What should I watch?

For my first foray into watching TV in Welsh, has anyone got any good suggestions? I have had a look at some of the children’s programmes but not really had much success. Currently doing Lesson 23, Course 2, so you have an idea of where I am and what might be suitable. Many thanks in advance, Andy :slight_smile:

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Whatever you choose, it’s going to feel like standing in front of a jet engine, and you’re going to convince yourself that you’ve learnt nothing - it goes with the territory! So just chill in front of whatever you choose, and play the game of trying to hear if anyone says ‘isio’ - and give yourself a glass of wine for every word you recognise!..:slight_smile:

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I tend to watch programmes I’d incline to watch in English: So for me nature, farming, news, comedy.
I don’t worry about understanding every word but just let it wash over me…

Whether or not you like soap operas, watching Pobol y cwm for just 17 minutes a day online (S4C) gives you a wide range of how different people speak. You can give yourself an easier time of it to start with by using the English subtitles (and listening hard), and then moving on over time to the Welsh subtitles or no subtitles at all. Again depending on your interests, anything with Iolo Williams is great (natural history). And listening to bits of news that you are already familiar with, is useful.

Same as Dinas,
For kiddies programmes, cuto cwnigen suits me best at the moment, when they come round again (ben a mali, and popi’r gath) are rather useful and watchable.

Great, thanks everyone, I will let you know how I get on! :slight_smile:

Like Dinas said… People keep telling me to watch Pobl Cwm… I barely made it through one episode. I don’t even have a tv, a soap opera is never going to hold my interest.

I started watching Hwb while I was taking my first Welsh class and really enjoyed it because I could actually understand parts of the dialogue with only a few hours of Welsh study. I’m in the middle of 35 Diwrnod right now, but unfortunately you’ve missed the first few episodes of that one.

I’m going to disagree with Carys. Sorry Carys!

If you’re nearing at the end of Course 2 you shouldn’t need to use English subtitles at all - they’ll be a distraction and my experience was that they made me lazy and diverted me from listening.

By all means switch the Welsh subtitles on for clarifying the odd mumbled/unfamiliar word, but your lack of reading ability (if you’ve been following the course as recommended!) should mean that they’ll be a lot less distracting!

The advantage of television over radio is that you’ll get a lot of context from the visuals, so it shouldn’t seem quite so much of a wall of sound. Just don’t expect too much too soon, and don’t beat yourself up if you don’t understand everything immediately. :slight_smile:

I agree with Mr. Bruce about subtitles and tv v radio. I watch kids’ TV with my daughter which I find really helpful. I use a dictionary a lot with that and have learned a lot of new words that way. I’ve also started watching Rownd a Rownd (without subtitles) and have found it an incredible help. I don’t like pobol y cwm for my own reasons which I’ve mentioned on these forums before. I’m gutted that I missed the first episode of 35 diwrnod, I really wish I’d caught that one.

Yup, I find Rownd a Rownd accessible and (to my shame) interesting. If you can find Dim Byd on Clic, give that a go. I think it was SJ who said it’s a work of genius and she’s right. Since the same characters reoccur, it’s easier to ‘get your ear in’

Really great advice everyone, I had a look a Tili a’i ffrindiau last night. I was quite surprised at how much I picked up. I have tried Pobol y Cwm but was just annoyed by it, mainly because I have no interest in any kind of soap. My son loves Horrid Henry so I am going to have a go at watching the Welsh version with him, he is keen to learn Welsh too!

Will also have a look at Dim Byd.

I think what I am hearing is that I just need to get going and listen carefully and follow the mantra of not worrying if I don’t understand everything straight away!

I am hooked on ‘Ti Fi a Cyw’. One five minute episode every day, and it’s children teaching their parents/guardians to say things. Really sweet.

Hi Andy

Sara a Cwac is a very easy-going TV programme for young kids so this might be the shallow end. Also, Peppa Pinc is fairly easy as well, again another kids programme. Soaps, there are only two - Rownd a Rownd which is mainly Northern and PYC which is mainly Southern but with several high-profile Northern speakers. The value of soaps, as opposed to most other programmes, is that their story arcs provide a lot of repetition of words and themes so you are able to learn by context. Subtitles helped me, but I wish I’d graduated from English to Welsh subtitles a lot earlier. I stopped them altogether after six months of Welsh subtitles.

Hi Andy
When I started learning I assumed that soaps would be the best place to start but I was completely wrong -they’re really difficult to follow. Documentaries, news and ‘daytime TV’ are more helpful because the language tends to be clear, structured and free of ‘slang’ (nothing wrong with slang but it is confusing for learners). If you hunt around on S4C-clic you might find some documentaries with presenters who speak really clearly. - There was a series about health / human biology recently which I found particularly helpful but I’m not sure if it’s still available.

Bill Thompson: When I started learning I assumed that soaps would be the best place to start but I was completely wrong -they’re really difficult to follow. Documentaries, news and ‘daytime TV’ are more helpful because the language tends to be clear, structured and free of ‘slang’ (nothing wrong with slang but it is confusing for learners).

This is exactly my experience! I find anything non-fiction on S4C much easier to follow than anything fiction. (The exception? Shows featuring farmers and/or Dai Jones Llanilar, because really thick regional accents are tough.) Non-fiction presenters don’t mumble or talk while turning away from the camera. :slight_smile:

It may sound counter-intuitive, but political discussion programs worked well for me as starters, especially when they were on topics I already knew about. S4C’s political editor Vaughan Roderick speaks clearly, and if you know the news in English, you will quickly realize 'oh, that must be the Welsh for ‘Liberal Democrat’ '.

Thanks heavens I’m not the only one who struggles with Dai Jones :wink: I think we’re getting into subjective territory here because I found political discussions the absolute worst thing for me - the Welsh version of Question Time for example may just as well have been in Konkani for how much I could understand at first… The news I found easier - for the same reason I got to grips with the soaps - context I already understood. I really think a beginner should get stuck into Sam Tân, Peppa Pinc, etc.

I have to agree with Carys. Watching Pobly y Cwm (with Welsh subtitles if the plot is getting too complicated) is a great aid to getting your ear in.

The weather forecast at the end of Newyddion 9 very much the same words and phrases each day and of course you can relate to it…mae’n tywydd braf heddiw / yfory etc…cotau glaw heddiw pawb!

I really enjoyed y Gwyll the first time around (yn Gymraeg ar S4C, wrth gwrs) although picking up all of the welsh was challenging for such a prolonged duration and given some of the atmospheric low volume speaking etc - so it was useful and interesting but I was more focused on the drama. However, I have just re-watched it on BBC iPlayer in English - and where there are small pieces of conversation in Welsh dotted amongst the English, I found it much more easier to pick those small pieces up. I think this has something to do with the way my brain is listening in a language it is familiar with and doesn’t have too many hang ups/analyses going on, so when the Welsh drops in, it thinks “OK, just keep listening”… I think that is why Hwb also works well as a format, because there is enough of a mix of English and Welsh that my brain is focused on the act of listening and understanding rather than trying to keep up. Does anyone else have that experience?

Just watching the Urdd and I’m wondering if Bill Thompson - a few posts up - is the learner I’ve just see on S4C?