Published: new advanced content


Oh cripes - ok - will send on! Apologies!


Well done for getting there! There was a lot of technical stuff in this one as regards subject matter - specialist vocab around vehicles and then committees etc. You did well!


I have a question:
these are the first longish texts in Welsh I ever attempted to read. I tried to read them fast or slow; browsing through the whole text, or in smaller chunks; in the quietest possible environment, or with relaxing instrumental music in the background. But no matter what I do, after no more than a line or two I find myself staring into space, feeling as if I was watching the Matrix code.


I just can’t stop my mind from drifting off. However, I know that seeing the words separate from each other as on paper helps me recognize them when I hear them in the stream of sounds when I listen.

Since I do enjoy reading lyrics while listening to songs, I’ve now tried reading the transcriptions while listening to the audio clip, and that seems much better - even though it goes against the principle of always doing just one thing at a time.

Note: everything else remains unchanged; when it’s time for the listening, it’s listening only. This is meant to substitute the reading-only phase.

Any ideas or suggestions?


You’re not the only one struggling with the Welsh texts!

When I was just listening to the earlier Growth Club recordings (which were only 5 minutes), they could send me off to sleep as effectively as a knock on the head, because they were too hard for me at that point. It’s been encouraging to return to them later, to find I can now get the gist of most of them.

I thought the big difference with the new recordings would be that they are 6 times longer, and that the speakers take no prisoners, and speak in fast, idiomatic Welsh. But in fact, it’s the Welsh texts which are the hardest - Matrix code is an excellent description of how a page looks if you aren’t used to reading Welsh.

I’ve taken a different approach to you. I listen to the talks in shorter chunks, noting down words or phrases which seem important, and which I don’t understand. Then I read the chunk of text, to see if I can make sense of them in context. If not, I listen to the recording again in chunks, and check the translation. I am intending to listen again to complete recordings in a year’s time, in the hope that my Welsh will have improved to the point that I can understand them almost as well as recordings in my mother tongue.

I’ll leave it to Aran to comment on how these adaptations may affect our learning progress!


I think generally speaking people tend to work harder than I think they should - but that may just be because you lot are all much less lazy than I am… :wink:

What you’re doing sounds fine, Bronwen - the key thing is not to get caught into repeating - because eventually, you’ll have come across new words and structures in enough different situations for your brain to have the context it needs to solve them. So really, keep on giving yourself exposure to the recordings, and some double-checking of the transcripts/translations, and you will indeed get there… :slight_smile:


Thanks for the encouragement. :slight_smile:
And it’s always very interesting for me to hear different approaches, tricks and strategies other learners adopt - that, by the way, can always be useful, sooner or later. :wink:

I have to admit that at the moment, when I listen to fluent Welsh, I can only identify sparse words, and small chunks of sentences, of which I don’t necessarily remember the meaning. However they’re many more than three months ago, and usually enough to guess a few of the topics being discussed (which I wasn’t able to do, back then). Even the first time I listen, and way more at the end of the process here.

But that’s fine - it’s still frustrating but if I stop and think about it, I know that with English it was the same, and it took me years to reach this point and even though I had heard it a lot more then Welsh before.

So I guess I’ll just wait and see what happens next!


It seems likely that this is one of those situations where different approaches will suit different people…but I don’t suppose there are a thousand different variations, so I’ll share what seems to have worked for me with a bit of trial and error…

Personally, I feel that I work best in situations where I have some tangible sense of progress…I get uncomfortable quite quickly with anything where I have no idea if I’m progressing (that boiling-the-ocean sensation) - which usually makes me change tack or to chunk something up.

With the advanced exercises - having listened, I’ve gone through the transcript and figured out what the Welsh says (for me this is where the work is - I’m still building my vocab)…which involves looking up some words I don’t know and also figuring out some words which are spelt differently or abbreviated - there are quite a few of these. I mark up the transcript (see photo above).

I try to only use the English translation provided when absolutely stuck (it is your Get Out Of Jail card however - If you can’t figure something you’d be scr***ed without it). Personally I find this forces me to ‘get into’ what is being said a bit more - I find I remember words more if I’ve had to think about them a bit vs looking them up.

Then I listen again - this time you get a MAJOR boost in understanding based on the work you’ve done…but there are some words or slick phrases that fly by which you don’t understand and I stop at some point look at them from my marked up transcript.

Listening after that, you can be close to getting it all. Then I try and listen again later and see how much I still get first time.

I do this in chunks at a time e.g. pages of transcript- or whatever I have time to do at that point eg spare 1/2hr?

The slight danger of writing this down is that I might find out that this is totally wrong and not approved, ha, ha. But you’ve got to live on the edge just a little don’t you think - I’ll take that risk :grimacing: :policeman:‍♂️



The only thing I’d add to this is that it will be very worth your while to have one initial listen before doing ANY work… :slight_smile:


:+1: Yes I have been doing this.

The first listen I have a sense of what is being said throughout but which varies a lot depending upon the vocab used in that section. Sometimes I know well, what is said - sometimes if there are some words together I don’t know I am struggling.

HOWEVER…I am very pleased (and very surprised I will admit) that with a little work it can go from something which overall sounded quite intimidating/ possibly slightly out of reach at the moment, to something I can understand well.

It is amazing what a step up in understanding you get when you just plug the gaps of the words you don’t know…

…maybe that sounds a bit stupid - of course it should (!!!) but when you can suddenly understand what is being said without interruption (mostly) it really does feels like a huge step forward… gwych!



And that is absolutely the magic sauce… :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :star2:


I Listened to Trystan last week and just finished (for now) listening to Eleri. Two more interesting people chatting effortlessly about themselves and giving us a great snapshot of welsh life and also a valuable learning experience. It’s reminds me of desert island discs without the discs but just as interesting. Although I don’t understand everything the flow is nice and easy on the ear and comes across completely natural.
The main difference I found between week 3 and 4 was that this week I could listen on my phone (away from the laptop) which gave me more flexible listening time and therefore more time to read the welsh which was a little easier this time. I don’t make notes at the moment as not enough time so just listening and reading in the right order and will see how it goes.
I wonder who’s next :thinking: gotta run out of gogs one day :joy: . . . .ni’n beilo nawr Ha!!!
Diolch unwaith eto @beca-brown :+1:

Iestyn throwing lessons out like a man possessed slowed me down quite a bit too:smile:


:joy: :joy: :joy:


I’m stumped on ‘naff’ - so help please :blush:


Enjoying the new content., thnaks! Printing out the transcripts and translations helps - can I put in a request for page numbers as I got them all mixed up earlier!


I think its just the English slang word “naf”. Meaning uncool.


Oce, diolch… must remember to ask my sixteen yr old grandson if that is used over here in the states. :blush:


I’m not sure if it’s used much in Britain these days. It sounds a bit old fasioned to me. Young people probably use a different word by now.


People older than @Hishiv and me (ahem) are more likely to use it these days.

Or people with a love of watching sitcoms from the seventies and eighties. If you pair naff with off you have a censor friendly expletive


The guardian have a user submitted page about naff - including some suggestions for an equivalent American term.

It does include some rather less polite words than "naff " though,5753,-18768,00.html


Naff off!!!