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  5. SSiW, anybody?


SSiW, anybody?

Helo fellow Welsh learners! Shwmae?

I've also been learning Welsh for a while now but I'm currently more involved with SSiW (Say Something in Welsh, a Welsh learning platform) than with Duolingo. I find it really useful, I think I progress rather quickly. I believe their method makes language learning quite fascinating actually. I just wanted to ask if any of you guys are also using it and, if so, what your impressions are.


Btw (in case you don't know how it goes), SSiW works like this: you have audio lessons, they say a sentence in English and you have to say it out loud in Welsh and then they'll say the translation and so you'll see if you've got it correct (something like that, I know it's not a great explanation). ;)

May 18, 2016



SSIW is Superb and it is true about the founders and members being very passionate and friendly - everyone should say hello on their forum. Lots of opportunities for Skyping and other ways of using the language outside of Wales - a great fit with duolingo - they also do Spanish, Cornish, Latin and Dutch and soon will do Manx as well. The two Welsh dialect choices is a good option - you can pick North or South (I chose South, because that is where I am from) and the differences between the two are really personal choice in terms of pronounciation and few other minor things. Plenty of lessons to work through.


Yep! I also chose South ;)


I do SSiW too, although I haven't even visited the forums there. I love it; it has really improved my Welsh. I like the feeling of learing without having to study really. I'm currently on lesson 20 of the SW course, and looking forward to learn more. Only downsides with it, that I find, is that I only learn one dialect which would make things a wee bit difficult if I were to speak with someone from north Wales. Oh, and that I'm very self counsious about speaking to myself when others can hear, so I only do a sesion of it when my flatmate isn't home... perfect to do while cleaning or doing the washing up though!

I just wish I had discovered it (or Duolingo for that matter) when I did Welsh at uni. Exams would have been so much less stressful.


haha there was bound to be somebody that did it here too ;) I normally listen to the lessons while walking in the street but I usually say the transaltion to myself or quietly so people don't start staring at me. How come you did Welsh at university, if I may ask? Are you from Wales, perhaps?


Yeah, I somtimes do a lesson if I go for a walk in the evenings but I've found that if I don't say it out loud I'm somehow not as focused when listening. And, well, the social pressure of not seeming weird....

And why I did Welsh is a very good question... I'm Swedish actually, and at the time I did Welsh I had never even been to the UK. I got the idea when I was about 10 and had read a fantasy novel that was influence by Welsh and by the medieval celts so when I had no clue what to do after school I decided to do a semester or so of Celtic studies at uni because why not. (The wonders of no tuition fees, you can study fun things without worry for the future)

How come you decided to learn Welsh?


Wow, what a story ;)


Well, my story is at the same time simple and complicated. I'll explain you the easy and simple reason: I like learning languages and specially minority ones and I wanted to study one Celtic language (at least). I started learning Irish since Welsh hadn't been launched yet in Duolingo but I soon left it behind. I think Welsh has always caught more my attention so when the course here was launched I started learning Welsh immediately. Later on I started using SSiW too and haven't stopped since ;)


I'm on lesson 20/21 of the intermediate course. It's a great resource and has been mentioned here a few times (as it should be). I generally walk to/from work which gives me about 40 minutes in the morning/afternoon to do the lessons. I find i concentrate better while i'm outside walking rather than inside. If i'm not moving i start thinking about other things. SSiW is actually the reason i started studying Welsh, i read a lot of people talking about it being one of the best courses out there and i wanted to see just how far the one course could take you. The folks behind it are really passionate as well.

CylenaW: A lot of people study the other course after finishing the first one (ie. study the North lessons after doing the South lessons or vice versa). In general i don't think it's that big of a deal, though.


haha I thought you were using it too, looks like I was right! ;) Have you started with the southern or the northern version?


Oh, btw, have you created the Memrise course with the vocabulary from the Welsh course on Duolingo? It's being quite useful to me! :)


No, that wasn't me, that was QuackSack, they made a thread here. I agree, it's really helpful. I almost find it more helpful than the course here :P

And i'm using the northern version since at the time i heard/read that that's where use of Welsh in daily life had been conserved the best (ie. learning Welsh as your native language vs learning it at school). At the time i just wanted to test the course out and didn't really have any other reasons for learning Welsh. That was a couple years ago and i've stopped/started several times since then, but since the Duolingo course came out i've had a push to study (almost) every day. I'd love to visit Wales some day, perhaps i can go to a bootcamp...!


Oh! Yes, that's it. There are more speakers of Southern Welsh only because more people live there, or so I've been told. Anyway, there isn't too much of a difference ;)


When I went this past June, there were definitely more Southern learners but three "Gogs" did attend including myself. As you say, there aren't all that many differences between the two and I had no trouble understanding those using the southern dialect. If you're interested, I've written a blog post about the experience: https://welearnwelsh.com/blog/say-something-in-welsh-bootcamp-tresaith-2019/


I started SSiW a few days ago and I chose North, because I'm planning to take a class at Pryfysgol Bangor some time.

I've only done a few lessons, but so far I really love it. The problem is that it somehow clashes with Duolingo sometimes and I have a lot of questions then... it might be because of the dialects, but maybe not, and I get more and more confused. I might have to put together a fairly comprehensive grammar first (bare with me, I need it, I'm a linguist), with notes about what things I actually want to have in my active vocabulary and what things I just need to know to answer Duolingo questions. Right now I'm reading through wikipedia pages like "Colloquial welsh morphology" ;) It's quite hard to understand or find what is which dialect, what is colloquial or literary...

First thing I'll have to work on for myself are the tenses. SSiW taught me "Wnes i siarad", Duolingo taught me "Dw i wedi siarad" and I have to idea if those are two different tenses or different dialects, aaah!

I don't really want to stop Duolingo because I think it helps me to learn quite a lot of words. So... difficult. Maybe I should get into Memrise and quit Duolingo itself? ;___;


Nothing wrong with dw'i wedi or wnes I. Just as in every language we have a variety of past tenses. Post this question on the SSIW forum and you'll get lots of friendly help here. Dw I wedi siarad is like I have spoken and wnes I is I did speak. Another way might be siaradais I - I spoke or even fues I siarad ( rarely used, but a nice way to say I had been speaking). Lots and lots of ways to mix things up and say things and not dialect, although some dialects may use some forms more often than others.


Yeah, that's what I thought:

  • wnes i siarad = I spoke

  • dw i wedi siarad = I have spoken


Thanks a lot, you two!


For now I'm mostly using SSiW and every now and then I use Duolingo. I only use Memrise to learn the vocabulary in the Duolingo course. I find it very useful!


There is also the I was speaking forms which can vary between dialecets, on i'n siarad, Ron ii'n siarad etc etc etc



I've discovered SSiW years ago, yet I'm only on my 19-20 lesson of southern dialect. I had my ups and downs with learning Welsh, one huge hiatus, and some small breaks. What I find amazing is the fact that getting back on track is always fast and painless. And the ability to articulate one's thoughts grows exponentially with every lesson and every word that is introduced. I was amazed after my first challenge! :) Recently I discovered that my mp3s differ dramatically from the audio available on the website. I'm absolutely torn between starting course from scratch and finishing what's left on my hard drive and then dealing with my lack of knowledge (some vocabulary, maybe grammatical structures...).

I'd tried different languages they're offering. I enjoyed Latin (it's a pity there are only 2 lessons) and even dabbled in Spanish (and I've never been too fond of the language). Both experiences were really positive. For me, SSi courses are the only way of spending my time on doing something practical while in public transportation. Reading is out of the question since I always had a motion sickness. Besides, the learning process is quite exceptional in comparison, to what they're doing in the formal education (schools etc.). I'm neurobiologist and must admit it's quite clever. Instead of learning tons of things by heart in artificial and a completely unintuitive way you're forced to use language as it’s intended to: to express and communicate. Just like little children learn it - by repeating, creating and making mistakes. I used that method with a friend of mine, who asked me to teach her Polish. She admitted that this way she was learning faster and better remembering what we were talking about weeks after our little sessions (on contrary to our other, more traditional approaches).

Not to mention that I quite enjoy the weird looks people give me when I'm practising in public. Why bother to whisper, when they don't understand a word from what I say?

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