SSi Forum

Iaith ar Daith Series 2 - Discussion/Questions/Feedback


James did so well- I didn 't know until reading here that he had never learnt welsh before doing this series- thought he was reactivating school Welsh !


He was so good for an absolute beginner


Wasn’t he just?! :muscle::star2:


I still haven’t seen the episode (looking forward to watching it today!)

I happened to see the trailer yesterday, andJames says he had Welsh as second language at school. @aran said in his notes about teaching them, that he faintly remembered it.
This is something I heard and read so often fro Welsh learners from Wales.

I often notice, and keep on being surprised of how similar it is to my experience with learning languages at school:
Lots of my relatives are first language German speakers, I’ve studied it at school for 3 years, even spent quite some time in German-speaking areas aaaaand…ok, I can understand and read some basic stuff, but hardly say a word! Not to mention that last time in Austria (when we could still travel around, seems such a long time ago!) at the supermarket I realized I was using Welsh numbers and words which just came more natural to me! :rofl:

So the question is: why does school fail so miserably in teaching languages?
Of course as teens there may be a lack of interest in one topic or another, and too many things going on to stay focused and motivated.
But I also know adults who keep on going to language schools for years, to !earn Italian, for example…and I don’t dare telling them their language is still dreadful! :scream::face_with_hand_over_mouth:

Just random reflections!


I had to laugh at the weather James and Nigel got in Tenby on two accounts. Firstly, many a tight shooting schedule leaves you with no option but to carry on filming so I really felt bad for the crew but thankful it wasn’t one of ‘my’ shoots, and secondly because when I was about 10 I think, we were on a family holiday in either in Saundersfoot (just round the corner) or Manobier (just round the other corner!), and my parents said one day we were going to go to Tenby for the day. For some reason I said I didn’t want to go to Tenby because it always rains there - goodness knows why I would say that, I had no evidence whatsoever having never been before! - but we went… and yes, it rained all day! :rofl:

As for James’ Welsh after so little prep time - wow! Brilliant! I genuinely doubt any other method would have got him saying as much as he did (and being able to make links and build new sentences) as quickly as he did. Only to be expected that he found it hard work, but he should be so proud of what he’s achieved in, frankly, minimum time! Ymlaen nawr James - you’ve got this!


Saw the James Hook episode. Fun to watch as usual, and another amazing learner! :+1:

One of the most hilarious moments for me: the “sheep in the car” :rofl:
(And also a reminder of why us foreigners have a hard time figuring out what people say…in English, cause often it doesn’t sound like the way it’s written at all! :sweat_smile:)

One thing that I noticed this time is that James has quite a strong accent when he speaks English (I guess from the area he’s originally from - not quite as tough as the rugby player in the previous series, but still a bit odd). To me, it already sounds quite e bit closer to Welsh than many others, so maybe it’s easier to him to sound less like a learner and more fluent?


I am so jealous of all Welsh learners. A Welsh accent in English definitely helps!


For anyone new to this thread, here’s a reminder of who all the celebrities are, where you can catch op on their episodes and when the nest episodes are to be broadcast -

These are the celebrities you can look forward to seeing in series 2 -

  • Steve Backshall – The adventurer and presenter of nature programmes including Deadly 60 and Blue Planet Live . He is also a guest lecturer at University of Wales, Bangor.

See Steve’s episode here -

  • Rakie Ayola – An actor and producer who has worked in film, television and theatre, including Shakespearean theatrical performances, playing the role of Kyla Tyson in Holby City, roles in Silent Witness and Shetland .

See Rakie’s episode here -

  • James Hook – Former Wales international rugby player. He won 81 caps for Wales and is Wales’ fourth highest all-time points scorer.

See James ’ episode here -

  • Chris Coleman – A Welsh professional football coach and former player. He is the former manager of the Wales international football team who led Wales to UEFA Euro 2016, their first major tournament since the 1958 FIFA World Cup, where they made the semi-finals.

Chris ’ episode will be the next one to be broadcast this Sunday evening the 28th of March at 20:00.

  • Kiri Pritchard McLean – Comedian and writer who has won several awards for her work and is a familiar face on panel shows including Have I Got News for You and 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown .

Kiri’s episode will be broadcast Sunday evening the 4th of April at 20:00.

  • Joanna Scanlan – Joanna is a familiar face thanks to roles in a number of popular television series and films including The Thick of It, No Offence, Bridget Jones’s Baby and Notes on a Scandal , along with Welsh series, Stella and The Accident .

Joanna’s episode will be broadcast Sunday evening the 1 1th of April at 20:00.


Remember, if you are enjoying the series and also use Twitter, we would greatly appreciate it if you would share your views on the series using the following hashtags -




I love this series, and was amazed when Rakie said she’d only been learning Welsh for a month. I often watch ‘Jonathan’ on S4C and although I love Nigel Owens, I do find it hard to understand his spoken Welsh, so use the Welsh subtitles to help me! I wonder how James Hook found the speed and strong Carmarthenshire accent in which he spoke Welsh? Chwarae Teg, Nigel!! (And I used to go to school with girls from the Swansea Valleys - so not that far away!) The other supporters so far have been kinder to their companions. Looking forward to the rest of the series.


Dwi joio gwilio, pob dydd Sul. Edrych ymlaen I tro mesa.


Absolutely love this series - as does husband. We both grew up in Wales and sadly - in the 90s in our border school- the English Headmaster thought offering Welsh lessons was pointless. Watching the celebrities use the language and knowing they’ve done the same course as me is amazing. I’ve completed level three and though o don’t practice as much as I should - I now regularly watch Welsh programmes on S4C, and read Welsh novels.

What this program will do - is show people how accessible the learning is. I think it should be shown on BBC Wales - not just S4C.
Listening to Steve do the Gardening show was awe inspiring.
Loved the Nigel and James show - and also loved the episode with Rakie. The different accents are also great to hear - all my family are Cardiff so loved to hear that!

Can’t wait for Kiri’s episode- looks so much fun!!


Just watched Steve Backshall, what an emotional programme and well done Steve and Iolo. I have been doing SSiw and had lost some impetus but this programme has given me motivation to carry on. Dai lawn pawb a Diolch yn iawn.


On the recent programme with James and Nigel… did I hear the expression wedi bedi. ??? A couple of times…in the context of something perhaps being finished?


Almost - wedi benu and yes, it means over or finished


I really enjoyed series 1 and loving series 2. Bendigedig iawn, iawn, iawn!


Absolutely loving this series so far. It makes my Sunday evening! I’m so impressed by the way in which all the celebs throw themselves into the tasks yn Gymraeg and, especially with James, being able to laugh at their mistakes…as well all know, making mistakes is part of how we learn! (Still chuckling at ‘defaid yn y cae’ said in Nigel’s Carms accent…no wonder James got confused :rofl:). Seriously though, he did amazingly well, given the limited amount of learning time he had. The teacher-celeb pairings have been great as well. I thought Iolo in particular was a fantastic teacher (and Steve a star pupil come to that!). Also, I loved Rakie reading on Cyw, she did a great job and you could see the joy when she speaks Welsh. Can’t wait to see how the rest of the celebs get on (especially excited about Maggi Noggi and Kiri!). Da iawn pawb a dal ati!


Just watched the first one (with Steve). Great programme! With Welsh subtitles I could understand everything Steve said, most of what Iolo said, and nearly half of what the narrator said… Without subtitles I would have struggled, since I’m more used to learning through reading and have had no exposure to spoken Welsh other than SSiW old Course 1 and the 15 once-free challenges of Level 1. But I’ll definitely keep going. I might even watch the same one again, without subtitles…


James was amazing!!! I absolutely admired and loved the way he went for it and seemingly without any concern for sounding ‘foolish’ (which is what holds most of us back) which you, absolutely didn’t James! I saw him on Jonathan also and he was equally as composed. VERY impressive. I hope he is really proud of himself and continues on his journey of learning Welsh.


I love watching these, they are the highlight of my week. With the subtitles I’m constantly recognising and reinforcing words I know as well as learning new ones. And just like ‘Am Dro!’ it’s a great way of showcasing beautiful Wales.

The Clic Player: I live in Germany and I’ve found I’m only able to watch the episodes on the livestream. The catch-up feature doesn’t seem to work for me (error S4CP04), even though the site says Iaith ar Daith is one of the programmes I should be able to access from outside the UK. I would happily pay for access, by the way, and I expect many other Brits abroad would too!

So it’s a bit like in the olden days where, if you don’t remember to switch on in time, you have to wait another week! Remember that?

Hey, is giving people nicely presented poetry a thing in Wales, or is it just this great series?