Writing as I learn?

Hi People…
I have just joined this fantastic and informative site in the hope that I will emerge at some future stage as a Welsh speaker however ‘limited’…also have been getting through the first lesson on the site and although I have to say that remembering was perhaps my greatest weakness, the words do keep springing back into my mind at the oddest of times!

I have found it useful (rightly or wrongly) to actually write in Welsh too as I say these phrases…so I am getting the spelling correct too as well as ‘juggling’ the words into sentences…do you believe this is a sensible additional approach…?

Cheers Guys or should I say, Diolch yn fawr



For some people - myself included - writing something onto paper seems to be a memory aid. I often write out a shopping list, just to find out when I get to the store that I remember everything that I wrote. Although nowadays I don’t write down much of what I learn on SSiW, when I do it helps very much as a memory tool. And of course it’s an exercise in correct spelling.


Croeso/Welcome @Bobbert and good luck/pob lwc.

As far as I know writing is not particularly encouraged in the early stages but, IMO, whatever works for you is OK. I’m sure others will give you the “official” current advice. :slight_smile:

Cheers and Diolch yn fawr / thank you very much are both fine, but if you wnat to say “Cheers” the next time you buy me a pint “Iechyd Da/Good Health/Cheers” will be perfect. :laughing:


I think this will be more of a distraction than anything else - can you write so quickly that you get it down before the English starts? Or does it mean that you are making heavy use of the pause button?

Welcome to the forum - which, as you’ve already found, is one of the friendliest places on the internet - and let us know any time you have any questions or problems… :slight_smile:


Hi Aran…
Thanks for the message…only having just dipped my toes into the waters of the site…I have been through the first lesson and although my head hurt afterwards, thought I’d write down the words rather than go through the lesson once more, although that may have to be an option at this the early stage, if I do get distracted then I’ll ditch it for sure…
Yep the forum is very friendly, interactive and reassuring that none one is adrift whilst learning…all the best…thanks
Bobbert…(this was a nickname given to me by someone whom I was very found of an it stuck by the way)

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I believe that writing at this stage will be a bit of a distraction, if you mean you are actually writing them down during the lesson / challenge. The SSiW method is all about listening and speaking, and it’s good to try to give 100% concentration to those two important skills.

I have an alternative suggestion, if you want to give yourself a bit of an aide-memoire. If you have a smart phone, it probably has a voice-recorder app (or you may have a separate voice recorder / dictaphone type gadget). Perhaps, after every lesson, you just switch on the voice recorder and then try to say everything that you can remember from the lesson, along with the English if you like. Doesn’t have to be exhaustive (or exhausting). Just do as much as you feel like. And don’t bother checking to see if it’s all “correct”. That’s not the point of it. The point is to get you speaking a bit more and maybe remembering a bit more. That’s all. It may also help you improve your accent a bit, not that you need to be paranoid about this!


I’d recommend having a go at pushing on through the first 5 sessions or so without repeating or writing - then come back to 1 and see what kind of difference you feel… :slight_smile:

I have struggled with writing and not writing, using the SSi method.

I’ve dabbled with this lovely community and methodology on-and-off for a number of years, and I find myself progressing better by writing along to the lessons. But, as I’ve never truly tested my gained knowledge in spoken situations, I could never test how well I had actually learned to speak .

But @aran, I do believe, has some strong opinions on this matter. I think it’s best to try learning half of a full level, if not try a full level, then go back and attempt writing.

SSi truly focuses on spoken language; at least, at this stage (not sure if that will ever change). But, if you’re like me, and would LOVE to learn written language, and if you may not really care so much to speak it, then I’d recommend doing whatever makes you progress comfortably. Mate, I did it with the Manx course and found it incredibly pleasurable.

Good luck either way!! Final thoughts: If you plan on using your spoken Welsh, and want to have a good accent, and plan to speak as soon as possible, then I’d suggest sticking to the guidelines mentioned in the introduction.

Good luck, and welcome to the forums! Don’t be a stranger. :wink: :slight_smile:


Cheers People…
Much appreciate all the comments here…as background - the reasoning behind my desire to learn welsh, is that with having family connections (in the past - family had a dairy farm near Lampeter in the 1950’s) and a love of the Cambrian Coast…it is my intention to move and work in the area and want to speak welsh to some level…

Having only just started this lovely course I have my head full of sound and words that keep coming back to me in a jumble of thoughts at the strangest of times and try to juggle them around in my head to form a sentence…

I never write anything down whilst listening to the lesson it is always after the event and to get the spelling correct…it is then that I find (at this stage) that I can juggle the words more easily into a phrase…

Comments appreciated…Regards as always…Bobbert


Yes , I think there is good evidence that for many people the physical act of writing vocabulary down with a pen on paper is an aid to memorising it. :slight_smile:


Hi Gareth…
Thanks for the comment…much appreciated…at this early stage, perhaps this will alter as I progress, but I personally find it easier on the old head, to listen and absorb as much of the lesson as per the advice on the course, even though at the moment I cannot seem to get the sequence of the welsh phrase out in good time, but do try…to some greater or lesser degree with success…

then after perhaps going through the lesson one more time…I look at the vocabulary section associated with it and go through the words there and construct various phrases in my head and on paper…in an attempt to get the flow, spelling and sounds into my head…

whether this is advisable…I await you kind folks on here to comment on…

Cheers for all the help…

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Yes, lots of good research on this.

My concern about it in the SSi context is that lots of people find the gradual, spaced repetition process of acquiring vocab unsettling - they think if they don’t have conscious control, they haven’t ‘learnt’ it yet, so they need to do extra work - whether that be repeating lessons, writing stuff down, using Memrise, whatever takes their fancy.

In most cases, I would expect it to be much more efficient to finish an SSi course, and then see what words have still refused to stick, and then use extra methods to nail them - because we have (sadly often) seen people get stuck in the cycle of wanting perfect control of all content, and end up driving themselves so far up the wall they give up entirely…


Yes of course - context is a factor.

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I understand your concern about extra methods to learn and nail the words. You know, I don’t find the gradual, spaced repetition process of acquiring vocab unsettling at all, it’s just that my stupid brain hasn’t got enough capacity to memorise the words like this, most unfortunately. I’m repeating Challenge 13 for the fourth time now, and still, I get completely lost from 17:00 onward. I’m just not intelligent enough to process the words as fast as required (as fast as normally gifted people). I don’t strive for perfect control, I just wish to be at least able to more or less keep up…so, I don’t have another choice than repeating the Challenges and move on at a :snail:'s pace

Yes; interesting. In fact I also write down - AFTER listening to an entire lesson - just those words that for some reason won’t stick.
By the way, I seem to recall reading once that writing words down on a computer/other electronic device does not have the same effect as a memory aid as using pen and paper. Anyone care to clarify this?

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i would love to know if anyone has any generational feedback on that! My generation and many after me, had no electronic devices. Few learned to type. We wrote down ‘spellings and words to,learn’ in school and got used to learning that way and actually forming the letters. Kids raised now, on iPhones and tablets etc. all the time, maybe typing would do for them?

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I doubt it - with a keyboard you’re not actually forming the wordshapes.

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Physical formation of the wordshape, I expect…


My younger son is making an apprenticeship as computer scientist, and even he always has a small booklet in his pocket, in which he meticulously notes everything important he wants to memorise at all costs.

PS. I’ve just asked him about his booklet and he told me: “Oh, yeah, you know, I rarely ever need it…it’s just reassuring to know everything is in there and always with me.” Thank God he inherited his dad’s brain and not mine…


Hello my friends…Thanks for all the responses I never thought that my simple statement would generate such a lovely chat…appreciate it greatly…

I think I may continue for the moment at least to write words down to learn each one I struggle with…after work this evening I took a walk through the wooded common close to home that is such a wonderful retreat and escape…in the dappled sunshine walking through the woods I too the opportunity to talk out loudly the words and phrases that I’ve learnt so far…hope no one heard me!