Monday, 23 March 2015

Need To Mix It Up

This last week I've hit a snag because of my success with flash cards.

Using the flash cards I've been able to bring my revision cycle up to date with the lessons. During this time I haven't been using the audio that comes with the course and so I've been making up the pronunciation based on how I read the words. Not a bad idea considering I should be able to pronounce words easily now..but I can't. I also don't merge words into each other like native speakers nor do I put the emphasis in the correct places.

Conclusion ... walk then run.

So going forward what I've now realised is I have to listen to the audio until I'm comfortable and then record the flash cards, I think I will have to do some re-recoding (think of it as additional revision ;-)  ).

Of course this also highlights that I'm starting to learn sentences rather then just simple questions and answers, therefore the time has come to start to talk to natural welsh speakers, I just need to pluck up the courage.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Time is Fleeting

This last week has been struggle to practice, I haven't managed to create any new flash cards this week or to do any revision until today. This is worrying as we are starting to get into more difficult areas trying to understand "your" which is a different word structure to English.

Last week I had put together some new cards however, and these have been useful tonight to revise the first part of this new word format. The cards did take some time to work through but I started to understand and think hard about the word structure, which some success, which was pleasing.

204 cards in 34 minutes is a slow progress and shows the level of difficulty. As some of these cards are repeats from before, cards I'd previously mastered, it shows the benefit of the flash card process in randomly selecting items for revision.

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Panic Still Persists

When ever I've tried to use a some words from a different language before, when abroad, panic has always set in and I found I'd forgotten the very few phrases I tried very hard to remember on the flight. More often this is only "Yes", "No", "Thank you" and "Do you speak English?".

I was hoping that learning a new language would at least give me the skills to get past this small hurdle but on a recent trip to Stockholm for two days I hit the same problem. It made me reflect and, in truth, I struggle just as much with unexpected questions in the Welsh class and somehow I need to get past this.

The flash cards are definitely helping (see page links for Anki Flash Cards) but I need to somehow get past this panic and be able to absorb and understand what is being said to me, to have the confidence that what I've learnt is passable even if not perfect.

In an attempt to get used to hearing how people speak in Welsh I've started listening to Radio Cymru in the car during my daily commute. I don't necessarily understand what is being said but, as I listen, I am now able to discern the start and stop of words and some words come easily into my mind. Occasionally I get a glimpse of what they are talking about - even if there isn't any detail. This I'll aim to continue and I'll see how it goes. I definitely understand it more than I do Radio 1 ;-)