Share your favourite Spanish resources!

Spanish is such a popular language with so many learners! I’d love to know what resources you have found helpful in learning Spanish or reading in Spanish.

What apps and online dictionaries are you using? Where do you buy your books? Great grammar resources?

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I use an audiobook course by Paul Nobel. It covers basics but for both castellan and latin American. I like how it teaches you to make sentences and internalise grammar through the course structure without actively trying to remember things.

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Oh, there’s something I’m actually very curious about as well. In Spanish, once you reach ~B2, should you continue studying grammar? I just haven’t studied any Spanish grammar for so long, and while before I barely ever made any mistakes, after a couple years of doing nothing in Spanish, my instinctive grammar has gotten bad. So idk if I should just immerse like crazy again or actively study grammar, or both.

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For a Spanish ressource, the TED en Español podcasts are great. They’re on a variety of topics, so you always get to learn something new, and potentially some topic specific language as well.

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My Spanish language journey has been, uh, sub-optimal, to say the least, so I don’t know if I have much to recommend for the beginner stage :sweat_smile:. I made it to the intermediate stage with a combination of mediocre high school Spanish classes and then revisiting the material through the Duolingo app years later, which allowed me to more or less recover what I had learned in school.

I don’t know if I can recommend the Duolingo app (especially since they’ve started going down the route of AI translation…), but I can recommend the Duolingo podcast! I credit that podcast with basically all of my early gains in listening comprehension. If you’ve made it to the early intermediate stage, it’s a great podcast, because it’s a bit slower than natural speech (and has a fair amount of English support), and it uses limited vocabulary. It also has transcripts available, though I confess, I never used them. You’ll get practice with a variety of different accents, too.

The podcast is genuinely really great! I was surprised by how interesting I found the episodes. There’s something for everyone in there. My favorite was The Mystery of the Itata season they did, which is genuinely an incredible story just as a narrative.

When I started out listening to the podcast, my brain took long enough to process the sentences, I feel like I was always a step behind the conversation, but after listening to around 100 or so episodes, I was able to understand everything at spoken speed with like 99% comprehension.

I eventually decided to move on to a harder podcast, so after googling around for some advice on the subject, I picked up Radio Ambulante, which is an NPR podcast primarily aimed at native speakers. It’s similar to the Duolingo podcast in terms of overall tone and topics that it covers (some people who worked on the Duolingo podcast were actually with Radio Ambulante initially), but there’s no English, and the Spanish is spoken at native speed, and the vocabulary is not artificially limited. It also has transcripts! And I believe an English translation you can reference as well? So it’s pretty accessible, as far as upper intermediate/low advanced listening resources go.

It took me several episodes of Radio Ambulante before I feel like I was able to adjust to the difficulty, so my comprehension for the first few was much lower, but now I feel like I’m able to grasp most of the Spanish (though my comprehension varies depending on the topic), and I’m really enjoying it! I feel like I learn a lot from it.

In addition to podcasts, when I reached the point where the Duolingo podcast was easy for me, I started watching Bob Esponja (the SpongeBob SquarePants Spanish dub). It’s been decent practice because the vocabulary is fairly everyday (give or take some sea-related terminology that is considerably less everyday for most people…), and the episodes are essentially entirely standalone, so you don’t have to worry if your comprehension is only spotty for one, because the plot will resolve by the end of it and it’ll move on to something else.

Before that, I’d watched a few Spanish TV dramas and films with Spanish subtitles, and those went alright, but I was looking for something I could try listening to without subs, and Bob Esponja was a good fit because it’s entertaining enough to keep my attention, and I had some familiarity with the series already, but had zero real investment in it, so it doesn’t bother me if my comprehension isn’t perfect.

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I’m curious if anyone knows about any Android dictionary apps that have anki integration. I’d love to be able to look up a word and immediately create a flashcard from it. I’ve got a similar setup for Japanese, and going back to making everything by hand is pretty painful, haha.

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I mostly use YouTube videos, podcasts, and (more lately) books.

YouTube - Dreaming Spanish was really key in improving my listening ability. Now I mostly watch documentaries on DW Documental and enjoy some booktuber content (Clau Reads Books), travel vlogs (La Blue Kombi, En Los Zapatos de Mónica) and some other YouTubers (jefillysh, Adrià Solà Pastor).

Podcasts - I’ve listened to some of Radio Ambulante, El Hilo, and Se Regalan Dudas, but I’m mostly just sticking to learner podcasts for now which I really enjoy. There’s so many. Español con Juan, How to Spanish, and Easy Spanish are my current go-to’s. I love how these easier podcasts make it so simple to fit in an extra hour of listening throughout the day. (Comprehensible Hub is a great resource to find podcasts.)

I get almost all my books from the library using the libby app. I’m lucky to have a library that has a ton of Spanish content. Graphic novels have been a really wonderful find to get started reading more in Spanish. I like mostly reading on my kindle and also do a little bit of reading in lingq everyday which makes it so easy to learn new vocabulary & phrases, especially those situations in which I know all the words, but can’t figure out what they mean when put together in this order in this context.

For dictionaries, I like spanishdict.com.

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If anyone needs more Spanish audiobooks (and ebooks) than they can find at their library and YouTube, I highly recommend Storytel if a paid subscription is an option for you. Other subscriptions that are also good are Kobo Plus and Nextory. I have Storytel Mexico and it’s about $9USD/mo and I have listened to dozens and dozens of books on there, and read some ebooks too.

For beginners I love the stories on theSpanishExperiment.com (also the fable cottage). Dreaming Spanish is great, so is the YouTube channel Spanish After Hours.

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