Hank's Adventure in Spanish

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Hank
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Location: Missouri, USA
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Hank's Adventure in Spanish

Postby Hank » Sat Jan 02, 2016 10:03 pm

I enjoy reading all the language logs, so I guess I'll start my own. I suspect it will mostly consist of my victories, setbacks, thoughts, and feelings that I want to share. My wife listens patiently, but it would be more fun to share my journey with like minded individuals. At least I can keep all this contained here and not take up valuable forum space with seemingly random threads. :lol:

I'm not motivated by goals for the most part. My only goal here is to "get good at Spanish". My motivator is enjoyment, and as long as I'm having fun I know I will stick with it. Since I don't set goals, I like to think of my studies as a learning plan. If I miss a day, then I'm not going to beat myself up about it. Stuff happens. Having said that, I have only missed one or two days since I started in August.

My daily learning plan consists of:
Meeting my daily goals on DuoLingo and Memrise.
Listening to native Spanish speakers on TV, internet videos, or Latin American music (¡Chuy Lizarraga es muy bueno!).
Reading.

I realize this is a fairly loose and fluid plan, but it is working well so far. I'm very impatient, but I want to make sure I understand the lessons and remember the new vocabulary. What I'm missing is output. I try to make it a point to speak a little Spanish every day, and try to have an inner dialogue at some point. I don't have any feedback, though. It's something I want to work on. I'm not necessarily worried about my lack of vocabulary or performance anxiety, but I'm sure interacting with me in Spanish would be like speaking with a child. I would think that would be boring for someone with a good enough grasp of the language to give me valuable feedback.

I recently finished my first book in Spanish: Huevos verdes con jamón. It took a while to get used to Conditional Tense since I haven't studied it yet, but it was a fun accomplishment. Next up is Clifford la colección. A collection of Clifford the Big Red Dog stories. Then I want to power my way through La telaraña de Carlota, which is way over my head at this point. I'm sure I'll learn a lot of new vocabulary.
Last edited by Hank on Mon Jan 02, 2017 10:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Spoonary
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Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=5173
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Re: Hank's Adventure in Spanish

Postby Spoonary » Sat Jan 02, 2016 10:39 pm

Hank wrote:I suspect it will mostly consist of my victories, setbacks, thoughts, and feelings that I want to share.

That sounds like a log to me! :D

Hank wrote:Next up is Clifford la colección. A collection of Clifford the Big Red Dog stories.

Oh I love the Clifford the Big Red Dog animated series, especially the theme tune :P

Greetings Hank. I wish you all the best with your Spanish studies/fun!
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Allison
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Re: Hank's Adventure in Spanish

Postby Allison » Sat Jan 02, 2016 10:46 pm

Hank wrote:I recently finished my first book in Spanish: Huevos verdes con jamón. It took a while to get used to Conditional Tense since I haven't studied it yet, but it was a fun accomplishment. Next up is Clifford la colección. A collection of Clifford the Big Red Dog stories. Then I want to power my way through La telaraña de Carlota, which is way over my head at this point. I'm sure I'll learn a lot of new vocabulary.

Congratulations! When I was going through picture books, I found videos on YouTube where people read the book, and it was great to hear someone reading with correct pronunciation.
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Hank
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Re: Hank's Adventure in Spanish

Postby Hank » Thu Jan 07, 2016 5:51 pm

This has felt like a rough week for my Spanish studies. I have felt a little ill and groggy. I have kept to my study plan so far, except for a drama filled day at work that sapped my motivation for any kind of reading. I felt like I wasn't learning my lessons too well, but upon reviewing my lessons it hasn't been all that bad. I'm sure it could have been better, though. Some extra review may be in order.

On to the good news. I'm now able to distinguish words when listening to native speakers. It's still kind of like looking at a printed page of a different language (if that makes any sense). I'm hearing distinct words in the "gibberish" even if I don't understand all of them. This has improved my listening comprehension a great deal. I'm able to follow and understand the dialogue more often.

For output exercises, I'm going to start writing paragraphs in Spanish and posting them in my log. I'm going to start with paragraphs about myself and my life, because that's what I'm most familiar with. Plus, it's my favorite subject! :lol: I'm going to look up as few words and phrases as possible and just try to use what I have already learned.

Here is my introduction that I posted in the Team Spanish TAC thread.

¡Hola amigos! Mi español no es muy bueno. No necesitarías Google Translate. :lol: Vivo en Missouri, EE.UU. He estudiando español para cinco meses. Uso Duolingo, Memrise, y otras cosas. Miro televisión en español y escucho música latinoamericano. Es muy diversión. Me gustan los videojuegos. Toco la guitarra. Escribo música y lo pongo en el internet. ¡Quizás seré famoso algún día! :lol:
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iguanamon
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Re: Hank's Adventure in Spanish (Team Spanish TAC 2016)

Postby iguanamon » Thu Jan 07, 2016 7:53 pm

Welcome to the forum, Hank. I think you have a good plan. Life gets in the way of learning languages sometimes. It happens. The thing I've found in my experience is that it helps to be persistent when I can't be consistent. By that I mean, when you can't study as much as you'd like, try to keep contact with the language by listening to music, online or live radio, or watching video(s). Being persistent keeps a learner in the game until they can be consistent. Being consistent wins the game.

About correction and this forum: Many of us here speak Spanish as a second language and we have a few native-speakers as well. Personally, I feel very uncomfortable correcting even basic mistakes in any language I speak other than my own- English. I think you would get more useful correction by posting on lang8. Lang8 is a site for correction of second languages. To make it work, you have to get involved. Start by creating a free account and correcting Spanish-speakers who are learning English- but don't just strike out words. Explain why you have corrected something, in a way that you, yourself, would appreciate. If you do it in this way, you will win friends. When you start posting in Spanish on lang8 after laying the ground with correcting Spanish-speakers' English, you will get better and more useful corrections yourself. So, when you go to lang8, you should think along these lines when correcting a Spanish-speaker's English. Tell them why, as best you can. Once you win friends on lang8, it may even be possible to meet off site to have a language exchange, via skype, social media or even email. It sounds like a lot of work, and it is, but in the long run it is well worth the time you may invest. ¡Mucha suerte con tus estudios, Hank!
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Hank
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Location: Missouri, USA
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Re: Hank's Adventure in Spanish (Team Spanish TAC 2016)

Postby Hank » Fri Jan 08, 2016 12:17 am

Thank you, iguanamon. I signed up for Lang-8. It sounded kind of confusing in your description, but there is a good tutorial. When I signed up, the setup prompted me to make a post so I copy/pasted my introduction. I already got a couple of responses, and my writing wasn't quite the train wreck that I expected. :lol: Very encouraging. Hopefully I can help some English language learners while I'm learning Spanish. It seems like it will be a fun experience.
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Hank
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Re: Hank's Adventure in Spanish (Team Spanish TAC 2016)

Postby Hank » Mon Jan 11, 2016 6:07 pm

I find it interesting that I can study for a period of time and it feels like I'm not learning a thing, then suddenly a bunch of new stuff clicks in my brain. This has been a good week so far, and I feel like my studies are going well. It seems like my brain is absorbing the new words, phrases, and lessons much better than it did when I first started. I have kept up with my Duolingo and Memrise lessons, worked on reading La telaraña de Carlota, and listened to native speakers on television. Joaquín Guzmán Loera has been a big topic on Univision lately. I'm going to start focusing more on reading. I feel like it has been a good way for me to learn, and it's more fun than reading the same words and phrases over and over on Duolingo and Memrise. I'm going to keep up with my Duolingo and Memrise lessons, but they have felt like my main focus.

I signed up for Lang-8 so I can get feedback on my output. Helping those that are learning English has been an interesting experience.

I like comic books and superheroes. I found some superhero cartoons on YouTube (Los Vengadores y X-Men) that were in Spanish. I enjoyed watching those and it's somewhat easy for me to follow the dialogue. Unfortunately, there aren't many episodes or full episodes. Netflix doesn't have a very big Spanish language section, but I discovered that some of the English shows have Spanish overdubs. Star Wars: The Clone Wars cartoon has Spanish overdubs on Netflix, and six or seven seasons of the show, so I'm going to start watching that. I like cartoons better. I find live action shows with overdubs annoying because the actors' mouths aren't moving properly. They're speaking English, but the dialogue is in Spanish. I would like to find some Spanish language superhero comic books, or comics translated into Spanish, but I haven't had much luck so far.

I try to stay away from idioms and colloquial expression when writing on this forum, but I find it difficult. I haven't done much formal writing since I finished college many years ago. It's interesting how many idioms and colloquial expressions I use that I don't even think about.

I'm going to try to keep a somewhat daily journal written in Spanish, so I can work on output. I was going to write once a week, but I don't feel like that's enough practice. It likely won't be anything major for a while, but at least I will be writing and learning.

Here's my first entry. I haven't submitted it on Lang-8 yet, so there are probably errors.

11 enero 2016
Hoy es muy frío. Aunque es frío, mis perros les gustan a caminar afuera. ¡Estoy deseando verano! pero no quiero que mi vida pase rápidamente.
David Bowie murió hoy. Me gusta su música. Tengo un CD de él.
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Tomás
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Re: Hank's Adventure in Spanish (Team Spanish TAC 2016)

Postby Tomás » Mon Jan 11, 2016 8:31 pm

Hi Hank, for an idea of what comic books are available in Spanish see:

http://howtoarsenio.blogspot.com/

...and

https://vk.com/wall306170914?offset=420

You should find plenty of stuff to fit your interests.
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Hank
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Re: Hank's Adventure in Spanish (Team Spanish TAC 2016)

Postby Hank » Tue Jan 12, 2016 12:06 am

Thank you Tomás. I knew Spanish language comics had to be out there somewhere.
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Hank
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Re: Hank's Adventure in Spanish (Team Spanish TAC 2016)

Postby Hank » Fri Jan 15, 2016 4:00 am

I am finding myself in a very unusual situation in regards to learning Spanish. I have always been a fan of the "journey" and the "destination" has always been boring and uneventful. For example, I was in a bowling league for a number of years. I practiced, studied techniques, and studied the equipment. I was patient. It was fun until I got to the point where I was one of the two or three best bowlers in the league. There was still a lot of room for improvement, but I knew that the time commitment to reach the next level wasn't worth it. Basically, I felt like I had reached my potential. I quit the league and I haven't touched a bowling ball since. Bowling just wasn't fun anymore.

In my Spanish studies, I find the "journey" frustrating. I want to fully understand what the actors are saying in a Telenovela so badly that I can taste it. I usually have an idea about what is being discussed, but I want more. I want to listen to Chuy Lizárraga and fully understand the lyrics. I want to be able to write and speak Spanish without having to think about it so hard. It's annoying! I think the "destination" is actually the goal this time.

Don't worry. I'm not quitting or thinking about quitting. I'm just letting off a little steam. :lol: I'm a fan of experiences. I became a firefighter because I wanted the experiences. This frustration is a new experience for me. At least this one is safe. I have done some stupid things just because I wondered what it was like. One time I participated in Bull Poker at a rodeo just because I wondered what it was like. I'm sure it was funny to see a grown man scream like a little girl and run away.

I started my journey in August, and quite frankly, I'm surprised at my progress. I knew it would be a long progress (even though I didn't realistically realize HOW long :lol: ).
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