In an attempt to become comfortable speaking in Spanish, I watch several programs on Telemundo, a Spanish-language television network. I have found that it is difficult to learn a new language without hearing it spoken regularly. Also, I would like to develop the ability to think in a second language. Right now, I think and speak English primarily, But I would like to become more proficient in Spanish. As I speak very beginner Spanish right now, my thinking in English hinders me in speaking Spanish. However, I can write Spanish with a little more ease (though with more of an English sentence order).
As I am in the mode of learning a second language, I think it is a great idea that Telemundo has placed English translations of its evening shows during the week on CC3. Some of the programs I enjoy most are “Caso Cerrado”, “Decisiones Extremas”, and a fair number of the telenovelas (previously “La Reina del Sur” and now “La Casa de al Lado”).
After watching the network for several months, I can pick up on the high points of the dialogue without having to look at the screen sometimes. Sometimes I understand the spoken words better with my own literal translation than the English translation. Other times I learn something (for example, there’s a saying in Spanish “poner sus pantalones”, which literally means “to put on your pants”, but it really means something like “take responsibility” or “man up” (this CC3 translation made me chuckle as I read it.)).
But overall, as a learner of Spanish as a second language, I am still very much a novice because if asked something in Spanish my immediate reaction would be something in English. If I had time to think about it, I would be able to respond. I want to learn the Spanish verb conjugations and more vocabulary, but I am realizing that there may be no substitute for just speaking Spanish more often. I have found that people who speak Spanish have been very patient (and pleased) with my beginning, heavily American-accented Spanish (which encourages me to keep learning)).
I would hope that at some time in the future I would be able to travel to a Spanish-speaking country (just for the experience); the thought is intriguing.