SSi Forum

Published: new advanced content


As it’s turning out to be a rather good rugby season for Wales, I thought you might enjoy this - and there’s some nice scenery in it too.


Brilliant, thank you Beca


Sorry, I’m ignorant: Is there any particular relation to rugby or it’s just that it expresses a national sentiment? (guessing from the title, since I don’t understand the lyrics!)

Speaking of rugby, I see Italy is getting better all the time. :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
But it’s just because, you know, we need a lot of wooden spoons to cook risotto… :sunglasses:


Oh, and that’s the way she drolls :sunglasses:


Not really - just that it’s a song about how fantastic Wales is…! :crazy_face:


Hi all! A new sgwrs is up! I’ve numbered it wrong again :roll_eyes::roll_eyes::grimacing:, so I will remedy that next time! It’s called 23. Enjoy!


(quoting @rich)

I had seen similar numbers in a few articles by polyglots I’ve been reading lately.
However, they underlined the importance of focusing on high-frequency words when learning a language. According to studies if you choose wisely - rather than random vocablulary (can’t remember sources, but had saved the numbers):
10 words give you 24% coverage (of words you’ll hear/read in average communication/text and will allow you to understand enough of it)
100 => 49%
1000 => 74%
2000 => 81 %
4000 => 87 %

I had found an on-line unique word counter, that’s not reliable for a serious study - it counts as unique mutations, plurals, anything with an apostrophe, names, mistakes in copy and paste or spelling etc - but I think it’s good enough to play with! :smiley:

The average Sgwrs contains an average of 900-1000 unique words
In the first 15 (if you copy and paste them all together) there were 5694 unique words out of 52113 total
As of today (from 1 to 22) 6807 unique words out of 70997 total

So a whole lot of words are just the same, in different combinations and accents! :wink:

in SSiW Level 1 to 3 vocabulary lists it was about 750-800 unique words

p.p.s. I just realized I posted it in a different thread, but maybe it’s even better cause it’s a more generic topic, and not specific to number 21…

Level 3 South - Examples I don't understand

Yes, definitely.

Yes, in fact I am currently running with Aran’s tip on comprehensible input (subconscious learning) - spending my time speaking, listening and reading - letting the most common words stick based on frequency (not learning via rote).

Apparently this way - letting you brain ‘sort it out itself’ - the words end up in the part of the brain which is used for creative speach (same principle as SSIW). [ This is another surprising approach for me - in terms of learning extra vocabulary- but SSIW worked so well I thought it definitely deserved a try…like Italy yesterday. :wink: ]

I think these numbers demonstrate how choosing your words can get you started really quickly…and illustrates the challenge as you progress.

The first 49% comes from 100 words…the last 11% in your list you need another 16000! :smile:

What I’m aiming / hoping for now is to be able to switch on Radio Cymru and mostly understand what is said. In a hazy sense that is sort of true now…I imagine that as I progress things will get less hazy…you go through same sort of process at different levels don’t you…understanding things which are more and more sophisticated.

Your figures are very interesting. Actually I’m surprised there are so many unique words per Sgwrs. I’d imagine there would a lot of commonality in the greetings and the ‘tell me about your Welsh’ section - plus of course the words which are common in any sentence - and then a few bits of ‘specialist’ vocabulary for the person’s area of interest.

I think the percentages come into it again don’t they. Not understanding a word has a big impact on a chunk of speech - just one word - even if you understand all the others. The Sgwrs’s, almost by definition, have this specialist vocabulary - and in that sense are tough challenges I think.

Incredibly useful, tough challenges however.

Rich :slight_smile:


I’ll read your post thoroughly later. But just to make this aspect clearer, consider numbers are a bit higher because it counts like this:

mynd, fynd = 2 unique words
a, a’i, a’n, a’r, ac = 5
adeilad, adeilada, adeiladu, adeiladwyr = 4

So “word” is probably not the most correct term here. But that’s what the counter uses, and I don’t know a better definition.

However, as a learner, it is a fact that when you’re trying to understand a fluent conversation in Welsh all those are different words that you have to learn to distinguish and identify anyway:

Mutated words do sound like two different words in the beginning.
Then ar sounds like a’r.
A and ac might as well mean two different things.
Or you have to figure out that “acmae” is not a word by itself, but ac + mae
Or this “bethamer” you hear is actually beth am yr.

Not obvious at all!


Yes I agree completely - whilst they might not map onto different words in the way that some of published figures might do ( but which must be approximate anyway you would think ) - they are different for a learner hearing them…

…as are all the different pronunciations of the same word in different accents which on paper count as one! :smile:

It makes you realise what a huge processing task your brain is going through when listening to these things.

Rich :slight_smile:


Yes, linguists have ways of talking about this. I’m certainly not an expert, but I’ve read about this in the context of measuring vocabulary size. What you may be thinking of is possibly “word family” (or “word families”).

Linguist Alexander Arguelles has some interesting stuff about this sort of thing on Youtube and his website:


I’ve just reached no.19, and I must say, ‘Dw i’n reit ffond o Nan Humphreys.’ I CAN UNDERSTAND EVERY WORD SHE SAYS!!! So I have two options - I can either move to Glynarthen, in the hope that everyone there speaks so clearly and (relatively) slowly. Or, if Nan says that isn’t the case, what’s the chance of her giving up her idyllic retirement and taking in paying guests? I think that if I could spend a week with her, I would be off the endless plateau, and into the sunlit Welsh peaks…


New Sgwrs up, folks! It’s 22, so under 23 that you had last week… sorry about that! Enjoy!


I loved that she said ‘ffond’ too! She is clear isn’t she! This week’s chap is clear too, so maybe you can move in with both of them?!


Just wondering if there are any plans for Spanish (or any other languages) to follow the Welsh lead with advanced content?


Yes - hopefully coming quite soon, depending on how the relaunch of our Spanish stuff in the 6 month/6 minute format goes… :slight_smile:


That’s really good to hear!
If it is a big change, will the current Spanish lessons still be available after the relaunch, in the same way that the old Welsh lessons can still be accessed, or is it best to download all of the current lessons now if following the current course before the relaunch?


Hi all! A new Sgwrs is up - a south Walian! Topics - reading and small businesses. Enjoy!


Yes, they will, but they’ll be behind a paywall - either people following the course or anyone with a subscription will have access… :slight_smile:


Hi @beca-brown. Relating to Sgwrs 3: Tristan Lewis. Sorry, All as it’s a bit of a side issue, although hopefully of some interest to new Advanced Content learners. Hopefully you can pass on to Tristan

Regarding James Herriot and Classic vehicles, I took some pics in Wensleydale on Friday. Again, sorry that it’s not Wales.