SSi - state of play, March 2017

This has been a ‘heads down and build’ kind of month - which always feels a little frustrating in terms of external results, but sometimes just has to happen.

Currently available material:

As last month, PLUS 4 more northern L3 lessons.

The various explosions these caused eventually meant we had to commit to a couple of serious changes to the SSiBorg, which Ifan is implementing right now. I’m hoping that we’ll be able to publish more northern L3 material before the end of this month, but don’t go and bet the house on it…

Coming next

I think we’re getting close to a kind of spring flowering…:slight_smile:

Again, don’t quote me, but if it’s not this month, I’m pretty optimistic it’ll start to sparkle in April.

Once Ifan’s current piece of work (and one more fix after it) is finished, we should be able to start producing northern L3 on a very regular basis, and get moving with the southern L3 as well - not to mention getting Spanish L3 up and running, carrying on with Dutch, Manx, Asturian and Cornish, and starting work on a collection of new material as well (not certain yet, but might include Sami, Croatian, French and Italian).


Barring any last minute hiccups, it currently looks as though we will have our first commercial 5 Day in early May (one deposit in, waiting for another, and may have one spare place) - and probably a VIP event in Portmeirion in April - so the first steps of this extremely niche, incredibly hard-working and eye-wateringly expensive approach are going enormously encouragingly well. If we can roll it out into Spanish, it may turn into a very important line of extra income and credibility for us.

Next steps

I’m waiting with eager anticipation for the next round of testing the SSiBorg, which I hope and believe is going to be a big step forwards for us.

I’m also optimistic about taking the 5DSI (5 day super intensives!) out into Spanish, although that may be two or three months down the line.

I’ve heard that the online school project has got the green light, so that might become extremely interesting, although I’m currently not sure what the timetable is. We’ve also had an invitation to be the language side of things for a new centre for accelerated learning in Cambridge, but again I’m not sure what the timeline is like.

Iestyn has been having some very useful conversations with teachers about the new requirements for GCSE Welsh as a second language, and we’re currently looking at providing some specific material to help with the oral exam - which I think could potentially be a big step forwards.

Other stuff

I’ve started work on collating all the various bits and pieces of advice that we’ve accrued over the years, to write a ‘How to Succeed With SSiW’ kind of guidebook. I’m currently thinking we might publish it (for the same sort of price as my little book) and see if that a) helps encourage people to read it and b) possibly works as something we could advertise, to get new learners in without actually losing money…:wink:


Pause and breathe in so that we don’t rush the SSiBorg into full time work before it’s ready. Plus very encouraging steps forward with the 5DSIs.

Overall mood

Still quietly confident. You never know, this might just be the year when we take on some new staff…:slight_smile:


A lot of work Aran and interesting developments. I have been wanting to ask you a question 're the proposal for SSiFrench but am reluctant to add to your workload…However here goes…Would it be possible for it to be through Welsh rather than English??
My reason for asking is because every time I have tried to revive my Welsh in the past it has been overtaken by the need to speak French again. Now that I have been through the SSiW and am gaining confidence in the wild I don’t want to loose it! My daughter however has moved to Geneva and I need to improve my French considerably. I had heard that one way that people who learn multiple languages is to learn the next one via the one most recently learnt. Is this true? It would be good if it was as it might save me coming out with Welsh again when trying to speak French when buying chocolate in Geneva!!
Thanks so much for call you are doing.


Hmmm … I thought Serbian is in the pipeline, not Croatian. Actually Croatian woud I prefer a bit more as Croats are our direct neighbours and I just want to establish what of the language I still don’t know or I’ve forgotten during the years. :slight_smile:

And … all this sounds really exciting. I hardly am waiting for new stuff.

Oh, will other languages have 10 lessons per level aproach or as usually 25/26 per Level?

Just nosy question though. :slight_smile:

I’d love a Norwegian option…but instead of ges i wydriad neu ddau it would have to be o’n i’n meddwyl am diod ond does gen i ddim digon o arian. :wink:


Yes please!


At this particularly stage, because it’s an either/or thing right now, and we’re trying very hard to get a foothold with larger languages so that we can take some more staff on, that’s going to have to be a no…


Making all the new courses we do available through the medium of Welsh is VERY high on our list, and the work we’ll need to do to the SSiBorg to make that possible is mostly a matter of testing how current stuff works (rather than needing to build from scratch) - so there’s a fighting chance that the Welsh medium version will only be an extra couple of months or so down the line.

I think learning through the medium of an L2 is a great idea - but at this point, don’t worry about losing your Welsh - even if you go without it for a while, and have plenty of French, an hour spent running through the last couple of SSiW lessons you did will get you back up to speed very quickly…:slight_smile:

I thought that too, but apparently not!

Yes, we’re going to be 10 lessons per level for everyone from now on, and will eventually do the slightly fiddly work of making Welsh and Spanish 10 lessons per level too… :slight_smile:

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My nose is deeply into the making - HAHA! Is that a matter of (just) splitting the courses or demands totally new concept. If that second is in store then we should prepare to get “new material” (read slightly new way of learning) again what makes me prety excited. Never enough renovated things to keep things going with more enthusiasm. :slight_smile: Love all said.

Oh, now you’ve made me slightly more interested … I can use my Serbo-Croatian perfectly well and despite this can be tricky (quite delicate) situation when speaking, no one particularly complains about my language but it will be interesting to see the differences inbetween my knowledge and what the course can teach me more. I will surely write full feedback when it comes out and I start to dig into it … it’s not my mother’s tongue but I still can count myself as kind of more or less fluent speaker of it.

Hmmm … this Spring should really be interesting … :slight_smile:

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I do like these monthly updates. I’m particularly looking forward to some more Cornish whenever that comes about. I’ve found that, for me, learning Cornish goes well with learning Welsh. Presumably this is due to the similarities between the two languages. I’ve finished Cornish Level 1 and I’m going to be visiting Cornwall in the summer so it would be great to have some more Kernewek to take with me. I might even see if I can find a Yeth an Werin to go to.


I was of the understanding that the spoken Serbian and Croatian are almost identical but that they use different scripts: Cyrillic and Latin respectively.

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True and not true, all at the same time. We eventually thought that before ex Yugoslavia went to “pieces” and each republic became its own state. After 1990 the differences inbetween two languages started to srping up and we, firstly being surprised and confused that this exists at all, got somehow adapted to that with extream caution about what words/sentences (and what’s more to it) you use with particular speaking “partner”. For one, Serbian and Croatian differ mostly for “ie” and pure “e” sounds e.g. if you say “lepo” (beautiful) in Serbian it’s “lijepo” (beautiful) in Croatian. This is a bit not good example enough but that’s what came to my mind first. Then there are some other differences in words as Croats tend to use the words which were used in the language before WW2 or even long before WW1 rather then modern common words for some things like “the piano” which was (previously) “klavir” only to become “glasovir” etc, etc … Those are just differences I could remember now but there are probably the whole sentences and also some grammar which probably is different. Using one either another after 1990 was prety delicate due to turbulent political situation in ex Yugoslavia for quite some years but in our country Slovenia or a bit wider it’s not too much of a problem to mix the two languages again. We “oldis” who lived in SFR Yugoslavia, are all in all, old school who learnt Serbo-Croatian at school and cyrillic script with that so are also not particularly touchy neither aware of differences which applied after 1990 so that’s why I’ve said it will particularly interest me what’s really new in the Croatian language since I didn’t bother too much to learn those differences in the past.

However, in delicate areas where political situation is still a bit tense, like in parts of Bosnia and Croatia (and maybe Serbia, I don’t know) being careful is still needed so if you tend to learn either olanguage learn it rather well not to come into tricky situation. We - ex Yugoslavs, especially blod mixtures like I am - can be prety temperament from time to time … (not me in that case anymore :slight_smile: ) .

But this is the debate for “Other languages” category rather then Welsh (this) one I believe.


Have a look at

if you haven’t already – it’s intended to be a list of “what’s happening in relation to the Cornish language”.

Though given that it says it’s run by MAGA and they’re not around any more, I’m not sure whether the calendar is still updated.

But hopefully the regular monthly / bi-weekly / weekly meetings will still be on the same days and so the info on the calendar for those will still be accurateˇ!


Thanks for the reassurance Aran and I will look forward to SSiFrench via both English and then Welsh in due course.


Oh, that’s interesting! Looking forward to hearing more about that! I just tried an old practice exam online the other week, and did surprisingly well on it; but I’d really like to do the real GCSE at some point.

@aran If you need any help at any point with French feel free to shout across. I am (with probably a fair few others around these parts) a fluent French speaker :slight_smile:


Diolch, Nicky… :star2:

About that Sami… which Sami language?

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I’m not sure - ‘one of them’ was as detailed as we got, which was the first time I’d heard that there was more than one! :slight_smile:


I’d love to learn Basque through SSi too.

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That’s next on my personal list after Breton… :slight_smile:


I hope the Dutch is coming along well, Aran and @Louis! I’m looking forward to it…