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If you’re one of the many people who have ever made a goal or New Year’s resolution to learn Spanish, only to fall short after a few weeks, a podcast could be just the thing to help you learn faster and start speaking fluently.
I studied Spanish for eight years back in high school and college, and then let a lot of that knowledge slip away when I didn’t practice after graduation. I wish podcasts had existed back then, because they’ve been a lifesaver to me and my husband as we work on (re)learning Spanish now.
Spanish podcasts are great for:
- Learning new vocabulary
- Hearing proper pronunciation of words
- Practicing all-important listening skills
Unlike with Spanish textbooks and videos, a good Spanish podcast assumes that you’re listening in the car, at the gym, while walking the dog, or while doing the dishes. You don’t have to be sitting still or even looking at your phone or computer.
I’ve tested out A LOT of Spanish podcasts over the last year, but I’ve found three that I listen to regularly because they a) include native Spanish speakers and b) I always learn something new that I can use in conversation. Check them out for yourself!
3 Great Spanish Podcasts
1. The Unlimited Spanish Podcast
This podcast is intended for people who already know the basics of Spanish, but are at an early intermediate level. The host, Oscar Pellus, conducts every episode entirely in Spanish, but speaks at a pace that is pretty easy to follow.
Unlike a lot of Spanish podcasts, Oscar doesn’t walk you through verb conjugation by repeating a verb three times and telling you to repeat it. Instead, every episode has a different theme, and he presents vocabulary and cultural references that help you understand the language better.
In every episode, Oscar tells a story one or two different ways, which allows you to really identify the words he’s saying, put the vocabulary in context, and identify the differences between the stories. The whole concept is done in a really casual way. If you get completely lost, you can go to his website and download a podcast transcript.
The Unlimited Spanish Podcast is perfectly suitable for pre-teens, teens, and adults.
[Update!] If you’re ready to really take your Spanish to the next level, check out Oscar’s courses. They include hours of audio, as well as PDFs of the written lesson transcripts. My husband and I had such great success with the Unlimited Spanish podcasts that we purchased the Curso Magico, and we love it!
2. Notes In Spanish
This podcast is hosted by husband and wife team Ben and Marina. He’s a native English-speaker originally from the UK, and she’s a native Spaniard from Madrid. They met when he was learning Spanish and eventually decided to create a podcast to help others learn Spanish.
Notes in Spanish has episodes for learners at all levels; they are actually broken out into different podcasts as Beginners, Intermediate, Advanced, and Gold. Episodes in each level include an interesting theme, a conversation between Ben and Marina in English, and then a follow-up conversation between them in Spanish.
I recently listened to an episode in which they talk about national anthems, and specifically Spain’s national anthem. It was a really easy listen and I learned both some new Spanish as well as interesting facts about Spain.
Notes in Spanish is suitable for teens and adults, but I think pre-teens might get bored listening to the chatter between a husband and wife.
3. News In Slow Spanish
If you have trouble figuring out what native Spanish speakers are saying (who doesn’t?), then this is the podcast for you. News In Slow Spanish is literally a short news broadcast spoken entirely in Spanish, but sloooowwwwlllyyyy.
My favorite thing about News In Slow Spanish is that they offer episodes for Intermediate and Advanced Spanish learners in a “Spanish from Spain” edition, and episodes for Intermediate learners in a “Spanish from Latin America” edition. I appreciate this so much, as my husband and I have been spending a lot of time in Spain and don’t want to be confused by vocabulary that is specific to Latin America.
When the podcast first started, free episodes were pretty lengthy and provided in-depth news coverage. Now, free episodes are shorter (usually less than 10 minutes), and you have to sign up for a paid subscription for the longer episodes. But don’t let that stop you! The brief, free episodes are great for people who are short on time!
Transcripts for every episode of News In Slow Spanish are available online, and their website has some great free resources and interactive tools.
Becoming fluent in Spanish takes time, but these three podcasts can help you get there sooner. Also check out my review of the Duolingo Spanish Podcast.
If you’re looking for more podcasts to challenge your brain, check out 5 Fun Podcasts That Make You Smarter.
You can also check out the My Fave Things page for other Spanish language learning resources that I recommend!
Have you listened to one of these podcasts? What other podcasts do you use to learn Spanish? Leave a comment so I can go listen to them.