Customer Review

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a great starter book if you want to learn Welsh, 8 Feb. 2012
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This review is from: Welsh for Beginners (Languages for Beginners) (Audio CD)
Length:: 5:32 Mins

My husband is from North Wales and his first language is Welsh. I've promised him throughout our marriage that I would learn to speak at least some Welsh so that when we visit his family they don't have to revert to English just for me. However, I have tried many times (and failed) over the years.

I've bought a lot of the 'learn to speak Welsh' books on the market and have just found them to be coming in at too high a level for someone who can't even say 'hello'. When I came across this book I thought that I would give it one last go before admitting defeat.

I have to say how surprised I have been at how well targeted this book actually is for a complete beginner to the language. Yes, on first glance it does look childish and cartoony but don't let that put you off. It is a fabulous book.

It literally starts off at the beginning teaching you how to say hello and goodbye. It moves onto 'how are you'. It covers many other very basic things such as numbers, colours, time, how to ask for things in shops etc. Without these basics it is just impossible to move onto some of the other books on the market which seem to assume that you already have this basic knowledge in place.

The one big problem with trying to learn Welsh from a book is that many of the letters that we say in English sound very different in Welsh. For example, F is pronounced as V, W and Y are vowels and sound nothing like you would expect. Thus, if you only try to learn from the book you are going to end up saying things that sound very strange.

This is where the audio CD comes into its own. It follows the exact order of things in the book and native Welsh speakers pronounce the phrases that you can see on the page. They repeat them again and give you a chance to have a go at copying them. I do find that they speak a little fast for me to really understand how the letters on the page translate into spoken Welsh and I find I often have to play them a few times before I really 'get' the pronunciation. I'm also lucky as I have my Welsh speaking husband to correct me when I get into too much of a muddle.

I am slowly picking up some of the more common phrases and can hold a very basic conversation. However, this has required that I have read, copied down and listened to the CD many times over.

Unless you are a natural at learning languages I don't think it is realistic to expect to pick up this book and learn how to speak Welsh after looking at the phrases a couple of times. However, I think this is a fantastic way of starting to learn the basics of the language and I'm extremely glad that I purchased it.
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4.1 out of 5 stars (47 customer reviews)
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D. Jones
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Location: Warwickshire

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