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 (Team Spanish TAC 2016)

Postby Hank » Thu Mar 24, 2016 7:58 pm

Esta mañana olvidé decir que descubrí el sitio Fox News Latino. Tiene una sección de noticias en español desde muchos países latinoamericanos, EE.UU., y España. Es interesante aprender sobre distintos países latinoamericanos desde sus noticias. ¡Me gusta!

http://latino.foxnews.com/espanol/index.html
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James29
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Re: Hank's Adventure in Spanish (Team Spanish TAC 2016)

Postby James29 » Thu Mar 24, 2016 8:02 pm

I've forgotten if I have already recommended it to you... but, you might enjoy the Theodore Boone series by John Grisham. I read the first four in Spanish. They are a bit easier and faster to read than the Alex Rider and they are MUCH more realistic stories.
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Hank
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Re: Hank's Adventure in Spanish (Team Spanish TAC 2016)

Postby Hank » Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:34 pm

James29 wrote:I've forgotten if I have already recommended it to you... but, you might enjoy the Theodore Boone series by John Grisham. I read the first four in Spanish. They are a bit easier and faster to read than the Alex Rider and they are MUCH more realistic stories.


Thanks! I'll look into it. I'm really enjoying Divergente so far. I don't recall if that one was on your list or not.

In keeping with my strict output goal, I signed up for HelloTalk this afternoon. I'll see how it goes.
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Hank
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Re: Hank's Adventure in Spanish (Team Spanish TAC 2016)

Postby Hank » Tue Mar 29, 2016 12:13 am

I just had my first conversation on HelloTalk with a young lady from Venezuela. She said I was doing well, so it must not have been a total trainwreck. It was nervewracking, but I feel pretty good about it. Now I just need to get my heart to slow down! :lol:
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Hank
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Re: Hank's Adventure in Spanish (Team Spanish TAC 2016)

Postby Hank » Thu Mar 31, 2016 1:49 pm

I started piddling with German this week after seeing the thread about Language Transfer. I have listened to the first four or five lessons. I'm not ready to totally commit to learning my L3, but as long as messing with German doesn't affect my Spanish progress I see no reason not to do it. Audio-lingual (is that right?) learning is an interesting concept, and I'll be curious to see how it goes. It seems like it should be ineffective, but I have never tried it. I read somewhere that: understanding the spoken language is the most difficult thing to learn, so why not start there? I took a year of German in college, so I have a little background in the language. I would prefer to learn Welsh, but I have found very little Welsh media available in the U.S.

Memrise- Every day. This is helping my grammar. It's funny, there have been some points of grammar that seem like they should be wrong. For example "Me duele la cabeza". Why isn't that "Tengo dolor en mi cabeza"? Then I ran into that phrase several times in Divergente. :lol:

Reading- I'm making good progress with Divergente. Having the English version that closely follows the Spanish version has been a big help. It's becoming much easier to read. At this point I could read extensively and follow along very well, including most of the details, but since this is a learning exercise I have been reading intensively. I don't mind intensive reading. Especially now that I have somewhat of a grasp of the language. I read a few news stories.

Listening- Despierta América every weekday morning. I tend to have the attention span of a two year old when it comes to television programs. I have lost the desire to continue with El hotel de los secretos. It's just too long and too much unknown vocabulary. It's an interesting story, and I hope to return to it when I can follow along better. In it's place I have been watching the cartoon Star Wars: The Clone Wars dubbed in Spanish on Netflix. I can handle a twenty minute program much better than a forty five minute program. Overall I don't feel like I made much progress in listening. I may need to try something more intensive in the near future.

Output- I signed up for HelloTalk. I had a two hour conversation with a young lady from Venezuela, and I have chatted with a young lady from Colombia. This has given me a huge confidence boost. It was somewhat difficult, but they understood what I was writing. Very exciting! They both contacted me and I'm not sure why two twenty-something females want to talk to an old guy from the U.S. It makes me a little uncomfortable. I'm planning on trying to find an old guy to chat with.
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westminstress
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Re: Hank's Adventure in Spanish (Team Spanish TAC 2016)

Postby westminstress » Thu Mar 31, 2016 3:08 pm

Reading your post sent me straight to Google to look up HelloTalk. I might try this! I think it could be good for me.

Meanwhile, if you are looking for Spanish video content, you might want to try Yabla (available online or as an app). Someone here recommended it to me about a month ago, and I like it quite a bit. There's a nice variety of content, the videos are good quality, and it's just a very well done, very functional program. You do have to pay for it but I think the $7 monthly cost is reasonable. There are a few videos available for free if you want to give it a test drive.
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M23
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Re: Hank's Adventure in Spanish (Team Spanish TAC 2016)

Postby M23 » Fri Apr 01, 2016 6:54 am

Hank wrote:I had a two hour conversation with a young lady from Venezuela, and I have chatted with a young lady from Colombia. This has given me a huge confidence boost. It was somewhat difficult, but they understood what I was writing. Very exciting! They both contacted me and I'm not sure why two twenty-something females want to talk to an old guy from the U.S. It makes me a little uncomfortable. I'm planning on trying to find an old guy to chat with.


I attend meet up groups to work on my output and that is one thing I have noticed time and time again: older folks becoming very uncomfortable if the majority of the folks in the group are young. One of the groups I attend is primarily retired folks, and the other one I attend is a happy hour which skews younger. Some of the folks from the older group have occasionally gone to the happy hour commented to me how uncomfortable they felt because the crowd was so young. I am not in their shoes at this point in time so I cannot really speak to the sense of discomfort that you/they are feeling, but I can comment on what it is like on the other end. Personally, I do not really care if the person I am chatting with is 20 or 60. Anyone within that age range is an adult and capable of having an interesting conversation. Our life experiences are different, but that difference can make for an interesting conversation in and of itself. I get the sense that this is the same for my peers and for the younger crowd at the happy hour: we are all there to talk with other people. Period. If we wanted to go out and hook up with someone, hang out with our peer group, etc. then we know what we need to do to make that happen. If the purpose is just conversation, however, then it really does not make a difference if there is a generation gap or not.

If you had a good conversation with the two South American ladies then by all means chat with them again.
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Re: Hank's Adventure in Spanish (Team Spanish TAC 2016)

Postby James29 » Fri Apr 01, 2016 11:33 am

M23 wrote:
Hank wrote:I had a two hour conversation with a young lady from Venezuela, and I have chatted with a young lady from Colombia. This has given me a huge confidence boost. It was somewhat difficult, but they understood what I was writing. Very exciting! They both contacted me and I'm not sure why two twenty-something females want to talk to an old guy from the U.S. It makes me a little uncomfortable. I'm planning on trying to find an old guy to chat with.


I attend meet up groups to work on my output and that is one thing I have noticed time and time again: older folks becoming very uncomfortable if the majority of the folks in the group are young. One of the groups I attend is primarily retired folks, and the other one I attend is a happy hour which skews younger. Some of the folks from the older group have occasionally gone to the happy hour commented to me how uncomfortable they felt because the crowd was so young. I am not in their shoes at this point in time so I cannot really speak to the sense of discomfort that you/they are feeling, but I can comment on what it is like on the other end. Personally, I do not really care if the person I am chatting with is 20 or 60. Anyone within that age range is an adult and capable of having an interesting conversation. Our life experiences are different, but that difference can make for an interesting conversation in and of itself. I get the sense that this is the same for my peers and for the younger crowd at the happy hour: we are all there to talk with other people. Period. If we wanted to go out and hook up with someone, hang out with our peer group, etc. then we know what we need to do to make that happen. If the purpose is just conversation, however, then it really does not make a difference if there is a generation gap or not.

If you had a good conversation with the two South American ladies then by all means chat with them again.


I've never used Hellotalk, but I can relate to the uncomfortable "problem" of all the young ladies reaching out for "conversations." Many people (especially the men from what I've heard) use those sorts of sites as essentially dating sites. There are a few things you can do to avoid all those young ladies that are looking for more than just conversations.

If a young woman speaks essentially zero English there is a much better chance she is looking for something else. This is pretty easy to spot and pretty easy to avoid. Also, the young women who ask right away if you are married are almost always looking for something else. These are the dead bang giveaways.

From my experience, I'd also recommend entirely avoiding people under 30 years old (both men and women). I'm sure there are many that are good people, but the vast majority are looking for something else or completely unreliable or simply not serious. Also, avoid the sites that have photos in the profiles if you want to avoid women who are looking for relationships. Or, talk to the women who do not put a photo of themselves in their profile. My very best female exchange partners were women who did not put up photos of themselves. Another thing you can do is put in your profile that you are married. That fends off many of them before they even make contact.

Meetups are interesting. My regular meetup is a good mix of older and younger and we never seem to have anyone who feels intimidated or uncomfortable. The group, however, is very Spanish focused and there is a no English rule and a no politics/religion rule. I also think if there is a good leader who tries hard to make everyone feel comfortable and included things function better.

Edit: another really good thing to keep in mind to avoid the young ladies seeking relationships is to keep in mind that the women who are from much more religious parts of Latin America are almost never looking for that sort of thing. I know this stuff is quite overgeneralizing, but it is definitely true. If a woman references going to church she is likely going to be a more serious exchange partner.
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Hank
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Re: Hank's Adventure in Spanish (Team Spanish TAC 2016)

Postby Hank » Fri Apr 01, 2016 1:44 pm

If I hadn't read that some people use language exchanges as dating sites then it probably wouldn't be an issue. Nothing in either conversation indicated anything nefarious. Back in the early days of the internet, when chat rooms were all the rage, I ran into a couple of girls that decided I was their boyfriend. It was extremely creepy and I don't want to go through that again. Internet girl from Seattle: "I'm going to fly out to meet you." Me: "Why?" Internet girl from Seattle: :x. I like the idea of saying that I'm married in my profile. Thanks for all the advice. I'll continue to chat with them and hope nothing gets uncomfortable, but I still want to find partners closer to my age.

I looked for meetups in my area. The only organization I have found that does anything like this around here is politically motivated. I don't want to be involved in that. It's too bad because I think a language meetup would be fun.
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Re: Hank's Adventure in Spanish (Team Spanish TAC 2016)

Postby James29 » Fri Apr 01, 2016 6:10 pm

Generally if you say you are married things are fine. However, there are definitely a good number who actually prefer a married guy. I once had a similar conversation with a girl from Colombia where I could sense something going on. I had to stress with her that I was married. She explained there was no problem with that and she would just be my girlfriend whenever I wanted to visit her in Colombia. That was the last conversation with her.

On the language exchanges, there are fewer older people on the websites, but they are MUCH more serious. it might take a couple days, but you can search for someone who is older and write them a message. I won't talk to anyone under 30. people over 40 are usually very good exchange partners.

The best "exchanges" are those where you find someone who wants to trade their Spanish for your expertise in something else like your knowledge. I have had a couple of these and they are awesome because the deal is to speak Spanish the whole time, but the other person gets to drive the conversation. I had a partner from Ecuador who was content talking about US history/politics/government ("American dream" stuff) for hours at a time in Spanish. All we ever did was speak in Spanish.

Regarding meetups, definitely avoid politics.
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