Throwing Mud at the Wall - Beginner Spanish

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FeoGringo
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Joined: Wed May 27, 2020 11:42 pm
Languages: English (N), Spanish (beginner)
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Throwing Mud at the Wall - Beginner Spanish

Postby FeoGringo » Thu May 28, 2020 12:12 am

Hello fellow language learners! This is my first post on these forums although I used to frequent the HTAL forums back in the day (early mid 00s) with a good case of wanderlust, grand fantasies of impressing native speakers with perfect native level accent and pronunciation in several languages (Cantonese and Korean interested me at the time). I think in my younger days I unfortunately wasted a lot of money on unnecessary resources in a variety of languages that I barely ever touched. I was very interested in the Natural Approach, Krashen and Comprehensible Input. I was also obsessed with an idea of perfection and scared of fossilization of errors. I was also fascinated by the seemingly brute force approach of FSI. Sadly, all that time reading on the forums never actually led to actually biting the bullet and attempting to learn any language. Now I have returned to finally start learning a language (Spanish) with some sort of plan.

First a little background on my exposure to other languages: I took French in high school and my Freshman year of college where the professor was impressed with my listening comprehension and urged me to take advanced French, which I quickly dropped out of once I realized it was basically a literature course. I also took Hebrew for a couple of semesters. The professor was a native Israeli and only spoke Hebrew during classes. I quickly saw improvement in my listening comprehension but never continued past those few semesters.

Fast forward to the present. I have never taken a class or formally studied Spanish. I picked up random words here and there - jobs and from movies, but just words and a few common phrases and I never really used them. Now in my current job, I deal with lots of Spanish speakers and it is frustrating having to rely completely on Spanish speaking coworkers to help translate. So my motivation for learning Spanish is to speak to clients and coworkers in Spanish. I have no more illusions about perfection (I just realized my username should be GringoFeo and not FeoGringo, too late!) and know that it will take lots of time and effort to get to a good level. I have a more realistic mindset and have tempered my expectations.

Now that my novel length introduction is done. Here is my plan thus far, which I have already started. I am taking a multi -track approach. I will be using FSI Basic. In addition, I will be going through Destinos, I am four episodes in and understand about 85-90% although I'm sure they are speaking slower than normal. I've browsed some shows on Netflix and watched a few episodes of La Reina del Sur and picked up more than I expected (although probably only 30% and that's probably generous) with the aid of all the contextual cues you have from visual media. I am trying to find the best approach to tackle telenovelas. I'm considering intensive listening to short clips of episodes, or extensive listening and watching entire seasons of shows. I'm also torn on watching Spanish shows with Spanish subtitles, I don't know if is an aid or a hindrance to listening comprehension. Lastly, I want to a lot time daily to focus on the pronunciation drills and practice that are in the first few units of FSI Basic, I believe there might be some in FSI Programmatic as well and wondering if I should look at those too. I also am not sure how I will decide when I am ready to move on to the next Unit of FSI Basic as I go along. But I'll figure it out I guess.

So there it is:
1.FSI Basic
2.Destinos
3. TV - Input, Input, Input
4. Focused Pronunciation Practice - This will take up the smallest focus but I want to make it a daily or near daily practice to consistently work on pronunciation.

Congratulations for those of you who read this entire mini biography.

Any tips/suggestions/input on my plan would be greatly appreciated!
14 x

FeoGringo
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Languages: English (N), Spanish (beginner)
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Re: Throwing Mud at the Wall - Beginner Spanish

Postby FeoGringo » Fri Nov 27, 2020 8:20 pm

Back again! I've kind of been dabbling here and there and my goal for 2021 is to be on a more regular schedule of study and practice. My focus right now is on listening comprehension.

I've been watching El Dragon on Netflix, trying to do without any subtitles, sometimes with.

I recently found what I think is a great free resource part of the Defense Language Institute, called Spanish Phone Conversations. They are recorded dialogues formatted to sound like regular phone calls. The only problem is there is no transcript. I'm going to try to work through one a day (only 2-3 minutes long) and transcribe them as best I can.

Here's the link for those who are interested.
https://phone.dliflc.edu/default_spanish.asp
2 x

FeoGringo
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed May 27, 2020 11:42 pm
Languages: English (N), Spanish (beginner)
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Re: Throwing Mud at the Wall - Beginner Spanish

Postby FeoGringo » Sat Nov 28, 2020 5:20 pm

Finished my first listening exercise/transcription activity. I chose a level 3 dialogue and a Mexican accent. Something I noticed was that I am hearing "n" for "d" at least in this dialogue with words like "recado" sounding like "recano" and "detallado" sounding like "detallano".

I probably won't do this every time as I don't know if it is considered spamming, but I want to post what I transcribed (I have no doubt there are plenty of errors and missing words). Maybe someone will get something out of it or maybe a kind person would be willing to check my work.

Here is the link for the audio, it's track 3 labeled "Discussing the Importance of Mealtime"https://phone.dliflc.edu/result_spanish.asp?languageSelect=5&levelSelect=5&topicSelect=7&submit=Search#

Here is the transcript (I starred things I was unsure of and left blanks where I really couldn't make it out at all)

Valentina: Hola Natalia, como estas?
Natalia: Hola Valentina, muy bien, y tu?
V: Bien. Que creas estoy leyendo?
N: Que estas leyendo?
V: Un articulo de las buenas maneras en la mesa
N:Yo se la primera
V: A ver, A ver, platicame que piensas tu
N: Lo que yo estoy asumiendo no contesaras telefono
V: Como oye pero yo creo que todas las personas me dacen* respeto no?
N: No, no yo pienso que la persona que esta llamando a la hora de la comida principale que* es medio dia es tiene una falta de principios ethicos y es inaudito*
V: O sea que tu no conteses el telefono
N: Por que lo veo contestar se alimento esa grado
V: Pero___ la persona hable debe respetada, no te parece?
N: Si pero la persona que llama debe de respetar al projimo y si ella llama en es sus momentos...son momentos que una se pasa con la familia. La familia nuclear es algo tan privado. Esa persona esta tra defienlo la escala de valores.
V: Bueno pero acuerdate que el que conoci ventura* no cruzar mal, entonces puedes ir una llamada importante algo imprestible tu no sabes cual es el motivo por la persona por que llame la persona
N: Bueno si es una emergencia entonces dejar un recado/recano* dejar un mensaje detallado en ___ en la voz***
V: Si pero yo no estoy de acuerdo contigo porque yo te entiendo que lo que dices tu escala de valores y todo tu pero acuerdate una cosa hambrientos recoje tempestadas y si tu no contesas el telefono puedes ser - puede ver una problematica mas profunda
N: Bueno, podira ser pero para mi es primordial respetar la privacidad familiar. Primero es la familia nuclear. Primero viene la familia despues la famistalas.
V: Yo entiendo pero a unifica te que no estoy muy convencida. Yo pienso que la persona como te dijo me daces el respetada - debe el respetada y bueno sabes que ya me voy tengo cita con doctor.
N: Que razon? Gracias a dios existe la identicador llamadas y dependiendo de quien se a tu puedes volver la llamada pero vete a tu cita
V: ah ya se no me vas a contestar porque ves tu contestor* y llamada ya te conozco
N: Bye Valentina
V: Bye Natalia, adios
N: Adios


This was an enjoyable activity and I will continue to do these until they stop being fun!
4 x

FeoGringo
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Joined: Wed May 27, 2020 11:42 pm
Languages: English (N), Spanish (beginner)
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Re: Throwing Mud at the Wall - Beginner Spanish

Postby FeoGringo » Mon Nov 30, 2020 3:37 pm

I just started looking at GLOSS and it looks like it has different mp3s and accompanying pdfs for different levels of Spanish (among other languages). I might add these to my listening comprehension practice.

I also found a youtube channel "Pelidom LLC" with movies and shows from the Dominican Republic. The area I live in has lots of speakers from the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. Although right now I am focusing most of my time on Mexican content, I do want to expose myself to both Dominican and Puerto Rican Spanish as well. Some of the content has closed captions which I'm thankful for since, given where my listening comprehension level is right now, I think I would have zero chance of transcribing the Dominican accent accurately.

I'm wondering if I focus on the DR and PR accents it will make other accents easier to comprehend. That might not be how it works but it's a thought!
3 x

FeoGringo
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed May 27, 2020 11:42 pm
Languages: English (N), Spanish (beginner)
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Re: Throwing Mud at the Wall - Beginner Spanish

Postby FeoGringo » Thu Dec 03, 2020 10:15 pm

I've been exploring Spanish speaking youtubers and have stumbled onto Vagaboom he has an interesting background that I am not totally clear on - half Mexican - half Swiss. I'm assuming his accent is natural and not something that would be detrimental to listen to. He speaks clearly and not nearly as fast as some of the other youtubers and his videos seem fairly wholesome.

I was able to obtain transcripts for those Spanish Phone Conversations from the DLI website. I emailed them thinking I wouldn't get a response, but I now have the transcripts so I'm not going to be as "blind" when I'm doing my own transcriptions and I'll be able to check my work. *Edit: Nevermind, what was sent to me was the same worksheets available on the website and not the actual transcripts of the conversations! Oh well.

I'm continuing to watch El Dragon, sometimes using the Chrome extension Learning Languages with Netflix, or if I'm watching on tv, I try for periods of no subtitles and some time with the Spanish subtitles. I think my reading is improving even though my current goal is listening and later goal is speaking (not interested in reading or writing as goals in and of themselves).
2 x

golyplot
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Re: Throwing Mud at the Wall - Beginner Spanish

Postby golyplot » Fri Dec 04, 2020 3:03 pm

If you're looking for suggestions, I enjoyed watching Heidi, bienvenida a casa (Argentinan) on Netflix. That was a couple years ago though, so it may not still be up. I also liked watching Luisto Comunica (Mexican) on Youtube.
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clara
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Re: Throwing Mud at the Wall - Beginner Spanish

Postby clara » Fri Dec 04, 2020 3:37 pm

Hi, looks like we are both using FSI and watching El Dragon for learning Spanish! I just started FSI this week and am not sure how I'll be using it. How has it been going for you? I'm going to second golyplot's recommendation for Luisito Comunica on Youtube, especially his older travel videos. Radio Ambulante has some episodes with PR speakers, and they have transcripts.
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FeoGringo
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed May 27, 2020 11:42 pm
Languages: English (N), Spanish (beginner)
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Re: Throwing Mud at the Wall - Beginner Spanish

Postby FeoGringo » Sat Dec 05, 2020 1:53 am

golyplot wrote:If you're looking for suggestions, I enjoyed watching Heidi, bienvenida a casa (Argentinan) on Netflix. That was a couple years ago though, so it may not still be up. I also liked watching Luisto Comunica (Mexican) on Youtube.


Thanks for the suggestions!
0 x

FeoGringo
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed May 27, 2020 11:42 pm
Languages: English (N), Spanish (beginner)
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Re: Throwing Mud at the Wall - Beginner Spanish

Postby FeoGringo » Sat Dec 05, 2020 1:55 am

clara wrote:Hi, looks like we are both using FSI and watching El Dragon for learning Spanish! I just started FSI this week and am not sure how I'll be using it. How has it been going for you? I'm going to second golyplot's recommendation for Luisito Comunica on Youtube, especially his older travel videos. Radio Ambulante has some episodes with PR speakers, and they have transcripts.


Hello! So my initial post of this log was a little misleading as I posted and then still didn't start any kind of structured plan until I returned to the forums several months later. I have no yet looked at FSI and that will probably stay on the back burner as I am totally focusing on listening comprehension.

Thanks for the Radio Ambulante suggestion. I've seen it mentioned on the forums but I haven't yet explored it.
1 x

FeoGringo
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed May 27, 2020 11:42 pm
Languages: English (N), Spanish (beginner)
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Re: Throwing Mud at the Wall - Beginner Spanish

Postby FeoGringo » Sat Dec 19, 2020 5:58 pm

I've been listening to Language Transfer and completed the first 5 or 6 lessons. Seems like something easy enough to do on a daily basis. I have heard good things from a few people about the course.

I still feel that I need to make some sort of concrete schedule or path in terms of working and progressing with listening comprehension. My language learning thus far has been meandering and unfocused.
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