A(nother) Spanish Log - Transition from Intermediate to Advanced

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Chmury
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Re: A(nother) Spanish Log - Transition from Intermediate to Advanced

Postby Chmury » Thu Jan 26, 2017 10:18 pm

No pasa nada the1whoknocks (¿hay una historia detrás de ese apodo?).

Pues, empezar algo nuevo sea lo que sea siempre puede ser algo de un desafío para muchos. A veces no es fácil cambiarte la vida cotidiana e incorporar algo nuevo en sus ritmos diarios y hace que ese algo se convierta en una parte fija. Especialmente si tu vida lleva años siendo de una cierta manera y siguiendo el mismo trayecto.

Creo que una de las cosas que más me ha satisfecho de aprender un idioma por mi cuenta, es descubriendo cómo aprendo idiomas yo. Y ahora que lo sé, poder trasladar ese conocimiento y enfoque en otros. Echaré un vistazo a ese tal Olly para ver cuál es su manera de abordar el aprendizaje de idiomas y si nos diferenciamos en algún modo. Y gracias por el enlace al estudio lingüístico también.

En cuanto a la palabra "log" en castellano, suelo usar bitácora, que se usa mucho para decir "blog" en castellano, y bueno, que es la diferencia entre un blog y un log? Sólo una letra parece. Vale, hay una leve diferencia pero creo que se puede usar bitácora así también.

Ya estás muy avanzado en tu castellano por cierto y escribes con mucha soltura, es un verdadero placer leer. Tengo ganas de poder seguir tu bitácora este año y poder escribir contigo también. ¡Suerte!
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the1whoknocks
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Re: A(nother) Spanish Log - Transition from Intermediate to Advanced

Postby the1whoknocks » Sat Jan 28, 2017 2:02 pm

Chmury wrote:¿hay una historia detrás de ese apodo?


Si, la inspiración proviene de Breaking Bad; una serie estadounidense basada en la vida de un profesor de química que al descubrir que tuvo tenía cáncer pulmonar decidió comenzar a “cocinar” metanfetamina y meterse en el mundo del narcotráfico con la supuesta intención de ahorrar dinero para regalar a su familia un futuro económico seguro en su ausencia. No me interesa mucho lo del narcotraficante y tal pero la calidad de la trama y la actuación del protagonista realmente la hacen, en mi opinión, una de las series más entretenidas de todos los tiempos

Pues, mientras que creía creaba mi cuento de este foro estaba viendo un episodio donde Walter, el protagonista, hablaba con su esposa y declaró que él es era el que toca tocaba la puerta. El por qué detrás esta referencia es otra historia pero para mi, no queda duda de que fue uno de los momentos más contundentes de esta serie no solo en cuanto al desarrollo de Walter, sino también para el trayecto de la trama, y bueno, en un momento de pereza decidí incorporar ese nombre en mi nombre de usuario, así que no tiene nada que ver con mi experiencia de aprender español, solo necesitaba un nombre de usuario y decidí utilizar la frase que tuve tenía en la mente. :lol:

Con respecto al aprendizaje de idiomas, tienes toda la razón y yo agregaría que es un excelente “creador de personajes”. He leído las experiencias de unas personas que manifiestan que para aprender idiomas solo hacen lo que a ellos les da la gana, o sea lo que sea divertido y nada más y no lo sé, para mí ha sido necesario hacer las actividades que me dan gusto como aquellas que no disfruto. Sin embargo, sé que con la práctica será más fácil leer por un tiempo extendido, de eso no tengo duda.

Gracias por el cumplido he estado trabajando mucho para mejorarlo y tus comentarios me animan a seguir enriqueciéndolo, pero, ¡si supieras el tiempo que necesité para redactarlo! :lol: Por cierto, he estado pensando en que mantienes tu bitácora completamente en español y estoy considerando hacer lo mismo con la mía una vez que se forme este hábito de leer más, me parece muy util.

Un gusto conocerte, Chmury, ¡sigamos en contacto!

Editado para mostrar unas correcciones gramaticales.
Last edited by the1whoknocks on Wed Mar 08, 2017 5:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Chmury
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Re: A(nother) Spanish Log - Transition from Intermediate to Advanced

Postby Chmury » Sun Jan 29, 2017 12:39 am

Breaking Bad es tal vez la mejor serie de televisión que he visto nunca. Cada episodio con la excepción de uno (el de la mosca) fue perfección cinematográfica. El rendimiento de Bryan Cranston es verdaderamente alucinante, el reparto es fenomenal, el suspenso más intenso que he vivido viendo una serie nunca, y me encantaba cómo se convirtió el paisaje en uno de los personajes también. Siempre era allí, amenazador e ineludible.

Bueno, la razón por la que escribo casi todas mis entradas en castellano y los otros idiomas que estudio, es porque para mí escribir es una parte esencial e imprescindible de mi manera de aprender idiomas. Una cosa que siempre se me ha quedado, es la idea de aprendizaje pasivo (leer, escuchar) y aprendizaje activo (escribir, hablar). Dado que vivo en Australia y no conozco a nadie que hable castellano, escribir es quizás la única herramienta con que cuento para activar, probar y emplear mi propio conocimiento de las lenguas que estudio y poder producir lenguaje en vez de simplemente recibirlo. Cuanto más lenguaje produces, más aprendes y asimilas. Ya que pensar en un idioma extranjero y usar activamente palabras, frases y construcciones gramaticales cuesta mucho más que simplemente ver o escucharlas siendo usadas, y además, forma conexiones nuevas en el cerebro que ayudan que esas palabras, frases y construcciones se solidifiquen y se hagan parte de ti, en vez de quedar algo ajeno y extraño. Así que es por eso por qué lo hago. También es simplemente una oportunidad divertida de usar los idiomas y poder jugar con ellos y ver qué puedo expresar en un idioma dado y qué no. A través de intentar usar nuestras lenguas, no sólo las encendemos activamente, sino también nos enteramos de los agujeros de conocimiento que nos quedan por pulir.

Pues nada, no es un método para todos ya que puede tardar horas ¡sólo para escribir una entrada! (me pasa a mí también, no te preocupes). Pero diría que pasando tanto tiempo así, es una manera muy eficaz de mejorar el dominio y entendimiento de un idioma.
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Re: A(nother) Spanish Log - Transition from Intermediate to Advanced

Postby the1whoknocks » Tue Feb 21, 2017 4:42 am

Chmury wrote: Pero diría que pasando tanto tiempo así, es una manera muy eficaz de mejorar el dominio y entendimiento de un idioma.


Ya veo, y creo que lo que dices del hábito de escribir tiene mucho sentido, escribir para mi es una manera súper útil de mover las palabras del conocimiento pasivo al activo. Es un método que empleo, aunque no tanto como deseo, para poder utilizar las palabras que encuentro al leer, escuchar o ver videos y, en mi opinión, debe formar una parte más concreta de mí rutina. A pesar de que sea un verdadero reto mental, no he encontrado una manera mejor para organizar y refinar mis pensamientos - incluso en ingles.

Voy a revisar más tu bitácora para saber más de cómo abordas el aprendizaje de idiomas, pero como no tienes con quién hablar regularmente, ¿te cuesta mucho al momento tener una conversación? Es obvio que tienes un nivel de español avanzado, te lo pregunto sólo para poder aprender de tu experiencia.

Iba a terminar la entrada con lo de arriba pero algo curioso se me ocurrió: hay un aspecto mental que me afecta al momento de escribir algo que voy a publicar en un foro público y tiene que ver con el hecho de que cuando hablo, se cometen errores y ya, pero lo que yo escriba se quedará para que todo el mundo lo vea; errores y todo.

Por supuesto, pensar así no tiene ni base racional, ni sirve para nada y créeme que no lo escribo para que me lo respondas, solo era algo en lo que estaba pensando.
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the1whoknocks
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Re: A(nother) Spanish Log - Transition from Intermediate to Advanced

Postby the1whoknocks » Tue Feb 21, 2017 5:16 pm

I now know I’m a ‘language nerd’ because when someone accidentally broke my phone last week my first thought was, “dude, you broke my phone.” My next thought was, “how am I going to keep up with Spanish on the go?” It’s funny how dramatic a change the absence of such a simple device can cause; no podcasts, quick message/calls with exchange partners, e-mails, meme exchanging, or music while on the go. I really don't know how how I was managing for a while. More seriously, it made me realize just how important my phone is for my immersion experience. It was really hard to maintain the same level on interaction with the language without it. Also, I saw just how much of my interaction is not done over a desk, but gleaned from random free moments, on the go, throughout the day.

Reading

I’ve finally managed to start reading about 5 hours a day; sometimes I’ll read for more but never less. I’d say that I struggled during the week following my last post but now it’s much more enjoyable and it’s beginning to feel natural. The key for me seems to be doing it first thing in the morning, or else I start the day, resolve to read before bed but end up doing something else instead. So far, I’ve read:

- Tierra de Todos by Jorge Ramos (160 pages)
- La Otra Carra de America by Jorge Ramos (300 pages)

Both books present good arguments for the need to improve the American immigration system. The former does this by focusing more on data and the second, while employing data, presents the stories of select people/ groups of Latin Americans to show how they are affecting the country. I enjoyed, and learnt quite a bit from both, but would need to read other books to help develop a more balanced perspective. In both cases, I believe that Ramos aimed to argue the social, economic, political and personal reasons to support substantive immigration reform and suggest what a system that served American interests might look like. I believe he did this well, but it would have been better, in my opinion, if he explored some of the arguments of those who have adopted perspectives contrary to his own.

- La Travesía de Enrique (115/369 pages)

I haven’t finished reading this book, yet. I’m about ¼ through and it has so far been an interesting read. It’s about an 11 year old from Honduras and his experience as he sets out to find his mother, in the United States. I’ll write more about this book once I finish it.

- A Veces Se Gana a Veces Se Aprende (215 pages)

I’ve listened to the audiobook a couple times and decided to read the book since I had it lying around. In this book, Maxwell uses quiet reflections and personal stories as lessons to argue for the value of our losses/ failures. It’s full of anecdotal evidence as could probably be expected of a book about one's life lessons, but I found it to be an insightful read.

……….

To be honest, I haven’t really seen my vocabulary skyrocketing during these past three or so weeks but I have been assimilating words that are common within the books I’m reading. One example is aportar; not a sophisticated word but i’ve now seen it so many times in so many different contexts that I don’t think I’ll ever forget it. Hopefully, this will eventually happen with less common words. I am happy to find myself thinking for extended periods in Spanish after reading (and writing) and, so far, this may be the biggest benefit I’ve seen to reading extensively. I’m also noticing small details like the use of empezar vs comenzar; I tended to use comenzar but am noticing that empezar seems to be used more, both in written and spoken language. I don’t remember them all now, but many small details seem to be making themselves apparent. I must continue to resist the temptation to look up every word.

Writing

On track. Most of this was consisted of article summaries and my impressions of “Mi Abuelo, Mi Papa y Yo.

Speaking

Also on track. Although, I’ve decided to pause working with my tutors for a while. I’ll still be talking with exchange partners and using Spanish daily at work but I’d like to give the increased reading I’m doing a chance to work.

Listening

Finished watching Club de Cuervos. It’s been suggested that I watch La Familia Peluche & Mexican Gangster, but I may start by finishing Metastasis. Netflix’s Celia seem enticing too. There really isn’t enough time in the day.

I’ve been pretty consistent with watching the news and following Diario de Confianza on youtube daily. For tracking purposes, I’ve decided to only count the time I spend watching series; I jump around between too many podcasts/ videos and I’d have to spend more time recording individual lengths of these episodes to track. With a series, the approximate length of each episode is known and simple multiplication allows me to figure out the time spent as I tend to watch them in order and completely before moving on.

On my phone, I need to download the app and re-subscribe to all my podcasts at some point this week. On second thought, I think I may search for an app that allows me to create an account and sync subscriptions across devices for the next time.

Random Thoughts

It was surprising to hear this guy complain about the quality of his English. I’ve known him for about a year and don’t remember him ever making a grammatical error that I could call him on. Not ones that I’m not prone to make, at least. Still, he says he struggles when talking about more substantial topics and it’s most obvious in his college courses. He admitted that he’s taking a remedial reading course to improve his English and he’s been averaging one book per week, during the semester, for about the past year. This ‘sent me for a loop’, because I know him as the guy who always like to ‘crack jokes’ - I just could not see him sitting to read a book per week. So I tested him on some of the books he claimed to read and all checked out. It’s like I met a whole new person! We have the same taste in books and it seems like I’ve met another conversation partner; we’ll see. Overall, this experience demonstrated to me the gap that can exist between how one perceives their language skills and how it is perceived by others. To me, for all intents and purposes he is perfectly native; only his distinct intonation may betray him sometimes. In his mind, he’s not.

Since I won’t be working with tutors for a while, I might benefit from some grammar work, solo. I’ll be working through Gramática del Uso del Español and FSI; one course per week, 30 minutes per day. It’ll help clean up lingering issues I have with grammar and with automaticity - the less I have to consider the correctness of what I want to express, the easier it should be to express. With FSI, I think I’ll use the audio from the original course (online) in the morning and read Platiquemos at night since I prefer studying using physical books. In the past, I have not liked the idea of taking more than a year to complete a course. It was demotivating as a beginner, but the thought may be manageable now; we’ll see.
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the1whoknocks
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Re: A(nother) Spanish Log - Transition from Intermediate to Advanced

Postby the1whoknocks » Mon Feb 27, 2017 11:19 pm

I had too many opportunities to offer condolences in Spanish, this week. I never thought to learn how to before and have a feeling that I'll won't be needing Anki to help with assimilating that vocabulary.

A new gym program, a crazy week at work, and a series of very unfortunate events all conspired to make this a difficult week for language learning. I basically did nothing but watch the news when I could and rely on random speaking oppotrunities to find me. I'll do better next week by making progressing through the series Pablo Escobar, el Patrón del Mal and reading La Travesia de Enrique.

...............................

The idea of completing the Super Challenge seems enticing. Joining would provide an extra reason to continue reading as much as I can and will give me an excuse a reason to watch more Spanish series. I've decided to join ,,, kinda.

I'm going to stay with my original goal of reading 3,000 pages, but will be secretly shooting for 5,000. Also, rather than watching what I can, when I can, I'll start aiming for 9000 minutes of Spanish media. I've been covering many more books than I thought I would by reading an hour a day, 5 times a week so the challenging part of this challenge will likely be watching more TV/ movies/ videos.

I intend to complete the challenge by December 31, 2017.

EDIT: math was off
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the1whoknocks
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Re: A(nother) Spanish Log - Transition from Intermediate to Advanced

Postby the1whoknocks » Sun Mar 05, 2017 9:43 pm

Reading:

I read a total of 143 pages this week.

- El coronel no tiene quien le escriba by Gabriel García Márquez (90 pages)
- Noticia de un secuestro by Gabriel García Márquez (53/335)

Given what I said last week, I'm finished saying which book I will read. I'll just read.

Listening:

9 more episodes of 'el patron del mal' finished. I also continued listening to Diario de confianza almost daily on the way home, watching random YouTube videos and Al punto but for tracking purposes, they don't count.

Grammar:

Nothing this week, as planned. I finally finished working intensively with a Colombian movie, Mi papa, mi abuelo y yo. I'll start with GdUdE tomorrow with no quantitative goal in mind; I'll just work and see how far I get.

Focused Speaking Practice:

I only managed 2/4 one hour sessions this week.

I'm fortunate to have the exchange partners that I do. At the same time, I'm reminded that because language learning is a hobby for all of us and things tend to 'come up'. In a few months, I'll probably start working with an company that offers unlimited online tutoring for a flat rate to make up for lost time. In the meantime, I'll just continue to schedule sessions with language partners as availability allows. I logged more than 200 hours speaking last year and would at least like to meet, if not exceed, that standard this year.

Writing:

I wrote about 600 words this week by summarizing Mi papa, mi abuelo y yo and penning a few random thoughts about "el patron del mal".

Random Thoughts:

I got a chance to speak with two friends on separate occasions for the first time in a few months and they seemed genuinely surprised at how much my Spanish has improved. I feel less hesitation when talking but, generally speaking, it's not a change that I really perceived since the last time we spoke. I'll take the compliment. .... Without a doubt, my listening comprehension is better. I 'el patron del mal' is muuch easier to follow.

It's too soon to conclude anything about extensive reading but I feel it's a bit easier to deal with ambiguity/ unknown words; I'm now more at ease just maintaining the flow while reading. However, I do think intensive reading will have to be an important part of my 'routine' if I'm to progress the way I'd like. I get the feeling that using extensive reading alone to acquire vocabulary would be a very slow process.

Reading García Márquez has shown that adjectives and adverbs are significant sticking points for me. This is interesting since it's not a weakness that's apparent during conversations I tend to have. Eventually, I'll need to find a way to tackle this.

Not working without my tutors has been OK so far. I enjoy working with them and like them as people but I’m really appreciating the time I've been able to spend working with the language a bit on my own. More than speaking, I might actually decide to work with them to improve my writing when we start working together again.

Well, for next week the plan will be to just keep the momentum going.
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Re: A(nother) Spanish Log - Transition from Intermediate to Advanced

Postby Tomás » Mon Mar 06, 2017 1:21 am

the1whoknocks wrote: I’m also noticing small details like the use of empezar vs comenzar; I tended to use comenzar but am noticing that empezar seems to be used more, both in written and spoken language.


I've been wondering about this too. Jorge Ramos uses "comenzamos" at the opening of his Sunday morning tv show.
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the1whoknocks
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Re: A(nother) Spanish Log - Transition from Intermediate to Advanced

Postby the1whoknocks » Tue Mar 07, 2017 4:45 am

Tomás wrote:
the1whoknocks wrote: I’m also noticing small details like the use of empezar vs comenzar; I tended to use comenzar but am noticing that empezar seems to be used more, both in written and spoken language.


I've been wondering about this too. Jorge Ramos uses "comenzamos" at the opening of his Sunday morning tv show.


:lol: Almost without fail now that I think about it.

In passing, I asked a friend about it and they said both words can be used interchangeably but comenzar, as you've noticed, is less commonly used depending on the country. Also, it seems that comenzar is a word that may be used in writing rather than speech although it's definitely not considered overly formal.

Edit: Just took a look at the Al punto that aired on the 27th of February and, go figure, he used "empezamos". By the way, are there any other news programs or talk shows you like to watch in Spanish?
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the1whoknocks
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Re: A(nother) Spanish Log - Transition from Intermediate to Advanced

Postby the1whoknocks » Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:30 pm

Reading:

I read a total of 161 pages this week.

- Confesiones de un gángster económico by John Perkins (/161/299 pages)

Listening:

8 more episodes of 'el patron del mal' finished along with the usual podcasts and Sunday morning talk shows.

Grammar:

Started with GdUdE and worked through the first 10 units.

Focused Speaking Practice:

I only managed 2/4 one hour sessions again this week.

I’ll just continue to schedule these sessions as I can, for the time being.

Writing:

I wrote about 400 words this week; a short speech for work.

Random Thoughts:

The extensive reading is really helping to notice grammar points from GdUdE' and even some points studied earlier but that I have not managed to make my own yet.

I need to take steps to improve my vocabulary.

Feedly has been great for accessing all of the online content I usually read in one place. Having this app on my ‘home screen’ has been serving as a reminder to use my downtime to read quick articles. Apart from the extra exposure to Spanish, it’s been great for learning cool stuff.

Edit: I got the idea for buying a Bluetooth speaker from a great post written by forum member whatiftheblog. The link is below; it's the post with 10+ likes.

http://www.forum.language-learners.org/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=4358&start=40
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