I'm a logger

Continue or start your personal language log here, including logs for challenge participants
StringerBell
Green Belt
Posts: 265
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2018 3:30 am
Languages: English (n)
Italian: ~ C1 reading/listening and ~B1/B2 speaking
Polish : ~ B1
x 583

Re: I'm a logger

Postby StringerBell » Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:30 pm

eido wrote:Trying to figure out how to learn Spanish on my own has been a real stumper. I see all these people who have figured out how to do it and I'm all, "Er, I'm the missing link. I grasp and threads and try to weave them instead of just buying the cloth." From what I've been reading over the past few months, people don't like tutors or guidance in any form. Those that do get looked down on. So if I can't afford a teacher, I'm back at square one.


I'll make a suggestion (that you've undoubtedly tried already):

-For conversation practice and connecting with a native speaker who can answer your questions for zero dollars, I highly recommend finding a language exchange partner. There are a lot of websites for this. I've used Speaky.com and ConversationExchange.com. Both are free. You have a GIGANTIC advantage, which is that you are a native English speaker; there is a huge demand for this since everyone wants to learn and practice English. You can set it up however you like. You can ask the person to correct your mistakes, or to not correct you if that bothers you.

The way I do it is a do a trial conversation with a potential new partner. If I have a good rapport with the person, we set up a schedule to talk the same day every week at the same time for 1 hour; first we talk in their native language for 30 minutes, then we switch to English for 30 minutes. You can do it more often, you can have multiple language partners, whatever you want. For someone on a tight budget this is really the best way to go, in my opinion.

I understand Polish decently, though I struggle to speak because I just haven't done it much yet. So, to prepare for my first two calls, I thought about some things I'd like to say, I ran them through google translate, I adjusted the endings to be feminine since I'm a woman and the default is masculine endings, and I changed anything that used a vocab word I'd never seen before or was worded in a way that I didn't understand or I would never think of, substituting the way I'd say it. I read through it a few times, I bullet-pointed the main ideas, and I kept the doc open on my desktop to refer to during the call in case I got stuck. I've never done this with Italian since my level of Italian is much higher, but it's something you could do if you get performance anxiety or are stressed about going blank in front of a new person (which is honestly not a big deal anyway).
0 x
Polish goal: 1100 hours in 2018 : 994 / 1100
Italian "Output Challenge": 250 hours speaking Oct 2018-Sept 2019 : 29 / 200
Italian "Super Article Challenge": read 500 articles : 237 / 500

StringerBell
Green Belt
Posts: 265
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2018 3:30 am
Languages: English (n)
Italian: ~ C1 reading/listening and ~B1/B2 speaking
Polish : ~ B1
x 583

Re: I'm a logger

Postby StringerBell » Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:48 pm

eido wrote:I listened to one episode of No Hay Tos, couldn't pay attention to it. I understood most of it, but something went wrong. I just didn't want to listen to it. I got too frustrated. I don't know why. This was 21 minutes.

I'm still having the problem of understanding everything on a word level and translating in my head, so listening is a wild experience. I don't know how to apply any of the Iguana's tricks to my learning yet, and I read people's discussions about "just putting in the hours", but "making them quality" which seems easy and hard at the same time. :|

eido wrote:So far this year I've listened to around 1700 minutes of audio - that's 28 hours, right? Obviously not Super Challenge worthy. I don't think I ever will be. I can't even count the amount of pages of books I read since I read mostly articles, but let's say 250. This year wasn't a good year for learning. *sigh*


I'd like to put some things into perspective. 28 hours = ~1 hour per day for 1 month. Sure, it's not earth-shattering, but what is extremely impressive is that with such a small amount of listening practice you were able to understand most of an episode of No Hay Tos. Doesn't matter whether you liked it or got frustrated. After 28 hours of practice I wouldn't expect very much comprehension at all. So I think that you should feel really proud of that.

The translating in your head thing is natural. I did it with Italian when I first started. When you don't have enough words in the target language and you have to labor to assemble them to form a sentence, it's normal to start off with the idea in your native language and then try to figure out how to translate it. Or when you hear a sentence in Spanish but you have to think about it and try to figure out the meaning of unknown words from context clues, I don't see how you could not translate.

I was concerned about this in the beginning, but I've noticed over time that it naturally faded away until I got to a point where I listen to Italian and automatically understand it without even realizing it's not in English or having to think about what something means (unless I hear an unfamiliar word). I didn't actively do anything to make this happen; as my brain got more used to the language the translating became less necessary.

In the beginning, what I'd do when watching a youtube video with auto-generated CC subtitles was to pause after each sentence, read it, try to get the general idea and only look up words if they prevented me from understanding the gist. Once I got to the end of the video (a 5 minute video could easily take an hour), I'd rematch it a few times and pause when I got lost so I'd have some time to read the subtitle and get back on track. Eventually, I could watch the video without the subtitles and have a general understanding of what was being said. The more I did this, the better and easier listening was.
2 x
Polish goal: 1100 hours in 2018 : 994 / 1100
Italian "Output Challenge": 250 hours speaking Oct 2018-Sept 2019 : 29 / 200
Italian "Super Article Challenge": read 500 articles : 237 / 500

StringerBell
Green Belt
Posts: 265
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2018 3:30 am
Languages: English (n)
Italian: ~ C1 reading/listening and ~B1/B2 speaking
Polish : ~ B1
x 583

Re: I'm a logger

Postby StringerBell » Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:20 pm

Apparently I'm taking over your log today!

I just posted about using these types of videos on my log. Have you tried watching any short videos in Spanish? I found one from BrainPop (I'm sure you already know about the Scientific Method) where the narrator sounds clear and not too fast. There's a ton of them, you just have to pick something that looks interesting.



1 x
Polish goal: 1100 hours in 2018 : 994 / 1100
Italian "Output Challenge": 250 hours speaking Oct 2018-Sept 2019 : 29 / 200
Italian "Super Article Challenge": read 500 articles : 237 / 500

StringerBell
Green Belt
Posts: 265
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2018 3:30 am
Languages: English (n)
Italian: ~ C1 reading/listening and ~B1/B2 speaking
Polish : ~ B1
x 583

Re: I'm a logger

Postby StringerBell » Tue Sep 18, 2018 2:34 pm

EDIT: Since I don't want to clog up your log with a bunch of nonsense, I wanted to delete the post with the vids, but couldn't because it was replied to, and in doing so made this superfluous nonsense post. Yikes! Sorry!
Last edited by StringerBell on Tue Sep 18, 2018 7:25 pm, edited 2 times in total.
0 x
Polish goal: 1100 hours in 2018 : 994 / 1100
Italian "Output Challenge": 250 hours speaking Oct 2018-Sept 2019 : 29 / 200
Italian "Super Article Challenge": read 500 articles : 237 / 500

User avatar
eido
Blue Belt
Posts: 503
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:31 pm
Languages: English (N), Spanish (B1), dabbling in others
x 770

Re: I'm a logger

Postby eido » Tue Sep 18, 2018 5:52 pm

hedgehog.chess wrote:I won’t stop following your log, until you finally stop being so hard on yourself. And even after that I can’t promise anything. :) Jeez, give yourself at least some credit.

I can never stop. I can never do enough. *flips table in rage* But thank you. (Here is how I feel, in the stylings of my dad's Chicago Polish.)
Jaleel10 wrote:I knew you wouldn't like it as soon as I posted it lol :P

I have been thinking about it as well. But I don't think we should take that advice too much to heart.Yeah sure, try to be as efficient as possible but I mean many of those people had years of experience with several languages, while we are merely on our first. I don't mind struggling, failing and complaining - for me it's all trail, error and learning from others.

Lol, no te pongas así, mujer. You are doing more than 99% of adult monolinguals that are in my study group. You really need to enjoy your accomplishments once in a while.

I think you need to find something to entertain yourself with in Spanish, just to have an opportunity to enjoy the language a bit. For me it was silly Youtube videos and manga. I am sure there is something that you'll like, just spend some time looking and don't be so hard yourself!

It's not your fault, so if you think it is, don't worry. I recently went back to read one of my favorite manga, and I was disenchanted with it even when I had liked it well enough as a teenager. Either the plot's wack or I'm no longer a weeb (who am I kidding). So I don't even like the things I claim to like, when I didn't force myself. I like the podcast (Vice) and its topics. I think I'm just frustrated with the accent and the speed. Normally I'd listen to the subject matter - should we go to college or not? - in English because I've searched that many times in Google. I am easily frustrated, always have been. And I am working on taking people's recommendations. I asked for a bunch and am slowly trying them out. I have a Gmail/YouTube dedicated to my interests separate from my personal account and I plan to watch all the channels you recommended me and the Spanish Group so I get a good feed going.

I want B2 so bad, but maybe not so bad I can taste it, you know? Something about me likes the struggle. Maybe I just like to complain. I'm trying to be a more moderate version of myself that gets things done instead of a wild and confused young adult animal. :P

And it was a false alarm. I didn't count the animated shorts, Sherlock, or Supernatural or that animated kids movie in my round-up. So the updated count is: ~52 hours. Did I miss anything else, I wonder?
AndyMeg wrote:It is better if you find something that you enjoy doing in the language for the activity itself and not only for the sake of language learning. For example, I improved my english vocabulary by leaps and bounds when I started reading english translations of japanese manga. At that time my objective wasn't even improving my english, my objective was to enjoy those stories that just happened to only be available in japanese or in english (and at that time I had zero knowledge of japanese, so english was my best bet).

And as for recommendations, maybe you could try watching "Casi Angeles". I think they have an official channel in Youtube and they are uploading all the episodes. There are four seasons in total and each one has more than 100 episodes which would give you a lot of time to adapt to their speaking habits and a lot of repetition which is usually great for learning. The first season is a bit slow and repetitive, but starting from season 2 the series catch a good pace.

Casi Angeles, huh? I'll look at it when I get home tomorrow. Maybe I could just start from season 2, I don't mind... Haha. I've considered reading the manga I mentioned above in Spanish translation. Maybe I could do that, too. It's a pretty popular manga, though I do hate repetition at times so I'd only read the new chapters which come out monthly. Hmm, that might not be good. Thank you for the recommendations.
StringerBell wrote:Apparently I'm taking over your log today!

EDIT: I don't want to clog up your log with a bunch of nonsense, so I deleted the vids I posted.

No need to delete them. I don't mind reading through posts and replying. I have since contacted a few people for language exchange, but these type of things never seems to work out for me since I never know how to vet them/sort through them. I found only a couple girls that were interested in k-pop. I messaged them and got some replies. I'm just worried I'll get addicted if we ever get something going. I was chatting with a girl a couple weeks ago almost non-stop for two and a half hours instead of doing my homework. I'm hoping I can learn by exposure. I've asked one girl to just use whatever words she feels comfortable with because I need to learn new ones. She offered to write in words I understand, but I was like, "no" and inwardly like "I am stuck at B1 oh Lord help me I need to learn new things" so I swiftly shut that down. I just hope asking them for definitions when I can't find them doesn't turn them off of chatting with me. Like I said above, I'm trying to build a library of things I like slowly. I have a real problem with not understanding instantly, even in my native language, to the point I bad mouth myself in front of everybody (though not strangers [in person], usually). Thank you for your advice. See, guys? I'm trying to not be resistant to change and help!

I freaked out, and today wasn't that bad. I listened to @Jaleel10's Vice podcast again, and if I concentrated, I maybe got 78~82%. Though defining comprehension is difficult, as we've discussed on this forum. Spanish youngins are just like us! Wow, who knew. ;) Still a slow go, though. They recommended Boyhood as a movie to watch, and Bruce Springsteen? I vaguely remember that movie, and Bruce Springsteen's my man. Sometimes. He gets a little political. Add 33 minutes to the round-up! (The quoted number above already includes this.)
5 x

AndyMeg
Green Belt
Posts: 427
Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2017 2:44 pm
Languages: Spanish (N), English (B2-C1), Japanese (A2-B1), Korean (Beginner)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7431
x 652

Re: I'm a logger

Postby AndyMeg » Wed Sep 19, 2018 1:41 am

eido wrote:Casi Angeles, huh? I'll look at it when I get home tomorrow. Maybe I could just start from season 2, I don't mind...

Si vas a empezar por la segunda temporada, tal vez te sirva leer esto primero:

Casi ángeles: primera temporada [historia y perfil de los personajes]

Lo que fue Casi Angeles Primera Temporada( Resumen)
1 x
: 1988 / 18000 korean videos without subs (minutes) :
: 194 / 194 맞춤 스페인어권 한국어-1 (pages) :

User avatar
eido
Blue Belt
Posts: 503
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:31 pm
Languages: English (N), Spanish (B1), dabbling in others
x 770

Re: I'm a logger

Postby eido » Wed Sep 19, 2018 6:01 pm

AndyMeg wrote:Si vas a empezar por la segunda temporada, tal vez te sirva leer esto primero:

Uno de esos enlaces tiene muchas palabras que no pude comprender cuando traté de leer uno de los artículos la primera vez. Debería estar leyendo más... Me parece que es un gran drama, jaja. Es Disney Channel pero sin el Disney. Ahora quiero mirar Halloween Town o algo así. No he visto esas películas en mucho tiempo. Gracias por tratar de ayudar.

Decided to try one more episode of Vice, and another podcast recommended by Jaleel, Lo Que Tu Digas. The first wasn't as hard to understand as the second, which was like listening to mush. I did stop in the middle of both, though. I got in 17 minutes between the two. I will be exploring other options. I never have enough time to thoroughly go through them. I mostly listened to what I listened to today as an experiment to see how much I could tolerate, and apparently that's not much. :?

Also, a brief story I keep forgetting to mention: My mom was at work the other day and she heard Polish being spoken by some kids. They were saying some really nasty things about another kid, like calling him an "empty-headed moron" so she decided to step in and say she could understand them. They gaped at her and said there was no way she could understand - it's Polish! It's America, and nobody speaks that here. But alas, she said, I do. And she translated their entire dialogue back for them. She then told the surprised boys to keep it down if the wanted to continue being rude, because she'd just hear it and discipline them accordingly. Haha. I love my mom. Go Polish! (For good purposes.) And there goes the myth that people who are speaking in a foreign language are just talking about having to pee, and not about you. ;)
6 x

AndyMeg
Green Belt
Posts: 427
Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2017 2:44 pm
Languages: Spanish (N), English (B2-C1), Japanese (A2-B1), Korean (Beginner)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7431
x 652

Re: I'm a logger

Postby AndyMeg » Wed Sep 19, 2018 11:12 pm

eido wrote:
AndyMeg wrote:Si vas a empezar por la segunda temporada, tal vez te sirva leer esto primero:

Uno de esos enlaces tiene muchas palabras que no pude comprender cuando traté de leer uno de los artículos la primera vez. Debería estar leyendo más... Me parece que es un gran drama, jaja. Es Disney Channel pero sin el Disney. Ahora quiero mirar Halloween Town o algo así. No he visto esas películas en mucho tiempo. Gracias por tratar de ayudar.

De nada.
De hecho, pasaron "Casi Ángeles" en Disney Channel para Latinoamérica, aunque nunca supe si transmitieron la serie completa o no.
Si tienes dudas sobre alguna palabra me puedes preguntar ;)

Por cierto, me encantó la anécdota de tu mamá. :D
0 x
: 1988 / 18000 korean videos without subs (minutes) :
: 194 / 194 맞춤 스페인어권 한국어-1 (pages) :

User avatar
devilyoudont
Orange Belt
Posts: 139
Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2018 1:34 am
Location: Philadelphia
Languages: English (Native), Esperanto (high intermediate/advanced), Japanese (intermediate), Spanish (beginner)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=8485
x 317

Re: I'm a logger

Postby devilyoudont » Wed Sep 19, 2018 11:53 pm

eido wrote:I mostly listened to what I listened to today as an experiment to see how much I could tolerate, and apparently that's not much. :?


What I did to increase my listening time was start out with incredibly small amounts sandwiched between non-language activities, and then gradually increased how much I was listening to. Hope this is helpful.
1 x

Online
User avatar
iguanamon
Brown Belt
Posts: 1426
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 11:14 am
Location: Virgin Islands
Languages: Speaks: English (Native); Spanish (C2); Portuguese (C2); Haitian Creole (C1); Ladino/Djudeo-espanyol (C1); Lesser Antilles French Creole (B2)
Studies: Catalan
Language Log: viewtopic.php?t=797
x 6795

Re: I'm a logger

Postby iguanamon » Thu Sep 20, 2018 1:20 am

Jaleel10 wrote:...I think you need to find something to entertain yourself with in Spanish, just to have an opportunity to enjoy the language a bit. For me it was silly Youtube videos and manga. I am sure there is something that you'll like, just spend some time looking and don't be so hard (on) yourself!

This is it, eido, you don't have to do what all the "cool" kids are doing. Basically, you have to find your own way. There are certain commonalities regardless of the materials you use. The key to listening is to keep at it, daily. The key to reading is to find something you enjoy reading and keep reading. Try to read widely, at least something that you normally wouldn't choose, at least an article. Make reading a habit. There is plenty out there to read and even lots of stuff for free. Seek and ye shall find. You'll be fine. I like reineke's cartoon use in language-learning. You were doing really well with Danny Phantom. These links may or may not be of interest.

Dónde leer los mejores webcómics en español

10 webcómics para leer en español
3 x


Return to “Language logs”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], cjareck, Lawyer&Mom and 1 guest