Should I be using it too?
It’s generally best to go through the new course first - lots of people do the old course afterwards and find it acts like revision but with a few different structures and vocabulary to keep you on your toes.
I’ve only done the old course, maybe 2 and a half levels, alongside ‘conventional’ lessons so I can’t compare the two. I’ve been around long enough to have started learning Welsh before SSIW. But it was still pretty stretching and very useful. And level one was sufficient enough to go on bootcamp, which was the next stretchy thing.
I finished Level 2 of the Northern Old Course yesterday, after previously doing all three levels of the Northern New Course.
The Old Course is definitely worth doing because it fills in a lot of detail you’ve skimmed through in the New Course. The New Course is much better as a crash course in being able to keep up in conversation, so it’s important to do it first, but you’ll have a much firmer grasp on some of the more complicated structures after you’ve done the Old Course.
For example, the NC does teach you parts of the conditional but it uses a couple of different structures and it’s not always clear how they hang together. The OC spends much longer on this, going through many more combinations of persons and of questions/negatives and so on. I felt much more confident that I knew what was going on afterwards, rather than just repeating something I’d learnt by heart. (To be clear, they don’t go into the details of the grammar, but the more intense repetition really helps you get a better grasp.)
Or another example: the NC uses the double ‘possessive’ pronouns now and then (e.g. ei fwynhau o) but the ins and outs of when you use them and which attracts which mutation aren’t really dealt with. The OC (Level 2) has a couple of sessions on them, so by the end of that I was a lot more confident on the difference between the various people who owned a cat… (fy nghath i, dy gath di, etc…)
There are plenty of other examples where the OC doesn’t so much as extend your knowledge as to make it more solid. Of course, the early lessons are not going to be difficult (though they’re still worth doing) and you’ll probably only need to do them once, but you’ll still pick up new ways of saying things. E.g. dim byd for anything instead of unrhywbeth. By the time you get to the second half of L2, it’s getting quite complicated…
It’s also noticeably less colloquial (or perhaps it’s more conservative in some of the choices?): e.g. they use ‘roedd’ instead of ‘oedd’ for the imperfect affirmative, taset ti instead of ‘set ti’, 'mod i instead of bo fi etc. And you get exposed to other ways of saying things: Mi fyswn i instead of Byddwn i, for example so it’s good for expanding the things you’re likely to come across in the wild.
Finally, the vocabulary lessons at the end of L1 are really useful – they touch areas which aren’t in the NC at all (e.g. months, colours, using numbers etc).
Actually, I think it’s fair to say in some ways the NC and the OC together make a single course, and I hope the Old Course stays around for a long time.
Does that help?
That was one of the most useful parts of the old course, for me. The other big one was yes and no. The new course has a few yes and no occasions but doesn’t teach anything about which ones to use when, whereas the old course goes through that pretty thoroughly.
I do think the new course is probably the better course overall, but the old course has some really useful material.
Absolutely. The old and the new complement each other. I thoroughly recommend doing them both. (This is a point on which @aran and I seem to somewhat disagree.)
@aran: I sometimes wonder why you don’t plug your old Courses more, as well as the new Levels. You’ve done a great job with both the Old and the New, and I have no intention of changing my mind on this point .
Good point! I finally learnt how not to say do and naddo to everything…
what lessons cover " yes and no" on the OC? diolch
It’s sort of built into the lessons throughout - whenever they introduce a new tense or verb structure, the examples are usually in threes: first the question, then the yes answer, then the no answer.
Naeth y dyn frathu y ci?
Do, naeth y dyn frathu y ci.
Naddo, naeth y dyn ddim brathu y ci.
And so on. So you end up practising the correct versions of everything much more regularly than the New Course. It’s a lot more predictable than the New Course, which is one of the reasons the New Course is a better introduction for ‘real’ conversation, but the Old Course is great for reinforcing the structures.