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Questions relating to the first 25/26 lessons and the 10 Course 1 Vocab units.

Re: Course 1 Vocab 5

Postby Iestyn » Tue Apr 22, 2014 10:27 am

Hi Crush. Glad to hear that you're feeling a bit better about the lessons just from sharing your frustration.

Firstly, can I say that, if you have completed the first course, and reached Vocab 5, in a month and a half, then you have done extraordinarily well. That must be not far off one lesson a day, which in terms of time sounds pretty easy, but in terms of effective learning and consolidating the information is an immense achievement!

So, most importantly, please accept that you have hit a roadblock far later in the course than most learners would, and in an extraordinarily quick time! (Note to other learners - it is about now that you start thinking "Oh, it's taken me x weeks / months to reach lesson y. I'm obviously not very good at this." Stop that thought now, because every one takes a different amount of time, based on their personal experience, circumstance and a million other factors...!)

On the subject of roadblocks - they are signs that you are going somewhere, not that there is a problem. Any kind of progress will hit set-backs at some stage, and it's how you deal with them that decides what you are going to achieve.

Imagine going for a drive to somewhere. You're on the motorway, and estimate that you've got another 6 hours to go, when you come across a queue. All of a sudden that 6 hours has become an unknown amount of time. You start worrying about the other end of the journey, how far you've got to go, whether the campsite / bed and breakfast will still be open, whether you should try to get there a different way, or stick with the queue... The last thing on your mind is "wow, look how far I've come!"

But that is what you need to be looking at here. A month and a half ago, you spoke little or no Welsh. Now, you are genuinely a Welsh speaker. If you came on bootcamp, I can almost guarantee that you would go home alive having spoken no English :cool: . Now what you are doing is extending your ability to speak Welsh. Yes, of course, there's loads of Welsh taht you don;t know, and you coudl spend the rest of your life learning and still not know it all (I certainly don't know the ins and outs of the more complicated literary grammar in Welsh, any more than I know all the ins and outs of English)

So, see this little hiccup as exactly that - a little bump in your so-far extraordinary progress.

Now on to your specific query. This is one of the commonest difficulties with English speakers learning Welsh, because Welsh just doesn;t work like English in this example.

If you lived in the South Wales Valleys, you would be totally used to people introducing themselves in this way: "Hello, David I am." (I always thought that the celebrity was a Welshman.)

Even odder to the English ear, I would never raise an eyebrow at an exchange like this:

Sorry, I've forgotten. Rob you are, is it?
No, David I am!
O, right, sorry. So David your name is.

In Welsh sentences like this, the emphasised item goes first. That exchange in Welsh would be:

Sori, wi wedi anghofio. Rob wyt ti, ife?
Na, David dwi.
O, iawn, sori. Felly David yw dy enw di. (*yw in the south is your ydy in the north)

Unfortunately, there is no easy way to explain this in the lessons without going into a lot of confusing detail, so we've opted not to explain it, on the assumption that you have absorbed more complicated structures than this in previous lessons, and that this one as well, will be accepted in the end.

I think, the problem you are having is probably not that the pattern is compicated (it is, but that hasnt been a problem before), but that there are a few other things that have made you a tiny touch unsure. Rather than sailing through the lesson with your usual confidence, then, you suddenly sat back and started questioning why this or that is so.

If you can accept that the answer is "because", and plough on, not quite getting it right, until you get used to it, then you will continue your astounding progress. Of course, if my explanation hasn't helped at all (which is always possible - I've never had to learn Welsh as an adult!), then wait for someone who has already done what you are doing to give you their take.
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: Course 1 Vocab 5

Postby kime » Tue Apr 22, 2014 11:18 am

If it's any consolation, I also found the vocab lessons harder than the main course and I took far longer than you have to complete course 1, doing each lesson 5 or 6 times at least before I was confident enough to move on. But I stuck at it and I'm on course 3 now.
The only advice I wish I'd had when it got hard was to keep revisiting the last lesson of course 1 every week or so. I didn't do that and found I'd lost ground on the core stuff by I'd slogged through the vocab lessons.

Keep going and you'll get there
Good luck
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Re: Course 1 Vocab 5

Postby crush » Wed Apr 23, 2014 12:13 am

Thanks, both of you. I appreciate the responses. I guess i'll just try to pay attention to the word order in this lesson and just move on.

Generally i can do two lessons a day, a review of yesterday's lesson in the morning and a new lesson in the afternoon, though sometimes the order gets mixed up when i need a third runthrough of a lesson.

Also, thanks for the idea of reviewing the last lesson of course 1, Pat. That's a good idea and something i've been worrying about as i can feel myself forgetting some words and losing my comfort with the different tenses. Third person structures for some reason feel really hard, much more difficult than the others we've learned. I know them, i just have to think a lot more before answering, but i'm not too worried about it as other things i've had trouble with have ironed themselves out as i go through the course.

Thanks for the encouragement, i do feel like i've learned a lot relatively quickly, though i'm starting to see where there are holes (outside of a lack of vocabulary) when i'm holding my short conversations with myself throughout the day. I'm looking forward to starting course 2 afterwards, but i've also been thinking of running through the new course 1 first.
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