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  5. Introductory Notes / Nodiadau…


Introductory Notes / Nodiadau Dechreuol

Statement of Intention / Datganiad o Fwriad

As with all other Duolingo courses, the intent of the Cymraeg course is to get those speakers of English and other languages who have no Cymraeg up to B standard as set out by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. The framework goes up to C2 indicating mastery or professional proficiency. The level B indicates an intermediate user of the language. B1, the standard of Canolradd at WJEC, indicates a threshold or intermediate user who can:

  1. Can understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc.
  2. Can deal with most situations likely to arise while travelling in an area where the language is spoken.
  3. Can produce simple connected text on topics that are familiar or of personal interest.
  4. Can describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes and ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans.

Having said that, the Cymraeg course includes many topics, such as business, spirituality, religion, and technology, which can be seen to be above B standard in some cases.

Our main target audiences are adults learning on Cymraeg courses, whether in the community or though the workplace, and schoolchildren of any age in English medium schools. Of course, if you've studied Cymraeg as a child or adult through the medium of Cymraeg then this course will also be perfect for you to brush up on your skills. Having said that, it is not this course's aim to be used by people who can already speak Cymraeg; this course does not specifically teache grammar (though grammar points are available in the Notes section of each unit) and it is not intended to be a type of cwrs gloywi iaith, though the course's nature will allow this to happen if you already speak Cymraeg.

The course is designed to be used in the real world (if you're in Wales or Patagonia or learning as part of a team), so redo lessons and don't rush through them just to complete them! :)

Notes / Nodiadau

Please read the notes before starting a lesson - they contain certain grammar points and can sometimes stop you from asking why? in the forum or through reporting - this is not to say do not discuss something - we love getting involved in your language learning process and love to give further clarification :D

Structure / Strwythur

For the main part, the course follows, and uses, patterns and vocabulary taught in the Welsh for Adults courses, namely Mynediad, Sylfaen, Canolradd, and Cymraeg i'r Teulu. These are established courses that have been created, in both North and South versions, by the WJEC.

Dialects / Tafodieithoedd

The main inspiration for the course came from the South Wales version of Welsh for Adults courses. We understand that this could be off-putting or seen as a barrier for learners in North Wales who would primarily learn the North Welsh dialect. So, after the unit Dialects, many differences that can be seen in North and South Welsh can be used and a mixture of both courses is used (for example, the North Welsh word llefrith and the South Welsh word llaeth can both be used when you need to translate milk).

The course has been written to be as "standard" and "neutral" as possible as far as spoken Welsh is concerned. Literary language patterns (-ir, -id, -er, -wyd, rwyf, wyf, gennyf, nid etc) have not been included in the course as they are seldom heard during normal, every day conversation. Please see below to see what Duolingo accepts from English to Welsh.

Don't be put-off by the "North/South" 'divide' - Cymraeg is Cymraeg, whether you say bachgen or hogyn (boy) :)

English / What Duolingo teaches as "standard" / What Duolingo will also accept

  1. I / dw i / dwi, rydw i
  2. I don't/am not / dw i ddim / dwi ddim, dydw i ddim
  3. you (formal, plural) / dych chi / dach chi
  4. you (informal, singular) / rwyt ti / chdi where natural
  5. want / eisiau / isio, moyn

Speaking and Hearing / Siarad a Chlywed

The main aim of this course is to get people speaking Cymraeg and not merely to understand or write it. The voice used is a text-to-speech voice from IVONA, specifically "Gwyneth". Some words and phrases will sound a little odd to speakers who already have some Cymraeg but is excellent on the whole.

With this in mind, please do not report sentences or words as "Audio does not sound right" as there is very little we can do at the moment.

Whenever you hear Gwyneth speak a word or a sentence, speak it aloud many times as well - this will help with your pronunciation. The first few units' audio sounds slow - this is to help you get used to the sounds of Cymraeg and the way your mouth and tongue(!) will work in this new language - don't feel silly, we've all been there :)

Reporting / Cyflwyno Adroddiadau

Please report "other" versions of words and sentences by suggesting their translations in both English and Cymraeg instead of just free-writing them; this allows us to accept or decline very quickly and saves us a lot of time.

Please do not suggest "ungrammatical" suggestions in either language. Also saying that you're a "first language Cymraeg speaker" is unhelpful - how you personally say it might not be "standard" as far as the rest of the course.

A whole language programme? / Rhaglen iaith gyflawn?

Duolingo can get you really far on your journey to speaking Cymraeg every day, but if you really want to immerse yourself and become fluent even faster, then there are a few extra things that you can do as well as studying with Duolingo:

  1. Use the SaySomethingInWelsh courses which are available for free and in both North and South Walian version.
  2. Join an adult class if you're in Wales.
  3. Listen to Welsh language music on YouTube or SoundCloud. Popular and contemporary bands and artists include: Yws Gwynedd, Sŵnami, Gwyneth Glyn, Elin Fflur, Sarah Louise, Team Panda, Fi a Fo, Casi Wyn, Calfari, and Fleur de Lys. Radio Cymru is also available throughout Wales and on-line.
  4. Watch Welsh language television on S4C or on the BBC iPlayer. Popular programmes include Gwaith/Cartref (similar to Waterloo Road, but better :P) and Pobl y Cwm.
  5. Read magazines, books, and papers specifically aimed at learners. These include: IAW!, Lingo, Y Cymro, Ciwb (aimed primarily at Key Stage 3 schoolchildren (aged 11-13)) and Golwg360. Golwg360 is also available on-line and can be used with more advanced learners and Cymraeg speakers.
  6. Download apps for games and learning. Click here to visit the Welsh Government's website that promotes apps in Cymraeg.
  7. Visit all the Eisteddfodau.
  8. Get in touch with your local Menter Iaith or Welsh for Adults centre to see what's happening in your community.
  9. Look for words using Geiriadur yr Academi, Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru, check your grammar and spelling with Cysill ar-lein (for experienced learners), and you can even (if you're feeling really brave) download Windows, Microsoft Office, Firefox, and Ubuntu in Cymraeg!
  10. You can even change your Facebook into Cymraeg and watch other videos on using Cymraeg in technology here
  11. Check your e-mail in Cymraeg by changing the language settings in Gmail or Outlook or use Thunderbird.
  12. Download ap Geiriaduron for your smart devices to find the meaning of words. I love this app as you can even put a mutated word in and it'll find the original :D Available on Android and Apple. Another excellent dictionary app is GPC Geiriadur Welsh Dictionary - it was released on 22 February and is the most extensive Welsh dictionary there is! GPC stands for Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru, A Dictionary of the Welsh Language.

The possibilities are literally endless!

Using in Education / Defnyddio mewn Addysg

In Welsh only for teachers and tutors of the language/Yn Gymraeg yn unig er defnydd athrawon a thiwtoriaid yr iaith

Mae Duolingo for Schools ar gael lle dych chi'n gallu creu dosbarthiadau a thracio cynydd eich disgyblion. Mae llawer o wybodaeth ar gael yn y fforymau trafod hyn gan gynnwys syniadau ar sut mae defnyddio hi.

Dwi'n awgrymu eich bod yn creu cyfrif Duolingo newydd er defnydd yn yr ysgol gan fod Duolingo yn dangos eich cyfeiriad sy'n cael ei ddefnyddio yn y cyfrif i'r disgyblion wrth iddyn nhw ymuno â dosbarth.

Am ragor o wybodaeth, ymwelwch â schools.duolingo.com.

January 31, 2016



Thank you so much for the course and this - imo - very complete post! Especially those "additional sites to practice" were really helpful, thank you :)


To update the magazine section, "Lingo Newydd" has (presumably) replaced "Lingo" and e-editions can be bought on the mobile "Ap Golwg" or the paper edition can be bought on-line. It's a nice magazine for learners, with vocab lists under the articles.

Y Cymro, the paper, has closed (supposedly it is coming back this year though). bbc.co.uk/newyddion is another good news website site which has a vocab feature, so perhaps it is better for learners than Golwg, although Golwg is also a physical magazine.

I'd also recommend the book "Ffenestri" which is a collection of stories compiled for learners in order of difficulty.


Thank you for the suggestion of "Ciwb" as practice reading material. It's pretty much a perfect level for me to read without getting discouraged or feeling like I need to look up every other word (I'm about 25 skills from the end of the tree - just finished Revision5).


I've been using BBC Cymru Fyw for reading practice - it's available for Android and iOS for free and pulls in a ton of articles, or you can just go to the website. Not too hard to read with a dictionary at hand (I also use the recommended GPC app).

By the way this course is awesome; I've messed around with a number of other languages but this is the first one I've actually completed the whole tree for!


This is excellent: loads of useful information, ideas and resources - diolch yn fawr!

For what it's worth, I stumbled upon these notes by chance: it would have been so helpful to have read this when I started out learning Welsh.

So...would it be possible for all new learners to Welsh (or any Duolingo course, for that matter) to be steered towards an 'Introduction to Duolingo' when they first start one of its courses? I know a few people who use Duolingo (various languages), and we've ended up finding out how elements of it work only by chance from each other. One friend asked me, in all seriousness, if I was sure it was Duolingo I was using, because our experiences - hers in French, mine in Welsh - were so different. Turned out she was doing hers via an app, and me on my laptop: I knew nothing of 'hearts' (app only) or 'stories' (available with a few main European languages only), while she refuted my claim that Duolingo was free (because she has to pay for hers on the app).

And I see so many comments from others using the app who have no idea about Course Notes, and wonder why they seem to be struggling to understand what others find logical (because the latter have read the Tips and Notes that aren't accessible on an app). My daughter didn't know what I was talking about when I referred to the discussions (under Discuss tab, apparently also not available via the app)!

I love Duolingo; it's a fabulous resource: I just think it needs to share more widely with its users just how absolutely brilliant it really is! :)


Please o please can we have standard as well as colloquial welsh? Rydw i'n and Dw i'n mean the same but those of us who learned Welsh as children in the 1960's would only ever use the former in conversation (and there are many other examples) so it irks us (a lot) when we have it marked as incorrect in tests.


I had the same problem when revisiting my schoolbook French (from 35 years ago).

But ask yourself: do you just want to earn crowns and lingots, or do you want to learn to speak current-day Welsh? It's only now I fully understand why the French children I visited a few years back (via our local town twinning scheme) couldn't understand what I was saying to them half the time!

Frustrating? Yes. But modern and relevant? Absolutely. Take a deep breath and accept that Welsh is a living language (just as I've had to do with my French!).

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