¡No Manches! - Uses "learning Spanish" as a cover so he can watch telenovelas all day and not feel guilty

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Systematiker
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Re: ¡No Manches! - A new beginning...

Postby Systematiker » Thu May 24, 2018 10:00 pm

NoManches wrote: I started to read this because I'm trying to get back into running (I always try to "get into running" but always fail or give up after a few months. I'd like for running to be as much of a part of my life as Spanish is). I have been listening to Spanish music on my morning runs which I find a lot easier to do than listening to a podcast or audiobook. I think when I develop my endurance and can run for more than 20 minutes straight :oops: I'll be able to have better mental concentration when running. I look forward to the day I can run and listen to good Spanish media at the same time.


That sounds cool! I find right now that Spanish audiobooks are perfect when I’m running, because I have to concentrate enough not to lose the thread of what’s going on that I forget how much I hate running and I stop having to negotiate with myself about when I’ll stop :lol: so there’s something to be said for having to focus on what you’re listening to while you’re running...
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NoManches
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Re: ¡No Manches! - A new beginning...

Postby NoManches » Thu May 24, 2018 11:48 pm

Systematiker wrote:
NoManches wrote: I started to read this because I'm trying to get back into running (I always try to "get into running" but always fail or give up after a few months. I'd like for running to be as much of a part of my life as Spanish is). I have been listening to Spanish music on my morning runs which I find a lot easier to do than listening to a podcast or audiobook. I think when I develop my endurance and can run for more than 20 minutes straight :oops: I'll be able to have better mental concentration when running. I look forward to the day I can run and listen to good Spanish media at the same time.



That sounds cool! I find right now that Spanish audiobooks are perfect when I’m running, because I have to concentrate enough not to lose the thread of what’s going on that I forget how much I hate running and I stop having to negotiate with myself about when I’ll stop :lol: so there’s something to be said for having to focus on what you’re listening to while you’re running...



I'll have to give it a shot tomorrow. Anything to take my mind off the pain of running lol
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Re: ¡No Manches! - A new beginning...

Postby NoManches » Wed May 30, 2018 2:58 pm

Nothing exciting to report this week.

I finished El reino del dragon de Oro and have made a lot of progress with Nacidos para Correr. I attempted this book over a year ago and stopped after 4-5 chapters because it was it was too advanced (to the point that reading it was possible but it felt like a chore). I'm glad that I can see noticable improvements in my reading.

I am bummed because I had a 12 day reading streak but this was broken up by an extra busy day at work and some friends that came to visit. Sometimes I have to remind myself that overall consistency is great but being a perfectionist in language learning is a bad thing. Missing two days of reading isn't going to kill me, as long as I make sure I get back on track I'll be good.

I've been watching more episodes of Por Amar sin Ley and still find it very easy to comprehend with a few exceptions. I'd like to finish this show ASAP and move on to something else. I'm on episode 26 of 60 and think it's time to binge watch

I've been running (although not as much as I'd like) and I feel that the biggest obstacle is just getting out of bed and out the door. Once I get over that obstacle I'm able to run and I feel great afterwards. I was listening to music but after reading what Systematiker said, I decided to listen to an audiobook while running. I'm really glad I did! I am able to easily follow along with the audio book for Nacidos para Correr which is great because it allows me to get a second dose of the book I'm currently reading


Like I promised myself, I started to listen to podcasts and audiobooks at work again. I'm able to follow along relatively easily with audiobooks and I noticed that my concentration is a lot better.

Even after taking a year off from Spanish, I am able to say that my language skills have returned and improved a very noticeable amount after a few months of dedicated study. I have seen my speaking abilities fall behind my reading and listening skills but I'm okay with that for now.
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Re: ¡No Manches! - A new beginning...

Postby MamaPata » Wed May 30, 2018 5:44 pm

NoManches wrote:I am bummed because I had a 12 day reading streak but this was broken up by an extra busy day at work and some friends that came to visit. Sometimes I have to remind myself that overall consistency is great but being a perfectionist in language learning is a bad thing. Missing two days of reading isn't going to kill me, as long as I make sure I get back on track I'll be good.


That is definitely the right attitude to have! Sounds like you are doing really well with it all!
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Re: ¡No Manches! - A new beginning...

Postby NoManches » Wed Jun 06, 2018 4:44 pm

Where to begin?

Reading:

I have been reading for a minimum of 35 minutes each day (vs 30 minutes). My reasoning is that it is very easy to squeeze an extra 5 minutes in each day, and if I have to skip a day of reading during the week I will make up for it (as long as I read for 35 minutes on the other 6 days). At least this way I won't feel really guilty if I miss a day which is very likely given my work schedule.

I am wrapping up Nacidos para Correr and have been listening to the audio book at work and on my runs. I find the book incredibly interesting and I love how much I am learning about the Rarámuri. My desire to run has increased a lot, and I am starting to feel a lot healthier after only a few weeks of running again. The best part about running? I get to listen to a podcast or audiobook in Spanish!

I have read about 30% of La Tumba and really like it. I have been reading a lot before bed which means when I pick the book up again I have to go back a few pages from where I left off (since I am often in zombie mode when I read before bed). I plan on finishing it by tomorrow.

A new edition of Muy Interesante came out the other day and I have already started reading it. I am pretty sure I read the last two editions from cover to cover, although on the Kindle it is hard to keep track of what you read in a magazine. I plan on reading this edition from cover to cover as well. I like how I am learning words in Spanish that I don't know in English. I've always felt like the Spanish side of me is a bit different than the English version of me. Now I'm at the point where I can talk about some things in Spanish but if I do it in English, if have to use some Spanish words because I don't know the English equivalent. This is very minor right now but will increase over time. I have no problem with this happening to me.

Television:

I am on episode 32 of 64 in the series Por amar sin Ley. I find the show very easy to understand. It does not have a lot of slang and the characters speak with easy to understand Mexican Spanish.

I decided to start Club de Cuervos over again from the beginning (previously I have watched the 1st and 2nd season). I was so frustrated watching it because the show is AWESOME and I wasn't understanding everything. I watched the very first episode yesterday and found it a lot easier to understand than the first time I watched it. Progress!!


Listening:

I am doing a better job listening to podcasts and audiobooks at work. I started to listen to "la Sentencia" which is one of the newest Radio Ambulante episodes. It was more difficult than I would have liked. I keep saying it but it is seriously time I spent a little extra effort with different Spanish dialects (in this episode the woman is Dominican). I am listening to the show right now as I type and it is a lot easier to understand than the other day when I was driving and listening to it. Maybe I'll save the harder podcasts for when I'm not working. At work when I'm multitasking I'll listen to clearer, well produced, podcasts that don't have a lot of background noise.

Speaking:

I have been practicing once each week with my online tutor. A few weeks ago I thought my speaking had gotten worse while my other skills stayed the same. I am starting to realize that my speaking has gotten worse, but it just seems worse than it is because I am getting so much input. I'm hitting a point where I can listen to things (or read them), and understand them, but have some difficulty talking about those same topics at the level I want to talk about them. I noticed this happened to me a lot when I was at an estimated B1 level and now it is happening again. Oh well. I think more input will make my passive vocabulary more active as I encounter words a lot more, and that should fix the problem. The other problem is that now I want to use specialized/technical/more elegant words to describe things that I would have previously described in a basic manner.


Goals for this week:

-Finish reading Nacidos para Correr and La Tumba.
-Start reading other books on my "to read list"
-Catch up on Radio Ambulante episodes while I run
-Finish season 1 of Club de Cuervos
-Fill up free time with reading the magazine Muy Interesante and listening to podcasts/watching the news in Spanish
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Re: ¡No Manches! - A new beginning...

Postby NoManches » Sat Jun 09, 2018 5:02 am

Today was a somewhat disappointing day, but I think it deserves to be recorded in my log for future reference:

I did my 35 minutes of reading for the day (didn't have time for anything longer) and listened to a few hours worth of podcasts at work. My comprehension was great and I was feeling pretty good about myself....until I had to talk with two men in Spanish about something work related. I should point out that they both had really strong Mexican accents (I think they were from the north, maybe Chihuahua?)

Anyway, I could understand them enough to get my job done but I was definitely missing out on a lot of things they said, and I had to ask them to repeat themselves a lot. These guys had really strong accents...I don't think I've had this much difficulty talking to somebody face to face in a verrrry long time.

If that wasn't bad enough, I was really struggling with expressing myself. I found myself needing to use a few words that I didn't know, and before I knew it, I was making very simple mistakes with the subjunctive and I may have even used the wrong word a few times to describe something (which was probably very confusing for them). Even though I tripped up a few times, I did have a few moments when I was speaking Spanish very "fluently", only to get hung up on something and make mistakes again. I was really tired so I'm sure that had something to do with it. I wonder what these guys were thinking when I was talking to them? One minute I was speaking fine and the next minute I was making simple mistakes....


What can I learn from this? Well, it's good to be put in my place from time to time. Sometimes I need a reminder that I still have a lot of work to do if I want to reach the level of fluency that I dream of. Life is great when you are listening to podcasts with people speaking in neutral accents...but things can get a lot tougher when you hit the real world. I think I should spend some time watching/listening to people with the type of accents I encountered today. Hopefully the next encounter won't be so bad...
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Re: ¡No Manches! - A new beginning...

Postby iguanamon » Sat Jun 09, 2018 11:52 am

We all have good days and bad days in second languages. You're not alone. Eventually, the bad days become fewer and fewer, but they still happen. When I'm tired or I have a lot on my mind that I've been dealing with in English, it can seem like I can't put together two words sometimes.

Most of us here live and work in our native languages every day. We should probably take a step back and realize how amazing it is that we can do what we do despite that. We'll never be perfect, but the more time we spend with the language, and as that time adds up cumulatively over the years, you'll reach an equilibrium. Mistakes will still happen but they'll happen less often. They'll still be annoying, though.
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Re: ¡No Manches! - A new beginning...

Postby James29 » Sat Jun 09, 2018 6:05 pm

NoManches wrote:I am wrapping up Nacidos para Correr and have been listening to the audio book at work and on my runs. I find the book incredibly interesting and I love how much I am learning about the Rarámuri. My desire to run has increased a lot, and I am starting to feel a lot healthier after only a few weeks of running again. The best part about running? I get to listen to a podcast or audiobook in Spanish!



The best thing for both my Spanish and my running was getting a treadmill set up with Netflix. It is great combining both things as it makes you feel doubly productive. Nice to see you are enjoying your running with Spanish too.
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Re: ¡No Manches! - A new beginning...

Postby jeff_lindqvist » Sat Jun 09, 2018 6:26 pm

James29 wrote:The best thing for both my Spanish and my running was getting a treadmill set up with Netflix. It is great combining both things as it makes you feel doubly productive. Nice to see you are enjoying your running with Spanish too.


Yeah, that's like my 45-minute walks while shadowing some target language. I don't think I'd do just one of the activities, but combining them makes me do both.
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Re: ¡No Manches! - A new beginning...

Postby NoManches » Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:27 am

Hay días buenos y hay días malos.

The other day I was having a horrible time speaking Spanish at work (as I posted about. And thanks Iguanamon for the encouragement and good advice). Today, I had a conversation with a man I met a few weeks ago. We started off in English but he remembered that I spoke to him before in Spanish, so he switched over to Spanish (because it was easier). The conversation went very well and I was speaking as fluently as I "used to" speak (back in college when I was spending many hours each week speaking Spanish and being almost fully immersed). .

This was very beneficial because I was kind of bummed out by my experience the other day. It just proves that my language skills can be bad when I'm tired and not giving it 100%.
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