Breakthroughs: Does anybody have small successes/breakthroughs speaking Cymraeg they want to share?


Wahoo! I just finished Level 1 Challenge 13! I have heard rumors (read posts) that it is a hard one, and they weren’t wrong!

I had another breakthrough earlier this morning while I was in the kitchen with music playing in the next room. I have been listening to a lot of songs in Welsh lately and I created a playlist of my favorites, including my very favorite, “Clustiau March” by the Al Lewis Band. There is a line that is repeated several times in the song that has had me on the verge of some kind of recognition for days now:

…ond clustiau March ab Merichion sydd yn hir

Some of you may recall that in Challenge 7 there is the phrase "pa mor hir…?" for “how long…?” and in Challenge 11 there is the phrase sydd yn moyn” for “who wants.”

Well, as I was washing dishes it hit me that the sydd yn and the hir from those two phrases seemed to have come together in the phrase, “…ond clustiau March ab Merichion sydd yn hir,” making the already familiar translation click in my mind even though the grammar still puzzles me :upside_down_face: :

“…but the ears of March ab Merichion are long!!!”

Wowowowow! That was a really awesome moment of clarity and those words have made it into a new area of my memory that I think will last for a long time! I’m going to post the link to my playlist, including “Clustiau March,” below.


Congratulations!! That challenge was a nightmare (and I guess I’m one of those who fed the rumors)! :grin:

Hey, that sounds like a great moment!
Your description reminded me of the feeling I got when a sequence of sounds I had heard many times before suddenly turned into words that actually meant something, for the first time: sa i’n mynd i nofio mewn olew.

If you think about it, “but the ears of March ab Merichion are long” and mine are both kinda weird sentences!!!
Like the intro of that old sci-fi tv series…you unlock the door of Welsh language with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension: a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You’re moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. You’ve just crossed over into… the Twilight Zone. :woman_mage::mage::space_invader::star_struck: :grinning:


Hahaha… I had to translate yours, I’m not quite there yet, and you’re right! It’s weird. Funny, the Twilight Zone is one of my earliest memories because I used to get up and watch TV early in the morning while my parents slept when I was a toddler… might not of been the best idea, but tell that to a three-year-old! Oops.

It was a really cool moment to realize that it was making sense, and I look forward to more ah-ha’s to come in the future!


Aha! And that’s the sound of a brain starting to get to grips with things… :slight_smile: :star2:


Yay! Happy dance!!! :star_struck::partying_face::rainbow::stars::man_dancing::dancer:


This isn’t speaking to anyone but I have a lot of anxiety and I’ve had to stop and start the lessons several times because they can put me in a panic. I’ve also had terrible classroom experiences for language learning. I restarted ssiw a few days ago and this time I’ve been making myself do the lessons in their entirety. Today I started avoiding the pause button. I just made it through challenge 5 for level one first try and I was able to respond and get most of it right. This might just be the end of my nerves for language learning. If so, I’m very happy!


Wahoo! That is so awesome! Celebrate the small victories! I experience a lot of anxiety too, and I just keep telling myself that perfection is not the goal and mistakes are an important part of learning a language. Keep up the good work! Da iawn ti! :stars:


That’s great @caitlanburns! It sounds like you’re making steps in the right direction. It can be very difficult to let go of that feeling that you should be getting everything ‘right’ and beating yourself up if you’re not, as that was the experience for a lot of us in school unfortunately, but if you can relax and enjoy every mistake as a learning opportunity, you’ll do really well :slight_smile:


My problem is more fear of the process. It’s a little bit that I’m afraid of not getting things right but more that the questions (and in class the people) make me so nervous that sometimes every answer I give is wrong. (Anxiety disorder) My brain doesn’t trust my own ideas on things and tends to replace them on the fly. Unfortunately, those replacements are what tends to stick since they occur under stress. Mistakes for me can mean learning the wrong definition for a word and reliably repeating it and the more someone tries to correct it, the more my brain digs in. Anyway, I think it’s more or less fixed.


What a superb piece of courage - and, just for the record, that is a fantastic achievement - definitely puts you in the top 20% of the learners we see… :star: :star2:

So it’s definitely time to trust your brain more, to be more proud of yourself, and to keep on throwing yourself in at the deep end. You’re going to do this… :slight_smile:


The last time I heard someone say this, they were learning a language. :rofl: Welcome to the Club! This will soon dissipate with practice and soon enough you’ll be telling others, paid â becso (don’t worry), it’s part of the learning process.


Oh. My. Goodness.

I now know how to tell you what my sister wanted to tell your brother to do last night at the pub! Hahahahaha! Whew! That alone feels like a breakthrough. :sweat_smile::rofl::star_struck:


It’s a lot worse than regular jitters, like decades long neurological disorder/ absolute terror/can’t remember left from right bad but I’ll take your response in the spirit it was meant and be optimistic. I mean, I made a break through! Thanks!


@caitlanburns There’s a little trick I used to keep SSiW learning far from my (pretty awful) memories of school - in case it may be helpful to you.
I’m sure we all noticed one big difference as there’s no teachers or classroom in front of us, judging us or what we say - which is an amazingly better starting point (at least for me)!
Also, it’s a fact that the recorded voices in the challenges are not really correcting us, since they’re not actually hearing us!
So rather than thinking of it as a lesson, which can still be a bit stressful, I imagined it as sitting right next to a few people practicing Welsh (like on a train); and just overhearing them and imitating them without them noticing.
Which is basically what I did doing with Welsh songs before starting SSiW and it was just great fun, and zero stress!

Well not sure I was able to explain or if it may be of any use…but just in case.

And congratulations for the good work , anyway!


Good point! And pretending to eavesdrop can certainly make it more fun. I’m hearing things I shouldn’t hear and those are the best kind of things! :smile:


I was watching Priodas Pum Mil, the daftest (but best) prog on s4c, and understood more than when I watched last year. So that’s a win.

I generally find I can understand quite a bit of what people say to me but find it a bit tough to conjour up the correct form of words in response - particularly struggling to remember the tenses for anything other than first person. I was trying to say that they went somewhere in the past, but ended up saying that they were going in the future. Oopsy.


Oh I love Priodas Pum Mil! Thanks for alerting me that it’s back. I was going to say it was a guilty pleasure but then I remembered I don’t have to feel guilty because it’s not wasting time watching reality TV it is learning a language which everyone agrees is A Good Thing to do! I love the little snap shots of Welsh speaking life and the fact that the presenters seem to spend at least half each episode cracking up.

Edit to add that I spent what felt like at least the first year of learning Welsh speaking only in the present tense, and most people seemed to understand. Or at least they nodded and smiled which is good enough!


Sitting down and thinking about it, I know that it is aethon nhw for the past and ân nhw for the future. But when speaking in the wild, I totally forget.


Oh, boy! I just finished Level 1 Challenge 15 a minute ago (S), and I am feeling great! I could feel all the random bits coming together into some semblance of order inside my brain - like a comprehension magnet just went over and made everything line up. Awesome.

So, last night I had a great breakthrough… while I was in the kitchen again (this time fixing some food) with music playing in the next room. I don’t know why it keeps happening under those conditions hahahaha! Weird.

It was a lovely song I had heard a few times before and recognized a word or two here and there, but had never actually sat down and learned the words - not even yn Saesneg! All of the sudden, there he was singing something completely intelligible! It hit me in the heart so hard, it felt like he was singing directly to me…

Oni’n meddwl dy fot ti’n deall…

Beautiful. I did understand. :relaxed:


On reflection, listening to the song again after Challenge 15, I understand ever so much more than I did just last night. Incredible. Diolch yn fawr iawn.