SSi Forum

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


I changed the priority language on my ipad into Cymraeg. It only seems to have changed the date so far which is a bit disspointing but I loved having Gwen 19 Gorff pop up this morning.


Went to a meeting last night (in southern England) where I definitely didn’t expect to hear Welsh. Then I was approached by someone who had heard I was learning Welsh and we just plunged straight into a long conversation. Oedd hi’n gwych!

Also very excited to have discovered a first language speaker living locally (Gog too!) with whom I can practise. Pearl without price :slight_smile:


I have just watched my first programme on S4C. Really interesting, it is called Daffydd Iwan - Y Prince a Fi. All about the protest etc surrounding the investiture in 1969. I have to admit that I had to have the subtitles on, as I’m only on level 1, but I did manage to pick up quite a few words that I would never have known before I started. I was so chuffed I then watched an episode of LLe, featuring Sean Fletcher. Roll on Pobol Y Cwm! :grinning:


It’s a tiny breakthrough really and in 2 parts - Firstly I used some sentences from the first 2 challenges in the pub with some farming friends and one guy I really respect stood up with a tear in his eye and demanded a pint be brought my way! The second was practising the same sentences with some good friends who commented how my pronunciation was far better than they would expect for someone learning for a few weeks! They send me links to TV shows they thought could help and offered to allow me to practise as often as I would like.

Small steps that have given me a boost in confidence and pushed me onward!


I had to speak to the DWP in connection with a Change of Address for my wife’s PIP. The first attempt was made in June, in English (because Anita doesn’t know much Welsh) and they said they would send a confirmation letter.

After receiving nothing through the post for a month, I became concerned that there had been a clerical error in DWP records. So I called back (this time in Welsh) to ask them to check they had our correct details on record. It turned out that the English speaking helpline had recorded our new (Welsh) address incorrectly and had sent the letter to this wrong address. So they have now recorded the correct details and we trust we shall get a confirmation letter shortly.

The Welsh Speaking helplines of Government Departments seem to offer a service that is a lot quicker (less waiting on hold), more helpful and friendly, and accurate, especially for Welsh addresses which may confuse some English speakers in a call centre outside Wales. So for me, speaking Welsh gets me access to a better service with people who understand local technicalities better. And by using the service, hopefully I am helping to keep it open for others who need it, too.


I feel like I have had a couple breakthroughs this week as I work through Week 22 of the 6-month course.

I have been listening to podcasts and music constantly for weeks and weeks now, and this week I have been listening to the incredible (and sadly expiring) podcast Yr Arwisgo and not only am I understanding around 30% I have been able to pick out tons of words I have never heard before but could figure out how to spell them and guess their meaning from the context - so when I entered them into Google Translate Welsh to English they were popping out with exactly what I expected. Wow! I was blown away when someone was at the door and I understood “Pwy sy’n 'na?” even though I have never heard that before and she spoke so quickly. Wahoo! I was so pleased with myself!

I have been speaking Welsh almost exclusively at home with my cat (which is where I spend 99% of my time)… so that when my neighbor came to visit and we sat out on the patio talking last night, I kept having to stop myself from using Welsh words… I live in California, so Welsh “in the wild” is rare, and I only know one person locally who would understand and it was not this one… or the one I was talking to today where the Welsh words finally slipped out in conversation rather than almost doing so. I was talking about Yr Arwisgo and the word “podlediad” came out and I realized it had finally happened!

I haven’t been remembering my dreams recently, but I am hoping I will wake up and remember myself speaking Welsh in my dreams soon. I am almost positive it is happening but I am forgetting, so fingers crossed one of them will stick!


@sasha-lathrop - It sounds like you are doing fantastically well. Well done. :sunny:

I have had similar experiences to you in that I spend a lot of time driving around the Yorkshire Dales listening to Radio Cymru - and actually the Dales are a very similar landscape in many ways to North Wales…it is particularly easy to get into Welsh mindset and to step out of the car and speak Welsh to the first person you meet! :blush:

How is the cat coming along? :smile:

Rich :slight_smile:


Diolch yn fawr!

The cat is coming along nicely :joy::paw_prints: …although his listening has far surpassed his speaking ability, he does roll his Rs pretty well. I really believe he prefers Welsh, he is much more likely to cooperate with me on our walks or to come when I call him if I do it yn Gymraeg!


Arrr - he looks really cute! I’d never thought of the ‘r’ rolling before - that is so funny :smile:

Rich :slight_smile:


I’m incredibly biased, but I think he is the cutest critter ever. His belly spots just kill me with glee, all over his fluffy white belly with all the stripes everywhere else. Cuteeee! But, like I said: Biased with a capital B. :wink:


Just had my first moment of realising how far I’ve come. I’ve just finished challenge 15 and hadn’t tried to listen to the hangouts since my first week or so. I’ve been watching @dee on the hangout today and while I still miss a lot of words I’ve actually understood the gist of every conversation :scream: my Welsh isn’t coming to me quick enough for me to hold my own conversation yet but so impressed with myself I can follow a conversation (kind of)


Aw, look at his goofy little crossed eyes, and sticking his tongue out for the camera. :joy:
Cats are good at rolling their Rs, aren’t they? I’m so jealous of them.


Ha, ha @sasha-lathrop,

I saw this and thought of you and your cat!

Rich :slight_smile:


@rich Wow, that’s awesome! Maybe I should ask for it for my birthday! :wink:


Hello everyone, I’d like to report a HUGE success!! Had a friend to stay with me during a couple of days spent at the Eisteddfod, and we only spoke Welsh for 2 whole days, starting to feel fluent, and it’s wholly thanks to this site, Gareth King books, Tudur Owen and Aled Hughes radio shows, and Rownd a Rownd! Keep at it whatever your level, your hard work will pay off and pay you back beyond life enriching measure…Cymru am Byth!! CARIAD MAWR I BAWB! XXX


haha thanks for posting my breakthrough in our newsletter ‘in it’s entirety’, it’s true, I AM delighted! thank you so much smile:


I’m currently training to be a dentist in Cardiff University. When I first met one of my patients, he asked me if I spoke Welsh and I was gutted telling him that I didn’t. Last week, I saw him for the first time in months and was pleased to tell him that I’m now learning. He was thrilled, and it was lovely to speak some basic Welsh with him, as broken as it was :slight_smile:


I am so excited about this one… I got my first joke in Welsh! It effortlessly clicked even though I didn’t understand every word, and I was busting up laughing right on time. It happened late last week while I was watching a hilarious (and likely not very suitable for work) video that S4C posted to their YouTube channel, and there was a rather adult joke and I just about cried laughing. I still can’t believe I got it, she talks so quickly! I knew just enough key words to put it together and I was laughing at the same time as the women in the video. That makes me feel very happy indeed.


I’ve just finished Level Two and as I’m going on holiday in Cornwall soon I thought I’d try SSiCornish. Challenge One was…well, challenging…I found myself thinking “Wow, this is hard to get your mouth round, harder than Welsh”!
And after all of my struggles with ‘haddock o friendiai, byddet ti’n’ etc! Welsh is now easier to speak than another language! :grin: