Spanish Group

An area with study groups for various languages. Group members help each other, share resources and experience. Study groups are permanent but the members rotate and change.
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Hank
Green Belt
Posts: 325
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2015 12:35 pm
Location: Missouri, USA
Languages: English (N), Spanish (intermediate), Welsh (studying)
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=1833
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Re: Spanish Group

Postby Hank » Tue Dec 06, 2016 12:54 am

¡Hola a todos!

I started studying Spanish in August of 2015. I had no good reason to do it other than I always thought it would be fun to know a second language. I started with Duolingo and Memrise. After that most of my "study" has been reading and watching TV.

At this point I can read fairly well, I can usually follow TV programs, and occasionally I can understand native Spanish speakers that I'm eavesdropping on. My output level isn't great, but then again I practice very little. It's getting better, though. My big problem at this point is past tense/future tense conjugations and some of the uncommon verbs.
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NoManches
Blue Belt
Posts: 653
Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2016 2:21 pm
Location: Estados Unidos (near the Mexican border)
Languages: English - (N)
Spanish - B2 +
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7942
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Re: Spanish Group

Postby NoManches » Tue Dec 06, 2016 5:49 am

Way back when I took three Spanish classes in High School. I HATED foreign languages. I was horrible at Spanish. When I was younger I really wanted to learn a foreign language because my dad could hold basic conversations in 2-3 other languages which I thought was very cool. High School Spanish was really disappointing for me. The 3 grades I received: D- D+ and C- . When I finished my final exam for Spanish in High School I was so glad to be done. "I will never use Spanish when I'm older. Everyone else speaks English anyway". I shudder when I think about how ignorant I was....

Flash forward about 10 years or so. I went back to college in order to change careers. I was "forced" to take 3 semesters of a foreign language....but this time around I had a different mindset. At first I just wanted to get good grades in my class and be done with it. But after a semester or two, I fell in love with the language.

It's now been a little bit over 4 years since I started learning Spanish. I consider myself fluent, but I constantly come across people who speak their L2 WAY better than I speak Spanish. This motivates me to keep learning. One day I want to reach the C2 level. Many people (including one of my tutors) say that I'm already at a C1 level.....but I don't believe it. My listening still needs a lot of work, my vocabulary needs improvement, and occasionally I have problems saying complicated things in Spanish that a native speaker could express with only a little extra effort.

I'm glad we have this thread, and want to thank Iguanamon for getting it started (I owe a lot of my Spanish success to him, especially with recent improvements I've had in my listening comprehension).

Sorry for making this first post so long....I'm just really passionate about learning Spanish and am really excited about this. Let's keep each other motivated so we are constantly making improvements! If I can be of any help to anybody, please let me know! I would love to help and share my knowledge 8-)
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garyb
Brown Belt
Posts: 1158
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 12:35 pm
Location: Scotland
Languages: Native: English
Advanced: Italian, French
Intermediate: Spanish
Beginner: Greek
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=1855
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Re: Spanish Group

Postby garyb » Wed Dec 07, 2016 4:29 pm

I'll be following!

I've been learning Spanish in fits and starts for a couple of years: I go through periods of working on it for a month or two then barely doing anything for the next month or two. Having a couple of other Romance languages under my belt, I learnt the basics and reached a decent level of understanding fairly quickly, but learning to speak is still a big undertaking.

What motivated me to start was having a lot of social contact with Spanish people in my city, although I was more interested in French and Italian so I put off Spanish until I had a decent level in those. I don't know many Spaniards any more, but there are plenty around here. I'm hoping to visit more of Spain after having a great few days in Barcelona last year, and am also planning a trip to Latin America sooner or later.

I started with Michel Thomas and Assimil, and I'm now very gradually working through FSI Basic alongside plenty input from TV and films and some conversation now and again.
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schneibler
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2016 4:57 am
Languages: English(N), Spanish(intermediate/advanced), German(intermediate)
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Re: Spanish Group

Postby schneibler » Thu Dec 08, 2016 5:21 am

Hey guys! I just made an account about 10 minutes ago so this will be my first post. I admire the sense of community on this site and have great respect for all the hard work that everyone puts into their language learning! I have been "learning" Spanish for 18 years. I put learning in quotes because the majority of that time has been in classes that are very poorly formatted. Becoming fluent was impossible while just taking classes.

I've always loved languages, especially Spanish, so I've decided I'm going to put the effort into becoming fluent. I watched Benny Lewis' TED talk and related to him about not speaking anything fluently while in my 20s, along with feeling like something is wrong with my brain that prevents me from understanding Spanish. Now I realize I just haven't spent enough time practicing, and I pretty much never do any speaking. I also made a resolution that I would learn one language every two years (two years ago) and I haven't stayed true to that. Well actually I have 24 days until New Years and no school until January so we will see!

I've seen italki recommended on this forum so I plan on scheduling a lesson in the next few days. My Spanish speaking friends never want to speak Spanish, so I'm going to have to meet some new people. Meetup.com seems like a good place for that. I actually struck up a conversation with some Spanish speakers at a bookstore on Sunday, which was terrifying, while looking for a good book to read in Spanish. They recommended The Alchemist, which I have already read in English and loved, so I have been reading that with almost no problems. There are a few words on each page I don't understand, so I created a vocabulary list and have been adding 5-10 a day from the book.

I talk to myself in Spanish a lot to see which words I try to use frequently, but am unfamiliar with in Spanish. I also add those to the vocabulary list. I can speak to myself pretty well but when it comes to other people I have problems tripping over my words. I really need to work on imperfect and subjunctive, which are among some of the topics that were never heavily covered in school. I've been watching educational videos, watching Spanish programs, reading lessons online, and doing practice assignments. I also try to incorporate the new stuff I learn into my self conversations. Hopefully I'll be speaking with others soon. :D.

I hope my response is not too long and on topic with this thread, looking forward to getting to know everyone!
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Spoonary
Blue Belt
Posts: 876
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 3:45 pm
Location: England
Languages: English (N)
Español (Adv), Italiano (Int), Esperanto (I try), Deutsch (Beg), Ελληνικά (Beg)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=9858
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Re: Spanish Group

Postby Spoonary » Thu Dec 08, 2016 7:35 am

Bienvenid@ al foro, Schneibler!

Buenos días!
Thank you for sharing your Spanish stories, everyone. It has been really interesting to read all of the different ways one can start to learn a language :P

I see that what a couple of you have done is to explain what you're doing now to learn/maintain Spanish, so I thought I would do that too.

Generally, with Spanish, I'm purely in input mode nowadays. I read novels, watch youtube videos and listen to podcasts and music. My output is limited to the odd post on here and muttering away to myself at work. :roll:

This is all well and good for maintaining a high level of understanding, of course, but to regain the level of fluency I had before, I'll have to incorporate more organised output into my routine, methinks.
Last edited by Spoonary on Thu Dec 08, 2016 7:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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schneibler
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2016 4:57 am
Languages: English(N), Spanish(intermediate/advanced), German(intermediate)
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Re: Spanish Group

Postby schneibler » Thu Dec 08, 2016 7:59 am

Thanks Spoonary, much appreciated! It sounds like you and I are using similar methods to learn. Do you have any recommendations of specific media I could check out? I mainly search around on Netflix and have unintentionally hijacked my friend's HBO Go account, which I am using for the Latin section (and Westworld). I just watch random shows though without looking for anything in particular.

One show that I do enjoy on Netflix is Metástasis, the Spanish version of Breaking Bad. I don't know if anyone has heard of it but it is an exact remake of Breaking Bad, scene for scene and line for line. It has different actors and a different setting but it is pretty funny, and good practice if you have already watched the regular series in English. One of my goals with Spanish is to be able to understand at least one entire episode of Metastasis.

I just started my HBO Go journey but it seems to have a good selection of Spanish shows and movies. I would suggest checking some of them out if anyone has an account!
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souschef
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2015 6:20 pm
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Re: Spanish Group

Postby souschef » Thu Dec 08, 2016 8:42 am

¡Hola a todos!

Spanish for me is a language that's always been 'on the back burner' -- I've learned a bit here and there, but never seriously worked out a study program.

Currently my main exposure is passive. I'm reading a novel called "La Tienda Secreta" (https://www.amazon.com/Tienda-Secreta-A ... B00N6VA2BM), which I'd recommend for anyone wanting a first book to read in Spanish. Simple vocabulary and structure, and fast-moving enough to keep you interested.

At some point I would like to seriously work on active use of Spanish, as well as grammar. But for now my priority is German, and my Spanish work will remain passive until the new year.
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Languages: English N, German B2, French B1, Russian A2, Bosnian/Serbian/Croation A1, Sanskrit A1, Spanish A1

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Systematiker
Blue Belt
Posts: 795
Joined: Tue May 10, 2016 6:09 pm
Languages: ENG (N); DEU (C2+) // SWG (~C1); BAR (~C1); SPA, (C1); FRA (~C1); SCO (~C1); NLD (~B2*); LAT (B2); GRC (B2); CAT (~B2*); POR (~B2*); SWE (~B2*); HBO (B1); DAN (~B1*); RUS (~A2); KOR (~A1); HEB (?); GLG (?); ANG(?); UKR (?); CES(?); FAS (?); HAT (?). Next: SYC, CLD, ARA, ITA, ISL, SWA, AFR, RON, Siebenbürger Sächsisch.
*Averaged for high receptive skill
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7332
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Re: Spanish Group

Postby Systematiker » Thu Dec 08, 2016 2:54 pm

Hey everyone,

I'm excited about this group! I've been dealing with Spanish off and on for some time - the occasional school exposure in middle school, having it here and there around me, etc. I made an effort to learn it somewhere around 2009-2011, and played with it in the time afterward, but fell off of using it after about 2014. This year, I decided I didn't want to let it die, and though I knew I could still read and understand a lot, I figured it wasn't enough, and I had real problems talking to people at the drop of a hat. I've ended up deciding to do a Super Challenge, along with a great deal of listening and some chatting with people online. I feel confident that I read as a strong C1 (depending on topic), and listen about the same, but production is hovering around B2 or so (which is already an improvement over the beginning of the year, as the rust gets knocked off). I'm hoping to round out my skillset and march toward C2 across the next year or so. For the most part, I'm just using Spanish, not really studying it, but I know I could stand to make some efforts to smooth out my production, and there's occasionally some unknown words in the more literary stuff I read.
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iguanamon
Black Belt - 1st Dan
Posts: 1603
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
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Re: Spanish Group

Postby iguanamon » Thu Dec 08, 2016 3:05 pm

I'm pleased to see the activity here in this first week of the thread. It's really nice to read everybody's introductions. Mine is on the first page of my log.
iguanamon wrote:I am no longer actively "studying" Portuguese and Spanish as I have an advanced level in both. I just slowly try to improve them over time by using them- speaking, reading, writing and listening. I will most likely never be completely satisfied .

Spanish has been with me the longest of all. When I was a boy of about 11 or 12 years old, I remember lying in bed on a cold winter's night (where I was born and raised in the upper South of the mainland US) listening to my AM (MW) radio and hearing a baseball game being transmitted in Spanish from Cuba. I loved baseball and to hear it on the radio in wintertime (well before ESPN Classic appeared) was nothing short of amazing. After the baseball game I heard Cuban Son and Salsa music. I was hooked. The first time I could go to the nearest (to us) big city, I went to a bookstore and bought a paperback bilingual dictionary and Charles Berlitz' Spanish Step by Step. I was off to the races! Little did I know, but even back then I was using the multi-track approach. There was no Hispanic immigration back then in my little town, no Spanish-language cable tv, no itunes or internet. There was no audio with my textbook. The only way I could hear Spanish was on the radio.

I was fascinated by all things Cuban. Cuba was "forbidden". It was an irresistible draw. After finishing the Berlitz book, I was probably A1. In a couple of years I was able to take Spanish class in high school where I was easily the best student. My teacher, who was a non-native speaking local woman, took an interest in me and provided me with magazines, books and music in Spanish. I aced both Spanish 1 and Spanish 2 and that was it. No more formal Spanish learning was available for me.

So I wrote to Radio Havana and I got a free weekly subscription to Granma, the Cuban Communist Party propaganda newspaper- think Pravda. I was also able to get a free subscription to the OAS (Organization of American States) monthly magazine "Américas". I had, in the meantime read my first novel in Spanish with a dictionary. I continued to listen to Spanish-speaking radio on shortwave. Shortwave was the closest thing to the internet, pre-internet. I had an amateur radio license as well and actually began to seek out conversations with natives. At first I used morse code and later audio. By the time I got to university, I finally had access to a large library and read as much as I could get my hands on in Spanish. I hung around the international students and learned even more by speaking. I then took and passed the CLEP exam and earned 12 hours (4 semesters) credit in Spanish without ever having had a university class. (Those tests are still available in the US and a cheap way to earn credit hours, if the university accepts the test, mine did.)

After university I did a stint in the US Army where I had Hispanic roommates. After the Army I traveled through Latin America and Spain. In the early 90's immigration started to occur, even in my lttle town of 6,000 people. With it came satellite cable and Univisión. I watched telenovelas with closed captions and that was a huge boost to my Spanish. Finding HTLAL brought me more efficiency and I learned about new resources and was able to take my Spanish to the next level.
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iguanamon
Black Belt - 1st Dan
Posts: 1603
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
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Re: Spanish Group

Postby iguanamon » Thu Dec 08, 2016 3:49 pm

This is for intermediate and above levels and came to me yesterday via Twitter Todas las nuevas series españolas de TV que están por venir (All the new Spanish TV series that are coming up). It comes from the website vertele from Spain. This can help solve the question of what to watch. There are synopses for around twenty new series appearing on Spanish TV along with trailer videos and broadcast information. Many people can watch series without geo-restriction on RTVE.es. Some of the shows have Spanish subtitles available. A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is also a way to circumvent geo-restrictions (though the big companies are cracking down on this).

We don't share links here to illegal streaming sites. Sometimes, you have to do what you have to do. If you go this route, you do so at your own risk. The golden age of easy streaming and downloading is past us. Nowadays, these sites are getting downright evil. Click to play and an evil ad tries to open up in a new tab or new window, some of which demand that you add an evil extension to your browser in order to leave (if this happens hit "ctrl-alt del" in windows and go to task manager to exit the browser- upon restarting the browser, don't restore tabs! Run your antivirus programs). Big green download buttons- evil. Fake "X"- evil. You really have to know what you're doing and have some good antivirus programs running.
Last edited by iguanamon on Thu Dec 08, 2016 7:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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