Ariel's Spanish Log

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Ariel
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Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Apr 05, 2019 12:55 pm
Location: Bath, UK
Languages: English (N), Esperanto (C2), Spanish (B2), Japanese (B2), German (B2), French (B1), Chinese (A1)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=10347
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Ariel's Spanish Log

Postby Ariel » Fri Apr 05, 2019 7:02 pm

I've been learning Spanish seriously since August 2017. I did Duolingo before then, but I don't consider that real study. I started off properly with Language Transfer, and then I delved in heavily into comprehensible input. I found Español Automático and Radio Ambulante on LingQ, with the transcripts, and they got me to the level where I could start using native materials. After that, I did loads of reading - at one point I was doing three hours a day regularly on my commute.

As for my current level, it's hard to say. I've read over 1,500,000 words and I feel very confident reading and listening to clear-spoken material. I can express myself well in conversation, but at a fairly slow rate. I watched the first episode of Aquí No Hay Quién Viva, and could understand about 50% of the language. Once our wifi is up and running (long story - UK people, avoid TalkTalk like the plague!), I plan to marathon it to complement my literature-heavy approach.

It's probably quite obvious, but I don't believe explicit grammar study plans a large role in acquisition. I've only dabbled in Spanish grammar, which is pretty funny because when I do online tests I get told I have A2 grammar but if you read my blog posts below you can see that I am definitely above that. A lot of grammar that those tests target is much lower frequency than people actually realise.

So I'd say overall I'm C1 reading, B2 listening, B2 speaking, B2 writing. I may take the DELE C2 at some point. Right now I'm focussing more on process/habits rather than goals. At the moment I'm trying to read and listen to an average of one hour a day in Spanish and it seems to be working well. I read novels and blogs, and then listen to podcasts while I'm walking and doing other things. I'll post little summaries of the things I read/listen to as I update this log. Oh, and I'm also trying to write more in Spanish, when I can think of a topic that would work for my blog.

Reading
Books
Como Agua Para Chocolate de Laura Esquivel
La Casa de los Espíritus de Isabel Allende
Ficciones de Luis Borges
El Beso de la Mujer Araña de Manuel Puig
Harry Potter y el Cáliz de Fuego de J.K. Rowling
Misery de Stephen King
Muerto Hasta el Anochecer de Charlaine Harris
La Tapadera de John Grisham
Sapiens de Yuval Noah Harari

Blogs/news websites
El País (especialmente Verne y Retina)
Matajuegos

Listening
Podcasts that I regularly listen to
El Método (4 episodios)
Historias Perdidas (7 episodios)
El Siglo 21 Es Hoy (2 episodios)
Mañana Empiezo (6 episodios)
De Pueblo, Católico, y Gay (8 episodios)
Contemos Historias (13 episodios)
Estúpido Nerd (2 episodios)
Magic Markers Podcast (12 episodios)
TED en Español (32 episodios)
Radio Ambulante (44 episodios)
Cosas de Internet (26 episodios)
Las Raras Podcast (4 episodios)
Es busca de Porko (1 episodio)

Podcasts which I tried and didn't love
El Colegio Invisible (1 episodio)
Radio Macabra (2 episodios)
Las Tres Muertes de mi Padre (3/5 episodios)
Español Automático (12 episodios)

TV series
Aquí no hay quien viva 4/90

Writing
Blog Articles
Recuperarse de una cirugía – ¡es más duro de lo que se piensa!
Cavando el hoyo
Intercambiando vulnerabilidad
Last edited by Ariel on Tue Apr 09, 2019 5:39 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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User avatar
Ariel
White Belt
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Apr 05, 2019 12:55 pm
Location: Bath, UK
Languages: English (N), Esperanto (C2), Spanish (B2), Japanese (B2), German (B2), French (B1), Chinese (A1)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=10347
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Re: Ariel's Spanish Log

Postby Ariel » Fri Apr 05, 2019 7:07 pm

5th April 2019
Today I listened to an episode of De Pueblo, Católico y Gay about a bi woman, specifically focussing on issues of (hyper/in)visibility within the LGBT community. It was very interesting, though a bit strange because the interviewee is bilingual and had considerable attrition in Spanish, so she used almost-exclusively English fillers and had to ask for a few words in Spanish.

I also listened to the latest episode of Cosas de Internet, ¿Cuánto Vale Tu Atención?. It's a podcast where two Colombians talk about technology and it's my favourite. This episode was about how modern tech companies, especially social media, do everything they can to steal our attention away. I found it very relatable - it lines up with a lot of my attitude in recent years.
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Ariel
White Belt
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Apr 05, 2019 12:55 pm
Location: Bath, UK
Languages: English (N), Esperanto (C2), Spanish (B2), Japanese (B2), German (B2), French (B1), Chinese (A1)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=10347
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Re: Ariel's Spanish Log

Postby Ariel » Sat Apr 06, 2019 9:57 am

6th April 2019
I listened to an episode of Las Raras, a podcast about "stories of freedom", called Un metro dieciséis. It's about a little person growing up and dealing with ableism in society, and then falling in love with a normal-heighted man. It was a cute episode. The material of the podcast is always interesting, but never too long.

In this episode of El Método, they discuss evolution and specifically the social functions that developed in humanity. It had a very interesting takeaway: we should treat groups we're a part of as tools. Each serves its own function. Of course, this shouldn't be taken to the soulless extreme of Silicon Valley.

El Siglo 21 Es Hoy is a very short, informal podcast set on the busy streets of Bogotá about technology. This episode was about WhatsApp changing so you can't add people to a group without permission. Easy listening, but it's also very interesting to get an 'earshot' of what Bogotá is like.

Went for a wander around some charity shops today and fished out three DVDs with Spanish dubbing: Gladiator, Chinatown, and Beowulf. Haven't seen any of them before. I'm not much of a film person, but I think I'll watch Beowulf tonight. I also found a book called El Arte de Amar by Erich Fromm. It's a bit outdated by the looks of it, but I've been wanting to supplement my fiction reading with some more academic content.
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Ariel
White Belt
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Apr 05, 2019 12:55 pm
Location: Bath, UK
Languages: English (N), Esperanto (C2), Spanish (B2), Japanese (B2), German (B2), French (B1), Chinese (A1)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=10347
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Contact:

Re: Ariel's Spanish Log

Postby Ariel » Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:22 pm

April 7th - 9th 2019
Over the last few days I've been:
  • listening to podcasts, as usual.
  • reading Matajuegos, a great blog about indie game dev in Argentina which my friend writes for. It's taught me some unique Argentinian slang, and the content is very interesting.
  • continuing reading Lestat el vampiro. I stopped reading on LingQ because it was hurting my eyes too much in the evening, and that's when I want to read. I transferred it to my Kindle, which I was apprehensive about because the dictionary function is much slower and less comprehensive. However, I've found it's been a great improvement. My reading skills are good enough now that I can get by without looking up all the unknown words, and having the proper formatting on an eInk screen makes me want to read so much more.
  • speaking with my Spanish friend who I went to visit in a nearby village. She speaks like a machinegun and is a Madrileña (but not a gata - you have to be three generations deep in Madrid to be a 'gato'), and she's always great fun. After a few hours of hanging out, though, my brain starts to melt and I can hardly speak or understand Spanish. It's frustrating how much speaking lags behind the other skills. I wrote a bit about it on my blog.
  • rejoicing that we finally have wifi! This meant I could start Aquí no hay quien viva, which I'm really enjoying. Also, I'm understanding far more than I expected, about 70-80%. Feeling really positive about my listening skills.
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