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Learning Vocab

Page history last edited by leiafee@... 9 years, 4 months ago

Tips and tricks for learning and widening vocab.


A note before you start - there's a wide range of methods here and not all of them will suit everyone.  Give them a go and keep what works - chuck what doesn't!




Scrabble is available in Welsh and there's a word game with letter cards called Gair Am Air which is similar.


If you're using it on your own for learning you might want to allow yourself a dictionary and focus on "root" words.  SO if for example you have the letters to make up a short word which you know like 'tân' for 'fire' you could use the dictionary and discover that you actually also have enough letters for tanio (to burn), tanau (fires plural), tanwydd (fuel - which is indeed stuff that you burn!) - these related words should be easier to remember because they're based on one you already know.




Physical or online, there are several strategies for using them...


  • English one side, Welsh the other
  • English and Welsh together
  • Picture + Welsh (some think this helps "short circuit" the intermediate step of associating the Thing with the English with the Welsh and helps the brain make the correction directly between the Tthing and the Welsh.
  • Create 'piles' of cards  for different topics or situations


There's also some evidence that the physical process of writing ro drawing the words helps them 'stick'


"Link Words"


With this technique you make up a mental picture or story to help you remember the word.


From the forum thread comes this example.  "DIWIGIAD means revival. Using the methodology I split the word into three parts DI WIG IAD The bits can relate to anything in your personal imagination. I decided on Lady DI, a lawyer and our back yard!(IAD.  )I then drew a princess, a wig (Scene in a court) and a toilet in my back yard. I then revived Diana and so linked revival to the other bits."


It takes a while to get used to doing this but making up the 'stories' gets quicker with practice!




Not sure where to start with which new words to focus on learning?  Try the Most Common English Words"page on Wikipedia!  (But don't forget some patterns don't correspond directly to the Welsh!)




Make one of the words you've come across that you don't know, your "word of the day".  Stick it somewhere conspicuous, repeat it to yourself, look for occasions to put it in a sentence and so on.




An obvious one really -- stick them all over the house and take them off once you know the word!


More useful for nouns but with a bit of imagination can be used for verbs as well - the cooker could have postits for "cook" "burn" "prepare" "boil" etc...


Using pink for feminine nouns and blue for masculine ones can help too.


Writing the plural as well is a help too since they can vary so much.


Word Pairs


A good way of learning words is to use word pairs.  A number turn up in SSiW and the association helps to make them more memorable than a single word. 

Examples are:


Cynnig cyfle - offer an opportunity (from SSiW)

Godro'r geifr - milk the goats (kinetic just produced this one)

Bwydo'r gath - feed the cat (Rob)


Good for adjectives too -- not just the 'hen gi' and 'cath ifanc' of SSIW! 


Word Clouds


Use a Word cloud creator such as Wordle to turn the RSS feed of Welsh language news or discussion sites into Word Clouds (More commonly used words are bigger)

Good way of getting real life commonly used words.

Since Wordle allows you to remove words you can also go through and delete the ones you know...

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