Anyone used Yabla successfully?
I use Yabla regularly but I don't know what you would consider "successful."
For those not familiar with it, Yabla is not meant to teach languages but is an entertaining way to train your ear and see how native speakers actually use the language. Much of its content comes from TV in the country where the target language is spoken. The content is broken down into chunks of a few minutes each and is accompanied by subtitles in both the original language and in English. You can fast forward, slow down, go back, replay, and pause. There are simple games you can play with each chunk. You can select content that is very easy to understand, or content suitable for a native speaker.
I generally watch 3-4 minutes of content each day, several times. The first time, I just let it go and see how much I understand. The second time I make liberal use of pause and replay and use the subtitles to make sure I understand everything. Finally I turn off the subtitles and just listen and watch. I think it helped me understand the locals when I visited Austria last year. Currently I am using the Spanish content.
Interesting; do you feel that it's worth the money? How much content is there and is it equally abundant in all the languages covered?
Given that I use it daily, and that I do feel it helped me in Austria, yes I think it is worth the money. In Spanish they currently have 88 1/2 hours of video across all ability levels. Given that I take it in 3-4 minute segments, and given that they regularly add new videos, that is plenty for me. German has a similar quantity but since my German subscription has lapsed (yes, each language is a separate subscription) I don't know the current amount. The content is quite varied: comedy routines, soap operas, fairy tales, nature documentaries, language tutorials, cooking shows, etc.
No idea about other languages.
Years ago, after 4 years of high school Spanish, a friend and I made a trip to Mexico. The locals understood me, but I couldn't understand them. If you are wondering, my school did teach Mexican, not Iberian, Spanish. It was frustrating, so I want my ear well trained.
Thanks so much, Geoff. yes, I am frustrated at not being able to hear what is spoken. After finishing the tree I felt it was time to train my ear.
Do you listen to any podcasts or tried iTalki?
I listen to a news podcast called Noticias de América. I would like, but have not found, a podcast that also provides a transcript. I have not tried iTalki.
I have never used these but here are some results from a quick Google search ("podcast con transcripción"):