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

Continue or start your personal language log here, including logs for challenge participants
NoManches
Blue Belt
Posts: 566
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
x 1116

Re: ¡No Manches! - A new beginning...

Postby NoManches » Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:33 am

I'm very happy with my current level of Spanish. I'm not satisfied, but I'm happy with where I currently am and the direction I'm heading in. Sometimes I am really hard on myself, and a bit of a perfectionist. When it comes to learning languages, you definitely can't be hard on yourself and it is almost impossible to be a perfectionist. Sometimes I need to stop and remind myself of this.

I'm so happy that I've reached a level where I can just talk, watch TV, and read, in order to make improvements. That being said, I did buy myself the Complete Spanish Grammar book by McGraw Hill. I have noticed that I am making some small mistakes on things that I used to not make mistakes with. Hopefully a few review lessons in this grammar book will fix my problems. I continue to watch my favorite novela (Por Amar Sin Ley) almost every day. Usually I can squeeze in a few episodes every day. I'm on episode 53/80 and hope to be caught up this time next week. I have added a few other novelas to my watch list on Netflix. I will try to work my way though another Mexican novela and then I'll start adding some stuff with different accents. I've found a few shows from Spain and Argentina that look really good.

For reading, I'll probably finish La Caída de una Diva by Raul Garbantes tonight. I like how his books are crime/mystery, relatively short, and fairly easy to read. I'm trying to tackle an old goal of mine where I read all of his books. That should catapult my Spanish a little bit. I'm still working on la Tumba and Pedro Páramo. I really hate having multiple books going at once. I need to finish all of the books I'm on before I start a new one. I keep reading articles from Muy Interesante every day. If I only have my phone I try to read articles from Chilango Magazine since I subscribe to them on Facebook and have "notifications" turned on. They used to have a cool podcast but it looks like they stopped making it.

My listening is getting better all the time. The only thing different I've done is I've started to read a lot more and I found a good telenovela where my comprehension from the beginning was an estimated 95%. Before I had a bad habit of picking material that was too tough. I remember working with El Señor de los Cielos for a LONG time before I reached a comprehension level of near 95%. I think TV shows are more beneficial when you can just sit back and watch. The more you have to pause and look things up the more it feels like a chore and the less you get from it.


Im looking forward to my (almost daily) runs just because I associate it with extra Spanish practice. I think I'll start running a little more just so I can get more Spanish listening in. I'm listening to the Nacidos para Correr audiolibro every time I run (I finished reading the book about a week ago). My daily listening is usually an audiobook or a random podcast. I think I'll get back to listening to VOA -Buenos Días América. I love the news and find it important but for some reason I wasn't too interested in VOA noticias. I just think that some of their topics weren't too important to me (they would be the sections in a newspaper that I would skip over). But, more of the show is interesting than boring and the same speakers are on almost every day. I think I'll try to make VOA noticias a habit just so I can have at least one consistent piece of audio every day in order to "train listening" (something we've talked about before). My other podcasts are very random with lots of different daily speakers, which means I usually need a few minutes to get used to the new speaker before I can really start enjoying it.


That's all for now. Thanks for reading!
12 x
DOUBLE Super Challenge
Spanish Movies
: 8640 / 18000

Spanish Books
: 3265 / 10000

Andy E
Yellow Belt
Posts: 85
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2015 8:41 am
Languages: *
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=8001
x 141

Re: ¡No Manches! - A new beginning...

Postby Andy E » Fri Jun 15, 2018 11:58 am

NoManches wrote:For reading, I'll probably finish La Caída de una Diva by Raul Garbantes tonight. I like how his books are crime/mystery, relatively short, and fairly easy to read. I'm trying to tackle an old goal of mine where I read all of his books. That should catapult my Spanish a little bit.


That sounds like a good recommendation thinks me...... only to find I've already got it in my Kindle library :roll: - but as yet unread
1 x

NoManches
Blue Belt
Posts: 566
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
x 1116

Re: ¡No Manches! - A new beginning...

Postby NoManches » Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:11 pm

Not much to add for this week. I have been reading daily but find that it has been harder to go for longer than 35 minutes due to other obligations. There is definitely a benefit to reading for 45 minutes+ rather than 35 minutes. I think my brain needs a good warm up, and right at 30 minutes it is fully warmed up and then some. At 30 minutes I start to go into full Spanish mode where I think in Spanish and have no problems reading. I'm just fully absorbed in what I'm reading. It's a shame when I get to 35 minutes and have to stop because I need to get to work or take care of something. I've even found that reading for a few minutes here and there is great, but not as good as spending a long time reading something.


Either way, I started a new Raul Garbantes book and really like it. The book is helping to make sense of the character I've read about in his other books.

I've been listening to podcasts every day at work. I've finally got around to listening to the podcasts from VeinteMundos. I'm starting with the intermediate ones and find them very interesting. I'd say my comprehension is really good, but when I do the quiz provided with the audio I don't always feel 100% confident with my answer (even though I'm right 98% of the time). At first I was going to listen to each "episode" over and over again until I reached 100% comprehension but this goes against my goal of having more fun with my language learning (see beginning of my new log). What I'm doing now is listening to each episode 3 times. At the end I'll take the quiz. If I feel like I am confident in answering and truly knowing each question, I'll move on. If not I'll listen one more time paying attention to the parts mentioned in the quiz. You might be wondering why I need to listen to each podcast 3 times. The reason is that Im doing the majority of my listening while driving, so I have other distractions going on....or I might need to hop out of the car to check on equipment or something so I'll miss out on parts or forget where I was with the audio. I still find myself zoning in and out but not sure if that has to do with the distractions I just mentioned or my brain just always thinking about other stuff and wanting to wander off when I should be concentrating.

**There was a post one day on this site or maybe HTLAL or just an article somewhere where the author talked about having the same problem. He/she said they called it "controlling their monkey brain" or something like that. Anybody know what I'm talking about?? I'd love to find that post but I can't find it. It had to do with them training themselves to always focus on their listening every time they start zoning out**

Another interesting note: some episodes of VeinteMundos (intermediate) are super easy. My comprehension is damn near 100%. However, other episodes for whatever reason are much harder where I am only getting 90%. This usually happens when the episode includes a lot of really foreign words or names (technical words that trip me up or names that I can't even make sense of).

I think I will work my way through all of the intermediate episodes and then jump up to the advanced ones. This should keep me busy for a while. In the meantime, I'll continue to listen to my other podcasts although I need to find some with better audio. One of the reasons I started to listen to VeinteMundos (in addition to Iguanamon recommending it to me over and over again :D ) is that the audio is super clear and I am about to hear it in my work car (sometimes I drive on bad roads and it makes listening hard). Basically any podcast that has bad audio or involves people calling in or background noise is impossible to listen to at work. Even Radio Ambulante Is hard to hear when I'm driving, it's as if the audio is always low?)

I've been watching a few episodes of Por Amar sin Ley but haven't had as much time to watch. I think I'll devote an entire evening this week to knocking out a good 5 episodes or so.


Still haven't started my grammar book. I need to get on this soon. I might start from the very beginning. I'm sure there are some very simple concepts that I could use a refresher in. I've noticed that the second or third time I review a grammar concept (especially after letting it sit dormant for a while) I am usually able to understand it right away and make sense of things that were once really confusing.


That's all for now. Thanks for reading and as always a any comments, suggestions, and/or advice is welcome.
4 x
DOUBLE Super Challenge
Spanish Movies
: 8640 / 18000

Spanish Books
: 3265 / 10000

NoManches
Blue Belt
Posts: 566
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
x 1116

Re: ¡No Manches! - A new beginning...

Postby NoManches » Tue Jun 26, 2018 9:35 pm

Since my last post:

Listening:

I have been working with VeinteMundos just about every day. After listening to a few episodes, I got used to the speakers voice and the way he talks. His voice is almost too perfect...at times I find the material interesting but the speakers voice is almost robotic to me. I think this causes me to zone in and out while listening. Either way, the intensive plans I had with VeinteMundos are a little too intensive in my opinion. I just needed to listen to a few episodes to get used to them and now I can listen to all of them with pretty decent comprehension. As a matter of fact, the only problem I have is staying focused on the material. Some new words throw me off but I can usually guess them based on context. I will finish all the intermediate and advanced episodes and will probably read the articles as well, just to make sure my listening comprehension is making slight improvements. I think listen - read - listen will be sufficient on the tougher episodes, while listening once or twice sufficient for the easier episodes. VeinteMundos is great extensive material for me.

I have been listening to Radio Ambulante and sometimes I forget how awesome of a resource it is. I have a MUCH easier time listening to Radio Ambulante compared to VeinteMundos....which doesn't make sense when you think about it. I think the episodes are more interesting and the different speakers with not so perfect voices keeps my attention. Radio Ambulante is currently in between seasons. I will use this time to "listen-read-listen" to all of the episodes (even the ones I've listened to before), before the new season comes out.

Any other listening I do in the day (and there is a lot) will be more pleasurable with no extra effort to "hear everything" or to "listen-read-listen". I do best with a little bit of intensive listening just to force myself to pay attention to what I'm listening to each day. Once I get that out of the way, I can do more listening while relaxing. It's a good mix.

I have been knocking out episodes of Por Amar Sin Ley but had to slow down a bit because of extra work thrown on my plate this week. The show is great for learner's because the Spanish is really easy to understand. My comprehension is super high (maybe at 95% .... seriously!) Of course this is an estimate, but it feels good to watch and understand nearly everything.

I started watching Dueños del Paraíso which was recommended by James29. Very easy to understand although some of the accents are tough for me (tough as in I miss a few words here and there although not enough to ruin the show). Two of the actors in the show are from Por Amar sin Ley so I'm used to their voices already (and of course I'm familiar with Kate del Castillo). I plan on binge watching this show in the next few weeks and moving on to another show that is also easy to watch. I think Club de Cuervos is a tough show to watch and I might put it off for a little while.


Reading:


I haven't been reading as much as I should. During the last 26 days, I have missed 6 days of reading. I suppose that isn't too bad but 4 of those 6 days have been during the last week. Fortunately on some days I have extra time to read and can get over an hour in. I need to step up my reading if I want to finish the double super challenge.


I spoke Spanish with a few guys the other day at work and felt really comfortable doing so. I think 1 or 2 Skype lessons each week could benefit me. I do best when I practice speaking throughout the week. If I go a week with only input I make mistakes when I need to speak to somebody. It seems that just talking with 1 or 2 people a week at work for at least 10 minutes with each person is enough to keep me from getting super rusty.


I think that's all I have to report. I am starting to realize a few things about my learning style that have been really working for me lately. I guess I lack discipline sometimes so I do really good with setting daily goals and trying to stick with them. I do good with seeing my progress. I love using progress bars to keep track of stuff (as you can see in my first post). I'll ad Radio Ambulante to it in order to keep track of my progress. If I just try to listen and read each day with no minimum requirement I tend to fail (although I have absolutely no problem binge watching Spanish television!) I need to set goals for listening and reading because they aren't as fun for me. Making habits, setting goals, measuring hours spent doing certain things.... maybe that's why the super challenge is always so motivating for me because I have an end goal I can measure.
2 x
DOUBLE Super Challenge
Spanish Movies
: 8640 / 18000

Spanish Books
: 3265 / 10000

NoManches
Blue Belt
Posts: 566
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
x 1116

Re: ¡No Manches! - A new beginning...

Postby NoManches » Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:17 pm

Life has been busy the last few weeks, but fortunately I always find time every day to use Spanish. The next few weeks should be less hectic, so I'm hoping to use my free time to get some extra reading and listening in.

Reading:

I started another book by Raul Garbantes called Fuego Cruzado. I finished another one of his books last week sometime. I am putting Fuego Cruzado on hold because I just discovered a book of short stories that I absolutely love. It's called: La mesa: Historias de nuestra gente

I believe I mentioned "La Mesa" before. I originally found it on UnivisionNow and discovered it is also in "podcast format" available for download on iVoox. Basically, a reporter from Univision (León Krauze) sits down with nothing but a table, a microphone, and one other person. He then has an in depth interview with them about their life, their job, their family, how they came to the US, etc. It is REALLY good and I can't recommend it enough. Anyway, I just discovered that León Krauze wrote a book based on his interviews. They are incredible stories in an easy to understand Spanish, and very touching at the same time. I will be reading this book a second time just to make sure I didn't miss anything.

I continue to read Muy Interesante magazine and even subscribed to the Muy Interesante JR edition. The JR edition is really easy to understand and only serves as extensive reading material for me. I prefer this material before bed instead of a harder book because I can always go back and read an article if I doze off while reading. Reading a book before bed can be annoying when you keep falling asleep. Reading an article over again is okay, reading a chapter over again is annoying. I keep books for when I'm awake and alert. Magazines and other easy material is for when I'm getting tired but still want to get some Spanish input before I call it a day.


Listening:

I lump listening into podcasts and TV shows. I haven't been watching as much TV due to lots of work and other obligations. Podcasts on the other hand, are much easier to squeeze into my day. My ideal morning is to wake up, run/walk the dog while listening to a podcast or audiobook. Then, watch a telenovela or YouTube video while getting ready for the day. I've been trying to do a lot of "listen - read -listen" with the RadioAmbulante podcasts. They are too good to listen to just once and move on (different story if my comprehension and concentration was at 100% but it's not). When I read the transcript I count it towards my 35 minutes of reading/ day, so it's a good way to start off my day. Then throughout the day at work I'll listen to the podcast at least one more time (or I'll save it for the end of the day when I walk the dog again). I should mention that I stopped listening to the Veinte Mundos podcasts. They are a bit too easy for me at my current level. I may consider reading the articles though, because they have lots of information from all over the Spanish speaking world and would be a good supplement to Muy Interesante JR.

While working I think audiobooks are best because they are much easier to listen to while multi-tasking, and they have good audio quality. It is much tougher to listen to a podcast with multiple speakers unless I am really concentrating with zero distractions. I've found the podcasts "Documentales Sonoroa" and "Escuchando Documentales" to be really good, although I have only listened to an episode or two. They are dubbed documentaries (in Spanish from Spain). It's a bit weird listening to the documentary without watching it, but after a while it's easy to get used to. I think the Spanish accent is good for me since I am so used to only Mexican accents.

I'm looking forward to a productive week and hope to have made some progress by this time next week (however small that progress might be)
3 x
DOUBLE Super Challenge
Spanish Movies
: 8640 / 18000

Spanish Books
: 3265 / 10000

NoManches
Blue Belt
Posts: 566
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
x 1116

Re: ¡No Manches! - A new beginning...

Postby NoManches » Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:35 pm

He decidido cambiar mi estrategia de nuevo. En lugar de simplemente aprender español en una manera divertida sin presión para avanzar mucho....pienso estudiar español en una manera divertida con mucha presión. ¿Por que? Pues, he notado que sin metas, me falta la disciplina empujarme en la dirección que quisiera ir. Por esa razón, he decidido tomar (y dominar) el examen conocido como DELE (nivel C1). Con una meta así, sé que diariamente haré más que haría sin rumbo fijo.

¿Que es mi plan? Ahora, no lo tengo....pero quiero identificar mis debilidades y mejorarlas. Sin duda, mi escritura y uso de gramática han empeorado mucho. Me compré "Advanced Spanish Grammar" y planeo hacer unas lecciones semenales para pulir mi español. También, planeo pasar más tiempo platicando con tutores por internet. Ya tengo un tutor mexicano que me ha ayudado muchísimo en los últimos años. Contraté una tutora española que está familiarizada con el DELE, alguien con experiencia con el DELE es una buena cosa, ¿verdad?

Pienso que pasar más tiempo veindo programas en español y leyendo me ayudarán también. El "Super Challenge" (doble) con más énfasis en la gramática y hablar más con hispanohablantes debe ayudar también.

Mi plan es aprobar está examen en 2019 (ojalá que pueda tomarlo en enero o febrero). Ahora diría que mi nivel es cerca de B2, pero nunca he tomado un examen para medirlo. No me sorprendería si fuera a tomar un examen práctico, y me dicen que mi nivel de escritura es nada más de B1 (de hecho, basado en lo que he escuchado, es posible que tengo un nivel entre B1 y B2 en otros áreas tambien). Despues de escribiendo esto, me siento que tengo un nivel menos de B1...que horror. Pero, no me importa. Creo que tengo suficiente tiempo para mejorar mi español entre ahora, y 2019. Escribiendo en español en lugar de inglés es un buen inicio. Trataré escribir mas en español, aunque me gusta la idea que otros que no hablen español le gustan leer mi "language log".


¿Qué opinan ustedes? ¿Tienen sugerencias? ¿Dudas? ¿Consejo? ¿Están de acuerdo de que pueda dominar está examen en menos de 6-7 meses? Tal vez sea mejor cambiar la fecha del medios de 2019?


¡Gracias por leer y su apoyo (como siempre)!
3 x
DOUBLE Super Challenge
Spanish Movies
: 8640 / 18000

Spanish Books
: 3265 / 10000

User avatar
eido
Green Belt
Posts: 495
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:31 pm
Languages: English (N), Spanish (B1), dabbling in others
x 758

Re: ¡No Manches! - DELE C1 (2019)

Postby eido » Tue Jul 10, 2018 12:52 am

Creo que estás loco, pero entonces creo que todo el mundo está loco cuando trata de hacer esto, trata de mejorar rápidamente. Creo que es porque soy perezosa y me gusta ir lentamente. Pero haz lo que quieras, te veo. ¡Vamos, vamos, vamos! No tienes mucho tiempo ya.
1 x

NoManches
Blue Belt
Posts: 566
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
x 1116

Re: ¡No Manches! - DELE C1 (2019)

Postby NoManches » Tue Jul 10, 2018 1:11 am

eido wrote:Creo que estás loco, pero entonces creo que todo el mundo está loco cuando trata de hacer esto, trata de mejorar rápidamente. Creo que es porque soy perezosa y me gusta ir lentamente. Pero haz lo que quieras, te veo. ¡Vamos, vamos, vamos! No tienes mucho tiempo ya.



Jaja si, estoy loco pero debo mencionar que llevo alrededor de 5 años estudiando español. No creo que estoy tratando de hacerlo tan rápidamente.

*Tal vez mi evaluación de mis habilidades da la impresión que tengo un nivel bajo. Solo quiero ser moderado con mi nivel dado que nunca he tomado un examen para medirlo. Voy a comenzar con una evaluación muy pronto para tener mejor idea de mis debilidades
1 x
DOUBLE Super Challenge
Spanish Movies
: 8640 / 18000

Spanish Books
: 3265 / 10000

User avatar
eido
Green Belt
Posts: 495
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:31 pm
Languages: English (N), Spanish (B1), dabbling in others
x 758

Re: ¡No Manches! - DELE C1 (2019)

Postby eido » Tue Jul 10, 2018 2:18 am

NoManches wrote:Jaja si, estoy loco pero debo mencionar que llevo alrededor de 5 años estudiando español. No creo que estoy tratando de hacerlo tan rápidamente.

*Tal vez mi evaluación de mis habilidades da la impresión que tengo un nivel bajo. Solo quiero ser moderado con mi nivel dado que nunca he tomado un examen para medirlo. Voy a comenzar con una evaluación muy pronto para tener mejor idea de mis debilidades

Como dije, creo que la razón por la que creo que estás así es porque no creo que puedo hacer lo mismo. Llevo más años que tú estudiando esta lengua, y sabes más que yo. Es la razón por la que dije estaría leyendo tu bitácora. Estoy interesada en lo que haces. Creo que podría aprender de ti. De todos modos, ¡estudia! No veas las series como yo y no hagas progesos tan lentamente. No sirvirá, ya sabes. Vamos a ver lo bien haces en los exámenes de práctica. Quizá tengas el nivel C2, ¿y esa no sería una sorpresa?
1 x

NoManches
Blue Belt
Posts: 566
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
x 1116

Re: ¡No Manches! - DELE C1 (2019)

Postby NoManches » Tue Jul 10, 2018 2:46 am

eido wrote:
NoManches wrote:Jaja si, estoy loco pero debo mencionar que llevo alrededor de 5 años estudiando español. No creo que estoy tratando de hacerlo tan rápidamente.

*Tal vez mi evaluación de mis habilidades da la impresión que tengo un nivel bajo. Solo quiero ser moderado con mi nivel dado que nunca he tomado un examen para medirlo. Voy a comenzar con una evaluación muy pronto para tener mejor idea de mis debilidades

Como dije, creo que la razón por la que creo que estás así es porque no creo que puedo hacer lo mismo. Llevo más años que tú estudiando esta lengua, y sabes más que yo. Es la razón por la que dije estaría leyendo tu bitácora. Estoy interesada en lo que haces. Creo que podría aprender de ti. De todos modos, ¡estudia! No veas las series como yo y no hagas progesos tan lentamente. No sirvirá, ya sabes. Vamos a ver lo bien haces en los exámenes de práctica. Quizá tengas el nivel C2, ¿y esa no sería una sorpresa?



¡Muchas gracias! Creo que tu español es muy bien y puedes alcanzar cualquier nivel que quieras. Estoy muy afortunado porqué vivía cerca de la frontera y pasaba mucho tiempo en México, incluyendo unas clases que tomé al sur de la frontera. Pienso que C2 durará unos años más para mí...pero uno nunca sabe. Gracias por leer mi "bitácora" (es una nueva palabra para mí..gracias!)

De todos modos, me gusta mucho tu bitácora y creo que puedo aprender mucho de ti también
3 x
DOUBLE Super Challenge
Spanish Movies
: 8640 / 18000

Spanish Books
: 3265 / 10000


Return to “Language logs”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest