SSi Forum

Brain is melting


Hi everyone,

Complete beginner here, and mixing up words or brain freezing like crazy.

I’ve just started level one yesterday, and I’m finding it so hard to remember all the words, and I can’t even remember the long sentences in English, my brain is mush - is this normal, I feel so rubbish :sob: and I’ve only just started.

How many times do I listen and repeat even if I can’t master the whole session.



Welcome to the forum and SSiW Lauren :slight_smile:

Yes, don’t worry - all that is completely normal!
The thing is, the way this course works is teaching in a way that is totally different to the way most people have ever been taught, so although the method is eventually very effective it does cause a bit of brain shock to begin with.

You don’t have to master an entire session before progressing. Do it two or three times and then move on. Spaced repetition is built in to the lessons, so it’s not as if you’ve only got one shot at getting something right. And if you make mistakes, don’t panic - it’s all part of the process.

As for mixing up words and brain freezing, that will happen. A lot. (still happens to me, and I’ve been a second language speaker for 20 years! :wink: ) . Just go with it - as I said, it’s absolutely normal!


Thanks so much, I’ll plod along and do my best. I’ll give it a couple of goes and move to the next part, hoping it will stick haha.


It’s completely normal! I started over a year ago and did most of the challenges three times. Some of them were harder than others but you come back to things further down the line and find that you can remember and they make sense. Keep at it - it’s worth the effort :slightly_smiling_face:


Yes this is completely normal, we have all been there. It means your brain is processing and trying to organise itself, don’t worry about it, it’s doing good. Don’t worry about remembering the long sentences, I had this issue all the way to the end of level 3 and I’m now a fluent speaker…


That’s good to hear, thanks so much.


Absolutely normal Lauren and welcome. I find I have to run through the challenges at least a couple of times before I feel comfortable and my brain stops melting (for that week at least) but as you get into it more there are also moments of utter elation as things do start to stick, a word or a sentence that you just can’t get in one week pops up randomly as part of a challenge a couple of weeks later and you automatically nail it! I love those moments and it is a reminder that, even though your brain was melting, it did go in and find a home in there somewhere.


Thanks again, it’s really nice to hear other people’s struggles, but mostly that it’s normal and like you just said moments of elation - can’t wait for that one.



Just a thought, it took me years from learning to speak to being able to have a conversation, and at 57 years old, I’m still learning new English words. So we shouldn’t beat ourselves up if we can’t remember ‘foreign’ words straightaway


Very normal. Just keep going. You’ll be amazed just how much is “sinking in” as you go along. I have just started Level 3. When I first started the course I felt exactly the same as you - but in hardly any time at all I found myself getting through the challenges without using the pause button. OK - I was making mistakes - and I’m still making them. Sometimes I repeat a challenge but mostly now I just keep going.


Hi Lauren, I’ve just finished Level 1. I too felt as you do; I still get brain-freeze and mix up my words, but I don’t worry about it anymore, as the Challenges are so cleverly put together, it all works out in the end.
Everyone has their own way of learning something; if it helps, this is mine…
I like to do my weekly challenge every morning, first thing, when it’s quiet.
I listen to the sentence (with hand ready for the pause button!) and repeat each sentence (I’ll only repeat a sentence once more, if I can’t get it the first time…it works for me, it may not for someone else).
I get to the end of the session (usually, the first time is a real trial for me, and my brain aches).
I let my “little grey cells” then do their magic of beginning to create new neural pathways in my brain’s memory bank, especially overnight when I’m asleep, and the next morning, I repeat the challenge and find that I don’t need to use the pause button as much, and so it improves over the next few days.
By day 4, I’m usually knitting at the same time, so that I’m focused on that, whilst the words and sentence patterns are embedding in my subconscious mind (pause button still within easy reach in case I need it).
By the end of the week, I’m feeling a lot better.
I know now that this is the pattern for my weekly learning method, and so I don’t get so anxious now when I’m flummoxed, because I know that I will “get it” at some point.
Lauren, please don’t worry, just enjoy each challenge and soon you will even be noticing the occasional error that Aran and Catrin make :wink: …and they will be just as pleased as you are that you’re improving your skills to that extent.
I’ve recently started L2 and I’m feeling :crazy_face: on a Monday when I’ve done the challenge on the first day…but now I accept that by Thursday/Friday, I will be feeling better, maybe not perfect, but that’s okay.
Just trust in the process, Lauren, and in yourself. We all feel as you do, at different levels. I’m not much further ahead than you, and, at some point soon (you will know when) you will recognise that you actually feel comfortable about not “getting” a phrase or word pattern because you will know through your own experience that it will come.
Good luck. :smiley:


Hi Lauren, don’t stress about it. Take your time. Work at a pace that works for you. I signed up for the six minutes a day course and found what worked best for me was to listen to the whole of each challenge as frequently as I could. This was made easier because I was working away fro m home and would take each challenge on my walk back to the lodgings after work each day. But the course is really great because if you listen to the next lesson there’s generally a load of common ground challenge to challenge. There is a couple of stinkers out there but as a rule you’ll be able to move on even if not really confident. I’d also recommend starting the DuoLingo welsh course at the same time because I found it really helped. And it’s free. I started learning about 18 months ago. I’m based in Hampshire (not known for its welsh speaking community!) and I’m coming to the end of level 3 now. I’ve had a few really difficult times but the people on this forum are so supportive and so friendly that I was helped through. I would really miss being part of this fabulous adventure.


Hi Lauren,
I’m only on challenge 6 of level one and I have felt as you do. I find it helps that after doing the challenge I open the vocab list and copy it down.
I know many will say not to do this as it maybe confuse you more but it might be worth a try?
But honestly dont stress, it will come and as you move on you will wish all the challenges were as easy as you then find challenge 1!


I’ll add also not to worry about losing track of the English sentences. That was a problem for me for a good chunk of level 1. By the time I got halfway through saying the Welsh version, I’d forgotten the original English sentence.

It will get better though. Say Something in Welsh teaches language in a way that’s different than we’re used to. Our brains take a while to adjust. Over time, you’ll gradually run into that problem less and less as your brain gets the hang of it. Nothing to worry about. :slightly_smiling_face:


I had the same. Don’t worry, it comes. Just keep going and good luck :slight_smile:


Thanks for the kind words, it’s slowly getting better and do a few things like you, it really does help.
Just need to practice more.



Think that’s my biggest pain, losing track of the English, hope it will just get better the more I plough through, I’m on the 4th one now, seems a bit better haha


I hear you, I have to do the same thing, hope the more I move along the less I need to do that.
Glad we are in the same boat, and the people on here are super helpful, makes all the difference for sure.


I have the same problem - faced with five phrases in succession, I tend to forget the middle one before I even translate it. So I have been over Lesson 7 four or five times and am still not doing it in time!


I’m with everyone else here…give it time and enjoy what you do get right. In general is doesn’t matter what level of learning you are at, it’s always catchup. What doesn’t sink in first time round, most definitely does sink in when it’s presented later within different scenarios and lessons. By the time you get to Level 3, go back to level 1 and notice how quickly you can reply in, what seems, a luxurious amount of time. One thing that doesn’t seem to be considered by folk is that not only are we learning a new language but we are also learning to be interpreters…that’s an additional skill that shouldn’t go unrecognised - that’s why it feels so damn tough at times. You’re not just remembering Welsh words and sentences, but listening to English, remembering what was said, searching your fried brain for the Welsh equivalent (both words and sentence structure) and then trying to get your mouth around verbalising it…all within the blink of an eye. That’s a harder task than thinking and speaking in Welsh. In other words you’re feeling exactly how you should be feeling under the circumstances and will likely always feel perplexed with all the new stuff, but this does get balanced over time with the massive store of Welsh you do build up and can feel successful about.