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Well that was scary!

Postby saethwr » Wed Aug 21, 2013 11:50 pm

I nearly passed out yesterday because I'd made a Skype meeting with Jeff, who's here on the forums...though I don't remember his username. I was so terrified of speaking Welsh with another living person that I was getting the sweats! And right now he's just a learner, like me! Anyway, we ended up having several conversations with as much Welsh as we could manage, and it was really fun! I wasn't scared at all once I started actually talking to him. We tended to default to English a lot, only because we don't have Welsh brains yet, so it's hard to keep things rolling smoothly when you're still at a point of translating most things in your head before saying them. I'm proud to say that's going away for me, now, though; a lot of things are responded to automatically.

Anyhow, we made a pact to create little outlines for (possibly) weekly Skype meetings so that we can use way more Welsh and have less of an excuse to speak in English! I'm really excited. :)

The NEXT step is to speak with my friend Sarah, who's fluent in Welsh and comes from Anglesey. Now THAT...THAT will be absolutely terrifying! She's not only fluent (intimidating), but also a Welsh teacher (terrifying)! Yipes!
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Re: Well that was scary!

Postby Sionned » Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:32 am

If Sarah is a Welsh teacher, perhaps she will be forgiving of 'learner mistakes' - but don't let her tell you that you've learned something all wrong just because it isn't the way she might teach it. (Hopefully, she will be the former type and not the latter!) Pob lwc!
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Re: Well that was scary!

Postby Iestyn » Thu Aug 22, 2013 9:53 am

Da iawn, Saethwr - people who do things that terrify them in pursuit of their goals are the ones who are most likely to get there. In other words, terror at the prospect of speaking Welsh, then doing it anyway, is a sure sign of someone who will be a confident Welsh speaker very very soon!

Actually, it sounds like you have already found patches of confident Welsh in amongst all the new stuff swirling around your head. If you can answer without thinking, even just once in a while, then you know that what you've learnt is settling in just nicely.

Wow!

A tiny word of caution, about your "fluent" speaker friend. Speaking with a from-birth speaker is a hugely beneficial experience that will help you in a totally different way to the benefit you get from speaking with a fellow second language speaker. So, if (when?) you come away from that conversation thinking that you've taken a step back, that you know nothing and that you'll never learn this b****y language, please don't worry about it. That is totally normal, and part of the growing process.

So, get out there and enjoy it - you are on your way to being a confident Welsh speaker. Enjoy the journey!

All the best,

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Re: Well that was scary!

Postby saethwr » Thu Aug 22, 2013 11:17 pm

Diolch yn fawr, Sionned ac Iestyn!! I love the encouragement!

I think speaking with Sarah will be a great experience, just so nerve-wracking! Her criticisms (if any) will come from a place of hard love, I'm sure. Heehee! So far she's been very supportive, but that's mostly been with my writing over facebook rather than speaking.
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Re: Well that was scary!

Postby jstetson » Fri Aug 23, 2013 3:52 pm

Iestyn wrote:Speaking with a from-birth speaker is a hugely beneficial experience that will help you in a totally different way to the benefit you get from speaking with a fellow second language speaker.

One great advantage of speaking with first-language (or might as well be) speakers is that no matter what you dredge out of your "heard it on pobl y cwm and I think it went something like this..." pile, they'll probably get your drift.
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Re: Well that was scary!

Postby saethwr » Fri Aug 23, 2013 6:56 pm

I sure hope so! I was thinking about that sort of thing yesterday and realized that when people who speak English as a second language, or know very little of it, speak to me I understand what they're getting at about 98% of the time, even if it's very broken. This made me much more hopeful!

Mostly I just stress over the fact that I don't have a huge vocabulary, yet. I know that will come, especially if I'm active in speaking with others, but it's definitely a frustration at this point.
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Re: Well that was scary!

Postby Iestyn » Sat Aug 24, 2013 10:01 am

We are intentionally "vocab lite", because you can learn everything you need, as long as you have a framework to hang it on and use it as soon as you've learnt it. We try to get you the framework that makes the rest easy.

So, don't worry about using English words, or stopping and saying "beth yw hwn?" - what's this - every time you'r short of a word. Most natural Welshspeakers are fairly flexible about which language they're using most of the time, and have no qualms about slipping English words, phrases or even sentences into their Welsh if it seems easier at the time. Be natural - don't worry!
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: Well that was scary!

Postby chwaer wiwer » Sat Aug 24, 2013 8:50 pm

The NEXT step is to speak with my friend Sarah, who's fluent in Welsh and comes from Anglesey. Now THAT...THAT will be absolutely terrifying! She's not only fluent (intimidating), but also a Welsh teacher (terrifying)! Yipes!


I'm very lucky because my best friend and soul sister is a fluent Welsh speaker, I'm trying to be good and speak more Welsh with her now, but I'm only getting to the end of course one now so there hasn't been that much that I've been able to say. However, the reaction I get from her when I say something in Welsh is usually something like this: :wow: with her expression saying "I'm amazed you can say that!"
So I really hope you get the same response from your friend! It's really good for your confidence and motivtion :D
And besides a good teacher (and friend) should be encouraging.

Also, as has been mentioned, keep in mind that if she does correct anything or would say something in a different way/pronunciation than what you've learned, that happens with my friend too, and it's just regional differences :wink:

*Edit:
Mostly I just stress over the fact that I don't have a huge vocabulary, yet. I know that will come, especially if I'm active in speaking with others, but it's definitely a frustration at this point.

I very much agree with this!! But with this there is a huge advantage about talking to my sis, cause I get to drive her crazy asking "what's that in Welsh? Oh, and that word, and that word, and this word..." and on and on I go :D
Although one has to know when to stop, remembering it's an investment for the future keeping them happy and healthy, if they start gasping for air, sighing heavily or turning blue, you've gone too far.
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Re: Well that was scary!

Postby Iestyn » Mon Aug 26, 2013 7:20 pm

chwaer wiwer wrote:Although one has to know when to stop, remembering it's an investment for the future keeping them happy and healthy, if they start gasping for air, sighing heavily or turning blue, you've gone too far.


I think I may have to steal this for instructions to people in Ffrindiaith (Adopt a dysgwr as was), and for hints and tips generally when second and first language speakers meet. It applies equally to both sides, remember...!

:star:
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: Well that was scary!

Postby saethwr » Wed Aug 28, 2013 4:25 am

Iestyn, thank you for the advice! I'm actually really surprised because I've been flying through the vocab units with very little trouble, and only one minor struggle that I know will be explained in later lessons. Structures that I had a relatively difficult time with before are just flying out of my mouth right now. What the heck happened in the last few days?! Haha!

Diolch yn fawr, as always, for the support. I've been speaking with Sarah and having to remind her that we have a Skype date on Thursday this week, and she's really excited about how excited I am to speak Welsh with her, so I think it's going to be fantastic. No more nervous feelings, now! Hwre!

Marie, that's a fantastic piece of advice that I'll definitely have to remember. I get so thrilled about learning knew words that I'm often tempted to go on a rampage of cramming them into my brain using every resource I can along the way. I'll try hard not to suffocate poor Sarah, though I'm sure she's used to it by now! Ha!

I'll let you guys know how it goes. Only two more days!
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