Tatjana - progress reports

I’ve done the whole Course 1 + all 10 vocab lessons with so much difficulty that I even now don’t know exactly did I achieve something in my atempt (yes atempt) of learning or not. The one minute I’m able to say quite some things and in just another I’m on the way to forget (almost) everything. Since I took quite amount of time for all this (more then a year - I believe there were even two years actually) one would expect I’m quite good Welsh speaker but actually I’m not. Now I’ve started with Level 1 rather then Course 2 but found myself extreamly frustrated with the fact that some things are quite different from those being tought in Course 1 and all those vocabs. It might seam to you I’m overreacting since many of you are living among native Welsh speakers, having a chance to listen to them speaking (quite) all the time and all those differences probably seam something totally natural to you, but for me one tiny difference can mean a stop for quite some time.

This is why I’m kind of confused now whether should I continue with Level 1 or rather turn around and aproach Course 2 while it’s still here for us to “enjoy”. I was advised once by @aran to continue with Level 1 but I am not sure right now this was really wise choice of mine.

No offence, but after 2 years of learning and 1 year of atempts of learning before I found SSiW I have to admit that I never learnt as tough language being spoken or written as Welsh is and if I will ever even manage to produce something really useful in it this would really be acheavement what concerns me.

So question is: Should I stay on course with Level 1, should I rather turn to Course 2 or is it maybe (I’d just have to face the fact if it’s so) inevitable for me to stop learning since in 2 years I practically achieved nothing and got practically nowhere. (Sorry, but tweeting “Nos da. Cysgu yn dda a breuddwydion melys”, “Bore da” or similar stuff I just can’t count as some achievement what concerns me).


I get the feeling that you’re maybe being a little hard on yourself. You’re certainly not the only person to feel like that (God knows I have in the past). I’d honestly suggest that you take a break and relax. Maybe in a month or two, come back when you’re not feeling as frustrated. Also, I’d absolutely recommend a trip to the first bootcamp you can get to - I promise you, you’re doing far better than you’re giving yourself credit for, and a week spent using what you’ve learned nearly non-stop will do more for your ability to speak than any amount of lessons.

Truth is, I felt like a little bit of a fraud going to bootcamp - and I doubt I’m the only one who felt that way. I’d finished course 2 almost a year before, and I’d ended up taking a break about midway through course 3 a month or so later that ended up lasting nearly the whole year (not counting the odd Level 1 lesson here or there when they came out). Bootcamp was where I found my motivation again, and was where I realised that actually, I spoke far better Welsh than I thought (particularly after a pint or several, but that always seems to be the way with languages).


I think you should continue with Level 1 (you don’t say how far you’ve got, and if you’ve started doing the listening exercises?).

I also think that hectorgrey is completely right that you’re being far too hard on yourself (as we’ve discussed at length on Twitter). Being frustrated at different ways of saying things is a recipe for disaster - how have you coped with the huge variety of expression in English?

You say that your tweets in Welsh don’t count as an achievement to you.

What would count as an achievement, then? The more concrete your goals are, the more easy it will be to see if you are moving towards them successfully.

You said in October that you did Lesson 23 of Course 1 ‘practically 99.9% correct’ - I think most people on here would consider that a HUGE achievement. So why don’t you set out some goals here that would count as an achievement, and then let us know how you get on progressing towards them?


I agree with hectorgrey too. You are being very hard on yourself. On the other hand, I have also been frustrated at times with my progress and all the different ways of saying things!

My advice is to do what you enjoy most. You could try 1-2 of the Course 2 lessons and the Level 1 challenges and then decide which ones you had most fun doing. And don’t think that Course 2 is ‘progress’ and Level 1 is starting again, because you’ll learn new things on both from what I have tried out so far. Once you’ve decided which one you like, just go with the flow!

Now, following my own advice, last night I did the first challenge of Level 1, north and south. I enjoyed them both, but I have to say, I felt more comfortable with the northern version. The differences in pronunciation made me smile though, particularly Iestyn and Cat saying “sut i”- lovely, so soft and cuddly compared to the northern version! Also, I added over 2,000 steps to my fitness band total by walking round the room while saying the Welsh out loud - two goals achieved in one go.

One last point: I have ‘cheated’ and jumped to the double speed listening practises - absolutely amazing the difference that has made to my being able to understand spoken Welsh.


S’mae Tatjanaprelogknightg?

frustrated at times with my progress

This is 100% normal and has been/is being experienced by every learner on this forum! The most important thing you have to do is push on through this “barrier”. It is not “real”, but it can stop you in your tracks if you let it. As Aran says, how are you measuring your “lack of progress”? If you could express your goals clearly, and then break them down into smaller stepping stones, I would suspect you are nearer than you think.

Pob lwc,



Well, thank you all for your replies and advises.

How I measure my progress? Very simple (but obviously wrong) way. I’ve learnt two languages on my own - what means I had kind of lessons (just that those lessons consisted with books and audio) - German and Italian and after 3 months I could use what I’ve learnt prety much (almost 100 %). OK, the truth is I was quite some younger (about 15 years younger) and (obviously) I could remember much more then I do now. That’s why I’ve said that Welsh is WAY harder language to learn then any other language I’ve learnt. I also compare progress from those two self-taught languages as the way of learning was something I could take on my own, deciding how speedy or slow my learning shoudl go (what means similar to SSiW way). The hardness upon myself was as strong as it’s now - no more no less.

English doesn’t count here as a measure as I’ve started to learn it already in primary school and learning one language through the era of 10 or even more years and then on only kind of upgrading it, having many ways and abilities to practice the language almost on every corner should give some kind of results. So varities of how to say something in English really came kind of naturally and I don’t even translate anything into Slovene anymore. I (now for example) just sit and type (quite fast that’s why so many character mixtures) what I want to say just like I’d type in Slovene or Croatian language (and even in Croatian I’d think a bit how to write down something). So, yes, English really can’t count into comparison how I measured the progress when learning it.

I will make no excuses on any thing. I actually don’t strive to any particular goal but that one of comprehanding the things beign taught in lessons and being able to produce something out of what I’ve learnt in reasonable (rather shorter then longer) time… Repeating one lesson twice or three times should be prety enough to remember things, putting sentences together or so. However there are times (quite many times) when I say or write something and all of a sudden I feel everything is way wrong especially with so many variations of Welsh language as I’m encountering in the process of learning right now.

But here is one excuse, which is sadly reasonable. I might never be able to go to one bootcamp due to financial reasons, not living in UK, so I might never have the real chance of speaking only Welsh for a day what even for a week (To make thigs clear, moaningn is not my intention here. I’m just saying the fact).

Tweets in Welsh @aran could very easily be cheating (what I normally don’t do though except when needing to find new word I don’t know yet) and to be honest with some of them I needed to use Google translate quite some times to be able to remember how to write down things (I always have written them dwon on my own and never did copy-paste though). My tweets you could see on my timeline though are as same as a parrot would write them down and as few as one could imagine what equals (almost) to none. More I am not able to do so that’s why I don’t count them as acheavement (I mean my tewwts not those of someone else).

And lesson 23 done almost 99 % I didn’t say with how many repetitions of it I managed to get so high percentage. I believe I’ve repeated it for a week or so to be able to remember things and use them correctly (not to mention that I went through the whole Course 1 once before however with much higher tempo then the last time what was really wrong to do).

So, if I make kind of conclusion …
Maybe I’d rather try to go through Level 1 and forget Course 1 completely except in things they’re the same in both, then give myself a break of a month or even more (what was also suggested as an option here) because if I do a break of more then a week I’d surely loose everything what I’ve learnt so far (I did a break for 14 days once and came into real trouble getting back on track afterwards).

Diolch i bawb.
Da boch.

As regards money, I can completely understand that - I live in the UK, and I almost certainly won’t be able to afford to go to bootcamp this year. That said, honestly, about 80% is what you should be aiming for before moving to the next lesson. You’re not expected to be perfect (or even close), and often the stress of trying to be perfect is counter-productive towards learning. The thing to remember is that people who speak the language like a native will mess things up from time to time; and you’re certainly not expected to do better than them.

All that said, whatever you decide to do, please do what makes you happiest. There are no expectations here beyond that.


Neurologically speaking, that’s extremely unlikely to be true. I’ve just been working with someone (quite a bit older than you) who took a 6 month break after session 7 of Level 1, and then started again with session 8 - no revision at all. 8 was very challenging for her, but 9 (because she’d revisited almost everything by that point) was back to normal progress.

It’s clear that you’re telling yourself that any mistakes are a sign that you’re not succeeding - and that is a guaranteed way to build enough frustration to break you, eventually. Hectorgrey intelligently suggests 80% as a target - by now, I’ve seen people progressing excellently even with only 50% correct - because the process of revisiting words and phrases that is built into the sessions (and which depends on you continuing to progress through the sessions) WILL give you the long term memory you want WITHOUT you needing to repeat everything over and over and over until you get 100%.

I think the best thing you could possibly do would be to go through Level 1 without repeating ANY of the sessions - allowing yourself as MUCH time on the pause button as you want - and when you’ve done session 25, then revisiting sessions 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25 - and then tell us roughly what % you got right on your second run through session 25.

You say with German and Italian ‘after 3 months I could use what I’ve learnt’ - what I suspect you’re really talking about there is that taking a more formal approach meant that you had more conscious control of what you were learning. Research on interleaving (mixing up new things to be learnt, which is one of the key principles of SSi) shows that people feel less in control of what they’re learning, and often believe that they are not learning so well, but that their results are consistently significantly better.

Maybe it would be interesting for you to see how many different sentences you can write in Welsh in one hour - then, in three months, you could test yourself again, and that would give you a less subjective goal - you’d be able to see with certainty if you were achieving more (or not).


OK. I’ll do what you suggest beginning from scratch with Level 1. This will actually more be test of my memory (which is lousy that’s why I think I have such problems) then anything else. “See” you in approximately 2 months then … :slight_smile:

Diolch yn fawr iawn.

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I don’t know if it will help, but I would like to share my experience with you.
After finishing courses 1 and 2, although written down it was a lot, I also felt like I hadn’t learned much. I mean, if I went to Wales what could I actually talk to someone about? In reality, probably more than I thought, but that is how I felt. What I did was expose myself to as much welsh as I could. Tv and books.
I think part of the problem is the very different approach from traditional lessons. Immediately you are given conversations in those lessons. You feel like you have learned a lot. Here with the ssi approach you are learning how the language works. It’s kind of like building a house. First you dig a hole and put in some bricks. It doesn’t look like a house, but is vitally important. But you are hugely aware of what it lacks (walls, roof, floors etc). But you keep adding to it and before you know it you have a beautiful home, or language skills. This was highlighted recently for me when I watched a programme in Gaelic and it just sounded like complete gobbledygook. Whereas if I watch in welsh I might not understand much of it, but it sounds familiar. And this is one of the joys for me, in that I keep having these little moments of understanding of stuff I didn’t realise I had learned. Having been back and experienced traditional lessons I much prefer the ssi approach.
This is a long way of saying ssi is different, and so maybe success should be measured differently, but ultimately it builds up into a solid understanding. And the rate at which material is learned is very quick in comparison. It just somehow doesn’t feel like it is. Just relax and enjoy the journey. :smile:


Thanks very much for your feedback, Emma - what you describes fits very well with research into the effects of interleaving in learning (it generally works better, but people feel incorrectly that they have learnt less well) - you’re clearly doing excellently. Have you found yourself a conversation partner yet? When you’re put into a situation where you have to use your Welsh, you’ll start to find out just how much you really have :sunny:

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I’ve cheated as I’ve listened to listening practice on Level 1 Challenge 10 when I still have been on Challenge 5 and I found it extreamly interestingly odd at double speed but awesome to challenge the brains processors. :slight_smile:

For the record (if I link to my previous comments) so far so good. I’m satisfied with @aran’s suggestion and I’m finally (yes FINAALLLLLLLLYYYYYYYYYYY!) satisfied with my progress. Doing a challenge per day with almost no need to use pause button I can measure as a success, can’t I?

However (yes however again :frowning: - hehe) I have no doubt barins burning is still about to come with further challenges so I’ll just wait and see how much mouning this all can cause me though. :slight_smile:

Go for the old listening practices though @demonmoonglow. They can do no harm.

Pob lwc o fi, hefyd.


Look at it this way - at no point does level 1 (at least as far as challenge 16, which is the current most recent Southern challenge) ever get as brain meltingly tough as the lessons six from the old course…


6a, 6b, bonus 6 … hmmm, interesting enough I went through those (I believe) 3 times but can’t remember exactly what’s in them. Bonus I know is pure conversation though and at the end there’s invitation to the pub to drink a cup of coffee or tee.

Oh, and , Do we talk about Course 1, lesson 6 or we’re talking further ahead, meaning Course 2 or 3 with that?

Definitely Course 1 lessons 6a and 6b. They were/are rather notorious!


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I was talking about course 1 - I’m fairly sure there isn’t a single lesson anywhere in either course as difficult as the two main lessons 6 (that is, excluding the bonus). It must have been truly horrific when the two of them were compressed into only one lesson… It was the future tense (Bydd and the many ways of using it), as well as a few other things. Mostly Bydd, because the different ways of using it were something of a tongue twister, and even in the form of two lessons there wasn’t a massive amount of time to practice them.


Notorious or not I should obviously listen to them once again. I just remember @Iestyn saying that there used to be 1 lesson 6 and then forum members asked for it to be devided into two what we who came later should thank you here on the forum for. So … yes, THANK YOU ALL for this “feature”. It was highly needed - that much I can remember too - and I didn’t thank here for that yet. :slight_smile:

Yah, memories are returning to me now and I can remember I was quite frustrated with all 3 6 lessons counting bonus one in.

Bydd, yes now I remember. I just couldn’t understand how come positive (as I will) and negative (as I won’t) can be so different and I remember I was frustrated with hearing the difference although it was clearly heard. That was my first time I REALLY wanted to quit forever. i remember me saying this language is impossible to learn. However despite all moanings on twitter, here and around my home when practicing I’m still here on track.

Now when I’m doing things like @aran suggested after 6 challenges in a row I could agree Level 1 is more “friendly” with me so far so maybe for those who are starting from scratch Level 1 I’d recommend more then Course 1. However I could be wrong though.

If you can’t, there’s no such thing as success!

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One question:

I’m not sure if it’s right to put this question here, but since its Course 1 V Level 1 I’ll put it here.

dywedai ti (as in “you said” (I can’t even write this down, trying for 15 minutes to manage to “compose” this probably wrong composition)) VS Wnest ti …

Is that so wrong I use “Wnest ti …” instead of dywedai ti … ? I found that first easier, probably as I’ve learnt it more and my repetition of things in Level 1 (Challenge 7) automatically turns into it constantly forgetting that second version. That second thing is kind of shortcut, that much I already could find out but I’m not sure my brains like it at the time. :slight_smile: That “wnest ti” come out from my mouth like from the cannon not being even aware I’ve used it instead of this newer, shorter version of the past tense.

I already kind of know you’ll say something like “both is correct”, but should I strive to capture this version from Level 1 or it actually doesn’t matter that much what version I use?

Diolch am helpu.