Hank's Adventure in Spanish (Now with 100% more Welsh!)

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Hank
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Re: Hank's Adventure in Spanish

Postby Hank » Sat May 06, 2017 11:56 pm

indigo wrote:Are you continuing to read La Reina del Sur? I'm trying to decide which Spanish-language book to read and that's one of the ones on my shelf. I'm not too enthused about the subject matter but it seems to be pretty popular. Do you find it interesting/enjoyable to read?


Yes. I'm still reading La reina del sur and I'm enjoying it quite a bit. If you watched any of the telenovela, the book is much better. It's a fairly typical narcotraficante story but it's well written. The author does a good job of making the characters seem like real people, with real personalities, and not just generic characters. I find some of the language unusual but that's just an annoyance because I don't feel like I'm learning anything useful.
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January 2019: We booked a cruise to Mexico, Honduras, and Belize
2020: Wales and Ireland

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Hank
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Re: Hank's Adventure in Spanish

Postby Hank » Sat May 27, 2017 12:43 am

I'm almost through a spell of frustration. Someone on the forum mentioned something about being C1 level and understanding about 80% of what people say. Someone at C1 level "only" comprehends 80%? I don't think I'm anywhere near that level of comprehension and that's when the frustration set in. I know it's silly. I have been studying Spanish less than two years and I know that I have made great progress in what seems to me like a very short period of time, but you can't reason with emotion. Maybe I was just overdue for a Spanish learning funk. It has been a while since I have felt so frustrated.

Extensively reading La reina del sur has been an interesting experience. It has been hard, though. I really want to know what every word is. For a compromise I have been looking up words that I recognize but don't comprehend. It's usually less than a word every two or three pages and it makes me feel better. They're mostly words or phrases that I should know but seem out of place in context. At first I didn't feel like I was learning anything, but the further I get I see that I'm picking up a few new words. I was somewhat apprehensive about reading the book because I didn't think the telenovela was all that great. The book is really good though.

I have been looking for my next book. I want to stick with native material, but I haven't yet found anything that sounds really good.

El hotel de los secretos has been going well (even though I don't comprehend 80% :lol: ). I have rewound and turned on the subtitles a time or two because I felt like I was missing something important, but that hasn't been the case except for one time. What a great story.

While walking my dog the other day there was a guy in his yard with his dog. His dog approached us and the guy came over to retrieve it. He was speaking English until he told his dog ¡Órale!. I guess I'm getting used to Spanish in my life, so I didn't think anything of it. As we got a little further down the street I realized that he used Spanish. I wish that it had occurred to me earlier and maybe I could have chatted with him. He seemed very friendly, the dog as well. We have walked by that house a few times since, but I haven't seen him. Maybe it isn't the best idea to just start talking to a total stranger in a language that isn't my native one, so I'm thinking maybe just a "¡Hola! ¿Cómo estás?" and see what happens.
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Hank
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Re: Hank's Adventure in Spanish

Postby Hank » Mon Jun 12, 2017 12:28 am

My spell of frustration has been replaced with a feeling of motivation. I decided that I want more listening practice so I have started listening to Radio Ambulante podcasts on the way to and from work. The episode I listened to this morning dealt with a contestant on the Peruvian game show El Valor de la Verdad. I found the episode in question on YouTube. Basically, the show involves having the contestant on stage in front of their family and they are asked a bunch of inappropriate, personal questions. I think I have a moral objection to exploiting people and their emotions for entertainment purposes, but I guess they know what they're getting themselves into. Having said that, this show is terribly entertaining. I suspect I'll watch more episodes.

I didn't watch a great deal of El Hotel de los Secretos this week. Maybe one or two episodes. I've been busy and we've been busy overnight at work lately. It kind of saps my desire to concentrate too much on anything. I have been watching a little bit of random Univision shows, though.

I'm almost finished with La reina del sur. I'm not really finding anything that interests me terribly so I'll probably try De amor y de sombra again.

I'm finding myself wanting to communicate more. I occasionally think about getting a tutor just so I can chat but I really hate having my hobbies on any kind of schedule. I may try HelloTalk again or find another app or site like it. Chatting with the young ladies on HelloTalk made me uncomfortable. It's too bad that my old, Mexican buddy quit logging on. That was awfully fun and a real confidence booster.
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M23
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Re: Hank's Adventure in Spanish

Postby M23 » Mon Jun 12, 2017 4:28 am

Hank wrote:My spell of frustration has been replaced with a feeling of motivation. I decided that I want more listening practice so I have started listening to Radio Ambulante podcasts on the way to and from work. The episode I listened to this morning dealt with a contestant on the Peruvian game show El Valor de la Verdad. I found the episode in question on YouTube. Basically, the show involves having the contestant on stage in front of their family and they are asked a bunch of inappropriate, personal questions. I think I have a moral objection to exploiting people and their emotions for entertainment purposes, but I guess they know what they're getting themselves into. Having said that, this show is terribly entertaining. I suspect I'll watch more episodes.

I didn't watch a great deal of El Hotel de los Secretos this week. Maybe one or two episodes. I've been busy and we've been busy overnight at work lately. It kind of saps my desire to concentrate too much on anything. I have been watching a little bit of random Univision shows, though.

I'm almost finished with La reina del sur. I'm not really finding anything that interests me terribly so I'll probably try De amor y de sombra again.


Do you actually like watching Univision? Aside from the news and the occasional soccer match I am not a big fan. If you do like Univision, then keep it up. It seems like you are keeping up on the input side of things quite well. If not... then I will just say that there is more to life than mugrelas (mugre + novela). I get most of my native material input from checking Pixar films with Spanish audio tracks out from the library and Youtube channels that cover my own areas of interest.

I just wanted to add this because one of the most common things I hear from people that start learning Spanish is, "Well, I guess I better start watching Novelas on Univision." Why waste your time with something you don't enjoy when there are tons of Spanish speakers out there making content for things that you are actually interested in.

Speaking of that, Radio Ambulante is awesome.

Hank wrote:I'm finding myself wanting to communicate more. I occasionally think about getting a tutor just so I can chat but I really hate having my hobbies on any kind of schedule. I may try HelloTalk again or find another app or site like it. Chatting with the young ladies on HelloTalk made me uncomfortable. It's too bad that my old, Mexican buddy quit logging on. That was awfully fun and a real confidence booster.


I cannot remember if I asked this before, but do you have any Meetup groups that practice Spanish in your area? Are there any "learn English" classes that your library gives (because those are also great places to meet natives speakers and help each other out)? Technology is great and all, but nothing beats hanging out in real life with people and having a beverage while chatting.

Anyway, I hope you find some folks to chat with. Using a language to connect with another person is what it is all about. :D
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Hank
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Re: Hank's Adventure in Spanish

Postby Hank » Mon Jun 12, 2017 1:55 pm

I'm not a big fan of TV. It's boring sitting there just staring at a screen and I don't want to feel tied to a schedule just to keep up with a program. You could count on one hand the average number of hours per week that I watch English language TV. I generally watch two or three episodes of telenovelas per week and try to see Sábado Futbolero when I think of it. I just wish I could figure out how the Liga MX seasons work! For the most part, telenovelas are ok. I did watch the full run of Despertar Contigo when it was on. It was entertaining. I'm really enjoying El Hotel de los Secretos, but it's on Netflix so I can watch when I want without missing anything. The evenings that I don't feel like watching El Hotel I try to watch 15 or 20 minutes of whatever is on just so I can keep working on my listening comprehension, at least a little bit. But as far as watching TV just to be watching TV, I don't do that in any language.

I haven't really thought of YouTube videos that much, but it does seem like a really good idea. I do watch the Leo Margets health videos occasionally. They're not too interesting but Leo is just so attractive. I could probably find some videos that interest me. Video games, miniature games, etc. I know I watched a miniature painting tutorial in Spanish at one point.

I haven't found any meetups in my area except for one local organization that's politically motivated. I don't want to be a part of that. It does seem like there are a great number of Spanish speakers in my area, though. I don't know if that's recent or I just never noticed because I wasn't thinking about Spanish. I ought to check with the local Latino market and see if there's anything going on.
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January 2019: We booked a cruise to Mexico, Honduras, and Belize
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M23
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Re: Hank's Adventure in Spanish

Postby M23 » Mon Jun 12, 2017 9:03 pm

Hank wrote:I could probably find some videos that interest me. Video games, miniature games, etc. I know I watched a miniature painting tutorial in Spanish at one point.


There are tons of gamer channels. For a general game and pop culture channel I enjoy Fernanfloo:

https://www.youtube.com/user/Fernanfloo

I am totally addicted to Monster Hunter (which I play in Spanish) so I have a couple folks I watch particularly for that:

https://www.youtube.com/user/latin77queen
https://www.youtube.com/user/Sephy20101

Also, if Japanese culture interests you at all I would recommend Nekojita Blog. Ernesto does a really good job of making both the content interesting as well as making it visually interesting.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-UcKE ... fY33TrYw3g

Anyway, I am sure you can find some latin gamers that focus on your games of choice, though. Good luck with checking out the local latin market as well. That seems like it is worth a shot. Maybe they have a community board with festivals or English classes that you can go to and mingle with people?
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Hank
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Re: Hank's Adventure in Spanish

Postby Hank » Sun Jun 25, 2017 1:23 am

I finished La Reina del Sur. I wasn't thrilled with the ending, but overall a very enjoyable book. I'm tempted to read more of Arturo Pérez-Reverte books and I probably will in the future. Since I had De Amor y De Sombre by Isabel Allende, and I couldn't find anything else that really jumped out at me, I decided to give it another shot. I started it at one point, but between being too difficult for my level and not really being interested in the story, I put it down. I'm using the same mostly extensive reading method I used with La Reina del Sur. Only looking up words that I think I recognize, or words that I have seen a number of times in the book that I'm not clear on. I'm already halfway through the book! One of the Radio Ambulante podcasts that I listened to was about the theft of a first edition Cien Años de Soledad by Gabriel García Marquez. I was telling my wife about it and she said that she had heard of the book, so I went ahead and bought a copy for my next book. I'm really itching for an action book, though.

Listening is going well. I'm still watching El hotel de los secretos and enjoying it a lot and I'm still listening to Radio Ambulante podcasts on the way to work. I don't know what percentage I comprehend with the podcasts, but even though I miss details I have been following the stories well. I appreciate that there are different announcers and people being interviewed so I get exposure to different people from different regions unlike telenovelas where it's always the same people I listen to.

The most exciting thing is that I started using Conjuguemos to practice conjugations. I have only been studying preterite so far, but I think it's making a big difference. Maybe it's just a confidence thing, but I feel like I'm able to express myself better. I still have to stop and think occasionally, but at least I'm able to figure it out. This is all inner dialogue, of course, but I think if I had an opportunity to speak that I wouldn't be afraid to jump right in. I have been trying to chat on HelloTalk, but no success yet. I'm open to other ideas about how to practice conjugations.

I have felt wanderlust creeping in once again. My plan has been to study German at some point, but this current feeling of wanderlust has me wanting to learn Welsh. My ancestors are from Wales. I visited Wales once. It's such a beautiful country and the people were great. I have two issues with studying another language. 1) I don't want to try and maintain two languages. I'm at the point that I'm enjoying Spanish more than I'm studying, if that makes any sense, and it's great. I don't want to jeopardize that. 2) Learning Welsh seems totally pointless and I'm not sure if I would have access to enough material to really make it worthwhile in the long run. Especially in regards to media like movies and TV shows. Maybe I would be happy just reading books, but maybe not. I guess if there were a third factor against learning another language it would be that starting from A0 doesn't seem all that appealing right now. The first few months of my Spanish learning journey were a struggle and looking back they didn't seem all that fun.
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Hank
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Re: Hank's Adventure in Spanish

Postby Hank » Sun Jul 02, 2017 11:26 pm

I finally gave in to wanderlust and worked on the first Duolingo Welsh lesson today. Amazon appears to have a good selection of books in Welsh. It looks like I can access S4C Clic in the U.S., but I haven't been able to confirm that yet. Who knows if I'll stick with it, but I have been wanting to try for a while. If learning Welsh interferes with my Spanish then I'll definitely drop it. I'm just going to take it easy and try not to get too worked up over it.
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Hank
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Re: Hank's Adventure in Spanish

Postby Hank » Fri Jul 07, 2017 11:37 pm

Mis padres y you viajábamos mucho cuando era un niño. Muchas horas en autobuses, aviones, y carros. Desde años no quiero viajar mucho. Estoy cansado de esto. Mi esposa quiere viajar, pero a mi, no. Normalmente...

Estoy aprendiendo español y aprendiendo mucho sobre México y América Latino. Televisión, noticias, libros, películas, etc. ¡De repente quiero ir a México! Quiero ver este país y quizas hablar con la gente. Intenté encontrar un crucero de México este año, pero no hay cruceros disponibles durante nuestras vacaciones. Voy a intentar otra vez el próximo año.

Ahora estoy aprendiendo galés. Viajé a Gales hacía casi 30 años. Quiero entender galés y viajar a Gales otra vez. Los precios por billetes de avion y hoteles no son muy caros en el sitio Expedia. Pensé que los precios serían mucho más alto. ¿Tal vez en 2019?

¡El estudio de idiomas me da ganas de viajar! Mi esposa está feliz.
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Hank
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Re: Hank's Adventure in Spanish

Postby Hank » Tue Jul 11, 2017 12:28 am

Casi dos años de español

Terminé De amor y de sombra. ¡Que aburrido! Por el próximo libro iba a leer Cien años de soledad, pero quiero leer un libro de acción. Compré Los juegos del hambre. Es bastante fácil. Hasta aquí me gusta mucho. He leyendo más de 120 páginas en solo unos pocos días. Probablemente voy a leer la seríe entera y luego leer Cien años de soledad.

A week of Welsh

My Welsh studies seem to be going well. It's difficult at this point, but I seem to be retaining the lessons better. In particular I seem to be able to recall some of the sentences and words much better than when I started Spanish. At this very early stage of my Welsh journey it seems like Welsh is a very random language. Spanish rules seemed to make more sense, but it's very possible that I'm comparing what I have learned in two years of Spanish to what I have learned in one week of Welsh. I have been trying to somewhat clearly remember what it was like when I started Spanish, for comparison, but when I think back about all I can really remember is frustration and plowing through due to the desire to learn. I'm definitely not feeling much frustration at this point.

A while back I chatted with Montmorency, the only person on the forum learning Welsh as far as I know, about learning the language. He suggested the website Say Something in Welsh. I gave that a try yesterday. It's listening based. They start out giving you a word or phrase and the English translation, then they say the English and you repeat in Welsh. They then start combining the words and phrases into sentences, later adding more words and phrases and making more sentences. At the start of the 30 minute lesson I was really impressed with how well I was doing. I was rockin'! About halfway through, I wasn't doing very well. By the end I was just listening trying my hardest to remember the Welsh with very little success. The website suggests that you only go through the lessons once. "Don't worry. We keep repeating all this stuff so you'll figure it out in later lessons!" I don't see that happening. I like it, though. It seems very intensive. I think I'm going to stick with a lesson until I'm at least somewhat comfortable before I move on.

Nos da.
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Future travel plans:
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2020: Wales and Ireland


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