I came across SSIW eventually via google, but it took several months before I stumbled across the site. I had a daughter starting in Meithrin and for some reason felt that I would be able to resurrect some historic Welsh locked away in my distant memory. How wrong that idea was - I found that I had over time completely mashed up the meaning of lots of Welsh words and phrases and couldn’t string anything more meaningful together than the odd engrained questions or commands, things like beth ti moyn, eiste lawr, ga i disgled o de or dere ma.
I started thinking of doing classes, but there were 101 reasons why they wouldn’t work. the first was the actual times of the classes - I looked in Cardiff, Swansea and Neath-Port Talbot to try to find the most convenient times, but nothing suited my work and commute timescales - also I wanted to keep my evenings and weekend free.
Other problems with welsh for adults classes, were cost, duration and which level to go for - I didn’t want to start from scratch and learn the colours, days of the week and the alphabet etc, but I knew that most of the stuff I couldn’t recall was really basic conversational stuff and everyday vocabulary, that would make me fall flat in the higher levels. The adult course classes, tend to link you to the old BBC catchphrase level test, which I did and came out Rhugl, where it says proceed to reading and listening to BBC Cymru. I knew I wasn’t up to that and it wasn’t going to help me say anything. I wanted to relearn everything and reaquire some Welsh skills. I wanted to cover everything, but at a much quicker pace than via normal classes, because I was hoping it would fall back into place once I came across things etc.
There wasn’t an option on line to do that - all the options are so structured - beginner courses, to intermediate and advanced and you are meant to progress theorugh them - not what I needed or wanted.
I kept surfing and i downloaded lots of useless resources and I started watching S4C a lot and began picking stuff up. Eventually I think I was searching for things to do with dialects and colloquial Welsh - because I was listening to local people/parents and people on Radio Cymru and on the TV and I realised there was a type of Welsh I wanted to rediscover, although I wasn’t sure what it was.
Once I did find SSIW and it was by stumbling across the right search term on google one day, then I downloaded a few of the free lessons and read your notes, which really spoke volumes and I instantly thought that this could be what I am looking for. After a few lessons I wondered why I hadn’t ever been taught languages like that before - it seemed like such a natural way to do things and the language on the southern course was exactly what I was looking for, but never knew it.
I rattled through the three old courses in a few months - felt quite confident, but still to this day hardly ever try to speak to anyone - and if I do it is very basic simple things that I would have used or been exposed to as a five year old. You have created the routes to overcome that usage barrier, with Bootcamps and Skype groups etc, but I doubt I will ever do a Bootcamp unfortunately and I have never Skyped, so my next challenge is stumbling across a revolutionary fix for that one. A psychologist or a hypnotherapist maybe!. Once you start talking to people in English, it is really hard to switch to using Welsh - it just feels a little bit contrived and awkward.