SSi Forum

Scared of practising with others!


Hi folks!

This is a slightly tricky one. I am very lucky to have a first language Welsh Mamgu who is very lovely and supportive. However I am so scared of speaking Welsh with her in case I can’t understand anything she says!

I am on level 1, challenge 21 and absolutely LOVING the course. I did GCSE German and hated it and @aran has created something amazing: so different to normal language courses!

I have asked to join the Slack group to try and get over my fear of speaking Welsh with other people face to face. I don’t know why it makes me so scared! I think I’m just worried I’ll mess it up.

Any advice?

Thanks so much,

Lucy :slight_smile:


Hi Lucy. SSIW is an amazing course, and it teaches you the eaay bit first, the Say, bit of the Welsh language. The understand bit is a different, and going, always, to be harder. But you want to talk to Mamgu, who will be thrilled at how well you are doing. Ask her to go slowly with you, if necessary (yn araf plis), to repeat herself (eto, plis), and learn to accept that understanding comes much later in the process. Good luck. Come back to the forum and tell us how it goes. :+1::+1:


Thankyou so much!! That’s really good advice. I hadn’t thought of it like that before.


Hi Lucy.
We are all going there or have been there. Getting your brain used to hearing people speak is a whole new challenge and it takes time and practice to get to 100% understanding. I’m not at 100% myself yet. There will be things you won’t understand her say for quite a long time, however over time you will understand more and more first time.
Listening to Radio Cymru helps. you get used to the presenters voices and feel you understand a lot, then when listening to a different presenter, you understand less. It all takes time and don’t worry about it. The Slack group is good, as is your mam-gu. Don’t expect to run whilst you’re still learning to walk.


Thanks so much! Will give Radio Cymru a try.


What I found works, is find a programme you like and stick with it for a while to get used to their voice and then challenge yourself with a different presenter. Some have excellent clear “Radio Welsh”, other are more idiosyncratic.


Ooo ok! Will have a look.


Do come and ‘mess it up’ with me on Slack soon, Lucy! I’ve had chats with people where we’ve both ended up crying with laughing at our mistakes, but nevertheless understanding each other perfectly.
A lot more fun than GCSE German, I promise.


That sounds fab!! Haha can’t wait to put GCSE German behind me… all the vocab learning!


I’m the exact same, I was just feeling really anxious til I saw your post. Comforting to know there are others who are a nervous!


Sounds to me, @lucy-bradburn and @Kayleigh, as if your next step is to link up with each other on Skype. Think how much better you’ll feel after boosting each other’s confidence!


You know I was just thinking that! Sounds good!


Great advice you’ve already had in here - I’d add that if you perhaps think in terms of doing a ‘single sentence swap’ first of all - so you hop on a call with someone else (in Slack or here) and instead of ‘having a conversation’, you just agree that you’ll both say one sentence each, and then that’s it for that day… and then try and make that a regular thing… and then switch up to 2 sentences… and then let it grow naturally until it feels like a comfortable thing to be doing… :slight_smile:

And then, when you’ve done plenty of practice with someone else, you’ll be ready for your mamgu… :slight_smile: :star2:


That sounds good! Will definitely give it a go :slight_smile:


You are, indeed, very lucky to have such a Mamgu. And if I know anything about Mamgus, she will be delighted to have you speak to her in Welsh, mistakes and all. She will quite understand that you are taking steps to learn her language (and yours!), but perhaps explain your worry to her first and ask her to speak as slowly and clearly as possible in the beginning. I wish I had such a Mamgu, but at 71 years old, that’s hardly likely!

Good luck!


The suggestions and support are so very heartening. I’ve more or less gotten over my fear of conversation, but I still find it exhausting to listen and miss so many words. Sometimes I make myself stop trying and just listen to the music of the language, and to my surprise, many words jump out at me of their own accord.