What emotions have you experienced while learning Welsh?

My ‘how to use SSiW’ booklet has turned out to have a lot of stuff in it about emotions…

To the point where I’m now wondering if I’ve missed out any important emotions that people experience on the language learning journey…

How many different emotions have you experienced learning Welsh?

What were/are they? :slight_smile:

@Deborah-SSi :wink: :slight_smile: :star: :star2:

1 Like

Good timing :smile:

1 Like

Excitement - going from zero to sentences
Excitement - forming my first sentence to a real Welsh speaker
Excitement - being understood for the first time
Excitement - understanding for the first time (and second, and third, and anon)
Excitement - understanding the radio
Excitement - understanding the telly

Anger - getting things wrong
Satisfaction - getting them right the next time

Genuinely I cried on the way home from bootcamp the first time - that was an awful lot of emotions:
Relief - I could actually live through Welsh
A sense of achievement
Excitement (again!) - at what the future would hold
It was all positive but hard to explain


Ooh, that’s VERY interesting - I hadn’t picked up on anger as one of them, but that immediately makes sense…

Diolch o galon! Really helpful stuff… I’ve been realising that I spend a LOT of time talking about this stuff on intensives, and that there’s a series of useful posts in it - and it might even end up turning into a book, I think…




Happy and excited - realizing I could actually learn to speak Welsh
Thrilled - being able to form sentences in Welsh that weren’t explicitly in the lesson
Terrified - first conversation with a real Welsh speaker (and so happy afterwards!)
Very anxious - every time I try to speak to anyone on Skype
Hopeful - that maybe someday I won’t be so anxious about speaking
Excited - understanding (more and more) on radio/TV
Huge feeling of accomplishment - being able to read in Welsh
Pleasure - being able to help others on the forum
Frustrated - being on the edge of knowing something, and knowing that, and not being able to come out with it
Annoyed - not being able to come up with a word that I KNOW that I know (yesterday I just couldn’t come up with gwrando, all I kept getting was clywed, when I’ve known gwrando for ages! Brain freeze!)
Uncomfortable - not getting things “right” in the lessons, although I am finally getting mostly better about this
Disappointed - not having anyone nearby to speak to, not having anyone nearby who is remotely interested or doesn’t think I’m odd for learning Welsh
Sad - knowing it is unlikely that I will ever be able to go to Bootcamp or go to Wales
Glad - that I came across SSiW
Having a blast - learning more and more and seeing my Welsh improve :slight_smile:


It’s also a major contributor to stopping evening classes. Being picked up for the tiny minutiae, often by people correcting something like a treiglo and saying it in English. Annoyance/anger. Probably depends on the level of associated embarrassment as to which side would be felt. I noticed people would start lessons with enthusiasm, get corrected by (in this case one particular person) in a very public manner and then close off.

1 Like

Who hasn’t? :smile:


Over the years, I think I’ve gone from great elation to deep despair and back quite a few times. Overall though, I have felt glowingly happy learning Welsh, more so than with any other language. The main reason for that is the enormous amount of support I have experienced not only on the forum (goes without saying, really), but also in Wales itself, I’ve only had positive encouragement when travelling around speaking Welsh.

Although I am still puzzled why many people in Caerfyrddin address my younger brother in Welsh without introduction, but not me.


An enormous feeling of pride and appreciation (which still brings a lump to my throat) at being able to communicate in Welsh with my Llangadog mother before she died.

Mind you, she still corrected me on my Welsh even on her death-bed. :laughing:

Two examples that come to mind were firstly a strict instruction to address her as “chi” rather than “ti” and secondly that “a drop of milk” should be “diferyn o laeth” rather than “tipyn o laeth”.

You can see where my grammar hang-ups (or should it be hangs-up) come from. :wink:


Two examples that come to mind were firstly a strict instruction to address her as “chi” rather than “ti”

I was amazed to read that the use of ‘chi’ would be insisted upon between mother and son.
Is this a generational thing or would it still apply today ?

I know that this can be strictly observed in the French speaking world as after 7 years of convivial Skype chat with a conversation partner in Lausanne, she still insists on using ‘vous’ despite my entreaties to try ‘tu’ !

Nervousness - at start of learning, at first use, at use in a new environment, at use with someone new, at the point of trying to think og the diplomatic way to ask someone who’s always spoken English with you before to speak Welsh with you now.
Frustration - at that ‘tip of my brain feeling’ when you try and summon a word that won’t come.
Embarrassed/flustered - when you misuse/pronounce/ something - doubly so if you really DO know it…

And whatever you call that lovely cosy, wrapped up and surrounded by the Cymry Cymraeg in the middle of a Welsh language event where you know know loads of people and feel utterly at home. Is there a word for that? It’s like anti-hiraeth…


I suppose he isn’t a dead ringer for someone well known and definitely Welsh speaking?
On the actual subject, mainly frustration at my own failures of concentration and memory! But at my age, I tend to shrug and accept that, as I am very unlikely to ever make it home again, I am using all this as a hiraeth medication anyway, so fluency is hardly vital!


Sometimes I feel really vulnerable.
Learning and speaking with other learners makes me feel that things are possible, but sometimes the thought of suddenly jumping in to a full on conversation makes me feel like I’ve turned up to sports-day in my pyjamas and I’m waiting for my public humiliation to begin!
I guess feelings of vulnerability are only possible when you are open, though.
Sometimes it feels like you might be peeling the top of your head back and letting someone bombard your brain with Welsh, which you might or might not understand.
So is this feeling of openness coupled with vulnerability necessary to learning a language too?


I had a feeling of completeness as a Cymro when I spoke Cymraeg for the first time in Wales.


Immense joy
Sheer terror
Profound gratitude

I started learning Welsh in an attempt to give my brain a workout but I have never enjoyed learning a language as much as I am enjoying learning Welsh. Occasional terror at the immensity of learning but not at making mistakes every tiny little bit even if flawed is still communication.
I am so grateful because the decision to learn Welsh has brought so many rewards songs and singers, poems and poetry and a new community that I would never ever had access to without Welsh.


YES - gratitude! When not gripped by all the other tumults, deep and wonderful gratitude. Thank you for the reminder @sharonmonks :sparkles::blush::sparkles:


I love that metaphor - yes the ‘turned up in your pyjamas’ feels about right!


That made me well up inside!
Can I count feeling teary whenever I see someone make such amazing progress?