B2 Spanish or bust

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arthaey
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Re: B2 Spanish or bust

Postby arthaey » Tue Jul 28, 2015 9:40 pm

bryan wrote:I wrote a simple tool in php (I dislike php, I really do) that parses this file and automatically creates cloze cards, from the book of your choosing, for import into Anki. So far, this is working well with the Spanish books I've read. I'm hoping that I can polish the tool and have it on my website soon for use by anyone that wants to use it.

Please do let me know when you put this code online somewhere!
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bryan
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Re: B2 Spanish or bust

Postby bryan » Wed Jul 29, 2015 2:26 pm

The last couple of days I've been trying to transition over to watching entertaining tv shows as opposed to things targeted at learning Spanish. RTVE has a wealth of programming on their website. I was drawn to Aguila Roja and Isabel in particular. The more recent seasons have subtitles in Spanish.

I had a lot of trouble understanding Aguila Roja. Yes, there were a lot of new words and phrases but, also, my ears just didn't pick up the speech well. It sounded like mumbling to me.

Isabel was better. The speech was more clear but I, maybe, understood 25% of the dialog. Even with subtitles. However, I did really enjoy the show. Between what I could understand and the context of the video, I could mostly follow the plot.

I'm debating on whether or not to continue this. My comprehension is so low that I'm debating whether or not it's a waste of time. I'd love to hear opinions of other people who have transitioned to native television shows and how much I should expect to understand.

In another thread, EMK has recommended a cartoon called Avatar. I'm planning on trying this one soon and seeing if my understanding is any better.
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Cavesa
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Re: B2 Spanish or bust

Postby Cavesa » Wed Jul 29, 2015 3:09 pm

If you enjoy it, I suggest you continue. Both in French and in Spanish, I've experienced a huge jump in skills after approximately one season of a tv series. Most people I know fail because they give up after ten minutes convinced they just need to pay a teacher for several more years and then they will miraculously understand everything right away. Nonsense.

Some options to help you improve faster:
-a few longer sessions at the beginnning. It might be hard but try to find two or free afternoons or weekends to watch basicaly three or four episodes in a row (or more). Get immersed for such a long time, give your brain the time to get used to everything, become part of the story. It worked like a miracle for me three times already. Of course, it is not a viable long term plan for most people but those several inicial sessions work. After that, even one episode at a time should be quite a comfortable and much easier to understand experience.
-get some easier/dubbed tv shows as well. Avatar may be a good option, I liked Erase Una Vez (once upon a time).
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bryan
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Re: B2 Spanish or bust

Postby bryan » Wed Jul 29, 2015 3:20 pm

@Cavesa Thanks for the telling me about your experience. That definitely gives me the confidence to continue with this experiment. I'll plan on sticking with this season of Isabel and also try to have some longer watching sessions like you suggest.

I ordered a copy of Avatar so I'll try that in a few days when it arrives. I'll also take a look at Erase Una Vez, thanks for the suggestion :)
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Polyclod
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Re: B2 Spanish or bust

Postby Polyclod » Thu Jul 30, 2015 3:14 pm

Just so you don't get discouraged, those two shows you mentioned would be tough for even an advanced learner to understand at first. They're mainly difficult because they're period pieces, and especially with Isabel the language is extremely archaic sounding. Imagine being an ESL student and watching a production of Shakespeare...you're gonna have a bad time. If you're not used to Peninsular accents and slang (especially the slang in Aguila roja), it's going to make things even worse.

That said, at least you're getting experience and you're hearing Spanish the way it's spoken in various parts of the world, which is important. Hang in there!
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Spoonary
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Re: B2 Spanish or bust

Postby Spoonary » Thu Jul 30, 2015 3:37 pm

Hello there. I just wanted to let you know that I am enjoying reading about your enthusiasm and the progress you are making with Spanish. Also, I have my own experience to share, with regards to understanding TV shows (I hope you don't mind).

I started watching the Spanish sitcom Aquí no hay quien viva when I hardly understood a thing. Ok, I think I had a fair understanding of most Spanish grammar at the time but my vocabulary was lacking and my general understanding was at a pretty low level. In the first few episodes, I had to use what I was seeing on the screen to tell me what was going on, as I couldn't pick out more than a few words or phrases from the dialogue. Put it this way, I had next to no chance of understanding any of the jokes that weren't physical/slapstick-style. The thing is, I was enjoying watching the series all the same, and I kept watching it (an average of one episode a night, as I recall) all the way through its 5 seasons, looking up the odd word that I felt was stopping me from understanding some sentence or other. As time went on, I understood more and more of the series, until I found myself laughing along with even the most wordplay-based jokes towards the end. Trust me, it really works.

Aquí no hay quien viva is full of Iberian Spanish slang, by the way. It wouldn't hurt you to watch it and learn such language if you are more accustomed to Latin American varieties, but it might not be what you are looking for.

P.S. Thank you for reminding me about the Vocabulary Builder on Kindle. I look up words all the time but I have never used that feature!
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bryan
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Re: B2 Spanish or bust

Postby bryan » Thu Jul 30, 2015 4:22 pm

@Spoonary Thank you so much for sharing your story! That also makes me feel better for my low comprehension. Did you find it somewhere online to watch? Any subtitles?
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Spoonary
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Re: B2 Spanish or bust

Postby Spoonary » Thu Jul 30, 2015 4:33 pm

bryan wrote:@Spoonary Thank you so much for sharing your story! That also makes me feel better for my low comprehension. Did you find it somewhere online to watch? Any subtitles?


Yep, I think it was all on Youtube when I watched it. Unfortunately, there are no subtitles though and as I am not sure of the legality of episodes uploaded to Youtube, I won't provide any links. Actually, I'm being stupid :oops: There is another show called La que se avecina which has half the same actors as Aquí no hay quien viva and it can be found on the 100% legal Spanish on-demand site mitele - http://www.mitele.es/series-online/la-que-se-avecina/ I should probably have recommended you that one in the first place. :| I started watching it straight after finishing ANHQV a couple of years ago but I'm still working my way through it because the episodes are longer and there are a mammoth 8 seasons. Have fun!
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bryan
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Re: B2 Spanish or bust

Postby bryan » Sun Aug 02, 2015 6:46 pm

Last week I mentioned a tool I was writing that would take the vocabuary builder data from a Kindle PaperWhite and export it to Anki clozed cards. I have been using it for my personal use for a while now and it seems like it's good enough to share with anyone who wants it. The link to it is below. There is also a short tutorial there on how to use it.

Just a few disclaimers:

#1, I decided to ditch php and write it in C# (a desktop program) so it only runs on Windows.
#2, I have only used it with Spanish and English books and have definitely not tried it with character sets other than Latin based ones. So, YMMV.
#3, I consider this to be a beta release so, while it has been running fine for me, you might run into a bug that I haven't found yet.

Feedback or bug reports are welcome.

http://bryanpeabody.net/technology/kind ... extractor/
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arthaey
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Re: B2 Spanish or bust

Postby arthaey » Mon Aug 03, 2015 2:55 am

It's awesome that you've released this for the community's use! :) But...

bryan wrote:#1, I decided to ditch php and write it in C# (a desktop program) so it only runs on Windows.

...bummer, personally, as a Mac user. ;) (Also, I only have the Kindle app on my phone, so I'm not sure that it help me much even if I did run Windows.)

But still, this should be useful for others! :) In the meanwhile, I'll keep entering things manually until I get around to writing an Anki add-on for it...
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