SSi Forum

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


#1225

This feels a huge breakthrough for me - if that’s the right term…
I learned of a Welsh-speaking lady living near my mother some time ago (I live in Norfolk), and had asked my mother to ask if she’d like someone to speak Welsh with - ‘but do explain I’m learning’…

Months later, Mom had spoken to her - yes, she’d be happy to chat - and gave me a number. Which I rang, a tad nervously, a fortnight ago. And we had a chat - thought went OK, after lady had got over surprise of my speaking Welsh… But speaking to my mother yesterday, she dropped into our chat how much the call had meant to this lady, and what a morale booster it had been!! Then feeling guilty I hadn’t rung back sooner (but also pleased had been well received!), I rang back this afternoon.

Well - so glad I did. I found that she was actually feeling down and vulnerable and her age - I got the feeling that she was sharing this because she could share her feelings in Welsh - but we were able to talk about this, and coronavirus, and trust, and move on from there (there’s me wanting to say trust, and thinking about arguing children - I blame you @Iestyn!) - and then move on from there to a whole range of other things. Like my learning where Bangor’s name came from on Cynefin… And somehow my Welsh seemed to pretty much hang in there, and my vocab’s grown again. But it’s clear how much she’s been missing Wales, and how much it means to her to chat in Welsh - so I just wanted to share how much efforts with SSiW have helped to cheer one lady far from her home country - which surely should answer anyone who says ‘What’s the point?’. This second chat just ‘took off’ - we were chatting an hour! - and by the end she sounded so much happier and we’re going to talk again next week.

Really long - sorry - but her reaction meant so much to me. And chats with other SSiW friends has meant there are ever more things that I can connect with when they come up (Porthcawl heddiw @carin-harris). Diolch yn fawr SSiW.


#1226

This is so wonderful! You’ve tagged a couple, but I feel I need to tag @aran and @catrinlliarjones too because I’m sure this will make their day as it has mine!

Da iawn wir Ann! :star2::star2::star2:


#1227

That’s brilliant @ann-6 I remember you telling me about this lady, and I’m so glad you made a positive impact on each other. Porthcawl lol…it’s definitely suprising how random chat can sometimes carry forward into another…


#1228

What a beautiful story - thank you so much for sharing it, and for being so kind… :slight_smile: :heart:


#1229

Not a speaking success, but some kind of milestone, insofar as the Borg now clearly think I’m a Welsh speaker… First commercial targeted ad in Welsh on my Facebook this morning!


#1230

@ann-6 That’s such a lovely story, thanks so much for sharing it! :heart:


#1231

Is it okay to share a few thoughts upon finishing Level 2 here?

The most significant achievement for me is that I am relaxed and confident about speaking this new language. It’s a great feeling - not going weak at the knees at the prospect of a chat but looking forward to it, whatever comes, any level and any topic! Being happy with myself at this stage, when there is still so much I wouldn’t understand, is a luxury I never had with any other of the languages I’ve learned. It’s the method and the people that make the difference. Thank you and see you on Level 3!


#1232

Longyfarchiafau mawr @Irina that’s so lovely to hear, even if I am a tad jealous! I still sweat, get the shakes and gabble but it doesn’t stop me from having a go. Your story just makes me want to try even harder so thanks for the inspiration. Hopefully one day I’ll feel a little calmer.


#1233

I’ve kept going with a weekly call - and last time, in response to hearing my ‘Ann dw i’ I got ‘O, it’s Ann - fy ffrind…’. No time to float though, because then we were off!

(Was so pleased to hear I’ve been learning Dyma Gariad @ceri-francis - I’m just sorry I couldn’t work out recording in time for Thursday’s deadline. But we’re both grateful that you got me learning it :slight_smile: )

If anyone ever has time for a more gently paced ‘faith Welsh’ chat, I’m sure I could find one valuable!


#1234

Thank you Jenny! You are very brave for going on despite it being uncomfortable but I’m sure it will get better and better! :hibiscus:


#1235

This time last year:
I was 2 months in to learning Welsh with SSIW, I hadn’t spoken to anyone in Welsh at all (no, not even a little “diolch!”), I hadn’t tried to make that first single-word recording in Welsh (I can hear the tension in my voice when I listen to it!), had never been on a hangout (you can read about the terror of my first hangout in August last year somewhere here on the forum!), and I definitely wouldn’t have entertained the idea of making a video (in English, never mind in Welsh)… so I’m totally amazed that I’ve been able to make a little video (in Welsh!) and its going to be shown on TV tomorrow!!! If you’d like to tune in, its FFIT Cymru at 9pm on 5 May on S4C. I’m so excited (and still a bit scared!) but this really shows what’s possible with SSIW - if I can do this, then you can too!! :slight_smile: So if you’re struggling with those initial terrors like I did, please stick with it - you may be able to surprise yourself like I’ve done too!! :slight_smile:


What would you say to other learners on lockdown?
#1236

Woo Hoo! Way to go Cetra! :smiley::star2:


#1237

Wow @Cetra!! :star2: Well done you!! :star2:


#1238

I have one! I’m so excited that I spoke Welsh today for the first time with a real person! I went on slack and chatted with a lovely lady for half an hour!! I can’t believe I can hold a conversation after only 12 lessons! She was very patient and helped me along, but it was so lovely to speak Welsh in real time. Thank you ssiw!!


#1239

And I can’t believe you did all that after just 12 lessons - da iawn ti!!!


#1240

The course is so great that it makes you feel confident to speak. I had just listened to lesson 12 and Iestyn was saying that i should be speaking in Welsh i’n between lessons so i thought I’d give it a go!


#1241

I generally find listening comprehension difficult - I recognise words but it takes a few seconds to recall the meaning. So I was chuffed when, while listening to the Pigion podcast, I heard “wedi dysgu sut i chwarae golff” and immediately knew what it meant without having to translate it.


#1242

I finally plucked up the courage to go on hangout after just a month on the six month course. I felt so nervous but everyone really helped me to chat a bit in Welsh, lovely people. Another milestone was watching iaith ar daith and understood the person’s pet chihuahua was called cariad! :grin: Aww. Without subtitles to help me


#1243

This isn’t about speaking - but it is an example of guerilla Cymraeg seeping into my life!

I’ve been speeding through level 1 (due to lockdown) and feeling a bit saturated (Radio Cymru on in the background right now - not that I understand, mind!).

I’ve noticed that I’ve started putting little bits of Cymraeg in emails to (English) people. I didn’t intend to start doing this, but it feels quite nice.

PS I got pretty demoralised by level 1 challenges 13 + 14, but I’m pushing on - I consider this a small success as I am a recovering perfectionist so this is very much out of my comfort zone!


#1244

Those are infamously difficult, but they’re important. I found them really rough going at the time, but in hindsight they transformed my ability to use longer sentences, which is an important step.