When you say - get to reading and writing later - how do you recommend starting that bit?

I am loving SSIW - I am on lesson 15 of level 1 and lesson 9 of course 1. I completely see that not starting from written words has helped me get this far so fast (about a month) but I am getting frustrated (like I don’t know how to write ambetimis) Will I get to a place in the courses when you introduce reading and writing (in which case I will just carry on and look forward to getting there as quickly as possible) or is there a complementary package or approach you recommend for those who can’t quiet their written communication cravings? Diolch!

There is no reading or writing in the course. In general, it’s best to start after you’ve finished the first course at the earliest (that way, the reading isn’t going to mess with your pronunciation too much). Gavin did a pdf that shows all the vocabulary of Level 1, and there’s a pdf elsewhere on the site that shows the vocabulary of the old Course 1, which should help you work out how the various letters are usually pronounced. Beyond that, the people who do the Mynediad course have a series of books aimed at learners - though because the language is taught in a different order here compared with most language courses, there will be a fair amount of vocabulary that you haven’t encountered yet.

Edit: The pdfs are available via the FAQ.


Welcome Catherine. If I want to see how to write/spell something, I will often write it into google translate in English, then go through the options to find the word I’m looking for.
Planning on just getting a dictionary though when I get around to going into town to a book store.

To @aran:-
(for @catherinebrown! )
I had not quite appreciated the problem people must have, as I had been writing Cymraeg for years before forgetting it!! But would it not be a good idea to put an alphabet guide on the site for people ending Course or Lessons 1? A vocabulary after that, yes, but it really does help, surely, to know how the spelling works!!??
p.s. to all… I still frequently make spelling mistakes in both languages, some due to typos, so don’t believe my spelling!!!


@MickDavies @catherinebrown

I guess there are many approaches to this, but you might like this online dictionary because it has quite a lot of sound samples - not every word, but a high proportion:


The only slight disadvantage of it is that you have to register, and then login to use it. But once logged in, if you tick the “remember me”, it usually keeps you logged in, so not really much of an inconvenience.

Anyway, you can find out the pronunciation of quite a few Welsh words that way, and gradually match up the sound with the letter combinations. I’m not 100% percent sure, but it sounds like a real human voice that they use, rather than a synthesised one.


Thanks Mike, will check it out.

I admit to breaking the rule as I found I couldn’t remember a word if I couldn’t see it. I an predominantly a visual learner and I ‘see’ the words in my head. Right or wrong this works for me. I printed out the vocab sheets and refer to them. I also use the online dictionary. Hope this helps.

Continuing the auditory and unconventional approach, I used this when I first started reading http://cadwswn.com/. It is a collection of stories printed in parallel text in Welsh and English and read three times, against different relaxing backing music tracks! I liked it as I finally got to see how everything looked, without actually sitting down and doing “work”, which would have spoilt the experiment! There are also some grammar explanations to look at if you can be bothered. (I decided to gloss over that bit, and a good bit of the prescribed listening instructions…)
I enjoyed it, but unfortunately it’s not cheap. It may be possible to order it from the library. I would be happy to pass my copy on to someone for postage, provided I can find all the bits (which isn’t a given, unfortunately, will have to look later).


Somewhere in the middle of course 2 I had a similar craving to start reading, My route was to begin with: E-ffrindiau because a tutor recommended it. Then on to the Blodwen Jones series. Somewhere in there was “Cant o Cant” (can’t find a link). Then (if you live in Wales), children’s books in the library.

It wasn’t a very structured way of learning, but I got a silly amount of pleasure from reading even the simple things, and now I’m tackling novels. The only risk in the approach (which I think Aran pointed out at the time) is that if you’re not careful you end up developing a big reading muscle while the speaking muscle stays tiny - this is exactly what happened to me. (Who knew that Aran would always be right! :smile:).


Snap! But that one has gone and now I’m trying to improve the speaking one and not give into the temptation of re-learning to read!!! :smiley:

Shwmae Steve,

I can relate to that.

…and to that. One thing one can do is reading out loud. It’s not the same as “siarad go iawn”, but at least it keeps the speaking muscles mobile. However, one needs a sympathetic family / housesharers or time alone. :slight_smile:

I can relate to this as well. Only more recently has this developed into feeling a need for writing as well (not very well developed so far). I suppose it’s a question of “readiness”.

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I agree…I did play a bit with writing earlier in the year but I don’t think I had the vocab, or the need, to really get into it at that point, so I let it lapse. A really big catalyst for writing is having people to write to as well!