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https://www.duolingo.com/E.T.s_Son

I'm Going To Start Narrating My Life In Spanish

E.T.s_Son
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You know when you're reading a book you have this omniscient being narrating the every move of the characters? LoL I'm going to start doing that with myself but in the language I'm learning which is Spanish.

I just came back from a week at the beach with my mind fully rejuvenated and I'm ready for the obstacles ahead to undertake this endeavor.

Speaking of the beach, while I was there I was shopping at some stores and I heard this Spanish speaker say "ropa". That's all I heard but considering I was in a clothing store I wasn't surprised. I didn't want to hide behind clothes and eavesdrop on their conversation because that would have been creepy.

Anyway, when I came back yesterday, after the long drive back I took a long nap and woke up say I was going to look in the mirror at my nice tan BUT I said most of it in Spanish. I didn't force it I just thought about it and the thought dawned in my head as I looked at my tan:

What if I narrate my every move. I'm going to bed.=Yo voy a la cama. I have to use the bathroom= Yo tengo a usar el bano. etc lol

I don't know if that will speed up my learning of the language as much as it will frustrate me trying to translate my every move and thought but I guess it'll be fun.

4 years ago

49 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/AlexisLinguist
AlexisLinguist
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I subconsciously translate actions in my head during the day, but I can't stand writing it all out (too boring for me). :)

Just a note: You would say tengo que usar el baño (need the tilde). Tener que is the "have to" translation. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/E.T.s_Son
E.T.s_Son
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Thanx for that note. I forgot that

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hucklebeary

Yeah dude, this will help tremendously imo. It's something that I have been doing since I came back to DL. Although, I had not been actively on the site for a couple of months and even before that I only got up to the prepositions, but I decided to do what you're doing right from the beginning this time and narrate outloud everything that I do or identify everything around me that I can.

I reset the tree and began my broken narration lol. You realize how much you don't know/need to learn in order to make full sentences work and all ("dang, I don't know how to say "this" or "that" ... hmm, those are pretty important." or "uggh, I don't know my gerunds. I sound like a 4 year old" ) but it still helps you to get your brain in the active mode of thinking IN that language throughout the day. Even when I'm standing there waiting for my coffee to heat up I'll just look at the room and identify things and their colors and whatever else I know to describe it.

Yeah, at first it's "yo ... uh.. camino ... through el ... door... uh... yo como ... no, CAMINO ... downstairs. Yo ... estoy ... uh entre.. no...uh... entering .. la cocina..... there es un gato ... uh .. gris. no, GATA.... el gata es gris. el gata gris. Yo ... voy .. over to the... over a el ... cabinet. estoy .. getting a .. ta... taza. un taza blanca. for.. er, por mi café. etc...etc.."

But after a little while your brain starts to get more used to the flow. It's a big jump from just reading and saying a phrase that you've either just read or just heard spoken by duolingo, ya know?

I've found that it has improved my comprehension and retention quite a bit. I'm by no means a fluid speaker... far from it. But it's getting easier to do so and not stumble so much. At least with what I already know :p

Oh, and I've also started speaking with some native speakers via skype that I found on that SharedTalk site. I've only been doing that for a couple of days now but it's exciting and I'm learning a lot. It's great to do for correcting your accent and pointing out some finer details and all the nuances that become so frustrating for people learning Spanish. You should check that out as well.

Anyway, have fun and keep at it mi amigo!

edit: I notice you commented about "this doesn't necessarily mean outloud lol". I recommend that you do. At first it feels weird and a bit embarrassing, but whatever. It's the step you have to take in order to improve the speaking part. And yes, it will annoy some people but who cares? :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/E.T.s_Son
E.T.s_Son
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Thank you very much for this thorough post! I chucked a little because I also, do long pauses between what I want to say, what I'm thinking, if I can remember the word, etc but like you said. that helps. I picture when you're doing that it's like oiling the gears of a new language, pretty soon they'll be running like they were brand new

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hucklebeary

es mi placer mi amigo!

Yeah those pauses are just part of the process. They're also why people get to a certain point and then never get past it. They get good at doing the written and the reading and think "awesome I'm getting really good! This is great!" and then they start speaking and they realize that a 3 year old from perú could probably communicate better then them with speaking. Then they get self conscious and they just stop practicing their speaking skills aaaaand then they just eventually stop altogether. Before you know it, it's 6 months later and you wish you just kept going and now you've gotta start all over again. I've done it before and I've read the same story over and over on a bunch of different polyglot sites.

You're spot on man, oiling the gears. Great analogy. When you don't practice it's like the gears start to rust and eventually the engine just stalls and sputters (just like our speech heh.) and before you know it, it seizes up.

This time when I came back to DL I didn't want that to be me again so I'm determined to persevere through the "feel like an idiot" stage. Although, now I just laugh at how I sound and enjoy the process of being new at it and the joy that we feel when we accomplish something new and learn by our mistakes and improve. You know what I mean? That "aha!" moment.

The great thing is that when you first start, there's soooo much to learn and so many mistakes that you make that nearly every time you are practicing speaking out loud, you make an improvement. So your day is filled with "haha wooohoo! That sounds much better, yes this is getting easier :D" or "nice! ok, so that's how you say that... ok, get it smoooth"... just earlier this week when I learned the determiners I had this moment downstairs.

"Cocino pollo en la sartén... ok, so work on your new stuff there mr. chicken cooker... ok, so.... wait, how would I say this? ... I just learned este and ese and all that so ... um... ok, there are my mom's shoes so, ok stand next to them so you can use "these". Ok, "ese.. no este hmm plural these is estos, ok estos es... no, estos is plural so we use son SON... Estos son mi mamá los zapatos.. no just zapatos... and wait, no possession uses that "de" stuff that makes it all weird and latin sounding in English... "of my mother" so.. zapatos de mam... de MI mama. ok estos son zapa..no, when we use the noun OF person we use the article... ok so.. estos ... son los zapatos ..de mi mamá.. sí sí! estos son los zapatos de mi mamá! yeah!! oooo ooo ok, do feminine estas son las tazas de mi mama! ESTAS SON LAS GAFAS DE MI MAMÁ! ESTOS SON LOS PERROS DE MI MAMÁ! .... ha! Awesome. Ok, try it with "that".. that's ese so... um, ooooh use her car ESE ES EL COCHE DE MI MAMÁ.... ESE ES MI ABRIGO! SWEET!"

The next half hour was me walking around the house and outside using every different variation of this that these and those as well as the aquel/aquello(-a, -os, -as) versions that I could. And each time it felt smoother and more natural. Even though sometimes I didn't know the name for the item(s) I was identifying with ese/esos este/estos (seriously, do you know the term for lawn mower or hubcap yet? lol) I'd just use the English word. "ese es the monkey wrench de Michael" lol

Anyway, I've rambled on long enough. I'm excited for you and I hope you continue to do it and do it out loud. I'm eager to hear about your experience with it :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JonasJohns1

This is really good. I try to see everything around me in that language. Sometimes I might stumble over my words and sometimes I don't but what you said is a great way to practice because it gets the braining going and it keeps your brain healthy. Like I'll tell my vecinos(neighbors) Hola! Buenas dias! Come esta? Spanish is my favorite language. One piece of advice, don't let anyone tell you that you can't learn a language. The human brain can learn anything that you feed into it. The human brain is a sponge. Everyday we learn new things. We even learn by accident. I enjoy Spanish music too.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/in2spanish

Like your idea. In the beginning I started to attach "sticky notes" to hundreds of items around my house as well as in my car. This seemed to help me visualize the vocabulary that I was learning. I placed both the English and Spanish translation on each sticky note and then attached it to the item and I leave it till I master the word.

These sticky notes act as "flash cards" of my surroundings. There are literally hundreds and hundreds of new Spanish vocabulary words to learn and use everyday in our own personal environments. Thanks for the post. Have a Lingot!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/msnumbers

I like this idea in2spanish!! I also like to eavesdrop when I hear people speaking Spanish! It's pretty exciting when I actually understand something. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RosettaRock4

Same here!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JonasJohns1

Same here! I try not to look suspicious. They may look at me, I'm like o.0 Hola!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nyetovich135
nyetovich135
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I just did that! My mother gave me a strange look, but I think it will help a lot. Gracias:)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Thakelo
Thakelo
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Dude! Yes! You have no idea how useful this will be!

When I was 13, I had been learning English for two years and I was VERY bad at it (teachers almost felt sorry for me) but one day I woke up with some unnatural motivation which drove me to narrate my life in English, just like you have started doing! It was hard at first, because my vocabulary was very limited, but the progress was unbelievable. The more time passed, the more complex my sentences/thoughts could become, and within a year or so I became the best in my class. As I went through school, I kept doing this and I even reached the point of being able to correct my own English teachers (not native speakers, but they knew it well) sometimes!

You have no idea how happy I am to read your post and realize that I'm not crazy hahahha. I highly encourage you to keep this up. You will often forget about doing this but you will eventually reach a point where it will come naturally most of the time.

Combine this with real life immersion (not completely real, I just mean involving people and not lifeless texts) like spanish forums and/or real-time "penpals" in websites like WeSpeke, and your skills will skyrocket.

If you manage to pull this off, there is one adverse effect I have to warn you about. It might be permanent. I'm not saying that you will suddenly think ONLY in Spanish, but you will have multi-lingual expressions popping in everyday for the rest of your life.

PS: As someone pointed out, speaking out loud is definitely a must to make this even more real. Just make sure you are alone when you do it.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JonasJohns1

This is what I want for me. What makes me laugh is when I practice spanish and then speak to mother, spanish thoughts come in my mind and I forget some english. It's pretty weird. The fact that thoughts pop in my head in spanish is very cool to me. It's nice to have multiple thoughts in different languages running in your head like oxygen. Yo práctico español todos los días. Yo práctico una ahora un día o veintiuno un día. Correct me if I'm wrong. This app is great. I have oovoo on my iPhone and FaceTime so I'd definitely like to chat with people on there. The associates on my job speak spanish too. At least 11 of them or more speak español. People say I speak Spanglish. I'm like lol. I call español, española. Española is my nickname for it.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/leah_jones

I took notes in college in Spanglish. My friends learned to not ask to borrow my notes, because they couldn't figure out what I was saying. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/E.T.s_Son
E.T.s_Son
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I'm pretty crazy already LoL But I'm going to start doing this. Whatever and every action I do I'm going to try to create a sentence for it. I might need to carry me a dictionary for words I don't know LOL

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kina.7

I always eavesdrop in Walmart when I hear someone speaking spanish lol

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/E.T.s_Son
E.T.s_Son
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And the good thing about that is they won't even know you understand every single word they're saying in Spanish lol

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Talca
Talca
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I did that, Kina. Now I am less shy and I actually say, "¿Habla español? Estudio español." Everyone lights up and is wildly amused that a gringa is studying his (or her) language. WARNING: they usually speak English and will switch to it. Hispanics who speak English in the EE.UU. are quite proud of mastering it. Among themselves, of course, they use their native tongue. Try this and report back.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RosettaRock4

I can't wait to be able to fluently speak Spanish! Then, I can listen to people speak to each other in Spanish in an English place and know what they say!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/wazzie
wazzie
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This will definitely help you make that all important step from translating to understanding!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/E.T.s_Son
E.T.s_Son
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I'm crossing my fingers. I just hope my Spanish doesn't irritate my family members lol

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LoesVanBos
LoesVanBos
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I think that would make me too self-conscious, and irritate me in the end, but it would probably help with the language.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/E.T.s_Son
E.T.s_Son
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You don't have to necessarily speak out loud when you narrate lol

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LoesVanBos
LoesVanBos
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I meant just making myself aware of every little thing I do in order to "narrate" it. I don't think to myself "I'm now pouring water in the coffee cup" when making my coffee, I just do it.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/E.T.s_Son
E.T.s_Son
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Lol Yeah I mostly think in my head so it'd pretty much be second nature to me

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ajray-
Ajray-
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Lool reminds me of a Family Guy episode...

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/E.T.s_Son
E.T.s_Son
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Lmao I know! I was thinking about that lol

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ajray-
Ajray-
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Haha I thought of something similar. but just summarizing my day in spanish in a journal whevever the time is there. I'll do that after I finish my tree

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hucklebeary

Start now bro! Internalize that stuff as you go, no matter how elementary the sentences are, it'll help a great deal. As they say in spanish "El movimiento se demuestra andando".. or "the movement is shown by walking" ... basically "babysteps" lol. Gotta walk before you can run right? Well, start now! Not once you've learned a ton of stuff and then have to go back and review because, yeah you passed your tree, but a lot of it isn't at the surface anymore.

Oh, and start talking to a native Spanish speaker that wants to learn English. They don't care how basic your Spanish is. I'm speaking with a couple of people that speak English very very well but they simply want to practice their accents and clear up any mistakes they might be making that they're not aware of. Simple things that cross over from their mother tongue.

They'll start you right from the beginning with pronunciation and help with things that you may think you have down pat because you passed the lesson on DL but then you say it to a native speaker and they're like "no, say it like this" or "you're not stressing this right.. it is said like this" or "your -ar's and -er's need work", etc...

It's better to make your mistakes now than to Finish the tree and realize you've been practicing in a bad way, ya know?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Yourmumohhh

That's a great idea, actually! As long as you know how to say everything correctly lol

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BillyJoeJimBob

I think even if you're wrong sometimes, it's still good practice. As you do other things, your narration should improve..!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DuoDaisuki
DuoDaisuki
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That's great! You'll definitely improve a lot if you do that. I recommend that you don't translate everything literally. For example, to say "I'm going to bed" it is better to say "(Yo) voy a dormir", meaning "I'm going to sleep". It's not wrong to say "(Yo) voy a la cama" or "(Yo) voy a mi cama", which means "I'm going to the bed" and "I'm going to my bed", respectively, but it means that you are literally going to your bed; it doesn't mean that you are going to sleep. To say "I have to use the bathroom," you could say "(Yo) tengo que usar el baño." By the way, you don't need to use "yo" in every sentence.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/E.T.s_Son
E.T.s_Son
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I initially was going to type "Voy a dormir" but I second guessed myself and as far as NOT using "yo" in every sentence I'm still getting use to not having to include the subject of the sentence knowing that the subject is included in the conjugated verb.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JonasJohns1

I do the same thing lol. Like I will say yo for everything. My friend said Jonas just use tengo. I'm like aight bruh lol.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexisLinguist
AlexisLinguist
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Ha ha! You'll get used to it eventually!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DuoDaisuki
DuoDaisuki
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That's a good way to practice. ^^

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JonasJohns1

Hola! Buenas noches! Donde esta el bano? lol if you some where and you really need to use the bano and no one can speak English then at least you know that much. You always you tell your mother, Eres muy guapa. Sorry for sounding so random. It's really nice to see people learning all sorts of languages. With duolingo you can learn a lot. At the moment I'm and studying espanol y portugues.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/reiicheru

I spoke to an english teacher of 40 odd years, and he says he learnt Japanese by narrating his life. It made him practice words he would otherwise not learn in school), and practice vocab and verb forms. So yeah, you should totally go for it! Especially if you have a mobile dictionary or something!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/E.T.s_Son
E.T.s_Son
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Oddly enough, I'm also learning Japanese right alongside Spanish. Right now I'm just studying the Kanji, I know about 1000 kanji characters so far

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/reiicheru

Yikes, that's a lot of kanji! You probably already know maggie-sensei's website, but it's really good for the grammar. Most of is just algebra-like slotting and and switching. The kanji probably take the most time to study u__u

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/E.T.s_Son
E.T.s_Son
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YEah I haven't studied my Kanji in a few weeks though but I'm going to get back on it this weekend. And I never heard of that site but I'll check it out THanks

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/sigmacharding
sigmacharding
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A lo mejor debes ver a esta discusión https://www.duolingo.com/comment/3462388 donde se incluye un enlace a un video de TED.

Creo que tu metodo de aprendizaje es un poco parecido de el que el usa. Después de viendo diga me lo que piensas :)

Te deseo buena suerte

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/darth10ter
darth10ter
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I do this sometimes when I'm not mowing the lawn, taking a shower, and other boring, repetitive stuff. Just letting the words flow and talking to myself. I don't know if it helps me that much, but it gives me something to concentrate on. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JonasJohns1

Que pasa! I do the same thing. I talk to myself in Spanish and my mom is like what. I'm like mom I'm practicing espanol.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NATALIADIAZ3

NI UN DIA AGO ESO NOOOOOOO

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/leah_jones

I narrate my life and my actions in Spanish all the time! It helps a lot. I'm working on being able to do the same in Italian. A tip: when you say "yo voy a la cama," that literally means "I am going to my bed." If you want to say "I'm going to bed," as in "I'm going to sleep, goodnight," say "Yo me acuesto." :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Thakelo
Thakelo
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Well, saying "Me voy a la cama" means I'm going to sleep, at least in Chile.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/leah_jones

Good to know! I was taught proper Mexican Spanish in my Spanish classes, and I was taught not to say "me voy a la cama." Thanks for the tip!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/E.T.s_Son
E.T.s_Son
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I guess different regions of the Spanish world have different ways of constructing sentences that are written/said different but mean the same thing

4 years ago