Memrise News & Events

On A-Levels result day, we wonder: Are exams the right approach to language learning?

It’s A-level results day – YIKES!

Thousands of students are getting their A-level results today – a round of applause from the whole Memrise team for making it!

However, only a small part of A-level results will be made up of modern foreign language exam results. 

Numbers are going down

According to the Language Trends Survey (2016/17)  by the British Council, the number of students choosing a modern foreign language A-level exam has gone down by 32 per cent since 1996. Students seem to be choosing science and economics rather than languages. 

Memrise’s COO Ben Whately has a theory about why the numbers are going down:

“Students aren’t taking exams because exams promote the wrong approach to language learning. We’re seeing a massive growth in people learning languages for fun – people who are into anime are learning Japanese, people who are into Korean soap operas are learning Korean, etc. Exams are suffering because they are irrelevant to the excitement of exploring the world, which is what young people want to do. But that doesn’t mean that young people aren’t learning languages – they’re doing that more than ever.”

Students take their exams for their own personal growth.

Recently, Memrise carried out a poll to gain insights into the declining number of students that are sitting modern foreign language A-level exam.

According to the poll results, knowledge of another language is still seen as important; 87% of the participants said that knowing another language in life is very important, and the remaining 13% said that it is quite important.

The poll results also show that, although one of the reasons students take modern foreign language exams is so to increase job prospects in a globalised world, the most common reasons for taking the exams are to do with their own personal, cultural growth.

The most popular reason (33%) why students think it’s important to know a language is the ability to communicate with people from different cultures. Students also think that knowing a language gives you the ability to better understand other peoples and cultures more in depth (27%). 

“The main reasons for taking the exams are to do with their own personal cultural growth.”

Furthermore, the survey shows that 22% of students think that knowing a language gives someone a new perspective on life, and encourages them to be more open-minded. On top of that, 10% say it’s a lot easier to come across new opportunities, including new job opportunities (8%).

Other poll entries include aspects such as meeting new people, respect towards others, personal development, fun, and developing the power of empathy.

“Knowing another language expands the depth and breadth of your understanding of humankind and all its extraordinary complexity”, one participant said.

Exams – what do they actually teach us?

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Matt Watson, a French and Spanish teacher from England, explains that studying for A-level exams is extremely complex; apart from having to learn the vocabulary, students also need to develop higher thinking skills for essays, learn how to debate, translate accurately, develop their cultural appreciation and become excellent communicators.

“Achieving an A or A* is very difficult”, he adds.

Ben Whately explains that, if students were tested on whether they could make themselves understood, make friends in the country, tell jokes, entertain people, have discussions and arguments, persuade people, or in general be a functioning social human in a different language, students might be a lot more interested in taking the exams.

“Now that is a difficult exam to set, which is probably why we have fallen back on such lazy and ineffective exams. But if we want people to take exams, then we need to make the exams fit for purpose”, he adds.

Only 37% of the survey participants found that their language exam was easier than the other exams they took, which leaves 63% that said that the exam was the same or more difficult than other exams

“Now that is a difficult exam to set, which is probably why we have fallen back on such lazy and ineffective exams. But if we want people to take exams, then we need to make the exams fit for purpose”

Have students had enough of studying for difficult exams, writing endless dry essays and learning useless vocabulary for a test just to forget them all seconds later?

Luckily, bringing fun into language learning is something that Memrise is all about, whilst also focusing on the relevant, up-to-date content that we bring to people.

“Memrise brings the spirit of adventure into learning a language. You are discovering a new world. Memrise is the travel companion that helps make sense of that new world and brings it to life”, says Whately.

“We are creating software that will reduce the time it takes to develop the confidence to speak in a new language from 400 hours of study with offline lessons to around 50 hours.”

Memrise hopes to give everyone the opportunity to discover a new language and culture and have fun at the same time.

Feeling inspired to learn a new language?

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The joy of languages

20 Japanese Survival Phrases

In 2016, over 24 millions tourists from all over the world flocked to Japan for their holidays. Japan’s economy, being one of the largest in the world, also brings millions of businessmen to the country every year. Whatever reason you have for going to Japan, some knowledge of Japanese can undoubtedly be a real lifesaver!

With the help of Memrise’s exclusive Native Speaker Videos, we’ve put together 20 phrases to help you survive and even thrive on your next visit to Japan.

Want to learn more? Check out Memrise’s official Japanese courses!

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1. こんにちは Konnichiwa / Hello

Let’s start with the basics! The “nichi” in “konnichiwa” means “day” so you can use it throughout the day. For the early morning, you can say “ohayō gozaimasu”, and in the evening, you can say “konbanwa”.

 

2. ようこそ Yōkoso / Welcome

The Japanese are a very welcoming people so you will no doubt here this said to you while you’re there.

 

3. ありがとう Arigatō / Thank you

Don’t forget manners are very important in Japan. “Arigatō” is how you say “thank you”, and if you want to be extra polite to the person you are saying it to, just add “gozaimasu”, and say “arigatō gozaimasu”.

 

4. おめでとうございます Omedetō gozaimasu / Congratulations

Just like with “arigatō gozaimasu”, this phrase can also be shortened to just “omedetō”. If you are unsure whether to use the short form without “gozaimasu”, or the longer, more polite form, go for the polite one.

 

5. 初めまして Hajimemashite / Nice to meet you

Making friends can be one of the most rewarding parts of traveling and discovering a new place. When you do, don’t forget to use this phrase.

 

6. 日本語で〜は何と言いますか?Nihongo-de … wa nan-to iimasu-ka? / How do you say … in Japanese?

There is no better place to learn the language than in the country with the natives. Take the opportunity to learn as much as you can using this nifty little phrase.

 

7. 私はわかりません Watashi-wa wakarimasen / I don’t understand

“Watashi-wa” means “I”, and “wakarimasen” means “don’t understand”. If you want to say that you do understand, just change the “-masen” to “-masu”, and say “watashi-wa wakarimasu”.

 

8. もっとゆっくり話してください Motto yukkuri hanashite kudasai / Speak slower, please

For those moments when you’re Japanese is so good that they start speaking to you at lightning speed. Literally “more – slowly – speak – please”.

 

9. 私は日本語を少し話せます Watashi-wa nihongo-o shukoshi hanasemasu / I speak a little Japanese

Japanese often try to use as few words as possible when speaking, so words like “watashi-wa” can be left out when the context is clear. So, in this case, you could just say “Nihongo-o sukoshi hanasemasu”.

 

10. すごい!Sugoi! / Great!

This is a really useful little phrase. If you want to sound extra Japanese try extending the “o” as much as you can. Sugoooooi, right?!

 

11. コーヒーはおいしいです Kōhī-wa oishī desu / Coffee is delicious

You can use this to talk about whatever you are eating or drinking by simply replacing “kōhī” with “rāmen” for example. “Rāmen-wa oishī desu!”

 

 

12. これはベジタリアンですか?Kore-wa bejitarian desu-ka? / Is this vegetarian?

An essential phrase if you don’t eat meat.

 

13. それはいくらですか?Sore-wa ikura desu-ka? / How much is that?

Remember again that, when it is clear from the context, you just simply say “ikura desu-ka?”.

 

14. 私はお腹が空いているから、怒っています Watashi-wa onaka-ga suite-iru kara, okotte-imasu / I’m angry because I’m hungry

Notice that this works the opposite way around to the English translation. Literally, it means: “My stomach is empty, therefore I am angry”.

 

 

15. メニューをください Menyū-o kudasai / The menu, please

You can also use this to ask for other things, for example, “naifu to fōku o kudasai” (“A knife and fork, please”).

 

16. 乾杯!Kampai! / Cheers!

If you drink alcohol, then why not see what effects a bit of Dutch courage will have on your Japanese skills. Kampai!

 

 

17. 問題ありません Mondai arimasen / No problem

This is the phrase for “there’s no problem”. Remember that you shouldn’t use this phrase when somebody says “arigatō” – to say “no problem” or “you’re welcome” in that kind of situation, you should say “dōitashimashite”.

 

18. トイレはどこですか?Toire-wa doko desu-ka? / Where is the toilet?

If you don’t plan on simply doing a tour of Japan’s lavatories, then just replace the word “toire” with anywhere else that you want to go. For example, “Pokemon-sentaa-wa doko desu-ka?”.

 

19. 私たちは道に迷いました Watashi-tachi-wa michi-ni mayoimashita / We are lost

If you get lost on your way to the Pokémon Centre, just use this phrase to ask for help from the locals.

 

20. さようなら Sayōnara / Goodbye

And finally, I don’t think think this word needs much explanation. Sayōnara!

 

Want to brush up your Japanese before you head off on your next trip to Japan? Check out Memrise!

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The joy of languages

Things you always wanted to know about the English language

There are lots of questions that people often ask about English. Like, “Where does English come from?”, “Why is English spelling so stupid?”, “What will English be like in the future?”, and “Why, phrasal verbs, why?!”. Now, phrasal verbs are a big topic for another day, but let’s take a little look at the other questions here.

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Where does English come from?

Two thousand years ago, the people of Britain were Celtic tribes who spoke languages completely different from English. Some of these languages, such as Welsh, are still spoken today.

Welsh: “Mae gen i ddant melys” = “I have a sweet tooth”

Around the year 450 BC, England was settled by three groups of Germanic-speaking peoples from modern Denmark, and Northern Germany: the Jutes, the Angles, and the Saxons. They brought their languages with them, and very soon their languages merged together to become old English, or Ænglisc, named after the Angles. Although this was the beginning of the language that I am currently writing to you in, it was still very different then from what it is today.

Old English: “An geþēode nǣfre genōg is” = “One language is never enough”

In 1066, William the Conqueror of Normandy took the English throne when his rival, the English King Harold, died after being shot in the eye with an arrow at the Battle of Hastings. This meant that for the next few centuries, the English upper classes were French speakers, and during this time English took many words from Old French, or Old Norman to be precise. Because of this, many words for farm animals come from Old English, the language of the poor people working in the fields, but the names of the foods served up to the king and the nobles come from their language, Old French.

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Why is English spelling so stupid?

Most of the languages of Europe have the vowels, A, E, I, O, and U, right? And they pronounce them just how they are written. When you see “A”, you say “aaah”, when you see “I”, you say “eeeee” etc. So why is it that, in English, when see “A”, we say “ey”, and when we see “I”, we say “ay”?!

Nobody really knows why, but between the years 1350 and 1700, most of the English vowels changed. Before the so-called Great Vowel Shift, “meet” and “meat” were both pronounced differently, but afterwards, they came to be pronounced the same.

The word “mate” changed from “maaht” to “meyt”. Just to name a few examples.

But that doesn’t explain why some words like “knife” and “night” have letters in them that aren’t pronounced at all. Well, this has a slightly simpler explanation. In most cases, these letters were pronounced at some point. So the word “knife” originally sounded like “k-neefe”.

And the word “night” originally sounded like “nee-kht” (the “gh” represented a throaty sound like the Spanish “J”).

People started to standardise the way that English was written around the same time that all of these sound changes were happening, and that is why lots of these old pronunciations have become fossilised in our spelling.

 

What will English be like in the future?

The spread of the English language across the globe has meant that it is now the most-studied language in the world, and only Mandarin Chinese has more speakers. Nowadays, people who speak English as a second language outnumber English native speakers two to one. Perhaps a surprise to some, the countries with the most English speakers, after the US, are India, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Nigeria.

Each of these second language speakers often speak English mixing in some of their own vocabulary, grammar, and accent, which helps to make English possibly the most diverse language on the planet. The Internet and low cost of international travel in the 21st century is also doing its bit to bring these different flavours of English into contact with each other.

All of these things mean that the future of English will probably be determined by those people who learn it as a second language instead of those who speak it from birth.

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Guest Post

TOP 3 Memory Hacks for Learning Key Phrases in Any Language

When you have a trip abroad booked, your date of departure can sneak up on you fast. You may be so overwhelmed with your itinerary and packing that you feel you don’t have enough time to properly memorise key words and phrases in a new language. Learning languages online is a convenient way to work around your already busy schedule, but when time is really of the essence, here are the top three memory hacks to couple with your course to really remember what you need to know.

1. Recap & Reflect

When you are learning a lot of new – and possibly difficult – information at a time, you want to make sure not to have your efforts become counterproductive by overwhelming and overloading yourself.

“Make sure to reflect on what you previously learned.”

No matter how easy or difficult any given lesson is, before beginning a new one, make sure to reflect on what you previously learned.

Recapping in a new context, setting, and even mindset can help your brain prioritise the information and make it familiar to you, which means it is more likely to be remembered when you need it.

Once you feel confident, you can move on to your next lesson.

2. Variety

When you’re out travelling, you can never really know how or when your newly acquired language skills will be put into practice.

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You may need to ask a stranger for directions, you might have to order your food at a restaurant, or you might be asked a question by a local. Just as variety is the spice of life, make it the spice of your study practice, too.

Use flashcards, complete practice tests, record your notes and listen to them, study in a group or with a friend, and utilise the method of elaborative encoding.

“Different is always good.”

All of these methods will help you memorise the information in a different way, and in an unpredictable world, different is always good.

3. Set Clear & Realistic Goals

Whether you are leaving for your trip in a year, six months, or in just two weeks time, getting organised about your goals is the only way to reach them.

However, it is important to avoid setting overly vague ones for yourself. Instead, keep your study goals specific and realistic, so that you feel inspired and encouraged to actually accomplish them. Set them for daily amounts of work you want to complete, with weekly learning goals.

“Getting organised about your goals is the only way to reach them.”

Check them off or mark areas for improvement as you go along, to stay on track and feel rewarded on your hard work and progress.

 

So whether you are headed off to Spain, France, Italy or all three, make the most out of your online language courses by recapping lessons, utilising different study methods, and setting clear and realistic goals for yourself. You’ll be chatting up locals in no time.

 


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Jane Sandwood is a professional freelance writer with over 10 years’ experience across many fields.

Jane has a particular interest in issues relating to learning and education.

Feeling inspired to learn a new language?

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The joy of languages

What is the Polyglot Conference?

Memrise is proud to be the Platinum sponsor of this year’s Polyglot Conference in Reykjavík. We caught up with founder and co-organiser Richard Simcott, who speaks more than 30 languages, to find out what the Polyglot Conference is about, and who can attend.

What is the Polyglot Conference and when did it start?

I started writing on language forums online around 10 years ago to connect with other avid language learners. Around a year later a few of us started putting up videos, speaking various languages. The goal of this was to reach out to other like-minded people. It worked and the language community started to grow online quite rapidly.

After a few years of this virtual interaction with people across the globe it became clear that we needed to get together in person. It was quite tough to get across the idea of the Polyglot Conference, so I had to draw from my own experience of event management to set up the very first Polyglot Conference in a little theatre in Budapest in 2013.

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140 people from the online community came together in Hungary for two days of presentations and fun mixing in person in the city. The atmosphere was fantastic and that spurred me on to continue.

Who is the Polyglot Conference for?

Anyone who loves language is welcome at the Polyglot Conference. The word “Polyglot” is a nod to the language community it grew out of.

Year on year we have more and more people coming, who have been learning one or two languages and just catch the language bug and get motivated amongst so many enthusiastic learners.

The great thing about the Polyglot Conference is that we change location and pick up a number of locals from each place on the way!

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Who will be speaking at the Polyglot Conference this year?

We have some great speakers this year, talking about regional languages (which we always aim to celebrate) as well as topics around languages and modern technology and the link between autism and multilingualism.

You can check out a full list of the speakers’ profiles on the PolyglotConference.com website.

What’s it like to watch something you founded grow into a large international event with sponsorship from companies like Memrise and the Erasmus programme? 

Humbling. I have been fortunate to get support from people who joined me in the venture along the way. Emanuele Marini and the Cutural Center of Novi Sad added some Balkan spice to things in 2014, having seen what happened in Budapest.

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Ellen Jovin really changed gears for the conference with her hard work in NYC in 2015. I am very forever grateful to her for that. Alex Rawlings has since been my partner on the conference and we’ve taken the conference from there to Thessaloniki in 2016 and now Reykjavik.

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Without the support I have received from these people, the many people from the community and participants who believed in the project and our fabulous sponsors, this would not have been possible.

I also owe a lot to Tamara Littleton, the CEO of the company I work for, The Social Element. She invested in the first conference in 2013 and has done so ever since. I am infinitely grateful for the support I receive from my day job to make this conference a reality.

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Where will the Polyglot Conference be next year?

You’ll have to wait and see at the end of this year’s conference. We have the big reveal at the closing ceremony. Nice try though! 😉


pc17-aviThe Polyglot Conference will be taking place on 27th-29th October 2017 at the Harpa building in Reykjavík, Iceland, and is open to everyone who loves language. As proud sponsors, Memrise will be there in full force, with almost all of the company coming along.

Find out more at the Polyglot Conference Website.

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The joy of languages

20 Chinese Survival Phrases

With a population of over 1.35 billion people, China is rapidly becoming a ‘go-to’ destination for tourists from all over the world. Although many different languages are spoken throughout the country, Mandarin is understood by most people, so getting to know the language can be a real lifesaver no matter which part of the country you are in!

With the help of Memrise’s exclusive Native Speaker Videos, we’ve put together 20 phrases to help you survive and even thrive on your next visit to China.

Want to learn more? Check out Memrise’s official Chinese courses!

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1. 你好! Níhǎo! / Hello!

Not only used for “Hello”, but you can also use this to politely get somebody’s attention, for example, a waiter or waitress in a restaurant.

2. 欢迎光临  Huānyíng guānglín / Welcome (to our shop, restaurant, etc.)

The word “huānyíng” itself simply means “welcome”, but adding “guānglín” turns this into a simple phrase that staff use to welcome customers to their shop or restaurant when they enter.

3. 对不起  Duìbùqǐ / Sorry

A super useful phrase to know in any language. Check out this song to hear the word in action!

4. 我不懂  Wǒ bù dǒng / I don’t understand

Unless your Mandarin is already perfect, you will probably find this quite useful when some old lady tells you: “哇,你长得好高哦。你肯定是打篮球的吧!”.

5. 没关系  Méi guānxi / It doesn’t matter

This is what you should say to somebody who apologises for stepping on your foot when you’re crammed into the Shanghai metro during rush hour.

6. 谢谢  Xiè xie / Thank you

It always pays to be polite, and if you can do it in Mandarin, people will like you even better!

 

7. 请问有刀叉吗? Qǐngwèn yǒu dāochā ma? / Do you have a knife and fork, please?

Not everybody’s chopstick skills are completely up to scratch, so if you need it, this is how to ask for a knife and fork. But be warned, unless you’re in a pretty fancy restaurant, the most likely answer is going to be 没有 méiyǒu (no/we don’t), rather than 有 yǒu (yes/we do).

 

8. 请问有素菜吗? Qǐngwèn yǒu sùcài ma? / Do you have vegetarian food?

Although it is true that there have traditionally always been a lot of buddhists in China, finding meat-free food, can sometimes be a bit hard. But with this phrase, you can’t go wrong.

 

9. 饺子很好吃  Jiǎozi hén hǎochī / Dumplings are very tasty

Because they are! Mmmm… jiǎozi….

 

10. 我要这个  Wǒ yào zhègè / I want to have this

For when you don’t know the Chinese word, you can always just point at what you want.

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11. ……用中文怎么说?… yòng zhōngwén zěnme shuō? / How do you say … in Mandarin?

And if you want to know the right word instead of just point, you can ask this.

 

12. 很高兴认识你  Hěn gāoxìng rènshi nǐ / Nice to meet you

One of the best parts of traveling is making friends. Make sure you use this phrase when you do!

 

13. 祝你好运  Zhù nǐ hǎoyùn / Good luck

Literally “wish – you – good – luck”. It’s never a terrible idea to have that extra bit of luck with you when traveling abroad.

 

14. 因为我饿了,所以我生气  Yīnwèi wǒ èle, suóyǐ wǒ shēngqì / I’m angry because I am hungry

Unlike some other English words, “hangry” hasn’t really caught on in China yet, but this phrase works just as well. Notice that it actually works the other way round to English – literally: “Because I am hungry, so I am angry”.

 

15. 我会说一点儿中文 Wǒ huì shuō yìdiǎn’r zhōngwén / I can speak a little Chinese

Once you reach survival phrase 20, this will most definitely be true! Go you!!

 

16. 你中文真好 Nǐ zhōngwén zhēn hǎo / Your Chinese is so good

Often, Chinese people aren’t used to lǎowài (foreigners) speaking Chinese. So some will even say this to you just because you said “níhǎo”!

 

17. 哪里哪里 Nǎli nǎli / You flatter me

Literally, this means “where, where?”, but Chinese people use it to show modesty when someone pays them a compliment.

 

18. 干杯 Gānbēi / Cheers

Literally “dry – glass”, or in other words, “Down it!”. Don’t worry too much though; it is usually just used to mean “cheers”, so keep an eye on whoever is saying it to see whether they really want you to drink the whole thing.

 

19. 够了 Gòule / Enough

Try remembering this by thinking ‘one goal (gòule) is often enough to win the match’.

 

20. 再见 Zàijiàn / Goodbye

“Zàijiàn” means “Goodbye”. And I think that is gòule(enough) for today’s survival phrases now that nǐ huì shuō yìdiǎn‘r zhōngwén(you can speak a little Chinese). I am sure that everyone will tell you nǐ zhōngwén zhēn hǎo(your Chinese is so good!) only to hear you respond with nǎli, nǎli(you flatter me)! So zhùnǐ hǎoyùn (wish you luck) on your Chinese journey! 再见 Zàijiàn!

 

Want to brush up your Chinese before your next trip to China?

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Learning journeys

Diary of a Welsh Summer Course

DAY 1

I’ve come to Llysfasi to do a Welsh course at Popeth Cymraeg. There are only two levels: mynediad (entry level) and sylfael (intermediate). After doing some prep in the months before, I’d decided to go for the intermediate level.

The six other people in my group are all learning Welsh for different reasons: some because their kids are going to attend a Welsh-medium school, and they want to be able to understand what they’re saying to each other at the kitchen table, some for theological reasons, and some just because they live in Wales.

“Strangely, ‘fun’ wasn’t an option on the course’s application form.”

I’m the odd one out here. I’m learning Welsh just for fun. Strangely, ‘fun’ wasn’t an option on the course’s application form.

Pegi, our teacher is super nice and used the first day to make us feel confident using what we already know of the language. We all have very different levels of Welsh, some people have better pronunciation, some better grammar, and I must admit I was starting to feel a little out of place, because I hadn’t had as much exposure to Welsh as the rest of them.

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DAY 2

I need to be able to say things more spontaneously… One of the students keeps talking to me in Welsh during the breaks. That’s nice, but I keep understanding every word except the most important one in all of his sentences. I don’t know whether it’s that I lack very common vocabulary, or whether he’s just using weird ones, but it’s quite frustrating. More about that later!

DAY 3

The course carries on and I feel better the next day when I find out that some of the people in my class have been learning Welsh for 24 years. My three-month-old Welsh feels OK now. One of the main issues for me is to understand everybody else’s pronunciation.

“I feel better the next day when I find out that some of the people in my class have been learning Welsh for 24 years.”

The /x/ sound written ‘ch’ is a big issue for them. Some can do it, some can’t at all, and some manage some of the time, but others not. It’s very confusing for me, as sometimes I imagine a word written in my mind and can’t understand a sentence because most ch’s became c’s.

DAY 4

We’ve been using a wide variety of language and the exercises are nicely done in that they have different objectives. One very nice one was a board game where you find yourself on a cell with a sentence like “I need to lose weight”. You read it aloud and your partner had to use structures to give advice. Like this:

“I need to lose weight”
“You should stop eating”
“I can’t live without eating”
“You could stop eating only for a fortnight…”
“Thank you”

By allowing students to “make fun” of each other while knowing it’s planned and not personal, it made everyone speak and use useful structures.

DAY 5

Tonight over dinner we had a very interesting discussion with two other learners who shared their frustration. They have been learning with the so-called traditional method and although they had been able to pass exams they realised after just a few days at the residential course that they were unable to speak and lacked confidence in the language.

It also seems that some Welsh teachers still feel they have a duty to somehow protect the language and make it better. They will say things like “you don’t need to learn that, it sounds old-fashioned and nobody uses it” when actually it is used colloquially and, more importantly, very commonly in books and on the news.

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The main question I heard from learners during the course was “and now what?”. We’ve done the residential course, it was great, but we don’t really want to go back to our traditional courses as they will ask us to forget some of the things we have learnt during the summer. The teachers have given us a list of websites and links to apps (including Memrise) to keep practicing our Welsh, but I feel this is not enough.

Another interesting conversation we had with our teacher was how to avoid answering ‘yes’ or ‘no’ in Welsh. Since Welsh lacks words for yes and no, you’re supposed to repeat the verb of the question to answer. Our teacher also gave us very useful words for “of course”, “without a doubt” or just taught us what sound would be the equivalent of a nod in Welsh. This is maybe not what you’ll be taught in grammar books but this is what people actually use in everyday Welsh. And for that I really would like to thank Pegi as I feel everything I have learned during those five days was real.

Looking Back

Everything was living Welsh, as it is spoken today. There were probably things that the grammar books would disagree with, but if no-one uses the grammar rules, what good are they? One of the best things about having Pegi as a teacher is that she would tell us: “you’ll see that in written or posh Welsh but in everyday Welsh everyone will say this”.

And this is exactly what a teacher should do! For that, for your great activities and your smile during those five day, thank you very much! Diolch yn fawr iawn!


5E0A0987Guillaume has always been fascinated by languages and started learning and creating new languages from a very young age. The things he likes the most in languages are phonetics and grammar. He’s lived and worked in several countries: Russia, Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan and others before joining the Memrise team as a French specialist.

He is now one of Memrise’s Product Managers, and is currently learning Welsh and possibly trying to revive Akkadian.

Feeling inspired to learn a new language? Check out Memrise!

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