Spoiler Alert! Sgwrs 15 (Advanced Content)

Hope you enjoy this week’s offering, and let me know how it goes :blush:


Done with absolute mastery :star: :star2: :sunflower:


Wow it seems like this one is a slower / clearer one like Sgwrs 12 - at least I’m telling myself that so I don’t get too excited!

Rich :grin:


D’you know what, I did think that when I was recording it - her diction is excellent - being an actress I suppose :blush:


Unexpected side effect of this thread: keeping in mind that I’m going to write something about it, I feel more motivated to complete the task and I can also easily keep my attention 10 times more focused!

I need some extra time to turn my messy notes into a readable post.
But no doubt, highlight of the day was…understanding something in Welsh and not in English, so having to translate the other way round in my head. :open_mouth:
It’s just a tiny silly thing, but for a second, it made me feel like a native Welsh speaker instead of a foreigner. :smiley:
I understood brechdan becwn, while when I read the English translation I thought “what the h*** is a bacon butty? Oh right, a brechdan bacwn!”
(nuff effort for today, :beers:, nos da)


Haha yes! I kind of presumed everyone would know bacon butty - but then why would they?! - I used instead of ‘sandwich’ because Manon actually said ‘bechdan’ as opposed to ‘brechdan’ which is a more colloquial and familiar word, like ‘butty’ as opposed to ‘sandwich’. But, ‘butty’ can also mean ‘friend’ in Wales, like ‘buddy’ I suppose.


I had never heard butty (and by the way it sounds kinda weird, considering the first thing that comes to my mind hearing it - not quite something I’d consider eating. :flushed:)
But I’m Italian, so there’s a lot of words I don’t know in English. And it was an awesome feeling of mastering the Welsh language for a brief moment, so I’m really glad you used it! :wink:

p.s. oh bechdan she said, that’s why it wasn’t that easy to recognize: brechdan is one of the first words that surprised me for sounding so harsh, I thought it would be something nasty and tough, just to find out it was a…sandwich?!


I feel I’m #1 squatter of this thread. But I noticed writing detailed notes helps me keep my attention focused and seeing my progress later, so I’m going to write it anyway. I hope at least @rich will join us telling his experience when he has time.

I certainly agree with him, this can be filed among the slower / clearer Sgwrs.
I appreciate it, even though at the moment speed and accent don’t seem to be so relevant for my understanding: probably because since the beginning I’ve been listening to different accents and always at regular speed or even accelerated!

The real big difference is how familiar I am with the topics, or not: in fact, right now, my understanding of fluent Welsh is mostly based on catching a few, right keywords and then make my best guesses based on those.

This time, Beca had announced: “calling Rownd a Rownd fans, and those interested in vintage and antique artefacts”.

I’ve never seen a tv soap in any language, and know very little/almost nothing about Welsh ones (I just know the title of the most popular ones).

But I’m absolutely a flea-market//old junk/vintage shops digger so I hope it helps!

How it went:

1st Listen (= what I thought/guessed they said)
Her name in Rownd a Rownd is Michelle. The character was in it for many years, then went into a coma (after all I know they use these tricks to let characters out of soaps/series). Now she’s not in the show any more. They mention Pobol y Cwm, but I don’t know why.

They start talking about a shop. Having recently seen Adre on S4C with Arwyn Davies being interviewed, and they went on the set Pobol y Cwm and showed his home in the show, and a few shops I first thought here they’re talking about shop Michelle used to own in the show. It’s a vintage shop, but they go so much in detail that I realize it’s more likely to be Manon’s non- fiction activity. They mention Marie Kondo (by the way, I had her book for quite a while, not been able to apply her tips at all - does anyone?) and quote William Morris in English.

Among other things, they mention cwpan and soser, but also panad - I remember discussing the nuances here on the forum in the “Gair y Diwrnod - Word of the Day” thread. I guess they’re also talking about using vintage objects in everyday life - therefore sayin sugar a few times.

She also seems to talk about cartoons, pink cushions, frames and framing, auctions and brandy - all possibly related to vintage collecting.

When I got to practice cwpl o gardiau post in SSiW challenges, I had a real hard time remembering it. I also wondered when I’d ever get the chance to use it, considering I haven’t sent a postcard probably since 1999. And seeee?..it came handy very soon instead!

She tells a story about being a bit worried about what would happen to a document from Peru in a very good condition that was somewhat special for her; but luckily the lady from Manchester who bought it said she would take good care of it and keep it next to Pinocchio.

In the last part she talks about the practical aspects of running the shop, her mom and dad helping and husband and children and friends somehow in relation to the activity.

It’s always funny for me to hear random words from Datblygu songs I don’t necessarily remember the meaning of, but can easily recognize their sound (for example: braidd, grisia, celf, stryd, gwmpas, esgyrn, defnyddio, mhen, sylweddoli, hollol, gystadle, syniad, sbectol).

Also, when someone speaking fluently repeats a word a few times, now I can often remember it and find it in the dictionary (for example, in this Sgwrs: cymeiriad, creadigol, bron).

This happens also with the radio, but even more often I detect a sound (like I hear “govinotta”, cannot guess it’s actually gyfnoda) but I’m not able to figure out how to write it so I can only find it here, in the Advanced content, when I read the transcript - right next.

2nd Listen
My reading skills have improved a lot since I started using the Advanced content, but I’m still really really bad at it (I’ll write something more specific some day).

So, also very little difference between 1st and 2nd listen, since reading usually just adds names (places and people), numbers, English or English-looking words I had missed and sometimes a vague idea of sections I had understood absolutely nothing of (like the piano notes).

However, something hilarious always comes up: despite being a huge Paddington fan as a child, I missed the whole “Please Look After This Bear” because I knew it in Italian, and also his name - just like Cluedo, that I played thousands of times - were pronounced a bit different, so I didn’t recognize them. And this is how in the picture in my head, it’s an important letter from Peru that ended up on the shelf next to Pinocchio instead of him!

3rd Listen
Reading the translation, of course, I can finally understand all the stories and the details, check misheard words (coma for coman, sugar for lliwgar, brandy for bren) and…heh heh well…have the chance to have a laugh at my very wrong guesses!

This makes a huge difference in my understanding when I listen to the sgwrs one more time: I can recognize much more (at least twice as much I would say). And I become able to follow the conversation quite well, even with a lot of missing words. Hard to explain this feeling of knowing what she’s saying even without really understanding. Huh…doesn’t makes sense if I read it, but I can’t think of any better way to say it!

By the way, this shift cannot happen listening to the radio, because there’s no way to know what they actually said and the programme also disappears after 30 days so…it will always be a mystery!


Ha, ha, @gisella-albertini, another classic post… they do make me smile :grin:

Well…it’s been a bit of a roller coaster for me on this Sgrws.

I had a quick listen when I was on the train on Saturday and it became clear that my the headphones were broken - very frustrating. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes: I have to console myself with a quick post on the Forum to express how promising it sounded - the speech seemed clear and not too quick (through one ear phone!)

And so I come back to it later - and actually I find it pretty difficult to understand :frowning:️ - tipyn bach disappointing.

Howeverrr when listening to these Sgwrs… things have changed over time and the difficulty in understanding (I think) is different.

What I was finding previously was when I sat down to do the transcript - there would be loads of words I didn’t know (I have been trying to do the translation myself) but now I am finding that generally I know most of the words…and therefore what I don’t understand is because I don’t catch it…or there is a turn of phrase I’ve not heard before.

Examples - ‘thank you for having me’ obvious when you see it afterwards on paper but the ‘fy nghael i’…sounds like mwynhau when Beca says it which I can’t pin down…more generally phrases I’ve not heard before eg rwan bron lawn - almost…another word for girls! - genod… lol - I’ve pinned down this week as meaning ‘nonsense’.

None of these things are a problem of course - probably not even unusual phrases - I’ve just not heard them and therefore they are not things I can pull out of the bag, on a first listen.

But what I do find is - perhaps not surprisingly - if I listen over - my brain gradually tunes into the accent/ what is said / how it is being said and my understanding improves significantly each time (with no work in between).

Presumably we are ok with tweaking the methodology to accommodate this?

So for me this Sgwrs ended up being ‘another brick in the wall’ in terms of my language understanding - as opposed to a big step forward which I thought it was going to be (through one headphone!) - I think I just need as much experience as I can get of vocab, phrases and accents. And these Sgwrs are absolutely perfect for that.

So: vocab is improving; understanding getting better after a few listens; understanding very variable on the first listen.

I am totally ok with that as that is the ultimate goal. I am happy to be progressing towards it.

Rich :slight_smile:


This thread reminded me of when at school the teacher, asked: “Any volunteers?” (to go there and answer her/his questions).
Usually only just two or three were always ready and eager “Me, me!” and they were usually the ones who spent all the time studying and were defined “secchioni” over here! :joy:

Anyway, your experience sounds more like working with the sandpaper, while I’m still using the hatchet! :grin:

1 Like

Ha, ha - well hopefully there are few more people reading it thinking thanks goodness it’s not only me!..so maybe we are serving a wider purpose than writing to each other :smile: but who knows - maybe not!

I’d say it’s quite an odd feeling. You make progress without realising it don’t you ?..you would think you’d notice…but as David Bowie said…you can’t trace time!

I was thinking as I was driving round the other day - wow I am listening to two people having a fairly normal conversation - warts and all - in Welsh - and for the most part I understand it! ( after a few listens).

When I listened to the first one 15 weeks ago, I thought, oh dear, I’m not sure I’m going to be able to this…15 weeks isn’t really very long is it?

I’m waiting for the Sgwrs where I listen to it the first time and I can understand it. I think that might still be a little while away but recent history says things are progressing quite quickly.

I love your analogy - but sandpaper no - chisel maybe?!

:slight_smile: Rich

Ps. I haven’t quite figured out how modest you are - you with your hatchet!..hmmm


Yeah, it’s very much like that. However I found a note about the first time I tried to listen to the radio - that was also the first time I heard a conversation in Welsh ever, exactly 5 months ago: I had listened to it for about 10 minutes and recognized 11 words. I mean, eleven out of…how many could there be in 10 minutes of people speaking fluently? :rofl: No kidding, they were so few that I had written them all down. :laughing:

Progress certainly becomes less evident with time, but still, I think that it’s going to be useful to be a bit more aware of what’s going on…in our subconscious maybe?

p.s. chisel, probably more correct here - but I didn’t know the English word for it, so I went for a more flattering one. :smiley: but myself, still feel hatcheting around!



You have only been learning for 5 mins! The fact that you are listening to the advanced content is incredible. :crazy_face:


1 Like

Talking about diction, did anyone hear that bloke from Llanddarog ( I think) talking to Ifan Evans on Radio Cymru tonight :grinning:. I say I think, because I struggled to understand even after Ifan asked him again, and its only just up the road from me. In the end, Ifan reiterated everything that he said, suposedly due to a poor phone signal. But I’m not totally convinced :rofl:. Beca, have you ever had to interview someone that you just couldnt get what they were saying? In English or Welsh.


Yes, it is fascinating to read what you have written and compare it with my own experience. I haven’t analysed my listening beyond realising that I recognise words and the odd phrase first time, then recognise more after reading the transcript and translation. Do please carry on.


Actually 6 months since I started SSiW challenges. :grin:

But I believe that my previous humongous effort to transcribe and sing the song that got me hooked on Welsh without knowing Welsh at all, should not be underestimated. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
If anyone wants to give it a try: :sunglasses:


I think I caught the chorus…


That’s a start! And by the way I found it incredibly effective to practise the LL sound! :grinning:

p.s. ha ha look what message I got while writing this!:laughing:


Wow I’ve never seen that!

Discourse can be a little bit scolding like that - I get them ALL THE TIME :japanese_ogre::joy: