Kerstin Cable- What gets easier when you study more languages

Fluent Language’s Kerstin Cable: Beth sy’n mynd yn haws wrth i chi astudio mwy o ieithoedd? / What gets easier when you study more languages?

Yn Dysgwyr/Erthyglau

Mae Kerstin yn Almaenes sydd wedi dysgu Saesneg, Ffrangeg, ychydig o Sbaeneg ac Eidaleg, peth Rwsieg, a nawr mae hi’n dysgu Cymraeg. Mae hi’n rhedeg y wefan Fluent, sydd yn rhoi cyngor i bobl am ddysgu ieithoedd, a’r podlediad Fluent Show.  Yma mae hi’n rhannau ei phrofiad…

Kerstin is a German who has learnt English, French, a little of Spanish and Italian, some Russian, and now she is learning Welsh. She runs the website Fluent, which gives advice to people about learning languages, and the podcast Fluent Show. Here she shares her experience…

Pan dych chi’n dysgu eich iaith dramor gyntaf, mae popeth yn teimlo yn od. Rhywle yn eich meddwl chi, mae’n teimlo’n bonkers medru defnyddio’r iaith ‘na yn hyderus un diwrnod.When you are learning your first foreign language, everything feels bizarre. Somewhere in your mind, it seems nuts that you might know that language confidently one day.
Dych chi’n ystyried pobl amlieithog, dych chi'n edrych ar ychydig o fideos ar YouTube, dych chi’n darllen ychydig o erthyglau ar-lein. Mae’n amlwg bod pobl allan yno sy’n dysgu ieithoedd. Maen nhw’n dysgu mwy nag un iaith - mae rhai pobl hyd yn oed yn gwybod 10 iaith!You start to look around at multilingual people, you watch a few YouTube videos, read a few blog articles. There are clearly people out there who are learning languages. They seem to know more than just one or two - some people know more than 10 languages!
Fi, dw i’n mwynhau dysgu iaith. Mae hyn wedi bod yn hobi am flynyddoedd. Dw i’n siarad Almaeneg, Saesneg, Ffrangeg, ychydig o Sbaeneg ac Eidaleg, peth Rwsieg, ac wrth gwrs dw i’n dysgu Cymraeg hefyd!Me, I enjoy learning languages. It has been my hobby for years. I speak German, English, French, a little of Spanish and Italian, some Russian, and of course I'm learning Welsh as well!
Y flwyddyn ddiwethaf, cyflwynais i weithdy am ddysgu ieithoedd, a gofynnodd un o’r aelod o'r gynulleidfa gwestiwn diddorol iawn:Last year, I presented a workshop on learning leanguages, and one of the audience members asked a very interesting question:
Ydy e'n dechrau dod haws pan rwyt ti'n dysgu mwy o ieithoedd?Does it get easier when you are learning more languages?
Yr ateb byr yw “Ydy”- yn bendant. Dyma’r pethau sydd yn wahanol ac yn helpu pan ti’n dysgu dy seithfed iaith.The short answer is "yes"- it definitely does. Here are the things that are helpful, relevant, and different when you are learning your seventh language.
1) Dych Chi'n Gwybod Pa Strategaeth Sy’n Gweithio I Chi1) You Know What Language Learning Strategy Works For You
Pan ddechreuais i ddysgu ieithoedd, roedd un ffynhonnell o wybodaeth oedd wedi dweud wrtha i sut i ddysgu ieithoedd: fy athro. Doedd neb wedi dweud wrtha i am y dull Goldlist, Anki neu'r Wyddor Ffonetig Ryngwladol.When I first started learning languages, there was one source of information that told me how to learn languages: my teacher. No one told me about the Goldlist method and Anki or the International Phonetic Alphabet.
Mae'n swnio fel ces i lawer o gyfleoedd i fynd yn anghywir, cywir? Ond roedd un peth da am fod yn fy swigen ynysu iaith: ces i'r rhyddid i ddatblygu strategaeth dysgu sydd wedi gweithio i fi.Sounds like I had all the chances to mess up, right? But my language isolation bubble had a silver lining: I had the freedom to develop a learning strategy that works for me.
Gwnes i roi'r gorau i bethau sydd yn gwastraffu fy amser, a gwnes i berffeithio’r rheiny o ni eu hangen. Gwnaeth fy Mam fwynhau gweld taflenni geirfa ar y drych yn yr ystafell ymolchi. Gwnes i drio, profi a thyfu fy nghynllun, a dysgu i ymddiried yn fy ngreddf.I simply discarded the things that waste my time, and perfected those that I needed. I amused my Mum with vocab sheets taped to the bathroom mirror. I tried, tested, and grew my own masterplan, learning to trust my instincts.
Os dych chi'n dilyn blogiau dysgu ieithoedd, dych chi'n gwybod bod lot o ddulliau ar gael. Mae blogwyr fel Benny Lewis yn hybu siarad yn gyflym iawn yn y broses; mae eraill fel Gabe Wyner yn siarad am feistroli ynganiad. Beth dych chi'n darganfod dros gyfnod o sawl blwyddyn o ddysgu ieithoedd yw dych chi wastad yn gwneud e yn gywir. Mae'r amheuaeth o os dych chi'n defnyddio'r "modd cywir" yn diflannu.If you follow language learning blogs, you know that there are many methods out there. Bloggers like Benny Lewis advocate speaking very early in the process, others like Gabe Wyner talk about pronunciation above all things. What you discover over the course of many language learning years is that you are always doing it right. The doubt of whether you are using "the best method" simply goes away.
Y gyfrinach i ddysgu unrhyw iaith yw: Peidiwch stopio!The big secret to learning any language is this: Just don't stop!
2) Dych Chi'n Dechrau Datblygu Hyder Am Eich Sgil Dysgu Iaith2) You Become Confident About Your Language Learning Skill
Wrth i bobl ddysgu iaith yn yr ysgol, maen nhw'n aml yn dysgu iaith mewn bocs. Maen nhw ar y cwricwlwm, felly maen nhw'n cael eu haddysgu mewn dosbarth a phrin maen nhw'n cael eu defnyddio tu fas y dosbarth. Mae'r syniad bod cymunedau sydd yn byw eu bywydau mewn geiriau gwahanol yn swnio’n eithaf neis... ond beth ydy hynny i wneud gyda chi?When people learn a language in school, they often experience languages in a box. They are on the curriculum, so they're taught inside a classroom and rarely used outside of one. The idea that there are whole communities in the world actually living their lives in different words seems kinda nice...but what's it got to do with you?
Hyd yn oed adegau arholiad, dych chi'n cael eich profi ar theori a sgil haniaethol. Mae'r papurau arholiad yn berthnasol i ramadeg a geirfa gywir. Mae hyn yn bwysig iawn, ond mae'n colli ma's ar y rhan gorau o ddysgu iaith: sef sylweddoli dych chi'n gallu creu cysylltiad arbennig, nawr.Even at exam times, you're tested on theory and abstract skill. The exam papers are about correct grammar and vocabulary. That's undoubtedly important, but it misses out on the greatest part of learning a language: realizing that you can make an amazing connection, right now.
Pan dych chi'n dechrau gyda'ch iaith gyntaf, neu hyd yn oed gyda’ch ail neu’ch trydedd, mae cwestiwn tu fewn: "Ydw i wir yn gallu gwneud hyn?"When you start out with your first language or even your first two or three, there is that lurking question inside: "Am I really able to do this?"
Ond wrth i chi aros gyda'r broses, dyma beth sydd yn newid: mae'n gorffen bod yn rhywbeth i’r dosbarth yn unig. Does neb sydd yn dysgu eu pumed neu chweched iaith wedi cyrraedd yna heb ffeindio sbarc sydd yn tynnu eu hiaith allan o’r bocs. Mae'r sbarc yn wahanol i bob ohonom ni, ond unwaith mae’r sbarc gyda chi, dych chi'n gwybod dydy'r nod ddim yn ‘berfformiad da". Mae am gysylltu â rhoi ffydd yn y broses.But as you stick with the process, here is what changes: It stops being a classroom exercise. No one who is learning a 5th or 6th has got there without finding a spark that brings their language out of the box. The spark is different for all of us, but once you've got it, you know that "good performance" isn't the point. It's all about connection and trusting the process.
Nawr, dydw i ddim yn gofyn os dw i'n gallu gwneud hyn. Dw i'n gwybod fy mod i, gydag amser ac ymdrech, dw i'n gallu dysgu unrhyw iaith i safon uchel iawn. Y rheswm am hyn yw achos mod i'n gwybod does dim ots – bydda i wastad yn gwneud hyn i fy hunan, hefyd. Dyna beth wnaeth y sbarc i fi.I no longer ask myself if I can do this. I know that, given time and dedication, I can learn any language to a very high level. And the reason I know this is because I know that it doesn't matter - I will always be doing this for myself, too. That's what the spark did for me.
3) Dych Chi'n Sylweddoli Bod Mwy O Ieithoedd I’w Dysgu3) You Realise There Are Always More Languages to Learn
Does dim ots os dych chi wedi dysgu un, saith neu ugain: bydd wastad mwy o ieithoedd i ddysgu. Mae bod yn ddysgwr iaith cynhyrchiol yn ymrwymiad bywyd - tipyn bach fel newid ffordd o fyw. Dw i newydd sylweddoli mod i ddim yn mynd i ddysgu pob iaith ar fy rhestr, achos bydd y rhestr yn parhau i dyfu.No matter if you have learnt one language, or seven, or 20: there will always be more languages to learn. Being a prolific language learner is a lifetime commitment- a little like a lifestyle change. I have now realised that I am never going to learn all the languages that are on my list, because that list is forever going to grow.
Mae cymaint o amrywiaeth yn ein planed ac yn yr hil ddynol. Rydym wedi ein bendithio â miloedd o ieithoedd, systemau cyfathrebu a sgriptiau. Unwaith dych chi'n dechrau dysgu un neu ddwy o'r ieithoedd rheiny, dych chi'n dod i mewn i’r byd anhygoel o gyfathrebu dynol. Ac erbyn iaith saith, byddwch chi wrth eich bodd gyda’r arfer o gyfathrebu.Our planet and the human race are so wonderfully diverse. We are blessed with thousands of languages, communication systems and scripts. Once you dive into learning one or two of those languages, you enter this amazing world of human communication. And by language number seven, you'll have caught the communication bug.
Mae hyd yn oed y bobl fwyaf amlieithog yn y byd yn gwybod llai na 100 o ieithoedd. Ac yn sicr, dydyn nhw ddim wedi cwpla. Hyd yn oed nawr, dydyn nhw ddim wedi cwpla. Mae’n rhaid i fi weithio’n galed o hyd i ddysgu iaith newydd, a dw i'n dal yn teimlo fel dydw i ddim yn gwybod dim byd. Dylech chi ennill rhuglder mewn sawl iaith- bydd yn agor eich meddwl i beth dydych chi ddim yn gwybod!Even the most multilingual people in the world know fewer than 100 languages. They're certainly not done. I still have to work hard to learn a new language, and I still feel like I know nothing. Achieve fluency in many languages - it will open your mind to what you don't know!
4) Chi'n Gwybod, Dydy Bod Yn Amlieithog ddim yn arbennig 4) You Know Being a Polyglot Isn't Special
Mae dysgu ieithoedd tramor yn hobi anarferol, ac mewn diwylliannau uniaith fel y DU mae'n brin iawn. Ar yr un pryd, mae'r rhan fwya o bobl wedi cyffwrdd rhan o iaith dramor - digon i wybod ei fod yn gallu gwneud i’ch ymennydd roi dolur. Felly, mae pobl yn dod i'r casgliad bod angen sgil benodol i ddysgu iaith (efallai ymennydd gwahanol?).Learning foreign languages is an unusual hobby, and in monolingual cultures like most of the UK, it's even more of a rarity. At the same time, most people have had some contact with a foreign language- enough to know that it can make your brain hurt. So the conclusion people draw becomes that it takes a special language gift (perhaps a different brain?).
Dw i'n credu bod dysgu sawl iaith dramor yn gampwaith anhygoel. Mae'r gwaith, ymrwymiad, ffocws ac ymdrech sydd gan ddysgwyr iaith cynhyrchiol yn anhygoel.I believe that learning many foreign languages is a wonderful and incredible achievement. The work, commitment, focus, and dedication of prolific language learners are incredible.
Ond dylech chi wybod nid oes genyn iaith, neu ymennydd amlieithog. Mae'r un fath o allu gyda rhywun sydd yn gwybod sawl iaith ag sydd gyda chi. Unwaith dych chi ar iaith rhif pump neu ddeg, dych chi'n fwy effeithiol, ac yn gwybod mwy am eich hoff ddulliau. Ond mae dal yn waith caled.But know that there is no language gene, or polyglot brain. You have just the same kind of ability as someone who knows many languages. When you are on language number five or ten, you're more efficient, knowing more about your own favourite methods. But it's still hard work.
Felly dyma fy mhrif bwynt: dylech chi ddysgu iaith achos bydd yn dangos pethau anhygoel i chi am eich gallu eich hun. Does dim byd arbennig iddo fe a dweud y gwir, dim byd nad yw e gyda chi’n barod beth bynnag.So here's my main point: you should learn a language because it will show you incredible things about your own capabilities. There's nothing to it, really; nothing you've not got already, anyway.

Y gyfrinach i ddysgu unrhyw iaith yw: Peidiwch stopio!

Am lawer mwy o wybodaeth am hyfforddi a mynedfa i lawer o becynnau cymorth a thaflenni gwaith, defnyddiwch fy llyfr ‘The Vocab Cookbook’ ac ewch i’r Cylchlythyr Iaith Rugl heddiw – methu aros i ddweud helo i chi arno fe!

For more information about coaching and access to lots of free toolkits and worksheets, check out my book ‘The Vocab Cookbook’ and hop onto the Fluent Language Newsletter today – can’t wait to say hello to you on there!

fluentlanguage.co.uk  Podcast: fluent.show  fluentlanguage

Featured image: Kerstin’s notes from a course at Welsh for Adults- Glamorgan

 

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