In a moment of madness, I signed up to the intermediate welsh for adults course, (which has been apparently going on for 2 weeks now, but the site still let me sign up!). BBC’s level selector assured me I was in the intermediate category, and I did manage an A in my GCSE Welsh exams, however that was almost 4 years ago now (and a B overall anyway).
In short, I’m a touch worried I might not actually be able to keep up when starting it. Since I’ve dabbled with this site a bit before, I’ve thought about trying to intensively go through some of the courses over the next week before starting. Would it be best to go through the levels, or the courses in that time?
Another thing I’ve noticed, the South Wales course seems to be slightly different to the dialect we were taught in my school in the Vale; but the centre I’ll be learning at is in Cardiff, so I presume that’ll be the one to do?
You’re certainly right about choosing the southern version of our material - and I’d strongly recommend the levels rather than the courses, in general terms - but it really needs to be flagged up that while lots of people do use our materials while attending classes, they’re not actually designed to work together… so using SSiW to prepare for a class-based course will have some benefits, but will also lead to at least some ‘Oh, we don’t say it that way’ stuff from your teacher…
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‘Oh, we don’t say it that way’ stuff from your teacher
Depending on the teacher, you could get “Who’s been teaching you?” in accents of horror, because you know a lot of normal, street Welsh in an accent a tad east of the Vale!!
You could have trouble not getting shunted up to ‘Advanced’ because you speak normal…etc.etc.
I mentally switch the words in the course to being pronounced the same way my family pronounces them anyway, so if it’s just accent that shouldn’t be a big deal!
The intermediate is apparently for post-GCSE, so I guess I’ll rush through a whole bunch of levels over the weekend to try and refresh what I should know, and even if it isn’t exactly the same, more exposure to Welsh, and learning materials, can only be a good thing anyway!
Starting to go through the levels now, cheers guys
I guess what I was getting at is that if GCSEs are as I think, they tend to teach very formal written language, not very handy for chatting to a friend. SSiW teaches informal, chatty Welsh, ideal for friends. If the Intermediate Course presumes GCSE, they may be, shall we say, a tad surprised by the SSiW influence and either delighted (one would hope) or horrified (if teacher is pedantic!). Lwc dda!! Do keep us posted!!!
It’s the intermediate Welsh for adults course, rather than GCSE by the sounds of it. In my experience, it’s not the course which is the problem, but whether you have a good teacher or not! The courses, in my experience, certainly concentrate on spoken, local Welsh, and if you have a good teacher doing the same, they can be very helpful. I was lucky enough to have good teachers, concentrating on teaching the really local ways of saying things (whilst also covering the more standard forms, and mentioning the literary forms, but concentrating on local spoken) ,sometimes different ways to that of SSiW - which is not to fault SSiW! By necessity, SSiW can’t cover every single dialect and way of saying things, whereas a good “normal course” teacher can cover such things for that area and answer questions about them. And you are, of course, guaranteed a good teacher on SSiW! However, other people haven’t had good teachers, and that can make a big difference! @Hydwyren I hope you have a good teacher and enjoy the experience!
You’re actually doing exactly what I did when I arrived in Cardiff, except that I had only done about 30 lessons from the BBC Catchphrase series online and never spoken a word of Welsh in my life!
I did that online assessment and with it being multiple choice I managed to guess my way to intermediate and got accepted into a class called ‘Pellach’ which was sort of advanced Canolradd.
I went into total shock in the class as they expected me to be able to speak a bit of Welsh (surprise, surprise) but I somehow bluffed my way through until SSiW got going and rescued me.
I’m sure you’ll be fine and I’d be very surprised if your tutor hasn’t heard of SSiW. The good ones are keen to have SSiWers in their classes as they tend to be confident speakers and help the others along.
Thanks for the responses everyone! I don’t think it’ll matter to much if even things are a bit formal, I’ve got plenty of Welsh speaking family/friends who I can practice off, and obviously as you’re saying this site is more casual (besides, the course’ll expose me to another dialect alongside Carmarthen/Neath/SSiW!).
Glad to hear you could bluff your way through the class at first, so hopefully I won’t be entirely shell-shocked starting 3 weeks late if I crash through as much of this course as possible over the weekend. Do you feel fluent after finishing the course and SSiW now, if you don’t mind me asking? I’ll be sure to mention SSiW if I get a chance.
“Fluent” is a funny word as I suspect everyone that has learnt a language feels they could always learn more, and do I understand 100% of what I read and hear? No. But am I confident to go about speaking Welsh all the time with everyone I meet? Yes, and to me that’s what’s important. And I get the feeling you’ll be there in no time!
Does anyone in any language? Every profession has ‘in’ jargon and I came to the conclusion that biologists did it just to sound clever!! BHK cells = baby hamster kidney cells. Maybe they just didn’t want to sound vicious?? I am for ever hitting Scots up here and having to ask for translations!! I already told you all about my early encounters with Yorkshire!
I used to work in an organisation that was a big user of IBM computers and there were a lot of IBM-ers around, and even those of us who didn’t go around wearing smart blue suits tended to end up speaking in IBMese, I think it was true of a lot of the computer industry in those days, but especially in IBM that almost everything had a TLA - a Three Letter Abbreviation.