Writing as Well as Speaking

I noticed lots of people in the forum are writing as well as speaking and I was wondering what resources you were learning the writing from?

I look at the Vocab for each lesson but it always seems to cover less than half of what I learned.

Does anyone have any suggestions for something that worked well for reading and writing?

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When I tried to read vocabulary lists after doing challenges it was a disaster and very confusing.

For reading, one thing that’s working great for me is reading lyrics while I listen to songs.
It costs nothing, you find out how to pronounce words and syllables (which is not always obvious because same letter can be read in different ways) and increase vocabulary a bit.

I noticed it’s also slowly helping to improve my writing. But I’m still really bad at it, so I let others give better tips!


Ok first I am am glad it is not just me having issues with the visual vocab.

Second, the song idea is brialliant! I found a lot of subtitled Welsh songs on youtube and already that helps. Thank you!

Jumping off from that, have you found anywhere that provides Welsh language shows over in the US? I can imagine subtitled television would help the same way! (And one of my friends who learned English swears by this method).

One of the sad things with Welsh is so few things are dubbed into it :confused:

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@KathrynDavid I’m in the US too. You can stream the Welsh television station S4C - the international website is here. Not everything available in Wales is available internationally, but there is a good selection. Most shows are subtitled in Welsh and English. Dal Ati is a program meant for Welsh learners, and many like to start with children’s programs. Good luck and have fun!


Yes, I confirm (sorry can’t remember a less formal sounding word for this!) everything @AnnaC just said.
I had the chance to see a lot of clips and a few tv shows from S4C and they’re absolutely great for learners. Much better than radio, because with radio you’re completely at loss about what they’re talking about. :smile:
While with TV, you see what’s going on and with subtitles in English and/or Welsh (depending on the show) it really helps a lot to recognize words, understand chunks or even full sentences from time to time.

By the way can I add a bit of a rant here? I think it’s really crazy that in a connected/globalized world we are sometimes forced to buy food from thousands of miles away, but we are blocked from seeing tv shows we’d be really interested in.
I know it’s a matter of copyrights but I don’t understand why broadcasters, publishers etc in the world don’t care about figuring out a solution. I’m not talking about big sport events or Hollywood movies and such involving huge budgets and sponsors, and that are very likely to be bought and licensed abroad anyway.
I’m talking about TV shows in Welsh, for example, that have a niche of audience around the world that would be interested, and I’m sure very often willing to pay a fee to view/subscribe and see them legally.
But it’s just impossible, right?
So you either don’t see them, or try to find a way to see them …well…not-too-legally, and in both cases all rights are going to be lost, that’s pretty smart!

p.s. Maybe @siaronjames knows and can explain a little bit of why it is so, or if something is moving forward in this sense?


Well basically it’s not so much an issue of copyrights as an issue of the cost of licensing those copyrights. Because the market for Welsh language programming is never going to be on the same scale as English language programming, the budgets for making the programmes reflect this and are much (MUCH) smaller. Anytime a programme includes 3rd party material (i.e. anything the production company doesn’t hold the rights to itself, e.g. music, artwork, photographs, film clips, etc from a separate source) then that material has to be licensed from the copyright holder, and the cost of the licence varies according to things like how many countries the programme will be shown in, for how many broadcasts, whether it will also be available on all media, etc. So a licence to show something worldwide is going to cost far more than one to show it in Wales only.
S4C are keen to get as much content as possible available to a worldwide audience, but their hands are tied as to how much money they can give to the production companies to make the programmes and subsequently the prod. companies’ hands are tied as to how much they can spend on licensing 3rd party material.
We do try to licence as much as possible for worldwide rights, but unfortunately sometimes the cost is just too prohibitive and we can only afford to license for UK broadcast.


Yes, unfortunately I had to learn some of this stuff recently because I had the insane idea of making an independent music documentary - starting from a lot amateur photo and video material we have about a pretty small alternative music scene of the 90s.

I’m persistent, so I’m trying to find a way to do it despite all kind of obstacles - but at the same time I can’t help but thinking it’s totally stupid keeping the same rules as before Internet and a lot of new media appeared!

I’m sure it’s not small production companies or channels’ fault ,either by the way.
I just saw there was a petition linked in other posts - but I guess a petition from one small niche is a bit too weak, and I doubt a channel like S4C can afford to do much all by itself - given that I have an idea of how much licensing even just a minute of a song or 10 seconds of a video may cost! :scream:

I was kinda wondering if anything can be done on a higher level by smaller companies and smaller audiences joining forces…

Yes! By the way, I started like this, then I refined my technique with a few tricks:

  1. copying the lyrics from the video in a separate file or on paper (which helps practicing writing)

  2. especially for complicated words: re-writing the words as they should be pronounced so to be able to say/sing them along with the song - until you get used to Welsh alphabet!!! (see pic)

  3. using a free, web-app to slow songs down - although this has pros and cons: before looking for these apps, it took me a HUGE effort to be able to HEAR the faster verses. They all pretty much sounded like, for example:
    “Ac mae [=first 2-3 intelligible syllables, followed by] ghdhwichcywayvpogghyollwyrsysrymmnhghgh” :rofl:
    But after a few days - sometimes weeks - you become able to actually hear them all, follow and even pronounce the words that fast. That’s pretty neat, and great satisfaction!
    It even makes you feel as if you can actually speak! :sunglasses:

As an example of how messy it may get in the beginning, here’s my very first attempt :blush::


Writing: It depends what you want to write. I find working through the exercises in @garethrking’s grammar books really useful. And reading as much as possible, not only to pick up vocabulary and grammar, but to get a sense of how people use words in different ways.

I think reading is the best way to start reading :face_with_raised_eyebrow:. You could try Paralell.Cymru, which has Welsh and English side by side, to help you with the translation. I’m very lucky to have a Ffrindiaith who has spent a lot of time over the past year and a half pretty much teaching me to read - working through articles, books and poems and explaining things I don’t understand. (I know that’s not a resource that’s available to everyone!) But if you start with simple learners’ books and a good dictionary, preferably online or an app, you’ll soon pick up patterns and get an understanding of how written Welsh often differs from spoken Welsh.

And if you write something and want to check it over, I recommend using Cysill Ar-lein: https://www.cysgliad.com/cysill/arlein/ It’s not perfect (it doesn’t recognise the word ‘moyn’ for starters! :scream:) but it’s very good at picking up missed mutations and mis-spelled words.


Thank you all so much for the tips! I was especially excited to find I could stream some Welsh programs over here, but the real delight has been the Welsh music. I am currently in love with the group Gwibdaith Hen Fran. Their song “Coffi Du” is especially loved by my three year old who has added to his small list of “song he will demand in the car.”

I have started a small book where I write down the words I have learned, which help when I want to write something (though I realized I need to add the mutation beneath). It also helps me remember what words I do know! I have learned so much so fast I find I sometimes forget I do know a word.


So glad you are able to stream some Welsh programs! As far as music, search YouTube for distantdreamer93 - there is a ton of Welsh music there, much of which has lyrics and translations. If you use Spotify, there’s lots of Welsh music available there too. Have fun!


Are these the books with nice short chapters covering a single topic of grammar that when reading them you realise the you do know a lot of Welsh and that Welsh grammar isn’t really that hard. Then you find every one of your answers to the exercises is wrong!!!

Those are the ones!

I seem to recall that @CatrinLliarJones doesn’t, either…


Well, everyone’s got their flaws… :wink:

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Ah I see where you’ve gone wrong… ‘starters’ would be ‘cwrs cyntaf’. ‘Main course’ would be ‘prif gwrs’ and ‘desert’ would be ‘pwdin’… :joy::stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye::joy::stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye::joy:

Unless you were trying to say that you wanted a starter, then that would be ‘dw i eisiau cwrs cyntaf’ . No idea where this word ‘moyn’ comes from… is it some sort of exotic fruit? :wink:


*smiling politely and stubbornly continuing on my way…


I guess the next round of Mojitos is on me? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Os ti’n moyn… :wink:


Hmmm… bribery… interesting…
I feel a Mojito war brewing: we buy each other Mojitos and see who cracks first. :partying_face: