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Spanish crocodiles and other useful vocabulary

Okay, so I'm now halfway through my Spanish learning journey aka three months in! πŸ‡

Written by Eva Dee on (about a 6 minute read).

πŸ“Ί Previously: Updates from the 1/3 down the line.

Super quick recap: this is how I self-graded my Spanish at the end of the first two months:

  • reading B2
  • listening B1
  • writing B1
  • speaking B1

The goal is to have them all at C2 (except for writing which I don't think I'll really practice).

To clarify, I obviously don't think that I'll be πŸ’― fluent by the time July (of this year πŸ˜…) comes. I also don't think that I'll completely stop studying. Rather, I'll stop spending hours each day and instead will focus more on maintaining πŸ”¨ a decent level of Spanish long term.

So, what's the same? permalink

  • The wife: she's still here, hasn't left me, and continues to "patiently" and with "for sure no eye rolls" explain stuff to me. I think secretly (not so secretly) she rather enjoys shouting my mistakes back at me. It's cathartic for both of us (but mostly her).

  • Duolingo: I still spend around 40min a day and am currently halfway through level 4 (out of 7 levels). It's looking like I'll finish at some point in May. After that - once my tree is all gooooooldeeeeen 🌈 - I might give that time to Memrise and/or Clozemaster. You know, so that I can still pretend I'm studying super hard.

  • Language Transfer: still my favorite source for grammar. I've finished listening to the entire series (90 tracks, around 10 minutes each) for the second time around. I'm aware of more tenses than before, which I suppose is a start. I still have no idea how to use them (especially on the spot with my wife's unblinking stare directed right at me). You have no idea how many of my sentences still start with, "Yo dot dot dot. dot dot." 😭 I wish I could excuse them all as dramatic pauses, but then I guess just wanting some ice-cream isn't overly dramatic.

  • Spanish news radio: because my favorite thing to do over lunch break is to get confused. Also, Spanish (from Spain) newscasters are so flirty (with each other and sometimes with their guests!). And smoking seems to be very hip among announcers, too (geez, super throaty lady, get a lozenge already!). Sometimes I listen to a news segment for 10 mins, and I have absolutely no idea what's going on. Who did what? Where? Why are we listening to this? No idea.

  • My phone is still in Spanish, and so is my running/cycling watch - which is unhelpfully pronouncing Spanish words with a voiceover that I'm pretty sure is in American.

What's new? permalink

Because one has to have focus, or so says the book that I'm currently reading called Enfocate! (I wish!), for the past month, I've been focusing on two things: vocabulary and (horrible, horrible) irregular verbs.

Vocabulary permalink

To up my vocabulary and escape the classroom-land, I've started consuming more content in Spanish, either as podcasts, series/movies (aka whatever I can find on Netflix), or books.

Podcasts

These are the podcasts I'm currently listening to:

  • Racion de Nba - two dudes talk about NBA basketball. "Cancha" means a court, which is better than "concha", which means "shell", but also the ladies' underbits. (You will thank me next time you find yourself in Disney's Journey of the Little Mermaid ride, only to be greeted with "Bienvenido a la concha...")

  • La nota roja - the topic is femicides in Mexico. I only listened to one episode - because I like to sleep, thank you very much - but this is top-notch investigative journalism meets dramatic naration.

  • Β‘Con amor, carajo! - with the tagline "self-help stuff for women that don't like self-help stuff" and a curse word right there in the title, this is currently my favorite.

  • Se regalan dudas - two ladies talk about stuff. I haven't gathered much more than that. Also, sometimes there are guests. In every episode, we realize that we should Be Grateful πŸ™.

Netflix and shit

  • I've watched the Spanish series Valeria. It's like Sex in the city where everyone gets to sleep with each other and the city is Madrid. (I'm sorry, I didn't really watch Sex in the City, was that the plot?) Right, also shoes! Except, in Valeria there's less emphasis on shoes and more just about generally looking fab. I took many a screenshot and shared it with Valerie (the wife) - I'll probably live to regret this πŸ€”.
  • I've now started watching ControlZ, which is about a hacker harassing (rich and spoiled) teenagers and exposing their super drama-packed lives. I watched three episodes, haven't decided yet if I want to continue.
  • I also watched one episode of reality TV series based around Mexico City socialites - it was such cringe I could only stomach one episode. "O sea" this and "o sea" that... (this is how they say "Like..."). Ooo and "neta" means "for realz?!" so at least I learned some vocabulary to annoy the wife with (she insists on learning proper 16th century Spanish - in case I get kidnapped by the Spanish royals, I suppose).

Speaking of vocabulary, do you know how crocodiles are called in Spanish? "Cocodrilo". Co-co-drilo. Neta Spanish, neta?

Books

These are the books I read in Spanish since last we met.

  • Agatha Christie - β˜ οΈπŸš£β€β™€οΈ (how is there's no emoji for a river?!) βœ…
  • Agatha Christie - The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (such a plot twist!) βœ…
  • Agatha Christie - Lord Edgware Dies βœ… (spoiler alert: and other people too!)
  • Cal Newport - Deep Work / Enfocate! (in progress) (I'm pretty sure there's no exclamation mark in the title, but this is how I read it)

Irregular verbs permalink

Spanish irregular verbs are my nemesis. First off, I keep messing up the two "to be" verbs (ser and estar) which is annoying. It's not that I don't know the difference, it's just that I probably talk faster than I think. #myFavoriteExcuse

I've recently started using ConjuGato - an app that helps you practice verbs and tenses. Also, did you know that there are a bunch of Spanish tenses that no one - not even my super learned wife πŸ€“ - uses? Yes, I'm looking at you, future subjunctive!

So, what's the verdict?! Any progress 😰? permalink

Due to lots of reading and listening to Spanish content, I think my comprehension skills have increased. My speaking and writing remain πŸ’©. But! We'll get there!

Final report:

  • reading C1
  • listening B2
  • writing B1
  • speaking B1