From the SaySomethinginWelsh laboratory: AutoMagic
If you want to learn Welsh & become a confident Welsh speaker in the shortest possible amount of time, with absolute certainty of success, it might be a good idea to ask our founder, Aran Jones, to move in next door and work with you every day until you never need to use English again.
After all, he’s taught people like Carol Vorderman, Ruth Jones, Jeremy Vine, Scott Quinnell, Colin Jackson, Chris Coleman, Joanna Scanlan, Jessica Hynes, James Hook, Adam Jones, Joe Ledley… the list goes on.
One slight problem, though – there’s only one of him!
So we’ve recreated him.
We’ve built an artificial Aran. And the artificial Aran is even better than the real thing in some ways – it never gets tired, it never forgets what you’ve done, it never teases you, it never tells tasteless jokes, it behaves much better in cocktail parties, and it’s available 24/7.
We call it our AutoMagic Welsh Tutor.
It will turn you into a confident Welsh speaker. You’ll be able to join in whenever friends or colleagues are speaking in Welsh, you’ll be able to talk to friends and family in Welsh, you’ll feel comfortable switching in and out of Welsh and English whenever you need to, in whatever setting.
You’ll have full access to that whole other Wales, the history, the Eisteddfods, the songs, the whole wide roaring glory of it all.
And it really works.
That’s why the National Centre for Learning Welsh now gives access to the AutoMagic Welsh Tutor to everyone who joins a Welsh course with them.
It’s why the Government of Wales is now running trials in schools for the AutoMagic Welsh Tutor to be used in classrooms.
It’s why the celebrities who work with Aran have such high praise for us (even though they only get a pale, human imitation of the real AutoMagic Welsh Tutor).
“I signed up for the free trial and thoroughly enjoyed the learning. I have used other Welsh language courses/ programmes but really struggled to connect and remember anything I had learned. I felt defeated and spent years thinking I just couldn’t learn Welsh. However, after an hour on AutoMagic, I was amazed at how simplistic the method of learning was and the science about the brain all helped in motivating me to keep going. I was actually retaining the learning, speaking Welsh, putting together sentences without thinking and I am even able to write in Welsh. I’m utterly amazed that even after a gap as the trial has ended, I can still remember.” Sandra Williams
How does it work?
It builds memories for you. It triggers actual synapse formation, so you develop neural circuits which allow you to say things in Welsh.
And it’s simple – incredibly simple.
You just log in, and press play. Then you do what your AutoMagic Welsh Tutor tells you, and when you’ve had enough you stop.
That’s all you ever have to do, and it will turn you into a Welsh speaker.
In fact, you can’t spend time with the AutoMagic Welsh Tutor WITHOUT becoming a more confident Welsh speaker – that’s how well it works.
And you can get started right away.
Just click on the link below this video, and you can test drive the AutoMagic Welsh Tutor for free for 3 days. And if you learn Welsh for just 30 minutes in those 3 days, we’ll reward you with another 7 free days – we love people who really jump in.
Okay, how much does it cost?
Our intensive days in the SSiW Centre of Excellence are £2000 a day. [That’s mostly for politicians and celebrities who want to be able to film in Welsh].
A good Welsh tutor is £20 per hour. For each and every hour.
But the AutoMagic Welsh Tutor – which is better-than-Aran level tutoring – is just £30 a month. For as many hours as you like.
In fact, if you’re fast, you can get it for just £10 a month (plus VAT) at the moment.
We’re putting the price up to £30 a month soon, because that lets us invest more in some of the AI improvements we’re working on at the moment – but if you sign up now, we will NEVER increase the price of your subscription.
You can stop any time you like, of course.
But you probably won’t want to, because becoming a Welsh speaker is a LOT of fun.
Are you feeling uncertain?
Not quite ready to take the plunge?
Maybe you’ve tried to learn Welsh before, and it hasn’t worked out for you. Maybe you’re nervous this will be the same.
Here are some of the things that people tell us they worry about when they consider learning Welsh.
I have an abject fear that I won’t be able to understand people who speak to me
This is one of the most common concerns among people considering learning Welsh. But the good news is, it’s something you handle much further down the line, once you’ve already achieved success with your learning. You don’t need to worry about it AT ALL to begin with.
You only need one key thing to be able to understand people who speak Welsh to you – the ability to process the language you’ve already learnt at faster speeds. We take care of this for you by giving you accelerated listening exercises which trigger a neuroplastic adaptation in your brain that makes Welsh speakers sound as though they are speaking slowly and clearly just for you.
Eventually, understanding people speaking Welsh will feel easy.
You’ll still face some nerves, of course – but we solve for those by building your confidence step by step until you’re genuinely ready to use your Welsh ‘in the wild’. Once you’re actually ready, and you’ve proved it to yourself a couple of times, the nerves will fade, until one day you wonder what you were ever worried about.
I’ll feel embarrassed about using my new language (on the fly)
This is absolutely understandable and enormously common – language is such an important part of our sense of self, when we can’t express ourselves easily we feel a very threatening loss of status.
But again, you don’t need to solve for this at first.
It’s a fear that you’re bringing from a long way in the future – as if you’re imagining being thrown into the middle of the Atlantic on your first swimming lesson.
The work you’ll do with SaySomethinginWelsh focuses incredibly strongly on developing your ability to speak quickly and flexibly, and you can develop those skills safely, in private, until you know you’re ready to start talking to other people. And then we’ll recommend a careful and gradual progression – starting only with people you know well, one at a time – until you’re absolutely ready to start holding conversations with anyone.
This fear is actually your brain’s way of protecting you from threatening situations. Once your brain knows that you’re entirely ready for those situations, the sense of fear will disappear like morning mist in the sunshine.
I’m afraid I’ll feel stupid or embarrassed because I can’t say what I want, or I won’t be able to pronounce the words properly
People often worry about this because written Welsh looks so unfamiliar to English speakers. The main thing you need to develop a good, natural pronunciation is plenty of exposure to the spoken language, and plenty of opportunities to speak out loud in Welsh – in other words, the very heart of what you’ll be doing with SaySomethinginWelsh. We focus massively on the spoken language, so you’ll be given dramatically more opportunities to listen closely – and that’s what gives your brain the input it needs to develop a genuinely impressive, natural accent.
It doesn’t happen overnight, of course – but what you’ll say will be understandable to Welsh speakers from very, very early in the course – and this process will happen naturally, without you needing to do any extra work.
I’m worried that I won’t be able to express myself (fast enough)
You won’t, at first, and that’s okay. Learning isn’t a race. But over time, we’ll get the most important stuff so deeply embedded for you that your speed will increase, and once your speed increases, you’ll get into more conversations, and your range of expressions will grow, until eventually it all feels easy. As some of our learners say, the faster you go the more fun it is.
I’m worried that I won’t be able to understand the grammar
Great news – you don’t need to understand the grammar, any more than you need to understand an engine in order to drive a car. We’ll make sure that you can understand what other people say to you – and we’ll make sure that THEY can understand what you say to them – and that’s all you need. If grammar makes you nervous and you learn with SaySomethinginWelsh, you will literally NEVER need to learn a SINGLE grammar ‘rule’.
I don’t know if I’ve got the ability to learn
In which case, you were let down at school. The human brain is the most complex item in the known universe, and learning is its superpower – every single child should leave school knowing that they can learn whatever they want to, whenever they want to. You have that ability too, but the system made you believe that you didn’t, that somehow you weren’t good enough.
Please just try SaySomethinginWelsh for a week or two – because once you see for yourself that you CAN learn a new language, you may discover an entirely new confidence in the whole of the rest of your life as well. You are capable of far, far more than you currently believe.
I don’t know anyone I can talk to in my new language
Easy. Come and visit our community, where you’ll make new friends from all over the world who speak Welsh. In a month or two, if you just say hello a lot, you’ll know more people who speak Welsh than you do who speak English!
I’m concerned that I won’t be able to spell the words
Two pieces of good news here – first, you won’t need to, because you won’t be learning by writing anything down. You’ll just be speaking, and that’s why you’ll learn faster.
But second, we’ll also show you the words, quickly, and over time you’ll discover that your brain has worked out how to spell them without you needing to do any actual conscious work at all.
So really, do NOT worry about spelling!
I’m worried that I won’t be able to remember the words
This is the difficult thing in most traditional approaches, in night classes and so on – you get long lists of words and you have to try and figure out how to remember them. So I understand your concern.
We’re different. We specialise in memory formation, and we take responsibility for it – it’s up to US, not you, to make sure that you WILL be able to remember the words. And we do it so well that we’re now being used in trials in schools by the Welsh government – so you really can trust us on this.
It’s up to us, not you. We’ll get it right for you.
I’m worried about Welsh speakers speaking in English to me
There aren’t many other languages where you need to worry about this – it’s one of the unique challenges of learning Welsh.
But like some of the earlier worries, this isn’t one you have to think about at the beginning. At first, it will be quite HELPFUL that Welsh speakers can speak English!
And then we’ll show you how to take control of conversations, and how to train Welsh speakers to stop switching to English – and eventually they’ll reach a point where they’ll never think of using English with you (just like I’d never use English with Ruth Jones these days, because she went on exactly this journey).
I’m worried that I won’t know what I should do next
This is a problem with a lot of courses, particularly online courses with dozens of options and activities.
It is NOT a problem with SaySomethinginWelsh and our AutoMagic tutor!
You log in, you press play – that’s all you need to do. Everything else, we tell you, so you do everything at the right time and in the right order, and that’s a huge part of why we get such brilliant results for you. Just ask the actress Jessica Hynes (Daisy in ‘Spaced’) – she loves AutoMagic, partly because she always knows what she needs to do next.
I don’t know if I can practise every day – and I’m worried that if I don’t, I’ll lose everything I’ve learnt and have to start again
Good news! You don’t need to practise every day.
One of the most unusual elements of SaySomethinginWelsh is our expertise in memory formation – and it works so well that when you come back after a gap, you’ll reactivate everything you’d learnt in about half an hour.
We’ve tested this with LONG breaks – even up to 16 MONTHS! And it still only takes about half an hour to get everything fresh and available again.
Richard Parks has played rugby for Wales, climbed the highest peak on each continent and been to the north and south poles, and he found learning Welsh as big a challenge as anything else he’d done – but when he came back after a TEN MONTH gap (he wasn’t being lazy, to be fair, he’d had to pop overseas to take Will Smith to the south pole for Disney+) he was amazed at how quickly he got back up to speed.
So really, don’t worry about daily practise. And don’t worry about losing your Welsh – once we’ve built those synapses for you, they’ll be right there in your brain for the rest of your life, always ready to be woken up.
I don’t have much confidence
This also means that school let you down. And that you’ve probably faced some other really tough challenges, or had some things go painfully wrong, and they’ve left you with some understandable scar tissue.
I’d particularly love you to try out SaySomethinginWelsh, because successful learning can become part of a feedback loop which would increase your confidence in all the other parts of your life as well.
Because you deserve to have confidence. You’re a human being, you’re as valuable as every other human being, you deserve to be happy, you deserve to feel good.
Learning Welsh successfully could be just the trigger you need – and you’ll know inside the first couple of weeks if it’s working for you or not.
And if you get stuck but want to carry on, our support team will always be there for you – we’ve helped hundreds and hundreds of other people find life-changing success with this, and we can help you as well.
You’ve got what it takes. Just believe in yourself.
I’m worried about people correcting me, or being critical
We can’t guarantee that you’ll never meet any rude Welsh speakers, just as we can’t guarantee that you’ll never meet any rude English speakers. They’re out there!
But the vast majority of Welsh speakers you meet will be delighted that you’re learning Welsh. I said this just recently to Adam Jones (the best Welsh prop this millennium) – I promised him that everyone he met when he was filming his learning Welsh journey would be hugely enthusiastic that he was learning.
Now, they might be a bit more excited about Adam than about you – he was prop for some very famous Welsh victories! – but they’ll be every bit as pleased that you’re learning Welsh.
We really, really appreciate Welsh learners.
I don’t want to spend time on something I can’t succeed with
No, I quite understand that. It’s a bit like the fear of failure – you doubt yourself, so you don’t want to try, so that you avoid the pain of not succeeding.
But then you have to live with the pain of not succeeding anyway, because you didn’t even try.
How about a week?
Is that a short enough gamble, to find out if you’re capable of learning Welsh?
After a week with us, you’ll know for certain if it’s working or not. If it’s not, you’ve only lost a week – but if it is, you’ve gained a life-changing opportunity.
It’s so massive, where do I start?
This is a SaySomethinginWelsh strong point.
You just take the first bite.
And then we’ll show you how to take the second bite.
And every extra word you learn gives you an extra little link to Wales. Just take a few bites, feel that sense of connection growing, and don’t feel you have to learn every single word any more than you have to stand in every single field in Wales to belong.
I worry about fast first language speakers
Oh, I understand this fear. I felt it myself, deeply, when I’d just started learning. I spent most of the Llanelli Eisteddfod in 2000 trying to avoid Welsh speakers, which is quite hard in an Eisteddfod, and didn’t make for a very relaxing day.
There are three ways you have to prepare for talking to first language speakers.
First, you have to be able to control the conversation, by knowing the right words to say to help trigger the behaviour you want from the first language speaker. This is built into SaySomethinginWelsh, so we’ll get it nailed on for you.
Second, you need to practise listening enough to build a wide vocabulary – we’ll show you exactly how to do this, and we’ll give you support and opportunities to use your Welsh in a supportive practice environment.
Third, you need to practise accelerated listening – this seems to be something that only we do, but it makes the world of difference when you talk to first language speakers – some of our learners say it makes them sound as if they’re speaking slowly and clearly just to help you!
Put these three things together, and your fear of first language speakers will gradually vanish.
I worry about using French words instead
Don’t worry about using French words instead. It just makes you sound cool.
Seriously, language interference is common – everybody gets it at some point – and it’s funny – but it doesn’t last for long. The more Welsh you speak, the less your French will interfere with it, until one day it’ll be funny the other way round – you’ll try to say something in French to someone, and a word will come out in Welsh. It’s worth learning Welsh just for this experience!
I’m desperate to learn, but worried that I’m overstretched and won’t retain anything
There are a few things going on here – let’s try to break them down.
Don’t worry about retaining things – that’s all about memory formation, and that’s our main area of expertise – we WILL build those memories for you.
But you’re overstretched – so you don’t have much time for beginners Welsh, or Welsh language courses – which might mean that you’re worried about not practising often enough, and also not having enough time to learn.
You can solve for the lack of time by using AutoMagic when you’re doing something else, like washing the dishes, or walking the dog, or on your commute.
And it doesn’t matter how little you do – even five minutes a day will get you to your first Welsh conversation in a year. And as I’ve said before, it doesn’t matter if you have breaks – take as many as you need.
And you feel desperate to learn – so it’s hurting you that it hasn’t fitted into your life yet.
So how about a little experiment? Make a marker in your diary for a year from now, do just five minutes a day as often as you can, and then see how much Welsh you can speak in a year from now.
It might be enough to change your perception of what you can achieve.
I’m embarrassed that I haven’t succeeded yet
To me, this seems like a very Welsh thing – to be embarrassed at not having done something yet!
It doesn’t make much sense, though – why would you be embarrassed that you didn’t get the opportunity to become a Welsh speaker at school? It was just a postcode lottery. It wasn’t your fault, it wasn’t your decision.
And if you’ve been trying to learn for a while, and feel that you ‘should’ have done more – if you’re putting in the effort, and it’s not working, that’s not your fault.
It’s probably time for you to try a different approach.
A lot of people who feel that they didn’t succeed with Welsh in school or in evening classes discover that they learn very quickly with SaySomethinginWelsh, because it wakes up all the old passive Welsh that they didn’t realise they’d learnt.
Welsh speakers all speak English, and their English will always be better than my Welsh
This isn’t always true – I know a farmer or two whose English is NOT better than my Welsh!
But it will often be true. And so what?
They’ll still love the fact that they can use their first language with you. And you’ll love the fact that you feel more deeply tied into and part of Wales. Becoming a Welsh speaker is about love and celebration.
No, you don’t need to become a Welsh speaker. Nobody does.
But you’ll LOVE it. I promise.
I can’t imagine actually being proficient
This is a frustrating problem for people who only speak one language – until you have the experience of speaking two languages, your brain will tell you it’s impossible.
You can see that your brain’s wrong – you can see plenty of people in the world around you speaking plenty of languages – but it’s just not possible to know for certain that you can do it as well, until you do.
We’ve seen SO MANY people start with the same uncertainty, and end up entirely confident Welsh speakers, who use their Welsh all the time.
You can go on the same journey.
But only by taking the first step.
And here’s what the person who sent us this concern said afterwards:
>>But then I look back and I’ve progressed so incredibly far. It happens without you realising it, just by keeping up with the study, watching TV, reading, listening, thinking about it, talking when you get a chance…. I now understand more on the radio, and my sentence formation has improved a lot. I’m excited to continue on this journey!
I can’t understand the mutations
You don’t have to.
Just ignore them. Over time, your ears will work some of them out for you, and you might even start to notice yourself using some of them.
It will all happen automagically, if you just work through our system.
You’ll never need to learn a single rule about mutations. Guaranteed.
Don’t have time
5 minutes a day? Seriously? Yes you do. If this really matters to you, you can find 5 minutes a day.
I’m not able to roll the R
There are first language speakers who can’t roll the R either – it’s seen as a very slight speech impediment, not as bad as a lisp in English. You just do them at the back of your throat, and it sounds a bit French, and kind of cool.
Alternatively, you practise by saying bRRRead five times every morning – when you can roll the R with the B as a starting point, you can start practising it with other letters, until you can do it on its own. A tiny daily practice will give you this enjoyable new ability.
Or just sound a bit French. People might think you’re a Breton, and that’s nothing but fun.
It looks unfamiliar
It does look a bit unfamiliar to an English speaker.
But you don’t have to worry about what it looks like, because most of what we do is about listening and speaking – you can even choose not to see the words at all, if you’d like, which seems to help people develop a really strong accent.
And when you’ve done even just a few hours, things that seemed unfamiliar at first will start to make sense to you, until they’ll just seem absolutely normal (and you’ll realise that you’re starting to say some things in Welsh).
How much will it cost?
A tenner a month if you sign up before we put the price up to thirty pounds a month. Thirty pounds a month if you sign up afterwards. If you put in a couple of hours a day for three months, that’ll see you having extremely confident Welsh conversations for a sum total of about thirty quid, if you sign up now.
And you can cancel at any time, of course.
What others are saying
SSi is an excellent way to build confidence. It gets you speaking and really works! I’m very grateful to them.Leanne WoodFormer Leader of Plaid Cymru
I’m on a four-month trip to Central America and about 95% of the Spanish I’m using here came from SSi.Rachel HealyCosta Rica
The SSi approach flies in the face of established language learning theory and method – and yet, it works!Tess FitzpatrickHead of Applied Linguistics Swansea University