My husband didn't understand at first, and was even quite against it. I'd heard reputable language learning folks mention the advantages of watching telenovelas to increase vocabulary in another language. About a year ago, I gave it a try. I have a firm foundation in Spanish, but am always trying to learn new phrases, idioms, accents, so this seemed like a good way to start.
My son, who wasn't even Big Brother at the time, because Little Sister was on the way, was up for the adventure with me. We started with Un Gancho al Corazon y En Nombre del Amor. We especially liked the theme song from En Nombre del Amor.
I made sure the closed captioning was available for the shows and had them turned on just in case I encountered unfamiliar words. I did understand the majority of the conversations, but occasionally picked up words that I do not use or hear every day. That was my goal, to increase my vocabulary, and it worked!
Those novelas have now ended and mi amiga, Tracy at Latinaish.com, introduced me to our current fave, Los Herederos del Monte and I have been hooked ever since. It is on Telemundo at 9pm, Monday through Friday.
I enjoy that the same characters are on almost everyday, so we get used to their forma de hablar. Many of the personajes have certain sayings that they use often too. These things and an interesting plot make for fun language learning. I highly recommend this entertaining method!
As 9pm draws nearer, Big Brother says, "Is it time for our show yet?" Little Sister has this strange reaction every time she hears the theme song come on (when she is usually nursing) and she always stops taking milk and jerks her head toward the television to watch the horses gallop on the opener. She even grins, giggles, claps, and bounces now too! She likes the music and horses. Most of the time both of them fall asleep before the show finishes, and then we have to wait another day before it returns.
Big Brother has picked up more vocabulary however. He heard one of the brothers call their girl, "mi reina" and he said, "Why are they talking about the Reina del Sur?" (Reina del Sur was a very popular novela that earlier this year, followed Los Herederos on Telmundo, but it has since ended.) Little connections here and there are what I was looking for. More exposure to Spanish helps him want to try to use it more as well.
We are now in the final weeks of the story and unlike Soap Operas in the US which last for 40 years or more, this one, which started in January 2011, will be completed before August I'm thinking.
So much more to share about novelas, and this one in particular, but that's for another day. What about you? Do you watch Los Herederos del Monte or another telenovela? We may be in the market in a few months for a new one!