Speed of listening exercises

The speaking speed of the speaker on the listening exercises is so fast I can’t follow a word. It’s like a record being played at ten times the normal speed. Has anyone else found this problem. If so, is it a fault on the download

It’s not a bug, it’s a feature :slight_smile:
Just let it wash over you, and after repeating the exercises a few times you’ll notice you understand more and more.


You can move the slider to about 0.7 and hear them at normal speed. There are two ways of getting benefit - normal speed and pinky and perky speed. Unexpectedly they both give something- give it a shot!

Rich :slight_smile:

Diolch i pawb am helpu

Sorry, but with this made, you’d spoil the aim of the exercise which is not to understand anything at all but to get listening skills. The exercise is aimed to force your brains to “react” instantly on something said, what is similar to the real conversation where you’d have to react instantly to what the oposite person (that one you’re talking to) said. So, if you try to really understand what is said in this exercise, it will not give you the results wanted with it. The aim is to force your brains to be more processive and to process informations faster and faster until, without any real listening you’d understand everything said in it.

The exercise is 2x the normal speed though. With 10x faster you’d get only a blur of the voice not recognizable whom it belongs at all and the words would be irrecognizable, what even understood. On the Learning page there at the Challenges where listening practices are, are transcripts and translations of the listening exercises for the Level 1 but I advise not to use them though. The process of learning this way is similar to let BBC Radio Cymru just wash over you not actually listening to what they’re talking.

Hope it helps!

Tatjana :slight_smile:


… it is multifaceted…you can do both.

You can listen to it fast with all of the benefits that you mention…which I agree with…

…and you can use the slider provided which allows you to slow it to normal speed and get some experience hearing and understanding Welsh when you are just getting started…( and gradually speed up what you are listening to as you progress). It doesn’t matter if you don’t want to use it that way either of course…but the facility is there!

For me the two methods didn’t fight at all…the ‘listening at speed’ exercise seems to have your brain operating in a different mode ( it is very strange isn’t it?!) …so it is a straight ‘two for one’ special offer for me.

The worst outcome would be if someone didn’t listen to it at all because they ‘didn’t get it’, in which case no benefit would be achieved.

Rich :slight_smile:


I see the point of listening but I’m a bit deaf these days and have to listen intently, but the speed makes it difficult to comprehend any of the words clearly.
Problem for me is, in real life nobody speaks that quickly and the speed slider doesn’t slow it to audible levels.
Otherwise, I’m happy with ssiw.

Hi Jim,

I think the slider goes down to 1/2 from memory.

This is slightly slower than ‘normal’ I think.

Initially it is still a challenge to translate this of course - it takes some practice.

…is it a volume issue or does it need a few listens?


I’m not sure any human being with no superpowers can actually ever be able to comprehend all the words in SSiW listening practices!

I was puzzled too, I think the answers I received might be useful to you as well (see link below in this post).

In any case I can tell for sure is that when I started Level 1 I was able to identify something like…10 or 15 words here and there in all.
But I just listened to them again and now I can catch 100% of the first (the one at normal speed) and 70% or even more of the faster ones (except practice 5 that goes way lower than that).
It’s not as bad as it seems at first, it just takes a little time to get used to it!

But most of all, that’s not the point of the exercise anyway so I wouldn’t worry too much. :wink:

Hi rich, it’s only the listening exercises.
It sounds like the chipmunks talking it’s that fast, but it doesn’t slow down at all using the slider.
The challenges are okay.


It HAS TO sound like chipmunks. It was designed to be so and was never (as much as I know and recall) aimed to be slowed down in any case (being the slider there or not).

@aran maybe you can involve into this and clear and explain the things better than I am … or are the speedy listening practices aimed to different goals to which I don’t possess the knowledge of?




That is strange - are you using the App - or working with the SSIW website on a computer?


Hi Jim - the first listening exercise for Level 1 (after Challenge 5) is at normal speed - after that, they’re at double speed, because that helps your brain get used to processing the language faster, which in due course will make a very serious difference to how well you can understand normal speakers in ordinary conversation… :slight_smile:


Bore da Aran,

Ok so I used the SSIW iPhone app. On this the speed adjuster works in all listening exercises.

So, I used it as one of only about 4 buttons you can press along with Pause. Consequently I listened to them them both fast …and…slow. ( Perhaps living in Yorkshire is rubbing off on me in terms of getting my money’s worth - ha, ha! )

It is water long under the bridge for me but out of curiosity, I can’t quite get my head around doing both, as being a bad thing. Personally I felt I got completely different things out of the two methods.

But there seems to be a strong opinion that it is. I’d be interested in your thoughts on that?

Secondly if this wasn’t the intention, what is the speed slider for - I’m intrigued?




The speed slider was very much an indie volunteer thing - can’t say we ever thought about it in the context of the listening exercises, to be honest!

It’s not so much a ‘bad’ thing - because any extra exposure is extra exposure - it’s just a bit of a waste of time, because the sensation you have that you’re gaining something different from listening to it at a slower speed is a misperception - all you’re actually getting is the emotional comfort of being able to recognise more words - but if you can live with being made uncomfortable, the faster speed is much, much more than just twice as valuable… :slight_smile:


:open_mouth: Wow, it never crossed my mind that the slider wasn’t part of the master plan…I’d be surprised if I’m alone there!

Anyway a few additional level 2 listening practices at normal speed doesn’t seem to have done too much damage…I’m still here!

I don’t consider anything a waste when I’m learning - I like your ‘all mistakes are good’ philosophy.

Ok, so back to the revised advise for @jimh1863 then:

  • Might headphones or a volume boost be possible Jim - if this is part of the problem?

  • The benefit of these particular listening exercises is gained via the chipmunk speed…

  • So my option of slowing down the lesson to help in this situation wasn’t a good one (apologies)

Rich :slight_smile:

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I’ve tried the listening exercises again with a different perspective now so I’ll give it a go with an open mind.
Thanks to everyone for their advice/ help.



well, not completely alone, I had noticed it, tried it and thought about using it.

But then I asked and @aran and a few others said it wasn’t necessary to consciously understand anything.
I’m for the least possible effort, so… :smiley:

By the way, a few days ago I tried to listen to Radio Cymru and THAT was REALLY frustrating!!!

If was nice for a couple of minutes because I had never heard people, with different accents, having a conversation in Welsh before.
But then I couldn’t really stop myself from trying to understand what they were saying. One was Tudur Owen that @Kimberley had mentioned.
The other was one with a picture of a puffin on the link so I guess it could be about nature.
But it wasn’t really relevant since they sounded absolutely identical to me (with the exception of the songs in one show)! :joy:

With listening practices - first of all - it’s only words I heard before in challenges, then it’s easier to catch a few here and there.
Second, my brain knows it doesn’t have to do much…reminds me a bit of that Beatles song:
“Turn off your mind, relax and float down stream”.
Fine with me!!! :man_with_turban::v::mushroom::blossom:


Hi @gisella-albertini,

Good to know I’m not alone!

Yes Radio Cymru is tough isn’t it. It does depend a lot what your listening to. I understand part of most things it’s just a question of how much! … which still means you don’t understand all of anything! Ha, ha. :smile:

Still it is getting better. At the moment I’m listening to Ofergoelus - a series of short episodes about 10mins each - quite South Walean (not sure which course you did). I’ve downloaded the episodes on iPlayer. It is funny - a bonus - and not too difficult to understand - the advantage being of course you can listen over and over.

I’ve branched into reading too - to try and broaden my vocab. There is a book I would recommend called Ffenestri which is very good - short stories plus a couple of poems. It is Entry level at the beginning, Foundation in the middle and intermediate at the end. A fantastic idea - unusual words are footnoted at the bottom of each page - and what do you know - the stories are good too. (Tough to write stories with limited vocab I would have thought).

As I’ve posted elsewhere I found the old listening really good for getting the permutations and combinations I could recognise as they fly by up…that has certainly helped with other things.

You seem to be doing fantastically well. I think I’ve seen one or two posts by you on the forum too :slight_smile: :smile:

Keep up the good work!