I have gathered some of my favorite language learning resources for Spanish. Most of them are free, but a few of them are paid. I almost always stick to the free resources unless I’m trying to take my language skills to a new level.
While this list is a good start, I encourage you to curate a list of resources that you enjoy.
Specifically, be on the lookout for:
- Podcasts in the language you want to learn
- Watch music videos
- Read books (I recommend starting off with children’s books)
- Facebook pages and groups
- Language learning apps
And while I often talk about how language learning apps fail language learners, they are a good supplement to a program that does work, such as Easy Travel Speak Quick Start for Spanish. (You knew where I was going, didn’t you?)
Anyway, peruse the list and bookmark the ones you like, toss the ones you don’t and find some new ones to add to your personal resource list. And if you find some good ones, send me an email at [email protected] because I’m always looking for new resources.
Enjoy and speak on. ~Way
Free (mostly) Spanish language learning resources to help you speak Spanish better and faster
Google Translate is my go-to source for translation. Even when I know a lot of the language, I am always in need of a good translation tool. It’s not perfect but it’s good, easy to use, and has over 100 languages.
SpanishPod101 is one of my favorite Youtube channels for language learning. It begins by showing you a series of images and asking you a question. Then you listen to a dialogue in the language and pick which image answers the question. Then it repeats with English subtitles and gives you the answer. I use this almost every day for the languages I’m learning more in-depth.
Spanish While You’re Sleeping
I use Spanish While You’re Sleeping, but I don’t really use it while I’m sleeping. I actively listen to it and use it to learn or reinforce basic phrases. What I like about it is that it gives you a handful of phrases and then repeats them. It’s a great supplement and reinforcement. If I’m doing some work that does not require a lot of thought I’ll listen to this in the background.
100 Most Common Words
As far as I know, all languages generally follow the Pareto principle or 80-20 rule. Meaning that 80% of the spoken language uses only 20% of the words. All languages follow Zipf’s law, which states that the most used word in a language occurs approximately twice as often as the second most used word, three times as often as the third most used word, etc That means the 100 most common words in Spanish will give you a lot of the language. This is a big part of the Easy Travel Speak system.
DuoLingo Language Learning App
I don’t recommend using DuoLingo to learn a language, but I do recommend using it as a resource. Personally, I use DuoLingo for languages I’m studying more in-depth. One of the keys to success with DuoLing is to use the ‘strength’ option. I learn one new lesson and two ‘strengthen’ lessons daily.
Spanish Music on YouTube
I like to listen to music in Spanish on YouTube when I’m learning or brushing up on the language. Firstly, a lot of foreign countries make good music we never hear about in the U.S. Secondly, it gives you an idea of the sound of the language and you will pick up words you know quickly. Best of all it can be put on in the background so if you are doing something that requires your full attention.
Foreign language programming
I watch movies and shows in two different ways. I watch movies and a series I have already seen in English in Spanish. This is especially good for shows or movies I’ve seen several times since I have a good idea of the plot and the dialogue. I also watch movies and shows from the country I’m traveling to. I usually don’t understand much, but it gives me the accent, cadence, and the sound of the language and some of them are horribly funny. My go-to choices are:
News in Slow Spanish
News in Slow Spanish is not a free resource, but it is really valuable to help take your language learning to the next level. It broadcasts recent news stories slowly and clearly. It also provides a transcript of the dialogue. I use it after my vocabulary is large enough to get an understanding of what they are talking about.