Allison's log: Spanish, 2017-2018

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James29
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Re: Allison's log: Spanish, 2017-2018

Postby James29 » Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:55 pm

Are you using the audio description feature on La Nina? If not, try it. It is really helpful and triples the amount of Spanish you get out of each episode.
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Allison
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Re: Allison's log: Spanish, 2017-2018

Postby Allison » Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:01 am

James29 wrote:Are you using the audio description feature on La Nina? If not, try it. It is really helpful and triples the amount of Spanish you get out of each episode.

I haven't used it, no. I know from your log that you're a big proponent of it. I imagine it's odd, at least at first. Was there an adjustment period?
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Re: Allison's log: Spanish, 2017-2018

Postby James29 » Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:22 pm

Allison wrote:
James29 wrote:Are you using the audio description feature on La Nina? If not, try it. It is really helpful and triples the amount of Spanish you get out of each episode.

I haven't used it, no. I know from your log that you're a big proponent of it. I imagine it's odd, at least at first. Was there an adjustment period?


It was a little odd I suppose, but I got used to it pretty fast. It is almost like having two stories going at the same time... the regular one and then someone in the back of your head that is talking to you about what is happening on screen. I suppose it might not be for everyone, but I love it for picking up more Spanish... and the vocab seems more usable than the dialogues.
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Allison
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Re: Allison's log: Spanish, 2017-2018

Postby Allison » Sun Feb 18, 2018 5:41 pm

James, I tried out the audio description for the half episode I watched yesterday. I'll see how it goes.

What I did in the last week (February 11th to 17th):
  • read 36 pages of La Ciudad de Las Bestias, up to location 1555
  • watched La Niña episodes 2-3 with Spanish subtitles
  • watched Una Mujer Fantástica (English: A Fantastic Woman), a 104 minute movie
  • completed GdUdE B Unit 9

Watching La Niña
I've been watching La Niña with Spanish subtitles, but I didn’t quite understand some of the plot in the second episode, so I looked it up and read a Spanish summary. That helped clear things up. I’m taking that as meaning that it’s sufficiently just above my level to be good for my learning. I've watched three episodes, so I now will take off the subtitles (for the first time, anyway, I can rewind with subtitles if I want).

Watching Una Mujer Fantástica, Oscar-nominated movie from Chile
I watched Una Mujer Fantástica, the movie from Chile nominated for Best Foreign Film at the Oscars this year. It had English subtitles; I tried to focus on listening to the Spanish. Unfortunately, though I was looking forward to watching it, I was mostly bored and didn’t like it.

Weekly goals
I did well this week! I read at least five pages on four days--every other day this week. During the week, on days I read, I was able to read earlier in the day. I still want to increase things, but it was a step up this week. Continuing things for next week:

  • TV: watch 3 episodes of La Niña
  • reading: read 40 pages, at least 5 pages a day of La Ciudad de las Bestias
  • GdUdE B: do one double page; or write at least 50 words
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Re: Allison's log: Spanish, 2017-2018

Postby MamaPata » Sun Feb 18, 2018 6:20 pm

Una Mujer Fantástica is sort of vaguely on my to-watch list, but I've heard mixed things. Out of interest, what didn't you like about it?
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Allison
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Re: Allison's log: Spanish, 2017-2018

Postby Allison » Mon Feb 19, 2018 12:00 am

MamaPata wrote:Una Mujer Fantástica is sort of vaguely on my to-watch list, but I've heard mixed things. Out of interest, what didn't you like about it?

I'll be careful to say that I didn't like it rather than it was bad, because it's not like it was poorly done, but I didn't connect with it. Afterwards, I read some reviews and the critics who loved it were using all kinds of words like powerful, emotional, compelling, heartbreaking, but for me, it was just "this happened and then this happened and then this happened." It missed the so-what factor for me, which makes it hard to articulate what was missing. Perhaps that the main character was pretty passive in action and impassive in front of other characters didn't help.

It was interesting to see that one part of the movie was a bit of a power struggle between the main character and her boyfriend's ex-wife where the ex-wife wanted her to use "tú" but she was resistant and would obviously return to "usted" after a mean comment from the ex-wife to make a point and keep some distance. The English subtitles translated that as the character using the word "ma'am," which seemed unnatural but maybe the best option for translation.
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Allison
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Re: Allison's log: Spanish, 2017-2018

Postby Allison » Sun Mar 04, 2018 11:47 pm

I haven't done well in the last two weeks. Read 16 pages and watched 10 minutes (twice: first without subtitles, then with Spanish subtitles). I had forgotten when I set the goals that I was going away for the weekend. Part of the problem is being busy at work, but part of it is that I'm just having a hard time keeping up my motivation. I'm not quite sure how to solve that problem.

I did a handful of stuff with Duolingo German. I'd done it a while ago and was surprised to find that I retained some knowledge. I have also been idly considering going to Japan this year, so I started up Duolingo Japanese and did a few XP of learning the hiragana.

Let's aim for 35 pages read and 3 episodes watched for the next week, and maybe some big picture thinking about what my long-term plan should be and how to either increase motivation or work through low motivation anyway.
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Allison
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Re: Allison's log: Spanish, 2017-2018

Postby Allison » Sun Apr 29, 2018 8:03 pm

I did some thinking about why I might not be as motivated to learn Spanish as much as I used to and here's what I came up with.

One of the more obvious causes is my job, and there's a bunch of overlapping reasons here. When I was unemployed and then volunteering part-time, I had a lot more time, but I was also interviewing for jobs where speaking Spanish is a wanted skill, so I was particularly motivated to get it to a point where I could impress in interviews. I now have a job where speaking Spanish would be good, but I can get by without it because there are people who can interpret. Plus, the job is taking up enough time/energy/etc. and I'd have to get significantly better at speaking, I think, in order to use it at work, which can be overwhelming and discouraging.

Another reason is that outside of using it for my job, my goals aren't that lofty—I'd like to read books and watch TV. The thing is, though, my current skills are good enough for that. Not excellent or perfect or near-native or anything like that, but I can read books just fine and I can watch TV with subtitles (Spanish subtitles, to be clear). I've been trying to watch without subtitles, but that's really to better my listening so I can understand real life conversation, not to watch TV better, since I watch all my other TV, including English language, with subtitles.

So, where do I go from here? I find it's important to celebrate victories where I can, because I tend to focus on the negatives, so I'll celebrate that my Spanish is good enough to read books and watch subtitled TV. And then, I suppose, try to keep in mind my goal of improving Spanish enough to use it at work, acknowledging that my career is going to be long, so if it takes time, it takes time.



I've signed up for the Super Challenge, for a full challenge in Spanish. I don't really know how I'm going to use this log going forward. When I was doing well, I updated weekly with what I'd done that week and whatever thoughts I'd had. When I was not doing well, I was either not updating or updating with a "I didn't do so great this week," which is frustrating to have to do and wasn't helpful to get out of my rut. For a while in 2018, I was trying to set weekly goals. I'll have to consider what would be best for me going forward.
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Re: Allison's log: Spanish, 2017-2018

Postby MamaPata » Sun Apr 29, 2018 8:46 pm

I don't really have anything to say, but all of that resonates very deeply! I'll be interested to see where you go with it all and how you approach it.
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