Allison's log: Spanish, 2017-2018

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Allison
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Re: Allison's 2017 log (Spanish)

Postby Allison » Mon Feb 20, 2017 9:36 pm

What I did last week (February 12th to February 18th):
  • read El último jurado pp. 20-50, for a total of 30 pages
  • watched Celia episodes 14, 15, and 23 minutes of 16

Comments:
Consistency
Hey, I'm posting a weekly update on time! And I did pretty decently this week, in that I did something in Spanish every day but one. I'm hoping to push up the quantity going forward, but I'm glad I'm getting back to the routine after some disruption.

Celia
A secret has been finally revealed in the episodes I watched this week. I am glad because it had been going on for quite some time.

Subtitles of Celia
Additionally, yesterday, in some activity not captured by the weekly log above, I watched a full episode without subtitles. I'd been out of practice watching for so long that I'd been using Spanish subtitles as a crutch to to get myself going again, but I watched a couple episodes in a row this week, so I felt good taking off the subtitles. And, happily, I understood quite a lot.

LLORG
I'm also almost caught up on my forum reading!
3 x

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Allison
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Re: Allison's 2017 log (Spanish)

Postby Allison » Wed Mar 01, 2017 4:51 pm

What I did last week, February 19th to 25th:
  • read El último jurado pp. 50-84, for a total of 34 pages
  • watched Celia last 21 minutes of 16, all of 17 and 18
  • twice fell asleep to two episodes of Buenos Días América
  • Spanish language lunch with co-workers

Some comments:
It was a by-now usual week: do a moderate amount that's less than I'd like but enough to keep me in it.

Editing to add that I'm also still reading the news, but it's more bother than it's worth to write down when I do it, so it's dropped off the things that are notable to log.

Grammar intuition
I've been having imaginary conversations in Spanish (which are not easily quantifiable and so not in my log). At one point, I reached for the word for "enough" and thought "suficiente," and then thought to myself "suficiente qué? no, there's no thing that there's enough of, so I need to use bastante," and then I thought "wait, how do I know that?" I've never explicitly learned that "suficiente" is only an adjective while "bastante" can be both adjective or adverb, but I felt that using "suficiente" as an adverb was wrong. After I confirmed that was true, I was proud of myself for developing more of an intuitive sense of Spanish grammar. Input is working!
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Re: Allison's 2017 log (Spanish)

Postby MamaPata » Thu Mar 02, 2017 4:06 am

That's really cool, well done!
1 x
Corrections appreciated.

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Allison
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Re: Allison's 2017 log (Spanish)

Postby Allison » Sun Mar 05, 2017 11:32 pm

What I did last week (February 26th to March 5th, evening):
  • Watched two episodes of Un, Dos, ¡Chef!: Mejillones para Sweet California and Brócoli para Manuela Velasco, for a total of 20 minutes
  • Watched Celia episode 19
  • Watched last 20 minutes of 100 Latinos Dijeron episode 1, finishing it off from last July!
  • read El último jurado pp. 84-108, for a total of 24 pages

Some comments
random YouTube watching
I felt a little restless and wanted to watch some random stuff one day this week so I reached back into my bookmarks and watched a little of Un, Dos ¡Chef!, which was mentioned by MmeFleiss back in June and 100 Latinos Dijeron, which I had last watched in July! Thankfully, I could tell my comprehension had improved greatly since I tried these last summer; it would have been a bad sign if it hadn't. For 100 Latinos Dijeron, I understood almost everything except maybe 2 of the prompts at the final round. For Un, Dos ¡Chef!, I don't know a lot of food and cooking vocabulary, but I understood the banter in between the cooking instructions.

busy week and reading
I had a busy week at work, and only technically read 7 pages during the Sunday to Saturday week, but I cheated a bit and included some reading I did today, just so I didn't have to write that I only read 7 pages. I just mentioned this on Radioclare's log, but in the past day or two, I've had the urge to look up words I don't know when reading instead of just reading extensively. I've been looking words up, which is a little more difficult with my current hard copy book than it is on my kindle, but I think this kind of intensive reading is helpful and necessary so I'm glad I'm having the urge to do it. I really want to dedicate time to reading Spanish, but I'm having a hard time finding time when I'm not exhausted and unable to concentrate. I'd love to make a huge amount of progress in this book instead of 20 or 30 pages each week.
3 x

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Allison
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Re: Allison's 2017 log (Spanish)

Postby Allison » Sun Mar 12, 2017 9:29 pm

What I did last week (March 5th, evening to March 11th):
  • read El último jurado pp. 108-150, for a total of 42 pages
  • watched Celia episode 20

Some comments
Reading in hard copy
After reading on my Kindle for so long, I now sometimes feel the urge to press a word in my physical book in order to get its definition. I haven't actually done it yet, but I would not be surprised if I do at some point. :lol:

How'd the week go?
I did make an effort to do more reading this week, and it worked, though not as much as I need for the Super Challenge. I did less watching though. Anyway, the book is starting to heat up; we're past the build-up and on to the trial that is mentioned as the thing that catalyzes the rest of the story in the back cover summary.

I did something in Spanish every day except Friday, which was a long day of work followed by socialization and some (English) Buffy watching because of the 20th anniversary of its premiere. (I love Buffy.) I downloaded an app called Habitica, which aims to gamify your life. It took me a day or two to realize I should put "did some Spanish yesterday" as a daily task rather than "do some Spanish today" so that I don't have to worry about the timing of marking the task in the app, but maybe that helped? I also want to use the app to help motivate me to do non-language life stuff, but I haven't quite figured it out yet.



German!
I have mentioned before that an interest in German kind of snuck up on me, but I don't have any other reason to learn it aside from this random curiosity and I haven't done much with it. This week, after failing to find a workbook online that would meet my needs, I finally decided to pay money toward German and ordered the Practice Makes Perfect Complete German Grammar workbook. I had skimmed through German Grammar Drills, which I had found online, and it was helpful and seemed like it was going to be good until I got down to it and realized it's not good for a true beginner. The Look Inside feature for PMP makes it seem like that book would work for me. I also bought a German-English digital bilingual dictionary so that I can use it to look up words on my kindle if I ever get to the point of trying to read German books.

My library doesn't have a huge selection of ebooks in German compared to Spanish; the following are the numbers for Kindle ebooks:

Code: Select all

English           92,848
Russian            1,194
Spanish; Castilian 1,041
Chinese              846
German                80
French                38
Italian               22


Fortunately, they do have all seven Harry Potters in German, though they don't seem to have anything easier, like they did for Spanish.

My vague German plan, if I feel like doing it, is to work through the PMP book, for grammar, to work up to reading, and listen to Deutsche Welle's slowly read news while reading the transcript, for an understanding of pronunciation, to work up to listening. Since I don't really have any use for German other than as an intellectual exercise, I don't plan on working on output at all—reading and listening would be more than sufficient. We'll see when I feel like working on German again! :roll:
3 x

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Allison
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Re: Allison's 2017 log (Spanish)

Postby Allison » Sun Mar 26, 2017 1:50 pm

What I did the last two weeks (March 12th to March 25th):
  • Spanish language lunch (but I only listened and said two words)
  • Listened to 14 minutes of Radio Ambulante: 3/14/17, El superhéroe
  • Watched a bunch of YouTube things of native Spanish speakers
  • Watched Lady Dynamite episodes 1-10 with Spanish dubs, no subtitles
  • Read 7 pages of La casa en Mango Street
  • Read 2 pages of Taller práctico de escritura de telenovela
  • Read 26 pages of La ciudad de las bestias

Some comments:
Note to self: when I have some time, I should go through and update my media list at the beginning of this log

Feeling of malaise
I've been feeling a bit of malaise with my language learning and using. I don't quite know what's wrong, but I've abandoned my current book and TV show and I'm hoping the change in routine will snap me out of it. I did practically nothing the week before last; only the two words at Spanish lunch and 14 minutes of Radio Ambulante were during that week. Everything else was in the past week.

The weirdness of inconsistent listening comprehension
In addition to or as part of my malaise, I've had the weird-to-me feeling that it's easier to watch things than it is to read. I don't think this means my reading is stronger than my listening, but it's been weird for me to have it be so hard to get started reading and then watch some native speaker YouTube videos where I understand everything like it's in my native language. Again, only some of the videos were like that, while others were not, but it was odd and freeing to understand everything in some videos while I've been watching a telenovela where my comprehension is definitely less than that. I also don't know what it is that's causing the difference in comprehension between the videos where I understand everything and the videos where I understand just a lot.

Anyway, I decided to stop Celia, at least for now, and try to watch Spanish dubbings of shows I know well so I can go for quantity and try to understand the Spanish being spoken rather than have to figure out plot and character stuff on top of that. Which brings me to my next subtopic!

The process of deciding which dubbed series to watch
I have a collection of TV DVDs, and I know at least some seasons of Buffy DVDs have Spanish dubs, but I decided to search Netflix, because it's easier to just turn to Netflix than dealing with the physicality of DVDs. I went through the list of series on US Netflix with Spanish audio looking for shows I've watched more than once and would want to watch again. There were none, but there were a handful of comedies that I've watched once and would want to watch again. I decided to start with Lady Dynamite because I'd been wanting to rewatch that anyway. In just a couple of days, I've gone through 10 episodes, totalling 279 minutes. I don't think I've watched that much Spanish TV in that amount of time since I started, so it's a good start to getting a large quantity of Spanish listening.

Giving up on El último jurado
In changing everything about my routine, I gave up on El último jurado, not because it was a bad book, but because I needed a change and I wanted to read a book on my Kindle.

La casa en Mango Street
I started La casa en Mango Street, but I didn't like it. It’s a first person kind of stream of consciousness narration of a child, who apparently is supposed to be 12 or 13 years old, but seems, from what little I read, much younger, to the point where I was wondering if she had some kind of intellectual disability that I had missed in my brief googling about the book before I started. Anyway, from my reaction to this and the Manolito Gafotas book, I think I may not like child narrators? Whatever it is, I really did not like it, and only made it 7 pages before deciding I could not go on.

Taller práctico de escritura de telenovela
In following the "read what you read in English but in Spanish" advice a while ago, I had looked for books about TV in Spanish and found this book about writing telenovelas. This week, I read the introduction and a few paragraphs of the first chapter. I'm keeping this open as my non-fiction book, but will probably focus on the following fiction book.

La ciudad de la bestias
I've started La ciudad de las bestias and that seems to be going well so far. I've had a smooth start. It was immediately engrossing. In just three pages, I had come upon a phrase I love the sound of. I'm sure it's common, because it sounds too perfect not to be, but it's the first time I remember coming across it: "tonto, pero no tanto." (English: "dumb, but not that dumb", from the more literal translation of "dumb, but not that much".)
4 x

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klvik
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Re: Allison's 2017 log (Spanish)

Postby klvik » Sun Mar 26, 2017 8:23 pm

Allison wrote:What I did the last two weeks (March 12th to March 25th):

The weirdness of inconsistent listening comprehension
In addition to or as part of my malaise, I've had the weird-to-me feeling that it's easier to watch things than it is to read. I don't think this means my reading is stronger than my listening, but it's been weird for me to have it be so hard to get started reading and then watch some native speaker YouTube videos where I understand everything like it's in my native language. Again, only some of the videos were like that, while others were not, but it was odd and freeing to understand everything in some videos while I've been watching a telenovela where my comprehension is definitely less than that. I also don't know what it is that's causing the difference in comprehension between the videos where I understand everything and the videos where I understand just a lot.



I think this inconsistency is completely normal. Small variations in vocabulary can be the difference between completely effortless understanding and confusion, at least it is for me.
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January 5, 2020
2020 Output Challenge speaking: 66 / 3000

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Ani
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Re: Allison's 2017 log (Spanish)

Postby Ani » Mon Mar 27, 2017 5:34 am




Do you know about UNOGS.com as well? Seems to generate more hits although I am not sure it is objectively better. Just another option for searching :)
1 x
But there's no sense crying over every mistake. You just keep on trying till you run out of cake.

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Allison
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Languages: English (native), Spanish (high intermediate-ish), American Sign Language (ASL) (I dabble occasionally)
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Re: Allison's 2017 log (Spanish)

Postby Allison » Mon Mar 27, 2017 3:12 pm

Ani wrote:



Do you know about UNOGS.com as well? Seems to generate more hits although I am not sure it is objectively better. Just another option for searching :)

I did not, thanks!

It looks to me that they have the same results—which is good for both sites—but UNOGS has more search options, which is great.
0 x

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Re: Allison's 2017 log (Spanish)

Postby Nellyjacke » Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:55 pm

I like your history, Spanish is a language with many ways of expression, difficult to conjugate, vocabulary that varies a lot, but it is a fascinating language. And instead, because you know Spanish, you do not take Italian, here at llanguages, you can improve your Spanish with people and study Italian online.
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