Notes in Spanish Advanced Season 2 – Ep.2 – La Vida Sin Muerte

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Notes in Spanish Advanced 2Welcome to Episdoe 2 of our brand new Advanced Season 2 Series! This week we discuss life without death. As scientists promise that by 2040 we’ll be able to live forever, even go back to the age we’d like to stay at, we discuss what this means for the human race, for doctors, religion, and much more.

¿A ti te gustaría poder vivir para siempre?

Saludos desde Madrid!

Ben y Marina
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23 thoughts on “Notes in Spanish Advanced Season 2 – Ep.2 – La Vida Sin Muerte

  1. Alexander H.

    Qué tema más interesante!

    Hay otra implicación muy importante que deberíamos discutir: la superpoblación que ya es un gran problema hoy en día, y que lo será aún más cuando “acabe de acabar” la vida. Antes de poder vivir eternamente, deberíamos haber encontrado una solución para mudarnos a otro planeta (o crear una réplica del nuestro), y pienso que para eso necesitamos más que un par de añitos. Al no ser que la sabiduría que tendremos por haber vivido 300 años nos ayude con nuestra búsqueda de otros planetas, pero antes de eso tendremos que convivir en el nuestro, cada vez más pequeño, y eso me parece problemático y hasta peligroso, viendo los conflictos debidos a la superpoblación y a los flujos migratorios causados, entre muchas cosas, por los cambios climáticos.

    De todas formas, ha sido un episodio muy interesante, me ha hecho comentar aquí por primera vez.
    Tengo mucha curiosidad por saber de qué trata el próximo!

    Un saludo desde Viena,

    1. Ben Post author

      Hola Alexander,

      Me ha gustado mucho tu mensaje. Es verdad, que ya tenemos un problema de superpoblación, pues imagínate cuando se acaba la muerte… Me gusta tu idea de crear un replica de nuestra planeta, pero como dices, no va a pasar eso de un día para otro, ni llegar a otros planetas como lo nuestro. En fin, el futuro es incierto, y muy interesante. Gracias por escribirnos.

  2. Rodrigo Henríquez Carrera

    ¡Felicitaciones! Les recuerdo con mucho aprecio. Vuestro material fue de mucha utilidad para mí durante la época en que hice clases de español en Eslovaquia, casi diez años atrás.

    Me alegra que ya tengan nuevo material.

    Saludos desde Chile,

  3. Kristi N

    Me encanta este tema y etoy muy alegra de que estén haciendo podcasts otra vez. Que cambio desde la primera vez que los eschuché!
    Tengo todos los materiales de “notes in Spanish” y mis habilidades para hablar español han mejorado mucho. Gracias! Tengo muchas ganas de escuchar la próxima.

  4. Caroline G

    Gracias por vuestros audios; han sido uno de los fundamentos más importantes de mi aprendizaje del español hace unos años atrás. Me alegra ver que seguís produciéndolos!
    Este tema me parece bastante interesante y llamativo. Siempre da algo de qué conversar cuando surgen temas así en las noticias tecnológicas. Tengo que decir que estoy de acuerdo con Marina en que no tengo ningún concepto de cómo sería una vida mucho más larga, y ademas dudo mucho en que sea algo muy positivo y gratificante a largo plazo vivir por tantos años. Creo que si algún día llegamos a hacer que nuestros cuerpos no sucumban a la enfermedad, ya pronto nos daremos cuenta de que este tipo de vida perpetua no fue lo que realmente deseamos todo este tiempo. Siempre quedará algo más por desear que la ciencia y nuestros esfuerzos no pueden satisfacer….

    1. Ben Post author

      Hola Caroline,

      Estoy de acuerdo contigo, ¡nuestros deseos siempre pueden sobrepasar nuestras posibilidades!

      Gracias por tu comentario,

      Un abrazo,


  5. John

    Hi Ben & Marina!

    I’d really love to share my learning experience working with these podcasts and transcripts with readers of this blog. I hope that’s OK.

    This may not be for everyone, especially if you already have a good grasp of Spanish or a related language, or if you pick things up quickly and are just a ‘natural’ if there is such a thing. OK, I’m going to try my best to not make this sound like one big advert…

    After spending 3 or 4 months using another podcast: ‘Coffee Break Spanish,’ I downloaded the first episode of the NIS beginners podcast. I was really looking forward to “testing” my comprehension with something else as I’d pretty much used the other podcast exclusively up to that point. It had some dialogue to follow along with but it was basically scripted and 99% of the vocab was what we’d learned during the lessons, which was great to consolidate things, but it hadn’t prepared me for the natural flow of a real Spanish conversation.

    I have to admit, despite being totally enamoured by both Ben & Marina, I initially found myself very discouraged after I realised I couldn’t really understand anything they were saying. I was expecting to struggle a little bit, but almost immediately, I felt totally out of my depth. I thought about quitting, I’d spent almost 4 months working through the other podcast, and although in retrospect it was a big help and just what I needed at the time, it hadn’t got me anywhere near the level I needed to understand these NIS beginners podcasts. I honestly felt like I’d “done” the beginners phase, how wrong I was.

    So instead of quitting, I became determined to make sense of Ben & Marina’s conversations, they seemed so lovely when they spoke in English, that I was desperate to understand their Spanish. I figured the only way I could do that was to get the transcripts. There was no way I was going to be able to progress without seeing each word written down, and there was the added bonus of an English translation included with the beginner worksheets.

    I remember painstakingly going through each podcast and it’s transcript, and using them to rewrite each sentence from Spanish into English and then back into Spanish again. Meanwhile, I would be listening to each podcast daily, probably 10+ times, I can recall most of them from memory even now, 5 years later. I don’t think I could’ve done that unless I genuinely loved the conversations, and Marina’s authentic Spanish accent was a real joy.

    I distinctly remember having these mini breakthroughs in comprehension, little “aha” moments where something suddenly became clear, which really motivated me to continue. Sometimes I’d be totally stumped on how a certain construction worked, the English explanations were excellent, but sometimes you just have to let it come to you, which can take time, but when it suddenly made sense there was a real feeling of achievement and of it all being a worthwhile effort.

    So after some time I thought it was time to breakout from the safety of my beginner’s bubble, and with some apprehension, I downloaded the first episode of the intermediate podcasts… 10 seconds in I had that sinking feeling again, I felt totally out of my depth and the familiar thoughts of just not being “talented” at languages flooded my mind. After the initial shock, I managed to calm down and remind myself of the exact same struggle I’d had with the beginner series. I thought if I’ve done it once, I can do it again!

    So on I went. I purchased the transcripts and began the exact same process as before, only this time I went online to look up every word and phrase I didn’t know, as despite there being helpful translations of key words and phrases, there is no full English translation for the intermediate level. This turned out to be a good thing, as I found it more beneficial not immediately glancing across at the English when I got stuck, instead, I tried to make sense of it before going online to find the meaning.

    I think this is important at the intermediate stage. The English translation is a nice, and probably a vital crutch to have when your comprehension is less than 20%, but once you have a decent grasp of the basics, it’s probably better to just let the language flow over you before you start looking things up. Besides, it turned out that a lot of what I couldn’t understand in the audio weren’t the words themselves, but the speed and the way each flowed into the other making them hard to separate. Seeing them written down made things easier, and going back to the audio was a LOT easier after reading the transcripts.

    I spent a lot of time listening during this stage, even more than before, I was soaking my brain with the conversations, and after a while I found I was dealing with the added speed and complexity much better. Going back and listening to the beginner podcasts seemed like child’s play!

    Next came the ‘Gold’ series. I was pleasantly surprised to find I could understand a lot of what was being said without the transcripts by this stage, but there were still certain sections that were troublesome, and a few episodes with a particularly large amount of unfamiliar vocabulary, so the transcripts once again became my bread & butter. Once I felt I had a handle on these, I was finally able to jump into the advanced series, which, despite being scary, in reality, there isn’t a great jump from the gold series to advanced, just enough to keep you on your toes. Having said that, there are some conversations where Marina talks to friends and family without Ben and these can be tricky for me, even now, after 5 years.

    So I just wanted to let others know that using these podcasts as part of my Spanish learning “kit” was vital in helping me overcome each level of comprehension. They have been perfectly pitched to make each transition as smooth as is possible. Even if you’re not the best learner, and you lack confidence, as I did, with perseverance and patience it’s very possible to get to where you want to be in your Spanish.

    I’m loving the new Advanced series, and I’m happy to report that, so far, I have around 90% comprehension upon first listen! It feels great to be able to say that. It can drop to around 50% when Marina gets excited, but I love a challenge! 🙂

    Thanks Ben & Marina!

    1. Ben Post author

      Thanks John for such a wonderful comment. It makes us so happy to know that this really works, especially the combination of patience, determination, motivation, the audios and the worksheets. Good luck with your ongoing journey, soon you’ll be up to 95% on the first listen to Advanced, but I’d say 90% is amazing already!

  6. Marina Diez

    Thanks for all your comments!

    Thanks John for sharing with us your learning process. It is really interesting to know how you have used our materials to go from beginner to advanced in five years! Congratulations on your hard work!


      1. John

        Of course not! I could’ve done with hearing this myself when I was battling through the beginner episodes, wondering whether I would EVER be capable of doing it. It makes me happy to know it might encourage someone else to know that no matter how bad you think you are at Spanish, if you preserve, there’s light at the end of the tunnel, you WILL get there.

        Cheers Ben.

    1. John

      Thanks Marina! I’m worried that 5 years might actually discourage learners, but, to be honest, I’m in my late 30s, I’m a slow learner, and have a full time job. I’m sure someone younger, more intelligent, with a bit more time, could do it much faster.

      It’s the hardest I’ve ever worked at anything that I wasn’t being paid for, haha. Best thing about the podcasts is they never really felt like work, you’re both so easy to listen to that it was a genuine joy to spend so much time with them. Thank you both for that. 🙂

  7. Leonard Rodenberg

    I enjoyed reading this a lot as it was timely for where I’m at right now. I’ve just finished the beginning podcasts (still repeatedly listening to them) and have transitioned over into listening to the intermediate ones. Both at the start of listening to the beginning podcasts and the first intermediate ones I’ve experienced that same feeling of being overwhelmed. Still experiencing it a little bit with the intermediate level. But it is fading and my ear and comprehension are starting to improve. The first of the beginning podcasts are a “piece of cake” and I’m getting more ding, ding, ding moments where I get something.

    I’ve got a ways to go before I listen to gold or advanced but poco a poco!

    I’m doing my best to study “cada dia” in lead up to a three-month stay in Mexico coming soon.

    I’m 66 , have studies Spanish before, but because of these podcasts and the cool way Ben and Marina interact I’m INSPIRED!!

    Actually, since I’ve lived in Thailand before, the 2nd beginning podcast hooked me! And I hate to shop too Ben! Did you ever get that motorcycle btw?

    Muchas gracias!

    1. Ben Post author

      It’s wonderful to hear you are inspired Leonard! Thanks for your great comment. I had a Vespa for about 4 years but sold it about 9 years ago, and nothing since. Keep looking at them longingly all the time though, so who knows, perhaps one day!

      1. Leonard Rodenberg

        When you say 9 years ago I realize how much road I have yet to travel down with the podcasts!

  8. Anna

    Muchas gracias Marina y Ben! Me alegro tanto que os veo de nuevo!!! Vosotros habeis desarollado mi espanol, seguro! Gente, escuchad a esta pareja porque esto funciona:)
    Saludos desde Polonia!

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