Struggling to attain fluency

Hi Everyone,

I am a Welsh learner from Liverpool. I’ve been learning Welsh for a number of years, but I am still finding it difficult to become fluent. One of the main obstacles I have is that because I don’t live in Wales, I don’t have many opportunities to practise my Welsh. And no one in my social circle speaks the language. Any one got any tips?

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Hi Jacob. Croeso i’r fforwm, welcome to the forum.

Fluency is a very slippery word, and lots of people never feel fluent to themselves, while to the listener they sound perfectly fluent. For too many people fluent is an end of the rainbow prize, never to be achieved.

So, do you mean 100% accurate? No one is, not even a native born Cymro. Those mutations get everyone in the end. But they are understood, so does it matter?

Do you mean you understood everything a native Welsh speaker says? My Welsh neighbours who spoke Welsh to each other for 60 years of their married lives were stymied by the equally native Welsh speaker at the tourist office at the other end of the country and by mutual consent they all turned to English.

Do you mean never having to stop and think about what you’re saying. Practice, practice, practice.

You say you’ve been learning for several years. Are you new to the SSIW community? Have you been using their courses, or principally going to a night class or similar. SSIW, within their materials, encorages you to speak. There’s a reason it’s called SAY SIW.

On top of their online lessons, in more normal times there are regular meetups across the country. Weekly, fortnightly, monthly, in pubs and cafes where people get together to talk. And there are bootcamps where learners have a whole week full of chances to speak only Welsh. In normak times, that is.

There’s also quite an online presence, continuing in these days of gloom. @BronwenLewis quite often talks to people one to one, as do others. Put out a shout. And @nia.llywelyn organises regular groups on line. If you find yourself doing the 6 minute a day course, or the 6 month course, then participating in these groups is part of the deal.

So yes, practice, practice, practice. And for every time someone understands you, remember that feeling, and save it up for a rainy day!


Hi Jacob - @mikefarnworth is the go to person for all things Liverpool - he organises the SSiW Liverpool group, so do send him a message

Hi from Liverpool too, @jacob-5. We have a Welsh conversation group which meets every week on Monday evenings. It has moved on-line with Zoom for the duration of the Covid 19 emergency. You’re very welcome to join us. If you email me via I can add you to our distribution list so that you’ll have the meeting credentials - and the list of conversation topics - each week.

Thanks very much @johnwilliams_6 for putting us in touch. It’s remarkable how far the grapevine extends, isn’t it?

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There are regular online chats to be had via our Welsh Speaking Practise group on Slack - that’s open for anyone whether they’re with SSiW or not, it’s free, and there are opportunities to have one-to-one chats or join group hangouts with people of all levels all over the world. To join, just send an email to and they’ll send you an invite.

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Hi Margaret, thanks for your reply.

I don’t think I was specific enough in what I meant by ‘struggling to attain fluency’ so here’s a clearer explanation. I’ve been learning Welsh using a combination of sites such as Duolingo and books such as the ones from Y Lolfa. The problem I’ve had is, because I don’t have many opportunities to use the language, the stuff I’ve learned soon disappears from memory and I can’t remember a lot of what I learnt.

Hope this helps

Thank you Mike for the invite. I haven’t got Zoom installed yet on my Laptop, but I’ll get back to you once I’m able to

You’re welcome, @jacob-5. It’s easy to put Zoom on Windows, Linux, or Apple laptops, and you can even take part in Zoom meetings without having the Zoom client installed, provided that you have a compatible web browser. Google Chrome works; I’ve tried it. There’s also a Zoom app for Android or Apple phones and tablets, available from the Play Store or App Store respectively.

Pob lwc!