iguanamon wrote:galaxyrocker wrote:...The program, Na'atik, was in Felipe Carrillo Puerto, a town in Quintana Roo. Very few people there spoke English...
Many years ago, I was stuck in Felipe Carillo Puerto in the middle of the night, while on my way to Chetumal. it was pre-internet (or rather pre- "useful" internet). I was on a bus headed out of Cancún and the bus broke down in the middle of nowhere, sometime after midnight. We were picked up by a passing cattle truck and dropped off at Felipe Carillo Puerto at 3 in the morning. I had the Lonely Planet guidebook with me and I consulted it for any information about the town. In pure "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" fashion it said "of no interest to travelers".
At the time, my Spanish would have been around B1. I needed it because there was nobody who spoke any English... especially at a bus station in Felipe Carillo Puerto at 3 am. Believe it or not, I was able to get tortillas, rice and beans at an open restaurant at that time while waiting on the bus to Chetumal. It really puts your language level in focus when you need vocabulary and don't have it. You either become good at using what you do have, quickly (circumlocution may be awkward but it is useful), or you're in trouble!
So, we eventually got onto a bus for Chetumal, at the Belize border, which passed through the jungle darkness of Quintana Roo, stopping everywhere with people getting on and off the bus at random stops in the pitch black darkness of the middle of the wilderness, sometimes with a chicken in tow. Your post brings back a lot of memories!
It's funny how that happens. The school in the town was only set up because the director fell in love with a man there, and wanted to help by teaching English; their Spanish and Yucatec (yes, you can go an learn Mayan!) programs help subsidize the scholarships they give to all the local kids learning English. Otherwise, there's still not much there in terms of things for tourists. It's great, actually.
It's hard to recommend a show as I don't know what you mean by "slow and interesting". As far as documentaries go, I quite like the documentaries on RTVE from Spain, but I find the documentaries on Deutsche Welle to be more attention grabbing and varied. Deutsche Welle Español Documentales. DW's documentaries have more of a global focus and the narration is pan-hispanic. You might like them.
If you want to do a native TV series, at this level (I don't really know what your level is. Maybe A2?), I would recommend something with which you are familiar in English with a Spanish dub and srt files. Still, if you don't want to go through all that, I started with Catalan by watching "Els germans Kratt" (without subtitles) - the Catalan dub of "The Wild Kratts", which is an animated show about animals on PBS. In Spanish, it's "Aventuras con los Kratt" in Latin America and "Los Hermanos Kratt" in Spain. Even without subs, it is fairly transparent. Of course, my language background helped me a lot. "The Wild Kratts" has the advantage of being aimed at pre-teens, so vocabulary won't be too simple and yet, at the same time, not too advanced. The shows are about 25 minutes long, so there's not a huge time investment involved. I'm sure you can find them on youtube.
You're right about my level. I'd say it's a fairly strong A2, but that I don't yet have the grammatical knowledge or vocabulary necessary for a full B1. When I mean "slow and interesting", I was generally referring to documentaries. I like learning things, and they're one of the few things that can keep my focus, and presenters often speak slower during them, or so it seems. So I'm very grateful for mentioning the documentaries you listed. I will definitely look into them, and will likely switch to focusing on Spain Spanish because of my plans to move to Europe next year.
MorkTheFiddle wrote:Sounds like a marvelous trip.
I was going to recommend Deutsche Welle, but iguanamon beat me to it. If you subscribe to Netflix, you may find a series there that interests you. (The only reason I subscribe to Netflix is for language-learning purposes. Normally I avoid subscription servies, but I like the fact that some of the TV shows and movies have subtitles or closed captioning in the TL. I find that very useful.)
Thanks! IT was a great trip, and I'd recommend it if you have the time/money and need to improve Spanish! I definitely am not a fan of Netflix, but it's a tradeoff I've made with my roommates where they pay for other subscriptions I use more often; it has proven nice for finding Spanish language stuff, though (such as the documentary on Peru I watched), though not so much for Irish language haha.