden party” this coming Saturday. It will be mainly people from the Oxford University Welsh society, which I am nothing to do with, but I happen to know the person giving the party in another context, and when he heard I was learning he added me to his mailing list.
Might be an interesting opportunity to make some new Welsh-speaking contacts.
Steve, when I am thinking about SSIW, and how quickly/well people are learning, you are always one of the people who comes to mind! You have learned masses very quickly. I started in 2011 and am only just getting towards the end of Course 2 so celebrate!
Oh,and you belong to probably the best internet community around!
Thanks Andy, that’s very much appreciated. Since starting this thread I’ve taken people’s advice and have settled into enjoying things again rather than trying to “get somewhere”, so I look forward with great pleasure to the time when you swan past me into course 3.
You might spot me as you go by: I’ll be the one watching the Pobol y Cwm episodes, sending people really badly written Welsh emails, and reading all the Welsh learner novels I can find.
As for being part of the best internet community around… You’re right. We’re all pretty amazing aren’t we
Hi Steve. Could I echo what Andy has said. I think you started just before me but you are well ahead of me in terms of how much Welsh you are actually using. I seem to be able to grasp the lessons and vocabs relatively well but applying it in real life is a different matter. Thankfully this fantastic forum of ours and numerous very patient friends in Whitchurch have given me the confidence I need. I am working my way through level 3 and I am still planning on doing at least a part of my speech at my sons wedding in July in Welsh.
Same here, especially as I live in Loegr, but as a recent survivor, I have only 3 things to say:
I’m told that there are still a lot of places available on the June one, so hopefully people will be able to fill them, and have a wonderful chance to use Welsh every day for 7 days, in wonderful surroundings with wonderful people.