Well Simon, as usual, you put me to shame. Like a lot of things in my life – I’m a failed Welsh learner. Twice when a student at Aber in the sixties, I tried, and despite an inspirational teacher – I failed. [That may have also had something to do with the end of a relationship with a Welsh-speaker, of course]
However, things have moved on and my friends in Aber who then tolerated my attempts and apologised profusely for responding in English to my feeble attempts to speak the language, would these days (as you have indicated) have been far more supportive. I do believe however that they were responding in what was then a very charitable way and that they were exercising a very natural skill the Welsh have for instantaneous translation – true bilingualism and an ability to respond in the target language the recipient would feel most comfortable in. I have observed this over and over again, in numerous situations, and it is a rebuttal of Welsh as an exclusive language which is only used when an English person enters a room. Oh! Don’t get me started on that nonsense!!!
What you haven’t mentioned in your post is the time commitment it takes to study the language using the immersion techniques that the courses you are attending employ. For me, having many busy and varying calls upon my time whilst working, I found it totally impossible to regularly commit to daily sessions and once you miss a couple, you’re struggling. That accounts for my further two failures to progress beyond the early beginners level.
So llongyfarchiadau, well done, pob hwyl. I await with interest the updates.