Hugo Welsh In Three Months
Author: Brake Ph., Myrddin M.
Format: PDF, MP3
‘Welsh in Three Months’ has been written by two people who are actively involved in teaching Welsh to a wide-ranging audience. Phylip Brake is responsible for the extra-mural Welsh classes offered by the University of Wales Aberysrwyth; intensive, and related, courses aimed at getting students fluent in the language as quickly as possible. Mair ap Myrddin has taught Welsh at all levels, to children and adults. She is steeped in the cultural heritage of Wales, has transcribed dialect tapes for the Welsh Folk Museum, and works occasionally for Radio Cymru and S4C.
The book begins with an explanation of Welsh pronunciation. If you are working without a teacher you will find that our system of ‘imitated pronunciation’ simplifies matters considerably. Using the book together with our cassette recordings is an ideal combination and gives another dimension to the course.
It has always been a principle of the Hugo method to teach only what is really essential. We assume that the student wants to learn Welsh from a practical angle, and the lessons contain those rules of grammar that will be of most use in this respect. Constructions are clearly explained, and the order in which everything is presented takes into consideration the need for rapid progress. Each lesson contains a large number of exercises and the vocabulary introduced is both practical and up-to-date. Often, in addition to testing a grammatical point, an exercise will include a specific vocabulary. For example, Exercise 38 deals with telling time while Exercise 58 deals with asking permission. The course finishes with a short selection of reading passages illustrating the range of written Welsh styles, all with an English translation.
Ideally, you should spend about an hour a day on your work, although this is by no means a hard and fast rule. Do as much as you feel capable of doing at a particular time; if you do not possess a special aptitude for language acquirement, there is no point forcing yourself beyond your daily capacity to assimilate new material. It is much better to learn a little at a time, and to learn that thoroughly.
Before beginning a new section or lesson, always spend about ten minutes revising what you did the day before. When studying the lessons, first read each rule or numbered section carefully and reread it to ensure that you have fully understood the grammar, then translate the following exercise(s) by writing down the answers. Check these by referring to the Key at the back of the book; if you have made too many mistakes, go back over the instruction before attempting the same questions again. After you have listened to the sgyrsiau (conversations), read them aloud and see how closely you can imitate the voices on the recordings. If you don’t have the cassettes, read through these dialogues as often as need be (noting constructions and new vocabulary) before translating them and comparing your version with the English that follows.
When you have completed the course, you should have a good understanding of Welsh. But remember that it is vital to continue to expand your vocabulary through reading and, if you live in or near Wales, listening to the radio programmes (on Radio Cymru) and watching Welsh television programmes (on S4C), many of which are produced specifically for Welsh learners. However, since Welsh is a living language, the best practice of all is speaking it.
We hope you will enjoy ‘Welsh in Three Months’, and we wish you every success with your studies.