James29's Spanish and French Log

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James29
Blue Belt
Posts: 758
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 11:51 am
Languages: English (Native)
Spanish (C1-ish)
French (Beginner)
Portuguese (Thinking about it)
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Re: James29's Spanish and French Log

Postby James29 » Mon Oct 14, 2019 5:28 pm

I finished La Reina del Flow a little while back. See my review in the telenovela thread for more info about what I liked and did not.

I started and have almost finished the third season of La Casa de Papel. Great show. I love it. I used to feel my Spain Spanish was really strong but I think my lack of using it has caused it to get rusty. I really like Spain Spanish... especially when spoken by a woman.

I am using my Spanish in regular life a fair amount. At work I probably use it for a few hours a week pretty intensively but I have a great native speaking employee who I delegate the vast majority of the Spanish work.

I go to my local meetup most weeks. Nice time.

Sooner or later I'd like to get back into more serious studying. My Spanish is as functional as it really needs to be for everything I want to do. But, I would still like to take it to a higher level. I'd like to get it closer to a native level. It continues to improve but I'm not working too hard on it now.

Well, that's it for now.
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James29
Blue Belt
Posts: 758
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 11:51 am
Languages: English (Native)
Spanish (C1-ish)
French (Beginner)
Portuguese (Thinking about it)
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Re: James29's Spanish and French Log

Postby James29 » Wed Nov 20, 2019 1:12 pm

I'm fully back in the saddle now. I'm running the Boston Marathon in the spring and really need to run a lot through the winter. My plan was to continue my outdoor running I did throughout the summer. I made great gains in running. Unfortunately for my running (and fortunately for my Spanish) I've decided to can the idea of running outside during the week in the winter. I'm too old and wimpy to go out every day in the dark/cold/snow/ice when I have a great treadmill with plenty of great telenovelas in Spanish on Netflix! I'm back to watching two episodes every morning when I run.

I started Silvana Sin Lana. I am loving it so far. For some reason I really seem to like novelas that take place in the US. The Spanish seems very neutral Latin American. There seem to be people with various accents. The story is great. It is a comedy and has zero to do with narcos. Tons of episodes too.

I'm reading a bit on my kindle. That is suffering a bit but I have a beach trip coming up in January so I'll get plenty of time in for that week.

I have gotten back into the habit of listening to the VOA Buenos Dias news every morning for twenty minutes on the way to work. I like that. I missed it.

With all the time off from Spanish I took over the past six months I don't think I really declined much. I did get "rusty" however. It is a strange feeling. I can tell that now that I am back into about two hours a day of Spanish listening that it is getting back in my brain pretty fast and I'll continue to improve.

I even fiddled around a bit with French over the past month. Some day I may take that seriously. For now, I'm perfectly happy focusing on Spanish.
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James29
Blue Belt
Posts: 758
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 11:51 am
Languages: English (Native)
Spanish (C1-ish)
French (Beginner)
Portuguese (Thinking about it)
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Re: James29's Spanish and French Log

Postby James29 » Tue Dec 31, 2019 7:14 pm

Man, time flies. It has been well over a month since I've updated my log. I'm still chugging along with Spanish. I am somewhere around episode 65 in Silvana sin Lana. I really like it. When I finish it I'll do a thorough review. I'm watching about 10 episodes a week.

I've been going to a local meetup regularly. That is usually pretty fun. I have fallen into a pattern of stopping on my way home at a Mexican restaurant once a week. I usually chat with the owner and staff there for a while in Spanish.

I've been using Spanish at work, as necessary. I can do essentially everything I need to do for work in Spanish now except I have my native speaking employee write for me. I don't like to write in Spanish. While I can do everything I would not say it is "effortless." It can actually be tiring in many ways to use Spanish at work. It also slows me down and in some ways that is frustrating. What would take me 5 minutes in English can take me 10-15 minutes in Spanish. This is usually in the form of back and forth conversations with customers. I have to give pretty technical explanations that are not often understood in an English to English conversation.

I had a consultation with a consultant who specializes in helping businesses like mine expand into the Spanish speaking customer base. It was quite interesting. I've wanted to do something like this for a while. In the end if I do make a major expansion effort to pursue Spanish speaking customers I think I'll do it on my own. The consultation was great in the sense that it gave me so much confidence in what I am already doing and that I really don't need "an expert" to help me. I have forgotten that over the last 10 years I have really put a ton of time, effort and thought into this. I have learned so much that I take for granted. Anyway, for now my English speaking business is more than enough to keep me busy for a long time so Spanish is still just a back burner opportunity for the future. I do love thinking about it.

I've thought of doing some sort of formal Spanish course (maybe a C level grammar course) for 2020 but I think I'll just stick to "using my Spanish every day in some way" goal.
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User avatar
James29
Blue Belt
Posts: 758
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 11:51 am
Languages: English (Native)
Spanish (C1-ish)
French (Beginner)
Portuguese (Thinking about it)
x 1705

Re: James29's Spanish and French Log

Postby James29 » Sun Feb 23, 2020 7:24 pm

I don't update my log much anymore but I am using my Spanish essentially every day. I recently finished a 121 episode telenovela called Silvana Sin Lana. I really liked it. I did a review on the telenovela thread.

This time of year I watch two episodes every morning while I am running on my treadmill. I think it really helps. I saw some people over the past couple of weeks I have not seen for a while and was told my Spanish is still improving. My comprehension is great but I don't get too many opportunities to speak.

I just started the second season of La Reina del Sur. It seems pretty good so far. I guess one cannot go wrong with Kate del Castillo. We'll see. One trick to find a good novela is to find them by searching for the most famous actors. That has served me well.

There is a new Mexican restaurant near my home. This is great! I don't have to go into the city anymore to get Mexican. Great food too. I will frequent the new restaurant. I hope they can keep it going.

I am hoping that this spring - after the marathon - I'll get some good time to study advanced grammar. I've been doing passive intake for so long I think I need to do something to shake it up.
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