Hundetier está estudiando español...

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Hundetier
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Re: Hundetier está estudiando español...

Postby Hundetier » Sat Feb 04, 2017 8:36 am

Thank you very much for your explanations. Now I see and understand your point and will consider it. My only fear is that I'll get bored after a short while with doing Memrise or something like that; I experienced that before (and want to avoid further negative experiences, because I don't want to risk losing my motivation). With my vocabulary book it doesn't feel like studying, I read and listen to texts and do some exercises. And the vocabulary is tailored for the CEFR Levels A1+A2 (one book) and B1 (the second book I am working with now); the B2-level is still here waiting for me to progress. So my method is surely not the most effective one, but I hope it is a good one for me. ;)

I know the "fighting your way through a book" with looking up every third to fifth word in order to understand the meaning of the text. This was how I learnt reading english. There were some books I wanted to read and which hadn't been translated. I was really no fun, and I gave up several times (and restarted later). I was short of losing interest in the books material. This was an experience I don't want to encounter again. So I decided to start slow and easy with spanish and do only intensive reading (with much looking up things and working out the sentence structures) on short texts. I prefer to read books extensively, by which I mean, I can understand the meaning without using the dictionary too much.

I started to read "No pasó nada" by Antonio Skármeta some days ago. I got an edition with vocabulary help, the "harder" words are translated at the foot of the side. So I can look them up without losing too much time. My progress is really slow (two or three of the small sites per session), but it looks like a beginning ... :mrgreen:
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Re: Hundetier está estudiando español...

Postby Hundetier » Sat Feb 04, 2017 11:14 am

Today I finished Glossika Fluency level I - listening (with trying to repeat) to all GSR; and listening to, repeating, translating and writing the sentences with the GSM-files. I didn't record myself, only tried to repeat the sentences, but the pauses often are too short. Later in the afternoon I´ll start level II.
I think, the Glossika method helps me a lot. Unfortunately there are many errors: mistakes in the written sentences (wrongs or missing accents, spelling mistakes), the speaker says something other than there is written, translation errors (first person gets translated as third), for example. This is due to bad proofreading in my opinion. This resource could be much better! Another thing that disturbed me a lot, is the use of foreign names - the (for me uncommon) asian names sidetracked my concentration on the spanish listening, and they were pronunced completely different by the english and the spanish speaker. I know, that the company used one set of sentences for all languages, but in my opinion it would be better to do some adaptions.

Today I spent two hours on listening to my audiocourse and to podcasts while doing an extensive walk with my dog. The spring seems to be coming - the ice is melting, the sun is shining and it's getting warmer (2°C, not -15°C any more) :mrgreen:

: 100 / 312 Glossika GSR, : 20 / 60 Glossika GSM
: 66 / 150 Audio Course, and a bit of revision
: 3 / 116 Grammática del Uso de Español B
: 52 / 102 Paso a Paso: Los tiempos del pasado del indicativo
: 15 / 84 ELE vocabulario
: 37 / 109 Assimil passive wave -> nothing, I start over after Glossika, both is too much for me[/quote]
: 30 / 58 Español en Episodios ->nothing, but other youtube-videos ...
: 9 / 22 Rocket Spanish -> Module 10 is at 86%, hope to finish this module this year ...
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Re: Hundetier está estudiando español...

Postby blaurebell » Tue Feb 07, 2017 11:18 am

Well done on the Glossika! I've been playing around with it in Russian and it's really time consuming when done properly. So, I'm only doing the GSR files right now and leave the real shadowing for Assimil. Maybe I go back and do proper shadowing when I'm through with Assimil though. Seriously though, that's a great achievement, keep up the good work :)

The annoying part of using Glossika for accent reduction in Spanish is that there is only Continental Spanish and Mexican so far. I speak mostly Argentinian Spanish and live in Spain. I certainly don't want to start sounding like the people here - too rough -, but Mexican would earn me laughs from everyone including my Argentinian husband! I guess I will have to do some sentence mining from Argentinian movies and make my own Glossika. Well, at least that way I won't have to try to catch all the mistakes in the Spanish Glossika though. There sure are a lot of them and some really strange ways of saying things that nobody would use in real life.
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Re: Hundetier está estudiando español...

Postby Hundetier » Tue Feb 07, 2017 5:01 pm

Thanks! Yes, Glossika is time-consuming, but I do it bit by bit, so it is not too much for one step. On working days I only listen to GSR, and on free days I do GSM (in parts over the day, not all together). Level 1 took me eleven weeks. I don't know, if I will be able to do 2 files a day with the harder levels, so I might get slower. My goal is to finish the whole course this year. :D
Perhaps I'll buy the Peninsular Glossika (if there is a good discount), and do a second round with that version. But I am not sure, if this would be useful; or if I should stay with the Mexican variant for a second run (or skip this in favour of natural input).

I wasn't aware, that the difference of the spanish accents is so huge. I thought they are only minor differences and not really important for foreign speakers. So I decided to learn from different sources (Peninsular and Latino) to be able to understand all the varieties.
Most of my sources are Latino-Spanish, and I am planning to visit Spain this year. This could be fun - if I manage to speak Spanish in my holidays (which isn't sure since we'll start from Gibraltar with an english crew, and in every harbour we were last time, the spoken language was english). I am curious if someone will mention something about my accent.
I did some tutoring last month, and when I asked about my speaking abilities, I got no substantial answer to work with. Only: "yes you are no native speaker, but your accent is not bad, I can understand you". And I know, that I can't pronounce some sounds right - I have a strong accent in either language, even in my own.

blaurebell wrote:I guess I will have to do some sentence mining from Argentinian movies and make my own Glossika. Well, at least that way I won't have to try to catch all the mistakes in the Spanish Glossika though. There sure are a lot of them and some really strange ways of saying things that nobody would use in real life.

The mistakes are really annoying and distracting. With the strange ways of saying things I have no way to detect them at my current level. :? To get more "real" input, I try to do dictation and repeating with podcasts like veintemundos or spanishpodcast.org.
The "teacher" of "Español in Episodios" (youtube) is argentinian, I can understand her better than the spanish people in the videos. Perhaps I should try Argentinian films and series instead of spanish ones ... I still struggle with them, but I can catch more and more when listening to the news.
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Re: Hundetier está estudiando español...

Postby blaurebell » Tue Feb 07, 2017 6:33 pm

I'm by now so used to Argentinian that it always takes me a moment longer to figure out what Spanish folks want from me. And that's although I originally learnt Spanish in Spain. It's just that I get my main speaking and input practice through my husband's family these days. I'm not even actively maintaining the language because the last few years we usually went to Argentina for a month and that's enough to keep my current level. It's living circumstances mostly, because there really is no point studying Spanish to a higher level when I don't get to use it soon after. I live in Spain, yes, but my husband and I speak English at home - our working language - and people around here don't really talk to strangers. Without being able to integrate it into daily life I might just stay at B2 active C1 passive forever, if I don't make an effort to maybe go back to school or something like that.

The differences in accents and local vocabulary are really tremendous. Half the time my husband doesn't understand the locals - I learned Spanish here so I actually sometimes have to explain things to him - and asking for the most basic things in shops is an adventure even for him. We both don't know what the local word for "potato peeler" is for example. Also, some words that are religiously avoided in Latin America - "coger" - are in constant use in Spain. When my husband hears it used in context with children he pulls a face usually. Culture shock. And one of the local beaches is called exactly like Argentinian slang for female body parts - concha. Even better, the prize of the local cinema festival is called concha de oro. That had us in stitches for weeks :lol: ! It's somewhere between infuriating and hilarious.

If I may suggest something to you: The local variations can make things a little difficult, because you basically have a different set of basic vocabulary in every single Spanish speaking country - Spanish say camiseta, Argentinian remera for example. I suggest to pick a country and stick with it for all your input, at least until you've had a super challenge worth of input. Otherwise you get constantly confused with learning new words for the same things. I made the mistake of switching around a lot in the beginning, Spanish series, Argentinian movies, series and books, Cuban crime novels, Mexican dubs of US series. It felt like learning Spanish 4 times over and I've made progress more slowly than I would have made if I had been more selective from the start. Sure, the accents are interesting and it's fun to look at new countries, there is always so much to discover, however it's far less confusing and more fun when you're at an advanced level already. Of course, best pick something you're bound to encounter a lot! Argentinian might be a little specific if you have no connection to the country, even though it is by far the nicest accent in my ears! Once I get back to trying to crack that C1 active barrier, I'll do it all in Argentinian. I'll probably make my home-made Glossika from Ines Efron movies, I love the way she speaks! By the way, I recommend her movies, all very interesting and some great acting in some of them!
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Re: Hundetier está estudiando español...

Postby Hundetier » Tue Feb 07, 2017 7:09 pm

To avoid "coger" in America is something I heard before (from the argentinian lady in the youtube-video), but the special meaning of "concha" was new to me. This is indeed a good name for a beach and a golden prize, reminds me a bit of Goldfinger :mrgreen:

Staying with only one source of input is nearly impossible for me. I am attracted to all varieties and I am too curious ... My collection of learning resources is wide spread - Practice makes perfect meets Paso a Paso. This already led to a light confusion, the matter was the use of present perfect versus imperfect. On the other hand I got more insight as both books mentioned the alternating handling. I listen to Learning Spanish like crazy and to Unlimited Spanish or A mi aire. But it would surely be better to concentrate a bit on Castellano, because when going to a spanish speaking country, it will be Spain.

When I am stumbling over an interesting offer or book, I can hardly resist. Today I got an offer to download Platiquemos (all levels) for 35$ (official, legal version). I am really tempted, FSI is too old-fashioned for my "gusto", this course is in better shape. First I will sleep an night before I make a decision.
And now it is time for the last round with the dog, my "Chica" wants to go ...
Good night!
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Re: Hundetier está estudiando español...

Postby AndyMeg » Fri Feb 10, 2017 12:41 pm

Congratulations on finishing Glossika's level 1!!!! :D

When you worked with the GMS, how many new sentences you would start a day?

I know the "fighting your way through a book" with looking up every third to fifth word in order to understand the meaning of the text. This was how I learnt reading english. There were some books I wanted to read and which hadn't been translated. I was really no fun, and I gave up several times (and restarted later). I was short of losing interest in the books material. This was an experience I don't want to encounter again. So I decided to start slow and easy with spanish and do only intensive reading (with much looking up things and working out the sentence structures) on short texts. I prefer to read books extensively, by which I mean, I can understand the meaning without using the dictionary too much.


One important thing when "fighting your way through a book" is to really enjoy the content. If the struggle to understand weighs more than you enjoyment or interest in said book, then it probably isn't the right material for you. I struggled a lot when I started reading manga in english, but I was so engrossed with the story that I never tought of giving up. My excitment for the story far outweighed my dificulties.

But, overall, the most important thing when learning languages (or anything, really) is to find the way that works for you. ;)

Now, on the matter about the different spanish accents and local slang, I agree with blaurebell that it would be better to choose a country and stick with it until you achieve a certain level (probably B1 ready to move on to B2). But I also understand the curiosity about the diferent variations.

I'm used to watching content from different spanish speaking countries, so I understand a lot of local slangs. But I have to admit that sometimes I get confused too.

The differences in accents and local vocabulary are really tremendous. Half the time my husband doesn't understand the locals - I learned Spanish here so I actually sometimes have to explain things to him - and asking for the most basic things in shops is an adventure even for him. We both don't know what the local word for "potato peeler" is for example. Also, some words that are religiously avoided in Latin America - "coger" - are in constant use in Spain. When my husband hears it used in context with children he pulls a face usually. Culture shock. And one of the local beaches is called exactly like Argentinian slang for female body parts - concha. Even better, the prize of the local cinema festival is called concha de oro. That had us in stitches for weeks :lol: ! It's somewhere between infuriating and hilarious.


"Coger" isn't avoided in all Latin America. In my country, for example, it is usual to say "coger el bus" ("take the bus"), but I've heard this verb (coger) has a sexual connotation in Mexico, so in that country it'll be weird to say "voy a coger el bus" XD!

Here is a funny video about variations in spanish: Qué difícil es hablar el español (con subtítulos en español)
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Re: Hundetier está estudiando español...

Postby Hundetier » Fri Feb 10, 2017 7:07 pm

AndyMeg wrote:When you worked with the GMS, how many new sentences you would start a day?
I mix GSR and GSM. On Sunday I start with GMS-A: listening, repeating, reading (with looking unknown things up) and then dictation. Monday to Friday I listen to the corresponding GSR-files. On Saturday I do translation with GMS-B and sometimes another round of dictation.
I try do do 2 files per day - so the answer to your question is 100 sentences a week. My scheme is not absolutely - if I don't have time one day, I'll try to catch up the next days.

AndyMeg wrote:But, overall, the most important thing when learning languages (or anything, really) is to find the way that works for you. ;)
Yeah, that is true, but it is not easy, I am still searching my path and trying different things :)

AndyMeg wrote:Now, on the matter about the different spanish accents and local slang, I agree with blaurebell that it would be better to choose a country and stick with it until you achieve a certain level (probably B1 ready to move on to B2).
Your point is absolutely reasonable. I'll try to stick mainly with my peninsular materials for the next time: my Grammar and Vocabulary Books are from Spain (the Practise makes Perfect books remain for later), and TV from RTVE. The youtube-series "Episodios en Español" is peninsular spanish, too, as are my main podcasts.
But I won't cut out Latino-Spanish: Veintemundes alternates between the variants.

AndyMeg wrote:I'm used to watching content from different spanish speaking countries, so I understand a lot of local slangs. But I have to admit that sometimes I get confused too.
Even as native speaker? Amazing. Where are you from (if you want to tell)? I thought Spain ...

AndyMeg wrote:Here is a funny video about variations in spanish: Qué difícil es hablar el español (con subtítulos en español)
:mrgreen: The accent of the singers is funny - american or?
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Re: Hundetier está estudiando español...

Postby AndyMeg » Sun Feb 12, 2017 4:04 am

AndyMeg wrote:But, overall, the most important thing when learning languages (or anything, really) is to find the way that works for you. ;)
Hundetier wrote:Yeah, that is true, but it is not easy, I am still searching my path and trying different things :)

With each new experience you'll be a step closer to that goal ;)

AndyMeg wrote:I'm used to watching content from different spanish speaking countries, so I understand a lot of local slangs. But I have to admit that sometimes I get confused too.
Hundetier wrote:Even as native speaker? Amazing. Where are you from (if you want to tell)? I thought Spain ...

Yes, even as a native speaker. But I usually get the unknown meanings from the context. For example, many years ago I used to get confused when I watched argentinian boys on TV asking for their "zapatillas". In my country, "zapatillas" is used for "high heels", but in Argentina the word "zapatillas" refers to "athletic shoes". I also used to get confused with expressions like: "le salieron cardenales en las piernas". When I heard expressions like those I got confused because the only "cardenales" I knew about were "the ordained bishops of the Roman Catholic Church". But then I learned that the "cardenales" those expressions were refering to were "hematomas", which are called "morados" or "moretones" in my country.

By the way, I'm from Colombia.

AndyMeg wrote:Here is a funny video about variations in spanish: Qué difícil es hablar el español (con subtítulos en español)
Hundetier wrote: :mrgreen: The accent of the singers is funny - american or?

Yes, it is an imitation of the american english accent. But the singers are actually from Colombia XD!

Here is an example of the many different meanings that some slang words may have:
The Many Meanings of “Berraco”
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Re: Hundetier está estudiando español...

Postby blaurebell » Sun Feb 12, 2017 9:17 am

AndyMeg wrote:Yes, even as a native speaker. But I usually get the unknown meanings from the context.


It's not only the vocabulary, but the whole set of cultural assumptions though. My husband is Argentinian and we live in the Spanish part of the Basque Country. I tend to understand the locals better than he does because he has additional cultural interference. He sometimes says that the people here don't really speak his language. It also has to do with the way people tend to speak in general, not just the vocabulary. Here they repeat everything 3-5 times, apart from the essential thing that they think is obvious. Once we were walking into town and an old man who was walking from the opposite direction said something like "Oh, I also had to walk all the way. I waited, but then I had to walk. Now I'm really tired, because I had to walk all the way." My husband didn't understand what he wanted from us at all and clearly thought that this was just some crazy old man telling random strangers about his day. I tend to have more random conversations with strangers than he does, so I can usually guess what's happening myself and could explain this weird behaviour to my husband. The old man started to speak to us because he saw us walking and he thought he'd let us know that the buses aren't running at all, also not in the opposite direction. That the buses weren't running was the obvious part that he thought he could omit, because he thought we were walking because of that. So, super confusing and annoying, because they usually leave you without context and then repeat themselves all the time for the rest. :roll: The repetitions are really infuriating sometimes, because they make conversations very tedious. And my husband always feels as if he's being treated like a moron, when people just speak that way here with everyone.

I also think that these cultural differences create more problems than obvious mistranslations when dealing with another language rather than just another dialect. Lots of things here strike me as obviously weird in comparison to the countries where I lived before, but it's far enough away from my own culture to be exotic rather than just plain obnoxious. As a German I have much more problems not getting confused with stuff Austrians do or say than with people coming from completely distinct cultures. For example, if Austrians are in a group and one of them sees someone nobody else in the group knows, they will not say hi to that other person! As a German I find this insanely rude and infuriating. Saying hi is the minimum level of respect in that situation, even if you don't have time to have a proper chat. For Austrians ignoring people in such situations seems to be normal though and it's not considered rude. Culturally it's just too close to classify such behavioural differences as "Other cultures are weird", it's too far away to be part of one's own culture though. My husband often gets angry about how people behave or speak here precisely because it's culturally too close to his own culture, but too far away to feel comfortable or always know what's going on.
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