Using Spanish language op on TV
I was watching my local baseball team (the Phillies) and the announcer mentioned their games are also broadcast in Spanish. He said if you wanted to hear it in Spanish you could select that language as an option on your TV. I have completed my Spanish tree here on Duolingo, so I did it. As others have commented, I couldn't understand much. The syllables seem to come at you like a machine gun, although there was some I could understand. It was interesting to me that the two Spanish baseball announcers would often throw in a lot of words in English. Sometimes it seemed like 25% of what they said was in English. Not just things that are only in English, like the name of the stadium, for instance, but also things where there is a Spanish word. Sometimes it almost seemed like they were talking a kind of Spanglish, if you know what I mean.
Has anybody else had this experience? If I do this regularly do you think it will help my understanding of the spoken word?
How about Spanish language channels on TV. Mexican soap operas, for example. Any luck with that? Do they help? I find I can read most or all of the program descriptions on my TV channel menu, but watching and understanding is something else.
Listening to Spanish in any occasion will certainly help you understand more of it; the type of vocabulary you might learn from a sports broadcast is not as varied as the things you hear in dramas or soap operas, but it's certainly a start (it always helps if 1) you like what you're watching, regardless of language; 2) you understand the setting enough to pick up a few things from context alone).
If you have any Spanish-language channels, I advise you to start with children's cartoons or TV shows catered to childre - the diction and pronunciation is usually clearer because you can't read lips (with cartoons) and to cater to young children's difficulty in processing fast information (remember they are also learning a language via listening alone).
I think trying to listen to sports is particularly challenging because they have to get their words out during the action and it is often hurried and hard to understand.
However, the idea is good. On ATT Uverse, I do change the language of programs (typically movies) to Spanish and if the language is difficult you also can turn on the sub-titles as well which is often in english.
It also words with recorded programs I have. I can watch the recorded movie in English and Spanish if both languages are offered.
That is true. We have a number of Spanish language channels on our cable TV. I will start using them more. However, they don't have subtitles. On Friday night there was a performance at the White House on TV for Memorial Day weekend. One of the performers was a singer (Romeo somebody - Ramos, maybe) who sang in Spanish for President Obama and the various troops and veterans there. I could not understand much. Something about war. I recognized "a la guerra" So I still have lot of work to do.
Try to avoid live action sub-titles in Spanish. They are horrendous. Often incomplete or full of errors. The sub-titles in movies or pre-recorded programs are much better.
If listening comprehension is still difficult for you at this moment, you may want to listen to some series of podcasts first. They do help. In fact, to really improve your level of Spanish you need to take multi-prong approach.