Mi Vida Loca
May 25, 2009 4:32 PM   Subscribe

Courtesy of the BBC, an award-winning mystery masquerading as a language education program.

Mi Vida Loca is a rather interesting series of interactive, self-guided Spanish conversation exercises for English-speaking users; what's novel about them is that they are embedded within a "you are there" story about a woman whose job as a journalist has apparently earned her some shady enemies. Simple tasks like paying for a meal or buying a bus ticket take on a heightened urgency as you struggle not only to learn the language and make your way around a foreign country, but also to catch up with your mysterious new friend and find out what's really going on. The series recently (as in about a week ago) won a BAFTA TV Craft Award for Interactive Innovation - Service Platform.
posted by skoosh (15 comments total) 60 users marked this as a favorite
Double-Post Disclaimer: I know that the BBC Languages section has been previously mentioned on MeFi, but this series seemed like a very new, very different addition that did not exist in 2006. So there you go.
posted by skoosh at 4:33 PM on May 25, 2009

This sounds very similiar to Clara Perspectiva, a "telenovela" that is bundled with my Spanish book. I'm currently in the third level of International Baccalaureate Spanish (or, if you prefer, Espanol del Bachillerato Internacional), and it is a tenet of the third level that you follow a telenovela to really integrate the language.

However, in the past, we followed La Catrina, following a young woman trying to execute her deceased wealthy grandfather's will. This year, Clara Perspectiva seems very similar to Mi Vida Loca, without the first-person integration: a teenager works as an intern at a upscale magazine (a la Ugly Betty) but then her college professor is abducted and she goes on a quest to "discover the truth".

I'm curious how much better the BBC programme is over this series that is bundled with our textbook.
posted by seandq at 4:59 PM on May 25, 2009

I thought this was going to be about Ghost Writer. This looks nice, too.
posted by boo_radley at 5:13 PM on May 25, 2009

Japanese take
posted by delmoi at 5:34 PM on May 25, 2009

This is great timing--I am going to Barcelona soon, after not having been there in over ten years. Needless to say, my Spanish (limited to begin with) has atrophied.

I just did the first lesson and it was excellent. This is so well done--truly an engaging method for language learning.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 5:47 PM on May 25, 2009

Before I read the BBC mention, I thought for sure this would be Destinos.
posted by punchdrunkhistory at 7:26 PM on May 25, 2009

This is standard (i.e. marvelous) for the BBC, that used to have such great shows as "Suivez La Piste" and... er, a German one we used to watch in the early 60s.

If you're going to watch a language show, it might as well be exciting, right?
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 7:55 PM on May 25, 2009

OMG seandq, I watched La Catrina in high school spanish back in...2001 I think? I bet you don't have the pleasure of watching it on laserdisc.

I am all about a good dramatization of ordering food and inquring about the time.
posted by Tesseractive at 8:23 PM on May 25, 2009

These are so oddly compelling. I'm not even sure I'm learning that much Spanish. I think I'm just a sucker for second-person POV movies.
posted by juv3nal at 8:54 PM on May 25, 2009 [3 favorites]

It's somehow reminiscent of "Gerda malaperis!", a mystery story for beginning Esperanto students.
posted by Araucaria at 9:54 PM on May 25, 2009

OMG! Those bastards! They kidnapped her! They didn't count on my uncanny property buying skills though.
posted by juv3nal at 12:18 AM on May 26, 2009

This is superb, I've been meaning to learn Spanish for sometime, and this is in exactly the right format to hook me in. Might be a while before I can watch Abre los Ojos without subtitles, but I look forward to the day!
posted by Acey at 2:46 AM on May 26, 2009

I've been loving Mi Vida Loca for some weeks now. Very excited about Destinos now though, thanks punchdrunkhistory.
posted by greytape at 9:50 AM on May 26, 2009

This rocks.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 10:05 AM on May 26, 2009

You can watch Destinos for free here.
posted by empath at 2:50 PM on May 26, 2009 [1 favorite]

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