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Spanish Log (TAC 2014 Team Lobo)

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271 messages over 34 pages: << Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ... 28 ... 33 34 Next >>
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 3420 days ago

605 posts - 1046 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Spanish

 Message 217 of 271
06 September 2013 at 12:25am | IP Logged 
Thanks for dropping by BOLIO! I am afraid I didn't see this comment earlier. I always like it when people drop by this log and leave comments, and I think that keeping this log has really helped to keep me on track over the last couple of years.

I do wish I had wrote a bit more about my trips in Spain and South America though- I keep meaning to do that.

Definitely speak to your wife in Spanish as much as possible- I would be so much further ahead if I had the opportunity to speak more often (Spanish speakers are really thin on the ground in my immediate area, and I've never really got round to doing online language exchanges.)

In fact you should search for EMK's log "french- wandering to c1" as he has a French speaking partner and has made incredible progress over the last year or two.

Assimil is great in that you can make fantastic progress just by investing a small amount of time a day and being consistent. Even 10 minutes a day is worth it.

Anyway, thanks for dropping by and good luck in your studies!

1 person has voted this message useful

Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 3420 days ago

605 posts - 1046 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Spanish

 Message 218 of 271
23 September 2013 at 12:06am | IP Logged 
I am conscious that I have not updated in quite some time. I am still pushing towards a big trip to South America, and still immersing my self in Spanish everyday. I am currently reading "La Sombra del Viento" by Carlos Ruis Zafon and genuinely enjoying it, although I do hit patches where I lose comprehension and even the good pages have several unknown words. I now own every book by this author except for "Mariana" because they sent me the French version. About half of these are meant for adolescents but I have jumped straight into the adult books. I read somewhere that authors tend to repeat the same vocabulary, so I figured that I would have a better chance of reinforcing the unknown words by sticking to the same author.

I continue to be alarmed at how studying Spanish appears to have negatively affected my English spelling. I had to look up several words just to write the simple paragraph above, whereas before I had way above average spelling capability. I don't really know how to remedy this without taking time away from Spanish.

I also continue to watch a lot of native media, and have brought some cool resources to help me understand Chilean idiomatic usage, which I will share in my next post.      
1 person has voted this message useful

Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 3420 days ago

605 posts - 1046 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Spanish

 Message 219 of 271
13 November 2013 at 1:43am | IP Logged 
Okay, I thought I should post something in here just so people know I'm still alive. I'm still here, and still slowly chipping away, but at a reduced pace. I would say I read something and listen to something every day, but not always for very long. I don't really want to be the type of person that just sits in the house and watches TV, so you get to the point where you question whether its worth investing several hundred hours in input heavy activities, just to be able to understand content that, when you come down to it isn't really that much different to the stuff I can already access in English.

And I really feel that I need to start reading in English again because, as I have noted before, there is a very real reduction in my English language skills.

I kind of wish my time this year hadn't been so heavily biased towards native materials. Some regular grammar reinforcement of some kind would have really gone down well.

As things stand at the moment I have pretty good passive skills, but as I haven't spoken with anyone in a while, my active skills have probably dwindled a bit.

I need to sort out some time with a tutor to really iron out my pronunciation issues, after that I would like to work through FSI again and really try and get some conversation practice in.

In other news, I fulfilled an ambition last week by spending a few days in Marrakech, Morrocco. It was pretty cool, but perhaps not quite as intense as I was hoping for. I think I probably need to throw myself into somewhere crazy like Northern India to get the kind of experience I am after.
There was actually a Spanish guy who lived in the UK in my dorm, although he steadfastly wouldn't allow me to Speak Spanish to him, and I didn't hear him speak a word of Spanish while I was there. Oh well.

I traveled with a friend and once again discovered that I definitely prefer traveling alone. Its just that I like to rough it a little and that doesn't suit everyone. I find a lot of people say they like to eat in local restaurants etc. but when we get there are making a beeline for the ones with gaggles of tourists hanging out of them. I guess I was lucky in that I was never taken on sanitised package holidays as a child.

Also, I am flying to Estonia on Friday and intend to make my way by bus through latvia, lithuania and fly home from Krakow in Poland. When I get back I intend to ramp the study up again. Despite my somewhat negative opening paragraph, I've come too far to start resting on my laurels!

Edited by dbag on 13 November 2013 at 1:45am

1 person has voted this message useful

Senior Member
United States
Joined 3773 days ago

1265 posts - 2113 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish
Studies: French

 Message 220 of 271
13 November 2013 at 3:13am | IP Logged 
Nice to see you are still alive. Also, I am jealous you are travelling so much.

I am just finishing a run through FSI and am really glad I did it. It is MUCH easier the second time through.

Keep it up and most of all... enjoy it.
1 person has voted this message useful

Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 3420 days ago

605 posts - 1046 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Spanish

 Message 221 of 271
01 January 2014 at 12:31am | IP Logged 
Well once again its been a while since I posted. Unfortunately, I received some bad news from home half way through my East European trip, and after that point, things just went from bad to worse. In fact In the last 6 weeks or so I have endured not just one, but two simultaneous tragedies, and have had to support family members etc. with what has no doubt been the hardest period of my life so far.

On top of that, the day after Christmas, I celebrated my 30th Birthday, definitely something which gets you thinking about life, about what you have achieved and hope to achieve in the coming years.

Without a doubt, learning this much Spanish is an achievement that I am very proud of, and want to build on.

I believe that I have reached a dilemma that I am sure most people who have advanced to a particular point in a language face. In order to justify the time investment necessary to make real, measurable progress, I need a damn good reason to do so.
Don't get me wrong, I love spending time doing things in Spanish and am happy to spend hours at a time doing so, it's just that it takes away time which could potentially be spent doing something more productive.

I know that I have said it before, but I would really, really like to spend around a year living in, and exploring Latin America. Due to the aforementioned circumstances, I really don't think that can happen at any point this year. I need to spend time strengthening my relationships with family and friends, and there are people that I don't want to leave on there own for a while.
There are some serious advantages to this though. For one it gives me time to save, and seriously work on my Spanish. It may never happen, because if a relationship or career opportunity came along, I would probably take it.
Although to be honest, it will most probably be a month or two before the dust settles and I know what life is going to look like in the next year or two.

So for now, I will assume that I will be spending 2015 in South America, and that to make the most of the opportunity my Spanish will need to be the strongest it has ever been.

I suppose that 2013 has been the year in which I did the least active study ever. However, I did listen to a ton of native content this year, I my listening comprehension has come along in leaps and bounds. I now listen to things everyday, as much because I enjoy what I am listening to as for practice. I have also become very comfortable reading online articles and newspapers like El Pais.

I would of loved to have done more this year, but for much of it I worked like a dog, regularly pulling 13hour , sometimes even 15 hour days in a challenging environment. The most hours I did in one week was over 70.

There is no way I want to repeat that this year, life is just too short.

This year I really want to stretch my comprehension skills to encompass novels written for adults, and movies and telenovelas, both of which at this moment in time I am not entirely comfortable with.

I think my biggest obstacle is my pronunciation. I really wish I had concentrated on this more in the beginning. I have at times been told that my pronunciation is far better than the average English speaker, but also that it stinks. I always make an effort to use the correct intonation, and to keep my vowels short, and some consonants, the soft D for example, I think I am quite good at.

I also rarely use my active skills, so that's an obvious thing which needs to change. I hopefully now have a space to use each day where I will be undisturbed, so I am going to make an effort to get the momentum going on skype.

I also intend to write a lot more, and to find a really good teacher who knows how to push me right out of my comfort zones.

The good thing about this level is that there is a lot of interesting content which I can just relax with, so I think the key this year will be getting massive input through fun content, at the same time making time each day to do something which genuinely challenges me. Something I have found over the last 3 years, is that when you are struggling, you are learning. You can't struggle all the time or you risk burning out, but I feel that I have rested too long now.

2014 is the first year I will be joining the Total Annihilation Challenge. I belong to       Team Lobo

For some reason, I have never paid too much attention to the TAC logs, even though the learning log section of the forum is my favorite. I am really looking forward to helping some people out, and getting some support myself, especially as it looks like I know of most of the team members, especially of course, James29 whose log I have read every Sunday for a very long time now.

I don't really know too much about TAC, so I am looking forward to feeling my way through. For some reason I can't see how to change my log title to include the team name in the title, and I'm not sure if I have to register in the main thread or not.

I plan on setting some specific goals within the next week or so- I am thinking of using some of the B2 competency statements to help me with this.

While I am here, some other, non- language related goals. I want to get my body fat percentage down to 18% before the middle of the year (I am probably between 25% and 30% at the moment, I will find out this week.)
No takeaways or alcohol for January, with the exception of the first couple of hours of the morning and the 11th January, when I am invited to a good friends 30th.

I want to stop adding so much salt to food. Perhaps writing it down will help me do it?

I want to make strides in developing a career in charities management, and use my work, as I have done for the last 7 years, to make a positive impact in the world.

I want to treat friends and family with the value they deserve. (I actually feel a bit bad writing this as I was invited down the pub an hour or so ago, but there has been too much alcohol consumed in the last few days, and I mean to start as I go on- also, with the kind of culture we have in the UK, NYE is rarely a positive night.)

Finally, I want to write better quality, more detailed posts at least weekly in this log. Keeping this log is what has kept me motivated this long.

I wish everybody a Happy New Year, and implore them to make the most of it in every positive way they can!
3 persons have voted this message useful

Bilingual Triglot
Senior Member
Joined 2542 days ago

949 posts - 1686 votes 
Speaks: French*, English*, Spanish
Studies: Tagalog

 Message 222 of 271
01 January 2014 at 7:11am | IP Logged 
I'm sorry that the last few months have been difficult. Here's hoping that 2014 is a brighter year!

To edit your title, edit the very first post of your log. (I only learned how to do this a few weeks ago.)

I look forward to following along with your log in the coming year!
2 persons have voted this message useful

Senior Member
United States
Joined 2660 days ago

81 posts - 133 votes 
Speaks: English*, French

 Message 223 of 271
01 January 2014 at 5:03pm | IP Logged 
I'm also sorry you've had a tough year, but it sounds like you are on track to have a productive and interesting 2014.

One suggestion I might make (and maybe you are already doing this, so forgive me if this is repetitive), but breaking
down your goals - which are lofty and inspiring - into bite-size, manageable chunks, will really help with achieving
them. I have a tendency to make ambitious goals, but forget to detail the individual steps, or daily tasks, I'll do to
reach them. I think it is the book "Getting Things Done" which recommends breaking goals down into tasks of 15
minutes, max, which are then easy to schedule into the schedule for the week.

Looking forward to seeing your progress!
2 persons have voted this message useful

Senior Member
United States
Joined 3793 days ago

1232 posts - 1740 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Spanish

 Message 224 of 271
02 January 2014 at 3:35pm | IP Logged 
I'm sorry that things have been rough for you lately. I hope things can settle down to a new normal soon.

I haven't read all 28 pages of your log (yet, anyways!), but I look forward to watching your progress and reading about your Spanish adventures this year.

Buena suerte con español este año! :)

1 person has voted this message useful

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