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

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NoManches
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Re: ¡No Manches! - DELE C1 (2019)

Postby NoManches » Sat Aug 04, 2018 1:11 am

In terms of improving my Spanish, the last week has been a crappy one.....so let's document it for future reference: 8-) :lol:

It has been a busy work week which unfortunately equates to coming home and being mentally and/or physically exhausted. At the end of a long day I can usually watch some Spanish television to unwind, as it isn't too taxing. This week has been somewhat of an exception though. I've found that I have been too distracted with other things and can't really concentrate during some of my TV shows. I'm on episode 18 of La Reina del Sur but can't tell you too much about what happened during the last 3 episodes....it is a blur to me. I've been trying to watch some shows from Spain, but get frustrated when my comprehension isn't as high as it is for Mexican shows. This has resulted in me switching back and forth between a few shows that I really want to watch. Unfortunately, when I do this it's hard to keep track of what is going on in each show, and I get frustrated. The same thing happened years ago when I started off with watching television in Spanish, so I suppose I need to be patient with myself.


As far as reading, last week I decided to jump my reading up to an hour/ day. This was surprisingly easy to do because I have been leaving my cell phone outside of my bedroom but keep my Kindle next to my bed. When I wake up, I start to read and keep going until I have to go to work, which usually gives me 30 minutes of solid reading in the morning. During the last 4 days, I have barely read at all, since I've had to go to work really early and have had long work days.

As far as grammar books and DELE test prep books, I haven't done anything.

I signed up for another MOOC but haven't worked on either of the two that I signed up for.

As far as listening, I have squeezed some podcasts in but not as many as I normally do. The good thing though, is that I came across a really cool blog post and discovered a bunch of new podcasts that I really like. Here is a link to the blog

https://www.secondhalftravels.com/best- ... -podcasts/

The ones I really liked from the list are:

El Gran Apagón
Neteando con Kate y Jessica

I have yet to listen to the other but will give them a listen later. The first one, El Gran Apagon, is super cool and I highly recommend it. The second one might be a good one for James29 because it is a podcast hosted by Kate del Castillo.

Other than finding and listening to some new podcasts, the only good thing that happened for my Spanish this week was a 1 hour skype conversation with my tutor. I feel like that went well although I need to work on a few things.

I'm hoping that this upcoming week will be a lot more productive for me!
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Re: ¡No Manches! - DELE C1 (2019)

Postby eido » Sat Aug 04, 2018 1:47 am

I'm taking a look at those podcasts as we speak. Thanks for the link!
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Re: ¡No Manches! - DELE C1 (2019)

Postby NoManches » Sat Aug 04, 2018 2:09 am

eido wrote:I'm taking a look at those podcasts as we speak. Thanks for the link!


You're welcome!


I should have mentioned, El Gran Apagón is like a mini series and I absolutely love it!! Ive only listened to the first two episodes (and I listened to each episode twice), but it was apparently very popular in Spain when it came out.

I went to the website and realized that they have a bunch of other mini series as well. This is my kind of thing. Sometimes podcasts are too random and I don't get hooked


If anybody else knows of any mini series types of podcasts in Spanish please let me know!!

It makes me wonder, why don't they make them anymore? In the US they used to be very popular but I suppose with television people prefer to watch a show rather than listen to one.
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Re: ¡No Manches! - DELE C1 (2019)

Postby Jaleel10 » Mon Aug 06, 2018 6:58 am

Thanks for the El gran apagón recommendation. I love it! I don't know why but I just love stuff like this. My comprehension was surprisingly good, let's say 70 - 80 % so I think I am just gonna binge it during the month. I'd love to return to it sometime in the future for active study use. Also a huge fan of mini series', in my native languages at least, this is the first time I saw one in Spanish lol. If I find something I will let you know!

Oh, after reading James29's post on Spanish tv shows, I decided to go with La Reina del Sur for my Latin America show. I am probably gonna skip Cuéntame cómo pasó and opt for La que se avecina. It's filled with more modern slang and fast spoken Central Spain Spanish and it's funny as heck. When it's time for my TV show practice I will do one episode of each per week. Can't wait!

Oh. I can recommend a show for you. Have you ever watched Fariña? It's on Netflix, I think it was released last week on the platform. https://www.netflix.com/title/80215500. The English name is Cocaine Coast because Netflix lol. Not as bad as Money Heist (La Casa de Papel) I suppose. It's a well written crime drama about the drug trafficking trade in Galicia. Very captivating if you like those sort of series and you get to hear some Galician accents :D I only watched like 3 episodes with Spanish subs but I think I am gonna save it for later once my listening comprehension improves
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Re: ¡No Manches! - DELE C1 (2019)

Postby NoManches » Mon Aug 06, 2018 3:08 pm

Jaleel10 wrote:Thanks for the El gran apagón recommendation. I love it! I don't know why but I just love stuff like this. My comprehension was surprisingly good, let's say 70 - 80 % so I think I am just gonna binge it during the month. I'd love to return to it sometime in the future for active study use. Also a huge fan of mini series', in my native languages at least, this is the first time I saw one in Spanish lol. If I find something I will let you know!

Oh, after reading James29's post on Spanish tv shows, I decided to go with La Reina del Sur for my Latin America show. I am probably gonna skip Cuéntame cómo pasó and opt for La que se avecina. It's filled with more modern slang and fast spoken Central Spain Spanish and it's funny as heck. When it's time for my TV show practice I will do one episode of each per week. Can't wait!

Oh. I can recommend a show for you. Have you ever watched Fariña? It's on Netflix, I think it was released last week on the platform. https://www.netflix.com/title/80215500. The English name is Cocaine Coast because Netflix lol. Not as bad as Money Heist (La Casa de Papel) I suppose. It's a well written crime drama about the drug trafficking trade in Galicia. Very captivating if you like those sort of series and you get to hear some Galician accents :D I only watched like 3 episodes with Spanish subs but I think I am gonna save it for later once my listening comprehension improves



I'm glad you liked El Gran Apagón. I found out that El Gran Apagón is produced by a group called Podium Podcast....and they have a ton of really cool podcasts.

https://www.podiumpodcast.com/

I downloaded almost all of them in iVoox, but realized that they also have an app for smartphones which has everything organized by show in an easy to use format. I found that even their website is a little confusing since the don't have a list with the names of all the different shows, but the app does. The website has the shows organised but doesn't include the title, so you have to do some clicking in order to figure out what each one is...if that makes any sense.

Haven't even began to check out each and every show but I am already hooked. I listened to one called "Leyendas Urbanas" which I also recommend. I think I have finally found a podcast that is really interesting to me. I would even be willing to skip watching Spanish television just to sit around all day and listen to these shows while drinking coffee.

I believe @iguanamon once recommended a radio show from Cuba...I'll have to find that show and give it a listen.

La Reina del Sur is an EXCELLENT show. I'm on episode 24 and it wasn't until episode 21 or something when I realized that my listening made a decent improvement. There are a lot of different accents in this show which I think is a good thing. Most of them aren't too difficult....although for me some are still tough from time to time. I bought the kindle book with the same title (the novela is based on the book). When I'm done with the show I might read the book, after all, I did pay for it already.

I will have to give La que se avecina a try. Where is it available? I started watching Cuentame Como Paso but have been binge watching some other shows. I watched part of the first episode of Fariña yesterday. It already seems to be pretty popular on Netflix and I can see why, it's not too long and pretty intriguing. Surprisingly, I found that show to be easier than both Gran Hotel and La Casa de Papel. I understand why you'd want to wait to watch the show when your comprehension gets better. I'm doing this right now with La Casa de Papel. I think La Reina del Sur is safe to watch no matter what level you have because there are so many episodes that you won't miss out on any big details (especially since they have the recap of the previous episode at the beginning of each new episode)
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Re: ¡No Manches! - DELE C1 (2019)

Postby Jaleel10 » Mon Aug 06, 2018 3:33 pm

I'm glad you liked El Gran Apagón. I found out that El Gran Apagón is produced by a group called Podium Podcast....and they have a ton of really cool podcasts.

https://www.podiumpodcast.com/

I downloaded almost all of them in iVoox, but realized that they also have an app for smartphones which has everything organized by show in an easy to use format. I found that even their website is a little confusing since the don't have a list with the names of all the different shows, but the app does. The website has the shows organised but doesn't include the title, so you have to do some clicking in order to figure out what each one is...if that makes any sense.


Yeah, I did some of that yesterday. Seems like most of them are journalistic podcasts (kinda like Serial) or just regular talk podcasts.

Haven't even began to check out each and every show but I am already hooked. I listened to one called "Leyendas Urbanas" which I also recommend. I think I have finally found a podcast that is really interesting to me. I would even be willing to skip watching Spanish television just to sit around all day and listen to these shows while drinking coffee.


Yeah, I am subscribed to that as well. Even had a nightmare because of it :lol:

I will have to give La que se avecina a try. Where is it available?


Aquí tienes - https://comunidadmontepinar.es/episodios/capitulos/ . It's bingeable as well but the only thing that could turn one off is that the episodes are more than an hour long. That is asking a lot from me lol. At least it gives me a ton of content to practice with it.

just to sit around all day and listen to these shows while drinking coffee.


I know what you mean haha. I am a huge podcast head, I listen to about 15 hours (sadly in English ha) per week while I am working. Making the shift to Spanish podcasts is one of my main motivators for suffering through studying this language. I constantly browse around Ivoox and it's awesome to see the culture of 'podcasting' that Spanish speakers have.
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Re: ¡No Manches! - DELE C1 (2019)

Postby NoManches » Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:18 am

This last week has been pretty good (especially compared to my last update when I reported a super unproductive week). This might be a longer post but I have some cool books/podcasts to share!

Reading

I finished El Bosque de los Pigmeos, which is the third book in Isabelle Allende's famous trilogy. This is the second time I've read the trilogy (according to my old log, I finished the trilogy for the first time on June 26, 2016). I'd say that the first time I read the books my comprehension was pretty good, but I still missed out on a lot of things. I think I had a tendency to skim over the more complex sentences and paragraphs just to get the gist, instead of forcing myself to comprehend everything at 100%. This time around, my comprehension was much higher. The fact that I've previously read the books definitely helped, but I think this time around my Spanish level was stronger than before which made things better for me. (Keep in mind that during 2017 I barely studied Spanish and only used the language from time to time, so my skills deteriorated a lot). I highly recommend these books to those with an intermediate or high intermediate level of Spanish. Like any type of "literature",, the author uses a pretty rich vocabulary, which was a challenge to me. For this reason, I prefer to read non-fiction, as I think the language tends to be more modern and realistic. However, reading fiction is just really fun and something I can do for a longer period of time. It's good to do a little bit of both. Also, the use of exotic names and locations in this series made things difficult for me for some reason. When I read a book and a characters name is Bob I do fine. When the author picks some random name that I can't even pronounce it complicates things 8-) .

I'm currently working on Tiroteo by Raul Garbantes. I downloaded El Ausente which was also written by him, although I haven't started it yet. I plan on finishing both of them by next week. I also started Tierra de Todos by Jorge Ramos but stopped reading it for now. It is really good but I want to finish my other books before I commit to it. I also have the audio book to go along with it. This is a great way of reinforcing your reading/listening of the book (I tend to listen first and then read, but not always).

Also, I downloaded to my Kindle what is basically a graded reader written by a native Spanish speaker named Paco Ardit. I found a bundle of 5 books for $10 on Amazon. They are written for the B2 level and in total it is something like 432 pages. These books are definitely below my level, maybe they are written for people who want to reach the B2 level. The only words I've had to look up are words which appear to be common in Spain or Argentina (the author was born in Madrid but moved to Argentina at a young age). For example, I looked up the word "la vereda" to confirm what I thought it meant based on context. (It means sidewalk). I'm used to "la banqueta" which is common in Mexico. Also, I'm familiar with "acera" . I plan on just plowing through these books because I have found that extensive reading is great for solidifying certain grammar constructions and vocabulary. I just found a series of C1 and C2 level books that he has written as well. I'll probably get the C1 bundle and if I like it maybe I'll buy the C2 level books. At first, I thought the first book (Perro que habla no muerde) was going to be very childish. It's actually really good with good character development...I was able to read for an hour non-stop because I wanted to find out what happens next. It appears that the rest of his books at the B2 level and all of the C1 books have adult themes. I probably won't use it but the author has a website with exercises that go along with all of the books. I think they are grammar exercises, not comprehension questions but I could be wrong.

This is the link for the B2 level book if you are interested:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01NA ... tkin_p1_i2

I have used a bunch of graded readers int he 5 years or so that I've been learning Spanish, and these are BY FAR the best ones I've came across. Definitely check them out, they might be very useful for you.

Television:

I've been watching La Reina del Sur and Las Chicas del Cable. I'm only on episode 2 of Las Chicas del Cable because I have been working INTENSIVELY with it. Here is my method:

Basically, I turn on the subtitles (and use every ounce of discipline in my body to not look at them). As soon as I come across something that I can't understand, I rewind (using my wireless keyboard... because the left arrow and space bar are WAY easier to use than the mouse). I then pause right when the subtitles pop up but BEFORE the characters speak. I then read the subtitles and look up some unknown words if I feel like it. I then hit play and look away from the subtitles trying really hard to listen to what I just read. Like magic, my comprehension the second time around is always at 100%.

This is probably the most effective method I've found to watch a TV show in a foreign language. A few notes:

-I stopped watching Spanish TV with subtitles a LONG time ago. I recommend not using them because you end up reading more than listening. However, for this method, it takes too long to rewind and then turn the subtitles on. It's just best to leave them on but not look at them unless you absolutely must.

-Using a keyboard makes this method much easier. I can just tap the space bar a few times until I pause the show at the right time to review subtitles before hearing the audio.

-I've tried different methods for working intensively with TV/Movies and audio books/podcasts and have found that the best method for me is "LISTEN - READ - LISTEN".

This method is somewhat tedious and I only recommend doing it for the first few episodes of a show to get used to how to actors speak and to get used to their accents and whatnot. I've found that after just one episodes my comprehension (for this show) has increased dramatically. I will probably do this method for the first 3 episodes and then I'll just binge watch it.


As far as La Reina del Sur, I'm on episode 29 and absolutely loving it. My comprehension has skyrocketed after the 20th episode or so. I contribute this to INTENSIVELY watching Las Chicas del Cable AND making sure I pay attention during the show and trying to hear everything rather than getting distracted by my cell phone and other work related things.


Listening:

I have been listening to El Gran Apagon and absolutely love it. A few days ago I just laid back on my coach and listened to an hour of it without thinking about anything else. It is definitely addicting and I am so glad I found it.

I also started to listen to the mini series "Bienvenido a la Vida Peligrosa". I have to warn you, I've watched a bunch of narco telenovelas and movies and the introduction to the first episode really made me cringe. It was pretty violent but it got me hooked.

I have no problem listening to mini series like these but regular podcasts can be tough unless they are on a topic that really interest me.

Specific preparation for the DELE exam

I spent a total of 2 hours with tutors on Skype. These classes (each of 1 hour) are really pushing my Spanish to new levels. Each tutor assigns me homework to do which includes writing, reading, and listening. I'm all about it!

I did a review of the subjunctive in my grammar book and will finish that lesson and do some more subjunctive review this week.

I will get started with one of the first lessons in my book El Cronómetro C1. This book is loaded with advanced Spanish and is just the thing I need to go from a B2 to C1 level.


Plans for the upcoming week:

Combination of "regular reading" and extensive reading. (I don't do a lot of intensive reading anymore at my level. "Regular reading" is where I just read and maybe look up words if I need to or just keep reading and hope the words stick 8-) )

Continue to listen to the podcast mini series I mentioned. I have some other podcasts that I listen to when driving or walking the dog.

Work intensively with the first 3 episodes of Las Chicas del Cable and then binge watch the rest. Binge watch La Reina del Sur.

I have two Spanish skype lessons planned for the upcoming week. That should be a solid two hours of conversation plus homework (grammar study, reading/writing assignments).


Man, it feels good to have had a productive week of Spanish! I hope everyone else is "getting it done". Good luck!
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Re: ¡No Manches! - DELE C1 (2019)

Postby NoManches » Tue Aug 14, 2018 10:12 pm

A quick update:

I'm on episode 42 of La Reina del Sur. My comprehension has skyrocketed although there are some things that are still difficult for me.

I've been reading for about an hour each day. The best thing I've done in a long time is charge my cell phone in a different room. Before going to sleep and upon waking up I am reading on my Kindle instead of messing with my phone. I just finished a 5 book "bundle" (about 430 pages) written by a native speaker for those at the B2 level. I just started the C1 bundle written by the same author, and I don't think it's written anywhere close to a C1 level. I barely have to look up any words. On average I come across 1 or 2 "fuzzy" words. These are words that I know (very new to me) or have to guess based on context even though they seem pretty cleat. Ill plow through this bundle and the C2 bundle afterwards (yup, I bought that one too). Not sure of the page count but when it's all said and done I'll have about 1,000 pages (maybe less) of nearly 100% extensive reading. After I'll jump back to the harder material.

Speaking of the harder stuff, I've been working with my C1 book and this stuff is really hard. It's not like anything I've ever read before. Lots of new, complicated vocabulary written on not so interesting topics. I'll keep working through it though. Even if I don't pass the C1 exam, this preparation is just what I need to bring my Spanish to a new level.


Also, I've been working with my grammar book. It's amazing how I know all of the grammar concepts (rusty on some) but have trouble using them in real conversations or in my writing. And it's not that I can't use them, it seems like I've developed methods of completely avoided certain grammar constructions. How the hell did this ever happen?

In the next few weeks I need to keep hammering away with the grammar and try to make myself use these concepts without taking the easy road and avoiding them. I'm almost intimated by the C1 workbook I have since some of the written material is so dang hard, but I'll keep at that took. On one particular text I highlighted a handful of words that I wasn't sure of. Even soi thought I had a grasp of what the text was about. That was false. I've had some tutor practice where I read a section and have to talk about it. I feel like I understand everything but when it comes time to speak it's hard to express myself the way I want. Ah the joys of trying to go from intermediate to advanced!
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Re: ¡No Manches! - DELE C1 (2019)

Postby NoManches » Thu Aug 16, 2018 7:02 pm

Cavesa wrote:
1.I'm looking forward to hearing more about the books, as I don't know which one(s) to choose, when I finally have time for dragging my Spanish to the exam
2.It's interesting to read about the reading difficulty. You know, this has always been my strength (except for medical textbooks, I have the attention span and memory of a goldfish, when it comes to those), it is hard to imagine it is the opposite for some people, even though it makes sense. But I'm sure you'll get through this, you seem to be approaching this really smartly. After all, you have gotten so far in Spanish, you will get over this obstacle too!


I am STILL waiting to receive one of the books in the mail. I think it was sent from somewhere in Europe and is taking forever. Fortunately, I was told that the book I'm waiting for is a bit out of date and the preferred book is El Cronómetro.

(This is the book I'm waiting on, which is supposedly of lesser quality): https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/84771 ... UTF8&psc=1

This is the "better" book (so I've been told):
https://www.amazon.com/Cronometro-Timer ... nometro+c1

Let me talk about El Cronómetro really quick. I LOVE these books. I say "these" because I actually went out and bought the Nivel B2 book. Here's why: My online tutor (who is very familiar with the exam and preparing people for the exam), said the the nivel B2 book is really "B2.5" and the nivel C1 book is like "C1.5". Fortunately, he told me this before I started using the book. Had he told me after, I would have assumed that he was only saying that to make me feel good...because the Spanish in the C1 book is pretty tough for me. It made me question what my level of Spanish really was. I only attempted the first "tarea" and my eyes instantly glazed over and I was overwhelmed with big words that I had never heard of before. I have bilingual friends who would have trouble with the C1 book, since they grew up speaking Spanish at home and never had to do "native like stuff" in Spanish. There's a big difference between having a fluent conversation in Spanish with your abuela and renting an apartment in Madrid, only after reading a complicated lease, where not understanding it 100% could cost you a lot of $$$. I actually scored very well on the first "tarea" (there were only 6 questions), but this was after I read the material a few times and had to change some answers as I better understood the text. The exam is timed so if I had to do the C1 exam right now I probably wouldn't be able to complete all the tasks on time. These books force you to not only read and comprehend, but to read and comprehend at a native like level. It's the difference between getting the gist and understanding everything as if it were in your native language (at least that's the impression I got).

Depending on your level Cavesa, you might want to do a practice examen online and see what book is best for you. Ultimately, my goal is to take and pass the C1 exam. This means I will have a C1 level and can prove it on a test. I'm currently doing the nivel B2 book and find it a lot easier than the C1 book. I have no problem reading, and answering the questions. The vocabulary is definitely at my level and I can infer a lot of the words (with the C1 book I couldn't even infer some of the words)

My goal now is to work only with the B2 book while continuing to consume massive amounts of Spanish TV, audio, and books. I also need to keep working on my grammar. I've identified a handful of silly mistakes I keep making along with some concepts that I need a refresher on. After a refresher course with my grammar book, I think I'll see some good improvements in my Spanish. I hope to be done with the B2 book by the end of September (or maybe sooner). I'm trying to work intensively with it. There is a ton of Spanish in these books and at the end, you'll without a doubt see improvements in your language skills.

One last thing, I bought the nivel C1 book on Amazon, but the B2 book was really expensive. I ended up googling the book and found it being sold by Wal-Mart (of all places :roll: ) for much cheaper. I think they sent it through a 3rd party.
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Re: ¡No Manches! - DELE C1 (2019)

Postby NoManches » Mon Aug 20, 2018 4:44 pm

Just finished La Reina del Sur. 63 episodes of awesomeness! Can't wait for the next temporada. Kate del Castillo has a podcast (Neteando con Kate y Jessica). Lot's of content directed for female listeners, but it's a great way to listen to things I normally wouldn't listen to. Kate constantly mentions that she is filming La Reina del Sur 2. She doesn't give out much info, but I'm listening attentively hoping she will slip up and give us an idea of when the show will be aired.

Now I have to decide what show I will watch next. I was ready to finish some shows from Spain, but now I feel the urge to finish watching Duenos del Parasio. The only problem is that I'm nervous it won't be as good as La Reina del Sur. The good thing is that it has a few actors I'm already familiar with, so maybe my comprehension will be excellent. It took about 20 episodes to get used to the accents and actors in La Reina del Sur.....longer than I would have liked but at least I'm seeing good progress.

I finished the B2 book "bundle" I talked about in another post, and I'm almost done with the C1 bundle. I find all of the books in each "bundle" to be very easy to read. I haven't done a lot of extensive reading at my current level, so I think this will do me some good. I'm thinking about reading the book "La Reina del Sur", but I'm afraid it won't be as good as the show.

I've been having about 3 Skype sessions each week with my tutors, for a total of 3 hours. I'm seeing improvements, especially when I work on some grammar concepts and then practice those concepts during the conversation. The refresher I'm doing on the subjunctive is great. I'm having a lot of "oh yea, I forgot about that" moments. The good thing is that I already "know" this stuff, so I'm not really relearning it...just having a refresher course.

I've been working with my DELE B2 book and really like it. I feel like if I took the B2 test right now I'd feel comfortable doing it. However, I wouldn't feel comfortable taking the C1 test just yet.

I continue to listen to podcasts each day at work. I finished "Bienvenido a la Vida Peligrosa". It was really good and I'm going to relisten to it just because. Rafael Amaya is the voice of one of the actors. I thought he sounded familiar and it took a few minutes to realize he's the one who played Aurelio Casillas in El Señor de los Cielos. He's really good in both. Maybe one of these days I'll start watching El Señor de los Cielos again. There are a ton of episodes and I stopped watching because I wanted some new content...but it is a pretty good show and a good way to get exposure to a lot of Mexican slang.

This week will be a busy one. If I continue reading for an hour each day and squeezing in a tv show every day or two I will be happy.
3 x
DOUBLE Super Challenge
Spanish Movies
: 10795 / 18000

Spanish Books
: 4415 / 10000


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