SSi - state of play, January 2017

Here we go with the monthly round up of what’s going on with the good ship SSi… it’s going to be interesting to hear from what you think about the frequency - is there enough new stuff in here, or is it a bit samey? :slight_smile:

Here’s last month’s report:

Currently available material

Same as last month. This is a bit disappointing - we were very confident that we’d have new Level 3 northern stuff out before Christmas - but a combination of fine-tuning the system and coughs and colds meant that we missed that one.

Coming next

Welsh: If we don’t have some new Level 3 northern lessons available this week, it will be next week at the very latest. But I’m hoping for this week - if Catrin shakes off the rather nasty bug she’s got at the moment!

Spanish: I’ll have having a chat with Gaby this month - I think we need to wait for one last rearrangement to the block system for the SSiBorg (which will break course production down into more digestible chunks), but with luck that will be ready quite soon.

Asturian: Still waiting on my recording, which I’m keen to do after the new block system (there’s something quite depressing about seeing too many thousands of recording tasks waiting for you!). But we should have some actual publishing with this before the end of the month.

Manx: there’s been a lot of work going on with Manx - plenty of new production, and a lot of recording, even in the face of the old block system. @adriancain will know better than I do right now how close we are to publishing more, but it’s certainly not going to be long.

Then we’ve also got movement again on the Cornish course, which I think is very close to going to recording now - so it’s reasonable to hope that there might be new published material in the next few months.

Once the block system is ready, I’m going to be talking to people about our next round of new languages - at the moment, that’s looking as though it might include some or more of Sami, Maori, Italian, German and French.


Pretty much the same as last month, plus a few extra Welsh subscriptions (usually a little slower at this time of year, I think - @Iestyn?).

Next steps

The two main things coming up are:

Our new 5 day immersion intensive for Welsh, trialling at the end of January. I’m excited about this model - it’s going to be fiendishly hard word, but I can’t wait to see the results.

An invitation to help build the English syllabus/course for a new online school - on a paid consultancy role and for a share of the revenue. This has come out of our new connections in Cambridge, and might be the first step towards reaching a far wider audience, so it’s pretty good news. At some point this year, we’re hoping it will generate enough income for us to plough some more resources into the Welsh side of things (although the new pattern of publishing for Level 3 Welsh starting this month is going to keep you on your toes anyway…;-)).

Other stuff going on

We should be starting to publish the videos I was talking about last month in the very near future. It’s going to be interesting seeing what sort of reception they get on YouTube, and if it would be worth perhaps putting some of our Spanish material into a course on Udemy.

I didn’t mention our apps last month - @lewie and @jamesmahoney have done superb and generous unpaid work to build iOS and Android apps for SSiW, and we also have a live iOS app for Spanish - not sure what our download figures are like - Jeff, James? Mobile is clearly a hugely important part of the experience these days, and we hope we’ll be able to put a lot more into this side of things (by actually managing to pay Jeff and James some non-Monopoly money one of these days!).

In summary

The first quarter of 2017 is going to be recording and publishing with Welsh, Asturian, Manx and Spanish…

Plus launching the 5 day immersive, and working on the English course for the online school project.

And carrying on trying to reach more new learners with videos and advertising.

Any other questions, fire away!

Oh… just one thing…

The requests for new languages

All these threads lead to requests for new languages!

We’d love to say yes, wave a magic wand and publish them all straight away.

But right now, it’s not about us being nudged to think ‘Oh, yes, [x] language would be a good idea’. We want to do all of them, but we can’t just yet.

If you’re actually, personally, willing to jump in with producing a new language - one that you speak to a native-like level of fluency - then yes, by all means sing out - we might just be able to squeeze one more in the next round of testing.

But otherwise, wishlists are just going to be a little frustrating for you, because we’re not in a position to respond to them at this stage… :slight_smile:


Wishing you all a happy, productive, loving and interesting 2017… :heart:


I don’t think this report is too soon after the last one or too uneventful :slight_smile: Thank you for posting it!


We are getting there on the Manx front too. Just finished a significant number of recordings and just need to sort out the female recording artist but that won’t take too long!
Blein vie noa from Mannin!


There can’t be all that many Manx courses out there in the big wide world, can there? So this could be a bit of a “USP” for SSiW.


This report is even more interesting then the last one so yes, do post them in the future. Once a month I think is perfectly often enough.

For the new languages … I’m surely happy to help but not before this already planned “block of languages” is at least in production if not finished as I am not sure there’s any wide interest of learning Slovene at all and I have established (writing some thngs down) quite some discussions and solving problems would be neccessary to make.

All in all, I’m extreamly exciting to see all new things comming “live” especially those which would bring more income and made SSi more recognizable. And of course, I’m glad to get some work in Video team again.



Hi Aran, really pleased to hear that level 3 is progressing as I just finished level 2 of the Southern course over Christmas! Is there any rough timeline on when we might start seeing level 3 southern challenges? I’m not sure whether to try the northern level 3 challenges as they’re released or run through the old southern courses whilst I wait for southern level 3


Not right now, I’m afraid, but @iestyn has been starting to get to grips with the SSiBorg, so the gap should be a fair bit less than between the Levels 2… :slight_smile:

Well - you’ll benefit from increased exposure to northern forms, of course, since you’ll often hear them on radio and TV - I’d probably suggest that you give L3 northern a go, and see how you find it - and if it feels like too much of a gear change right now, then there’d certainly be plenty of value to running through the old courses for the south… :slight_smile:


Would you say there’s any great disadvantage to do the other course, but still repeat the sentences in your own dialect anyway? That’s what I’ve been doing with the southern course in the few cases it doesn’t quite line up (with the dialect my family speak); and it lets you get double the practice :slight_smile:

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No, I think that’s a great idea - gives you exposure to the other version and practice of your own at the same time… :slight_smile:


Ooh! Maybe part of the reason I’ve held back in getting stuck into Spanish, is having to do the SSiS stuff sat at a computer, like I don’t do that all day! Yes, I can download the lessons onto a device, but it’s faffy. I’m not an Apple person, is this coming very soon for Android? TBH, having the Android app, was what really made me start with SSIW in the first place, and I’m so grateful i did! (I think it’s having that handy pause button, even though it is better not to use it)

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For Android:

21,118 total downloads by user - this means unique users (as far as Google is concerned) who’ve ever installed the app. So the same person installing on multiple devices doesn’t count

7,577 “active” users - these are people who have the app on their phone and their phone has been active in the last 30 days. This doesn’t mean they actively do their Welsh lessons though!

There is nothing inside the app to track usage statistics though, so aside from people occasionally having a problem with it I have no idea of how much it’s actively used.


Re: Spanish, I’m not sure how much spare time James has (well, I’m sure it’s as little as any of the rest of us) and it’s rude to stare meaningfully at volunteers too often… :wink: But worst case scenario we’ll find some actual cash to push on before the end of the year…

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If I’m correct Spahish app is live - let me check … yes, it’s live, I’ve checked through the Google Play store. But if you want to find it you have to type “SaySomethingInSpanish” alltogether just like I did here otherwise you don’t get it in the results. It is live for about 2 years now (is it 2 or is it 1 @jamesmahoney?) so go ahead and use it.

¡Buena suerte! @Y_Ddraig_Las

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Now I’m confused! The search returns no results, searched as you say , Capitals, and no spaces???

Spanish android app is not live. It’s in a long term beta. PM me your email that you sign in with on Android and I can get you set up with access.

At some point it’ll go live, I’m sure, it’s just that there’s not so much demand for it on Android as iOS, so my test base of active users is not large.

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Well, then I’ve got result because I beta tested it once. To be honest, I’ve stopped usign it as soon as I stopped learning Spanish. Maybe I should return to it but surely @Y_Ddraig_Las, eager to learn Spanish as he is - might be better beta tester at the moment then I am. As much as I’ve used it intensively when BETA was out, it’s very much ready to be used so “draig” you’ll be fine using it.

But don’t count me out of testing as I might return to it prety soon. :slight_smile:

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