Spanish resources I find useful

January 29th, 2021

One of my goals for 2021 is trying to practise and improve my 💩 Español.

I am going all in, well as much as my free time allows and making myself uncomfortable by consuming as much content as possible. I am using various sources from study apps, to podcasts, and even talking with native speakers.

Below are the main Spanish resources I am using.


Learn Spanish with Paul Noble

Paul Noble’s method is super relaxed and one of my favourite methods for learning Spanish on this list. There’s no writing anything down or trying to memorise anything, in fact his three ground rules are below:

  1. Take your time to think out your response, do not rush.
  2. Don’t make an effort to remember anything, it’s fine if you forget.
  3. Don’t worry about making mistakes.

Paul’s method involves him slowly asking questions to his two native Spanish speakers, giving us, the listener a chance to respond and then hearing the response of each of the two native Spanish speakers in their native dialect; Castilian Spanish, and Latin American.

Duolingo

If you have been learning a language, chances are you have come across Duolingo, the platform that teaches you the basics of a language in a fun and ‘gamified’ kind of way.

I have been playing with Duolingo on and off for years now and I haven’t dropped it as I think it’s still quite useful. Since I started using Duo, they have added a lot of extra features such as podcasts, stories and even online events that makes it valuable for any aspiring polyglot.

Complete Spanish Step-by-Step book

This is my main Spanish book and is central to my studies. It covers basically everything I will need to make sense of the Spanish language, from learning about the structure of sentences, to verbs, idioms and everything in between. It is… in-depth.

Instagram

Yes I’m listing ‘the gram’ here as a resource as I am finding it fairly valuable on my language journey. I created an account for the sole purpose of practising writing and speaking with little videos. I find the format is perfect to treat it as a kind of scratch pad with quick posts and videos.

The other (unexpected) benefit I have found is the language learning community is pretty damn nice! When I pop up a post, I get encouragement and even some corrections from natives!

SpanishDict

SpanishDict is pretty much the authority website for Spanish language learners. It has a HUGE index of vocabulary, conjugations, grammar, and translations! All (from what I can tell) with examples in both Latin American and Castilian dialect audio examples. It should definitely be bookmarked if you are learning Español.

Conjuu – Spanish Conjugation

Spanish verbs are one of the more difficult aspects of the language for beginners and for good reason, there are about 16 tenses for each verb! 😩

I have put off learning proper conjugation for years and it’s finally time to nail this area down. Conjuu is the latest addition to my language learning arsenal and it helps me practise with the included 618 verbs. I can do a quick ten minute session here and there and I feel it’s really helping me improve.

Tandem

It’s all well and good learning proper grammar, verb tables and vocab, but at the end of the day you are going to have to speak with actual humans sooner or later.

Enter Tandem – Find that perfect partner (for learning a language).

This app is pretty damn awesome as it shows you to natives who are learning your mother tongue so you can practise together in each other’s language via text, or voice. You can also translate messages right from within the app and provide corrections to each other.

I have been chatting with people from Mexico, Chile, Colombia, and Spain, all from my house. This is invaluable to me and I have signed up to the Pro version as I feel it’s worth it.

Amazon Prime / Netflix

I have never really watched movies or TV shows in my target language, and what an absolute rookie mistake this was. Obviously if I want to get used to hearing people speak in Spanish and train my ear I need to listen to natives and what better way than to watch movies.

I am currently watching the TV series El Candidato, a Mexican political thriller about a CIA agent, and his trainee who are trying to take down a cartel boss. It’s understandably difficult at this stage but I am going to persevere and finish the series.

I have Spanish subtitles turned on, so I can see what the actors are actually saying as it’s so fast!

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