Hi @tatjana! I haven’t read the whole thread, but my main advice is to practice everyday. I’m “young”, and I can still feel that if I don’t practice for 3 days in a row, then it’s a lot harder to remember/have a fluent speech. Maybe that will help?
Well, thank you. It’s hard to practice every day here in Slovenia but yah, I could do some more lessons. However having a quite taugh and extreamly exhausting days at work at the moment I even don’t have too much energy left for some extra work. Sometimes I’m surprised that the session once a week can still help me maintain my more or less fluent speach in Welsh, but of course … one thing is “fluent” (as it runs smoothly without too much "umm"s and "a"s and ano another is correct (if even colloquial) one.
Hey Tatjana, my mentor and forum friend—you are such an inspiration and help…! Do you remember my horse-race that you illustrated so beautifully? You know what they say… “If you fall off a horse, it’s best to get right back on and ride again before you lose the knack or love of it”.
So to anyone out there feeling a bit bruised if you took a fence too fast and fell, dust yourself off, go calm your trusty steed and slowly climb back in the saddle to enjoy the ride.
Learning to SSiW used to seem like going around a circular race-track (to use my old horse-racing) image, but actually it is really an upward spiral, because each time I go around I recognise more of the course (hee hee, pun intended), so more bits become familiar territory.
If I have been silent here for a while, it has not been for the lack of interest—quite the contrary. Thanks to SSiW I gained enough confidence to tackle an MA in Celtic studies, including Welsh as one of the courses. Lately I have been running through the first Challenges in the new Levels which perfectly complement it and just hearing the musical intro’ is like settling down with old friends to have a conversation that is as fresh and more exciting now I can enjoy SSiW even more—if that is possible.
So Tatjana, just know your progress reports are absolutely vital and fascinating! Ready to join me for a gentle canter around the course to see what the going is like?
Hello @MarilynHames! Thank you for these words! I’m always happy seing you around on here and you’re true inspiration to me. You count to those “most successful learners”, @aran likes to takl about recently so much, as far as concerns me, for many more reasons: a) You’ve done all SSiW material simultanously (Levels and Courses) from scratch! b) You’ve done everything even if you’re hearing impared and getting some accessory aid opened totally new (audible) world for you c) Pulling everything from your gained knowledge and go further, dealing with all sorts Welsh (and Celtic) language related activities and stuff! So you can be really proud of yourself and I’m proud of you too!
And, yes, I remember your two horses … who’d forget them. I bet they’re not racing anymore but have a free run across the fields of Welsh language and all Welsh for that matter!
Well, even if I’m not ready, I’m ready … Let’s see what the going is like.
Your on Tatjana!
I thought for starters, we might saddle up and head over to the wishing-well and dream about where we want to head next. I see you already sport red colours–a real champion to be sure. My first wish (actually two–cheating a bit) is to have a go at the pink and figure out how to record my voice online using the programme folk on the Forum are using.
Now it’s your turn…
Going with you …
My first wish is to help you achave this but … it’s night here now and I’ll slow down a bit to rest and will tell you all about it in the morning. I know it will be night there were you are already, but when you wake up in the morning and are ready to cruies through the forum with your morning coffe at the hand, it will all be here for you already.
Good wish enough?
Sounds wonderful wish! Thank you!
Good morning …
I see you’ve found a way to the pink already. All what is needed now is that @aran (or whoever of hardworking staff does this) gives you that pink badge.
To the next bubble you come with recording those 5 minute test. It doesn’t have to contain the same sentences as you’ve said when doing it without recording though. You can invent new ones and record them.
I don’t know what software you already have on your computer but whatever software you have should let you record things with pressing the (usually red dot) record button and pressing stop (little square button) will end the recording. When finishing software usually asks you if you want to save the recording and you are able to determine where to save and with what name.
I believe majority of members here are using Audacity for recording though. This is really as simple as I’ve described above hoewver it primarly saves only in .vaw format. You even don’t need to aim to save the file in (for example) .mp3 format as SoundCloud accepts almost any audio format you want to upload. If you don’t have audacity you can download it from here.
If you use SoundCloud app on the phone or tablet (I’m not familiar with iDevices thoough) the thing is even simplier. All about how to record directly to SoundCloud through their app you will find here where I’ve posted some pictures along with this too.
I hope it helps. If not you can throw more wishes into the wishing well and fairy will surely come to aid in acheaving them. .
Excellent Tatjana—Thank you!
Once I have finished the next service (I already did the early one), then given a slide show on Patagonia, I can relax at home to download the app then try it out. You make it sound simple—and I trust you!
The only recording I have done before was an automatic Skype message. The things we learn.
All the best—Marilyn
PS I sketched this penguin (which some say is a Welsh word from pen gwen) while I was in Patagonia—it was wanting to drink some seawater, so kept paddling into the water, then waddling out to avoid the waves until one sneaked up and gave it a soaking.
O, thank you for these sketches. Great in deed.
And I know you’d find recording and uploading to SoundCloud simple enough.
A brief update after a almost a year which is (at the moment) not even a bit happy. Doing Level 3 I’m realizng that this one level is much, much different from Course 3 and doing it I realize that there are old structure so much sitting in my brain that I just can’t switch to the new ones in addition that even those old ones I didn’t remember properly. If I’d choose now I’d ABSOLUTELY NEVER do the old course at least not before I do the new one in total. I won’t say I will not one day cope with all this Level 3 in general, but for now I have a strong feeling that this will not be in eny short time. At the moment I’m sticking to one challenge a day but today I’ve done 3 (7, 8, 9) to get on the course again only to find out that there’s so many things I forgot from the previous 6 challenges.
Oh, and one more thing: Why in the old course there was taught through the 2 courses to say (for example) Mae coffi gyda fi. but now all of a sudden (from Course 3 on) there’s strictly (for example) Mae gyda fi coffi.?
Those who know what I’m on about at the moment, ignore that because I all of a sudden am very confused and the more I dig into the Level 3 the more confused I am. It’s like I’d be at the total beginning not being able to understand why all things are taught and what the rules … Here’s real mess in my head at the moment and from producing almost every structure immediately after @Iestyn says it in English I came back to not producing anything most of the time but if I do say anything these are or simple things required to say or I end all saying wrong.
I had some questions to ask but I forgot them too so I’d better stop here.
Ignore this writing, I just had to put it into my log in hope tomorrow is another, brighter day …
You have been such an inspiration and so helpful and supportive to so many other people on this forum that I just had to reply. I am also wading my way through level 3 and I think its probably “harder ?” than the other levels possibly because its closer to how people really speak welsh and because the course has covered so much ground ( thats an amazing achievement in itself) that there are now multiple choices to say the same thing – it doesn’t mean one way is right and the other way wrong only that one way may be more formal and the other way more colloquial. And don’t forget, as Iestyn says, no mistakes = no progress.
I never did the Course because when I started, the new version was already on.
I completed Level 1 and 2 pretty smoothly (also considering I had basically no previous knowledge of Welsh language and turns out even quite a lousy working memory).
But now I’m definitely struggling with Level 3!
I attempted Challenge 1 for the first time right after Level 2 last year. But it was such a disaster that I stopped. I thought it was because the huge amount of things I had learnt until then hadn’t sunk.
I still believe that was the main reason, because my next attempts went a bit better but…I’m still pretty much treading water!
However there’s one thing I noticed recently: in the beginning it was way easier to perceive my improvement because well…from zero to something it’s all quite obvious!
But also, my “answers” were more even: from time to time I’d be able to say just one or two words in the gap, but most of the time it was between 50 and 80% of the sentences.
Now, a few have become so automatic and easy I have to stop and wonder what I just said - especially those from previous levels and a few new ones when I’m already familiar with the new words they introduce, because…I had heard them many times in Datblygu songs!
While others are just terrible. It’s just one or two correct words in each sentence. So I believe I feel way more frustrated because it’s either 99% or 2%! That’s kinda weird and confusing!
Anyway I decided to try one thing: I transcribed all the English sentences in the Challenges in an excel file.
Every single one, except when they introduce one new word, cause the trouble is mostly on longer phrases that I can’t remember at all.
Then I keep the list open while I do the Challenge. It’s definitely better!
From time to time I write down the Welsh one so I can read it and figure out what’s going on (= maybe ask the forum). It seems to be working too.
Would you like the list of English sentences, @tatjana ? Let me know and I’ll send it to you, if you want to try it.
p.s. I also have to admit that since S4C is easily available and I’ve been in Wales and tried to talk to people in person…it’s so much more fun!
I’ve become way lazier on lessons!!! Ah, definitely need more discipline!
Thank you @sharonmonks for your really kind words. Sometimes I really wonder with what I could possibly inspire people on here, but OK. believe you on word.
Agreed, but when there are too many of them … kind of frustrating thing and believe me the more advanced you are the more frustraring it becomes (at least what concerns me).
I came when there were all 3 Courses already completed and there were vocab lessons for course 1 and 2 too so I started with them. Although somewhere in the middle of my learning with Courses Levels started to be produced and thrown out to the people to try, I intentivly stuck with the “original” course not wanting to switch. Well, for who knows what reason though. When yi finally tried the first Level I found it way harder than Courses but even courses (if you’ve read any of my (moaning) posts you’d know that) were too hard for me to do. When I started to do the Levels finally there was not much of the newly learnt content in my brain but always stuck with the phrases from courses … Well, eventually I’ve overcame all those things with the help of many good people here, the bootcamp I’ve attended and the people I’ve tortured afterwards in Cardiff and at the Eisteddfod. I’ve finally got confidence. The rest is well known history which goes all the way to the glory of speaking two times with @aran through Skype, and visits to my own country from @margaretnock, @brigitte and @PhilgJones
Challenge 1 was a bit oposite to me maybe really because at the beginning I was very familiar with quite some things due to already being quite deep into Courses. But I didn’t go all the way to the end of Level 2 until recently so I didn’t even try Level 3 before. Yes I’m struggling but the more we speak about kids and the matters like that the more I struggle. South version I’m learning might be a bit harder to the North one (at least I’ve heard something like this somewhere) so maybe I really shouldn’t complain though.
Yes, this migh tbe the case. I mean, how can I go 2 % correct only on the things I’ve done 99 % correct some days ago?
Ah, yes, long(er) phrases with so many "He said that I say that you know someone who said … ). And yes, what you’ve done migh tbe the good idea.
Yes, thank you. I’m grateful for this if you’d be so kind to send it to me.
Yes, more discipline. I’m lazy already from about the bootcamp in 2016 and it did some harm to my knowledge so I’ve finally done a plan to which I try to stick every day at some point of it. So, my advise … be more disciplined with whatever could help learn new things or maintain already learnt ones.
Tatjana, when you let your inner critic give you a hard time, it always gets tougher for you - you know that already…
It’s inevitable that Level 3 is much tougher - because you’re dealing with an increasingly wide range of possibilities, and you have more different ways of saying similar things - this is actually a VERY GOOD THING, because it means your chances of understanding spoken Welsh, and of being able to keep up in a conversation, are getting better and better…
But the work feels tougher, because you’re going to make more mistakes - and we’re pushing you to chunk harder and faster - that’s why it sometimes feels like 99% or 2%, by the way - the important thing, though, is that this is all exactly the work you need to be doing to become an even more confident Welsh speaker and to understand even more of what other Welsh speakers say…
Thank you @aran. You always have the right words and this is really appreciated. In the mean time the though times went by as I’m too busy doing something to even think how hard things were or can be.
Diolch yn fawr iawn!
Have you got any old videos of yourself, or recordings? When you can see where you used to be, it’s so much easier to realise how proud you should be about where you are now…
Have some audio recordings but just one video which was recorded for Benny Lewis portal when he offered some free tips for learning in connection of your blog post on his side (you remember that one about one Spanish learner who in (I believe) one week came to the point where he could actually speak Spanish with someone). So that’s approximately the only video I have recorded in Welsh. But yes, I’ve made some progress in deed and there’s yet more to come …
So, after 4 years and a half since I’ve (@aran actually did) started this topic and after 658 (this one would be 659th) posts written by many of us I can officially announce that I’ve finally finished the whole Southern material (apart from advsnced content) to disposal.
Today, after almost 7 years of more or less intensive learning, beating myself, changing my mindset, going for a various more or less “crazzy” challenges about which you can read more here, chatting to verious people (yn Nghymraeg of course), partly oversleeping some parts of some lessons, visiting Wales, attending bootcamp, welcoming some forum members to my country, and what’s more to it, I’ve finished the last lesson (Challenge 25) today while travelling to work and back home by bus.
There are still many things I am not familiar to use and I just can’t remember them properly but, hey! With the help of all of you, I did it!
Now here comes the time of so called “space repetitions” and more free(ish) style of learning with listening, watching, speaking , reading and doing more “crazy” things such as recent rap was, going for some other material to learn with but never abandoning this great course, company and community as long as you all want me to be here.
It might be I am quite confident (but not fluent even a bit) Welsh speaker but here’s a lot to learn yet. A lot of words, structures, rules to obay (yes those too a bit) etc.
However, this is not the end of the journey but the beginning of new one. I once said for me here’s only one language - Welsh - with variations reflecting the speach of South and North, so here I am … Beginning on the south I’ll take the traill to North until I reach it with all glory and shine … Yes, as up from tomorrow I’m starting Northern material.
@MarilynHames’ two horses - Courses and Levels - joined by my South one, now they will be acompanioned with the North one. But my horse wouldn’t race but rather pace in steady strolls toward the goal I intend to reach … Gogled … here I come (if only virtually through the courses).
This for I won’t abandon this topic yet but rather post from time to time how the things are going, what is bothering me things being a bit different as they’re in the Southern version etc …
But, today I don’t plan anything else but celebrate!
Thank you all who virtually or literally crossed my path I’ve walked until now and to all those who might still travel alnong with me in the future.
Absolutely Brilliant Tatjana–I couldn’t be more thrilled reading this, both because you have been such an inspiration and help to so many of us, but also because of what you have achieved on your own journey, including the realization that you are a Welsh-Speaker. With your permission, I will raise a glass of bubbly to you tomorrow (which also happens to be my birthday, so I can guarantee there will be bubbles in the house) and "salute you’!
As for my two horses,… the ‘New Material’ one will be put through its paces, actually it is just being led on to the course, because although I just about finished Level 3 South by myself, I decided I wanted to go over it again ‘with a trainer’ so have just today started the ‘Deep End’. Believe it or not, my old training partner is going to be setting the pace in conversations–she just agreed within the last hour, and I hope to repay some of your encouragement to you and others. So friend–may your ride be as much fun and take you to places you always dreamed of. ‘Go lady, Go!’