Learning Spanish is fun. Spanish is a fiesta. Spanish are the lyrics of many a passionate song and Spanish are the names of many a rico dish. It’s (relatively) easy, energetic, has great music and food: in short, one of the coolest languages to study, and there is plenty of learning material available because of all those North Americans studying it. Here are some of my favorite resources.
This is a really great YouTube channel offering audio for learning a growing number of languages. It uses its own ‘Thinking Method’, which teaches you a language through providing you with a logical way to remember grammar and vocabulary. It makes you understand the language instead of merely showing what it looks like. You for example don’t just memorize a new word, but get to derive it from words you already know: this works especially well with English and Latin languages, because you can ‘transfer’ a lot of words from English into Spanish (thanks to William the Conquerer).
I confess that I really like this series about a group of adolescents and their problems – silly but very educational! It is produced especially for people learning the language: the level of the dialogues increases with every episode (all subtitled) and thus perfectly functions as a support to regular grammar and vocabulary lessons.
Lists of the most frequently used words in a language are very efficient ways of learning vocabulary and this one is particularly nice as it features example sentences for every word – not to mention because it’s available for free in PDF.
Reading in another language is effective for learning (for example El País, El Mundo and BBC Mundo) but not much fun if you have to look up every other word. This application called Readlang is a great free addition to your browser that gives a translation simply by clicking on a word. Even better: it saves those words (and the sentence in which they appear) for later review as flashcards.
Learning with Oliver
If you make an account on this website, you can opt for a daily or weekly newsletter with new words and example sentences at your level.
Apart from a dictionary and verb conjugator, this page offers an extensive overview of Spanish grammar with for every topic the possibility to test yourself. Really nice is also their word of the day email newsletter.
Transparent Language has a series of blogs for different languages with very helpful content.
For my fellow etymology enthusiasts: this website about the Spanish language, castellano in Spanish, has an etymology dictionary and a newsletter called Palabra del Día. The latter will send you twice a week the etymology of a Spanish word, and as a bonus a Latin quote and an answer to a grammar question.
One of the greatest things about the Spanish language is the music. I compiled a playlist of my favorite songs which you can find on the right side of this page!
Use what you already know
A last tip: if you already know another Latin language, the best thing you can do is buy a grammar book or vocabulary list in that language. This will save you a lot of time and efforts and makes language learning much more interesting.