SSi Forum

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


tagging @aran


Maybe this is kind of a breakthrough, I don’t know. I’ve been trying to learn Welsh for I think four years now. It has been a bumpy journey so far. I gave up many times and then, started again. I’m scared that I will never be able to learn this beautiful language, let alone speak it coherently. But it seems that I cannot run from wanting to learn Welsh, so I can as well continue trying. I missed this forum … I missed you all.


Croeso’n ôl @Claudia_Beryan. :blush:


Diolch yn fawr, Margaret, that’s very kind of you! :sunflower:

I saw one of Aran’s videos on FB. He talked so passionately about learning Welsh that he touched my own love for this language. A love I tried hard to ignore because I have such difficulties learning it.


Da iawn ti


For me it was reading Llanfairpwll-gwyngyllgogerychwyrndrob-wllllantysiliogogogoch and kind of understanding the word - not just a random unpronounceable gibberish but a word I can read (even though slowly )


I spoke welsh in the welsh shop in Yr Wyddgrug today! The man in there was really really nice and helped me find welsh learner novels for my level. I can’t believe I’ve been scared of going in that shop for years.
This is the first time I’ve spoken welsh to someone outside ssiw and I’m so excited about it.


Well done @charleyeyrn, fantastic achievement! It is terrifying taking those early steps in the wild but you’ve done it and it will start to get easier from now on. Just dal ati!


Well done @charleyeyrn. I told the lovely people in Siop y Siswrn a few months ago I was learning with SSIW and they always speak to me in Welsh now. Before this they would say say something in Welsh to me and as I slowly tried to understand what they had said and formulate an answer, they switched to English. It was really frustrating. They are really patient, wait for my answers now and always find things to say that I can actually understand.


Da lawn ti Charley


I’ve been pinging some messages back and forth about various courses. Not very long, but actually using Welsh to communicate and getting actual messages back, not just stilted learner sentences. It’s very exciting.


I listened to the 5 listening exercises today as recommended on my weekly update, and suddenly realised I wasn’t trying to translate each word. I was shocked at how much I could understand from the early exercises - as well as the repetition! How on earth did I not realise that?


I’m doing level 2, challenge four, and here are a few small success stories I’ve noticed so far:

  • I mostly think in Welsh now rather than English
  • I speak Welsh sentences to my wife and translate them into English for her, and she says my Welsh is much better
  • when someone asks me a question in English, I often answer it in Welsh in my mind before speaking, or I say my answer in Welsh if I can


I was reading the English news at lunch time yesterday and saw an article about Spain frantically trying to distribute its vaccine before more snow hit. I thought ‘oh yeah, it was so heavy they were ski-ing on the streets’, then realised I knew that because I’d heard it on Radio Cymru earlier in the day.


If you’re ‘mostly thinking in Welsh’ that is not a small success or breakthrough, it is absolutely enormous!


I’ve just finished the first week of level three. One of the tasks set was to have a two hour one on one conversation in Welsh. Thankfully I have a friend who is also on level three of this course who had time to have a two hour conversation. In the past me and this friend have had more than two hour conversations in English and when we spoke in Welsh, but it was no longer than 30 minutes. So I thought it would be a hard slog to get through two hours speaking in Welsh only. I knew we had plenty of stuff to talk about because we had not spoken in quite some time, but I thought it would be difficult to talk about the stuff I wanted to because I have less vocabulary in Welsh than in English.

But to my surprise the two hours flew by quickly and we were able to have conversations about a range of different topics. We used very little English, when we got stuck on how to say a word we would just ask each other if they knew how to say it and if the other person didn’t know we would use google translate or a Welsh dictionary. In total we talked for two hours and ten minutes. After we ended the call I was smiling from ear to ear and not only felt a great sense of accomplishment but I felt that I WAS a Welsh speaker! Diolch yn fawr to all of the team at SSiW for setting the two hour speaking task and pushing me out of my comfort zone.


@welsh-dragon To echo a comment made above, you’ve posted to the wrong thread :blush:! What you describe is no “small success/breakthrough”. Well done.


Writing messages in Christmas cards felt good and also exchanging emails with a couple of people since then.


I have just reached level 2. I have been listening to Radio Cymru for several weeks now. Normally when I drive to take the dog for a walk so it is in chunks of about 20 mins. I find I am picking up lots of the words we have learnt all the time and occasionally the odd phrase. When I listen it is often late morning to lunchtime and it is mainly talk rather than music. I think as I listen I am also picking out more Welsh words that I don’t know than when I started so hopefully my ear is tuning in. Just a bit frustrating that I can’t follow all of it but it is fun to try to work out what they might be talking about.


I wrote to a company’s customer service email in (simple)Welsh and got a reply in Welsh that I could understand (even if I didn’t know every word). It’s the first time I’ve done anything like it (apart from an email to SSiW, which I put the English in as well just in case it made no sense). I haven’t done anything like it since school! Buzzing!