Should I be using the vocab list?

Is it bad to double-check the vocab list when replying during the challenges? Sometimes it’s on the tip of my tongue but I just can’t get it without seeing something written in front of me (I’m a very visual learner so I’m finding learning via listening and speaking to be a huge challenge) - thanks in advance!

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It’s not a good idea to check the list during the challenges - it’s better to look at it afterwards. It’s a difficult thing for visual learners to have to do, but it really does work better like that, because the course is specifically structured to train the hearing and speaking aspects of learning the language rather than the reading and writing ones (which is how we were all so used to learning that it seems strange not to do it that way!) and also, because in real-life conversation there is no vocab list!
Lots of learners have experiences that relate to this - I’m sure some will be able to jump in and reassure you too.

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I’m generally a visual learner too, so I share your discomfort with the way this course works. It really does all go into your head though. The only time I check the vocab list is when I’m unsure whether I heard a dd or a f (they can sound very similar).

If you’re finding that you can’t quite get to the word sometimes, that’s natural. It’s not so much about being a visual learner, and more about your brain not being accustomed to learning like this at all. No one’s is. You’ll get there though, honest.

Being a visual learner myself, I find that I picture the words as I’m hearing/saying them, whether I want to or not. I know for a fact that some of the spellings I see in my head are wrong, but it doesn’t matter. If I remember the word and can say it, it doesn’t really matter what my mental picture of the sounds is.


I can relate to this too. I’m a very visual learner, and almost didn’t do this course because I was so sure that it wouldn’t work for me. But I’ve been very strict with myself and not checked the vocab until afterwards and I’m glad because, it’s working really well. My spelling is probably hopeless because as Alan says, I also visualize the word as I hear it, and often visual pictures to go with them. For example the lesson I just did had the word for finished which is cwpla (no idea of the spelling) so i imagined playing hoopla when I finished work :grinning: silly tricks which wouldn’t work for everyone. I had a load of trouble with flies past (hedfan heibio or something like that) but i imagined Hedwig the owl flying past eating haribo and now I have no trouble! After a while I just remember the words naturally without the trick, so it’s only to help temporarily till it’s gone into my brain properly. Some people would think it was a stupid idea, but I guess our brains all work differently, and it works for me :grinning:


Argh, I was hoping I’d be let off the hook for this! :joy:

Well I’ve run into another issue with this - I’m on challenge 10 of the six months course which introduces names of countries. The problem is, they’re asking for phrases like ‘I come from Scotland’ without first saying what the Welsh for Scotland is. So if I’m going to answer this I have to check the vocab or I can’t say anything.

hmmm, that would seem a bit tricky!
Ok, so maybe for now, you’re off the hook with this particular one! :wink: ButI’ll tag @Deborah-SSi as she knows the course content better than me, in case it’s a glitch that needs to be sorted out.
But then you could just put in where you come from instead for the time being - you’re more likely to use that one! (unless you do come from Scotland of course!)

You’ll be pleased to know that the names of the countries don’t come up again, so you don’t need to learn them. It’s more of an interest thing, so you can just say the name if you happen to know it, otherwise say the English name then listen and think “Oh that’s how you say xxx in Welsh” and immediately forget it again :slight_smile:


Oh yes, I remember that one. I sat there thinking “well how was I supposed to know Scotland was Yr Alban?” But it’s really not important. I think “I come from England” comes up once or twice later, but no more than that.

I think it also serves the purpose of exposing you to things you might hear. So if you ask someone where they’re from, you have a chance of recognising the place they name.

I understand this completely, and struggled with it at first. I do look at the list AFTER the challenge, and before I do it for a second and third time, and find that really helpful, but the listen-first approach is very valuable. This came home when I was practising with a welsh speaker in the village and I was complimented on my accent and pronunciation. I am pretty sure that had I seen the words written FIRST I would have imposed my expected pronunciation on to them.
Something else I had to get over was this thing about ‘getting it wrong’ which we’re all conditioned with. What I am working with on that first time through is what I can HEAR and trying to put that together with what I can REMEMBER from previous sentences. There is no right or wrong with that really - I am simply doing my best with a befuddled aging brain and dodgy hearing! BUT … looking at the vocab list before the next time through, and sometimes using the forum to chase up the things that frustrate me, is an essential next step for me. I AM a visual learner and somehow seeing the sounds broken down into words helps me find a rhythm, which in turn helps with my memory.
Also the ‘is it bad’ thing … if you read through a lot of these threads you will realise that people do this course in all sorts of different ways. Listen to the tutors, obviously, and pay attention to how other learners have made sense of it all, but trust yourself. At the end of the day you need to ENJOY the learning, or sooner or later you’ll stop.
For my money this course is amazing, and this method of learning is amazing, but as with many here, I can use it how I like, so that it fits ME, rather than me trying to fit IT.


YES, THIS!!! I’m constantly telling … er, suggesting … to new SSi learners that it’s so important to listen first. Do you mind if I quote you in the Slack support for 6 Minutes learners?

I always tell them it’s fine to have a look at the Vocab after the first listen if they want to clear up certain sounds, or just see what the words look like, but that first run through concentrating on what they’re hearing is really beneficial in the long run.

Of course, please use as you wish - I don’t think I’ve ever been quoted before!

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Okay, I’ve run into another problem with this now - so I’ve just got to ‘well iddi he’ (she’d better) but they explained that the ‘he’ is often dropped. The problem is that I heard ‘well i fi he’ so once the ‘he’ was dropped I thought they were just saying ‘I’d better’. I was so confused by this and had to check the vocab list to see what they were actually saying because I couldn’t differentiate from the pronunciation

Oh dear, I’ve been doing this all wrong all through Level 2! I thought the vocabulary helped me understand more quickly because I wear hearing aids but now I realise it’s having the opposite effect. That’s all right. I will just have to move along more slowly. My husband needs shielding so I,ve still got plenty of time in lockdown.
BTW I still think the first three challenges go Level 2 were the most difficult!


I also thought 1-3 of level two were really difficult, but I’d also thought that about level 1! From the beginning of level 1, whenever I’ve started a new challenge I’ve written down the vocab list for the next challenge and just read through it every day until I get to that challenge. It’s helped me, I think, but I tend to not look at it once I reach the relevant challenge. I think I’m doing ok though!

Hi Johanna, I know it’s not the recommended way, but I can’t learn a word unless I can see it in my mind. I’m on level 2 challenge 16 now and this is what works for me:
every Monday when the new lesson drops in, I sit at my computer and listen to it, whilst copying the vocabulary and the sentences into my notebook. I’ve just started a second A5 notebook and I’ve found having a record of everything I’ve learned incredibly useful.
The first time I listen again after that I’ll probably check my notes, but by the end of the week I’m confident without it.
I don’t care what anyone says, it works for me!
Because of lockdown I’ve not had the chance to practise Welsh face to face, so I swap emails with my expert friends. I couldn’t do that unless I was familiar with the spellings and I make it a rule not to look anything up!
I would just say we’re all different, no one rule suits everyone and as long as I’m keeping up with the lessons, I’m not going to worry! I’m in no rush to learn, I don’t need to learn it for any other reason than in wanted to, so I’ve learned not to stress now. Sometimes a lesson will just not stick, but as the weeks go by and those words or phrases are repeated, I find they do eventually sink in… Well mostly anyway :joy:

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@emma-ireland I can completely relate to doing that. I did the same and jokingly thought of it as my Cockney rhyming Welsh as I used similar sounding words in English to help me remember and it did work and was a lifeline particularly in the early days. It was worth the extra effort as it wasn’t long before words and phrases came naturally with practise to the point that I would wake with Welsh in my head. :blush: I’ve actually learnt a lot about the way I learn through this process too.

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