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Welsh conversation with someone who corrects you a lot...

Postby psychedologist » Tue May 14, 2013 12:04 pm

Hi all. I was just wondering if anyone had had any experience of practising their Welsh with someone who finds it hard not to correct them? I suspect it was the way they were taught, and therefore not easy to amend, but I'm going to try, as this is by far the easiest person for me to practise my Welsh with, but I find it quite discouraging when she does it.

I'm going to raise it next time I see her face-to-face, and ask clearly for what I'd like (correction only when I ask for it), but I'd be grateful if anyone else had ideas and/or experience of this.

Thanks,

Ian
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Re: Welsh conversation with someone who corrects you a lot...

Postby dinas » Tue May 14, 2013 12:55 pm

psychedologist wrote:Hi all. I was just wondering if anyone had had any experience of practising their Welsh with someone who finds it hard not to correct them? I suspect it was the way they were taught, and therefore not easy to amend, but I'm going to try, as this is by far the easiest person for me to practise my Welsh with, but I find it quite discouraging when she does it.

I'm going to raise it next time I see her face-to-face, and ask clearly for what I'd like (correction only when I ask for it), but I'd be grateful if anyone else had ideas and/or experience of this.

Thanks,

Ian


I had a lot of trouble with this and it held me back for many years.It was especially difficult with old friends - even now some refuse to speak welsh with me: they find it weird. Yet, many are quite happy to chat without pulling me on every mistake after I asked them not to; persisted in talking welsh how ever wrong or awkward I might sound. This can illicit a few laughs.
Talking with friends is the most difficult thing I think: We have so much to say without the word power to express ourselves. Frustrating for them and you.
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Re: Welsh conversation with someone who corrects you a lot...

Postby Arianrhod » Tue May 14, 2013 1:01 pm

I'm going to answer another way, as I have the opposite problem.

Treasure this person! I would love people to correct me so I don't sit there minutes later kicking myself yet unable to say - yes! I knew that, doh!

I think if I had an overenthusiastic correcting friend, I'd inhibit them by insisting on recording our conversations. Then I'd use the recordings like a bonus lesson. :D

Oh, and something else, too. I'd love someone to correct my convoluted sentences and translate them into everyday speech. Eg Instead of "He has made a vow to fulfil an obligation with regard to someone's holidays" it should have been "He's working away, covering for someone's time off". I can do it myself, just not in real time. My inner language droid seems to be eighteenth century. :-?
Wastad yn siarad Cymraeg... i'r hen, hen gi.
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Re: Welsh conversation with someone who corrects you a lot...

Postby Iestyn » Tue May 14, 2013 1:16 pm

Da iawn, Ian!

Being corrected, being discouraged, but working out how to overcome it, makes me pretty certain that you are on your way to being a confident Welsh speaker. The path to speaking is full of obstacles, some bigger than others, and overcoming them is what makes you grow.

As to the overbearing Welsh speaker - do talk with her about it. As you obviously realise, she is trying to help, and almost certainly doesn't realise that she is actually slowing you down!

I wonder if you could tell her all about the SaySomethingin method, that you only have to be close enough to be understood (correct grammar / word order / yes, no etc is optional), because you are learning from listening to correct Welsh. Therefore, you will learn far more from hearing her conversing in Welsh than by hearing her explain (presumably in English) about your mistakes. Emphasise how well it's working for you, and try and get her to play along. If you can see she's ready to burst with a correction, then ask her yourself, something like "How would you say that, then!", so that she still gets to "help" you in her own way.

And please do let her know that she is awesome for helping you. So many Welsh speakers would balk at the prospect of helping a new speaker: Some aren't confident in their own Welsh, and afriad to mislead the new speaker, others just default to English all the time, and others just wouldn't bother. So you have found a real treasure!
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Re: Welsh conversation with someone who corrects you a lot...

Postby Bacsie » Tue May 14, 2013 6:58 pm

dinas wrote:
psychedologist wrote:Hi all. I was just wondering if anyone had had any experience of practising their Welsh with someone who finds it hard not to correct them? I suspect it was the way they were taught, and therefore not easy to amend, but I'm going to try, as this is by far the easiest person for me to practise my Welsh with, but I find it quite discouraging when she does it.

I'm going to raise it next time I see her face-to-face, and ask clearly for what I'd like (correction only when I ask for it), but I'd be grateful if anyone else had ideas and/or experience of this.

Thanks,

Ian


I had a lot of trouble with this and it held me back for many years.It was especially difficult with old friends - even now some refuse to speak welsh with me: they find it weird. Yet, many are quite happy to chat without pulling me on every mistake after I asked them not to; persisted in talking welsh how ever wrong or awkward I might sound. This can illicit a few laughs.
Talking with friends is the most difficult thing I think: We have so much to say without the word power to express ourselves. Frustrating for them and you.
Finding a Skype partner, joining a local group will pay dividends here though; as will "Bootcamp".


Bleedin' 'ell, I would love to have someone correct me/not correct me, just someone to speak Cymraeg to - you lucky people!
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Re: Welsh conversation with someone who corrects you a lot...

Postby bontddu » Wed May 15, 2013 9:09 am

Arianrhod wrote:I'm going to answer another way, as I have the opposite problem.

Treasure this person! I would love people to correct me so I don't sit there minutes later kicking myself yet unable to say - yes! I knew that, doh!

I think if I had an overenthusiastic correcting friend, I'd inhibit them by insisting on recording our conversations. Then I'd use the recordings like a bonus lesson. :D

Oh, and something else, too. I'd love someone to correct my convoluted sentences and translate them into everyday speech. Eg Instead of "He has made a vow to fulfil an obligation with regard to someone's holidays" it should have been "He's working away, covering for someone's time off". I can do it myself, just not in real time. My inner language droid seems to be eighteenth century. :-?


Totally agree Arian! I would love to be able to chat to someone who would pick up all my mistakes. I would learn a hell of last faster and it would sink in more as well. I can see how it could be annoying, but still, I would love this opportunity.
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Re: Welsh conversation with someone who corrects you a lot...

Postby Iestyn » Wed May 15, 2013 9:16 am

Bacsie wrote:Bleedin' 'ell, I would love to have someone correct me/not correct me, just someone to speak Cymraeg to - you lucky people!


Ah, the grass is always greener...

You're right that having someone to practice with is a huge boost, but if you are also constantly told that you're not very good (which is how "correcting" correcting can come across), then it starts to effect your speaking ability. Correcting everything would be fine if you also had the time to praise everything that was correct. That way, you'd soon realise how good you actually are! But with anything - language learning, playing sport, singing, anything at all - if you are only ever told what you are doing wrong, only the super-human or the super-thinck skinned will not lose heart, and that's where your learning stops being fun, and productive.

By the way, Bacsie - have you tried skype? There's plenty of people there willing to chat! (I'm sounding like a late nioght advert now - we're just waiting for your call!)
The SSiW mantra: "Don't worry. If you say something slightly different to me, people will just think you are from a different area / village / street / family to them, or more likely not notice at all!"

"Do not fear going forward slowly; fear only to stand still." Chinese Proverb
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Re: Welsh conversation with someone who corrects you a lot...

Postby RobertBruce » Wed May 15, 2013 9:27 am

While constant corrections would be horribly stifling, I think, the occasional correction is great - I can still recall vividly things from years ago such as the lovely lady in Pethe Powys, Welshpool telling me that my welsh was very good, but that it's "chwe phunt" rather than "chwe punt". I have no idea how many other mistakes I made while talking to her, but that one kind correction means that I've never forgotten the mutation after "chwech" ever again! :D
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Re: Welsh conversation with someone who corrects you a lot...

Postby Iestyn » Wed May 15, 2013 9:48 am

When Cat was learning, I had a rule regarding corrections. If I noticed the same mistake / wrong pattern cropping up again and again, then I would point it out. Other than that, we didn't really bother with much in the way of correction.

I try not to correct the boys too much, although there are some lines that I won't let them cross... :evil: After all i want them to speak good Welsh, not know good Welsh but connect it with Dad telling them off again...

With the "chwe phunt" situation, I would probably have heard "chwech punt" and said "O, reit, chwe phunt, ie?" or similar, so that Cat would hear it correctly, pick up on it if she was interested, or leave it if not. It worked well for us, as any over correction would have killed our Welsh dead in it's tracks, so I've always erred on the side of caution.
The SSiW mantra: "Don't worry. If you say something slightly different to me, people will just think you are from a different area / village / street / family to them, or more likely not notice at all!"

"Do not fear going forward slowly; fear only to stand still." Chinese Proverb
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Re: Welsh conversation with someone who corrects you a lot...

Postby Bacsie » Wed May 15, 2013 11:59 am

Iestyn wrote:But with anything - language learning, playing sport, singing, anything at all - if you are only ever told what you are doing wrong, only the super-human or the super-thinck skinned will not lose heart, and that's where your learning stops being fun, and productive.

By the way, Bacsie - have you tried skype? There's plenty of people there willing to chat! (I'm sounding like a late nioght advert now - we're just waiting for your call!)


I guess you'd need to be corrected in the most empathic way possible...a linguistic version of what they call the 's..t sandwich' in the workplace. I do recall reading a book last year by a Californian woman who came to Wales to learn the language and who met an old lady - a native speaker - who refused to speak Welsh to her because it was 'our language'.

Skype - I did put out a request on the appropriate thread but I messed up a kind response from one person due to my technical shortcomings - I didn't know I had to open Skype to get his reply. Sounds daft, I know, but I thought I'd get a reply via the PM that came through SSiW; by the time I saw it it was three months later! I must have come across very ungrateful. Should I ask through the same thread again?
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