SSi Forum

Audio quality


#1

Hi there.
I’m only on Level 1, challenge 7 but I’m getting a little frustrated sometimes with the audio quality.
Case in point - the phrase “ddudest ti”. Even after listening multiple times I couldn’t make out exactly how this was said - until I looked at the vocabulary list. The issue is that the audio is “clipped”. It’s as if the phrase has been poorly edited from a longer sentence and cut so severely that it’s difficult to hear how the sounds start and end.
Is it just me?
I listen on a computer hooked up to a high quality sound bar so I don’t believe the issue is my end.

Don’t get me wrong, this course is enormously more effective than others I have tried (in other languages), it’s just that Welsh in particular has some really challenging sounds (for a native English speaker!) that needs clear audio to understand it well.


#2

I found the vocabulary list was indispensable for telling the difference between dd and f because they sound very similar at times.


#3

FWIW it might not be the audio quality. I had a lot of difficulty hearing the difference between “dd” and “f” (I’ve been doing the northern course) even in the middle of longer sentencesand so definitely not cut and I didn’t think the problem was audio quality for me. My experience was that the Welsh /dd/ is pronounced rather more strongly than the same phoneme (“th”) in English and my brain had some trouble telling it and the Welsh “v” sound (“f”) apart. At least for me, this seemed to be because my brain appears to use two separate cues for telling these sounds apart in English and now one of those cues gives the wrong answer. I’m having to try to force myself to tune out the strength of the sound and tune in more closely to what tongue position it sounds like- which is hard.

I don’t know if that has been your experience or if it’s helpful. I just mention it as a possibility.


#4

Yes, I may be guilty of jumping the gun on it being audio quality. Listening again, I think you may be right that it’s simply my “English” brain mangling the emphasis that is normal for Welsh.
I have, as Alan said, found the vocabulary invaluable lately when first coming across a new “difficult” word. Which is strange because, right at the beginning, the vocabulary only confused! I guess I must be learning!


#5

I must admit I still look at the vocabulary if I’m feeling very frustrated, but I try not to do that and I always complete at least that lesson (usually several) first before looking. I try to see it as a fun part of the process (kind of like how they insist that we see errors that way too). At the end of the day, children get mixed up with exactly this kind of thing too along the way and we all know how good they end up!

I even wonder if it helps with grammar TBH. I haven’t had a conversation yet, but Lestyn and Aran always repeat that you will be perfectly understood if you get the mutations wrong; yet this can be a disadvantage as a learner! The perceptual difficulties with sounds may help with that in the long run. I sometimes find mysef listening for mutations as clues. For example, if I first come across these words in a soft mutation context, I find myself waiting to hear an unmutated form as confirmation of what I think I hear (will it be “d” or “m”?). This is part of the fun for me.