Spanish is the official language in 20 countries around the world! So no matter what age you start learning it, it will always be a valuable language to learn. In fact, Spanish regularly tops lists of the most useful languages to learn, and it is not difficult to see why.
Whether you are travelling to Mexico, Guatemala or Peru, translating the lyrics of Shakira's songs, or enjoying the original versions of Pedro Almodovar's films, there are many reasons to study Spanish.
So what are you waiting for? Start learning this beneficial and joyful language today!
You will find plenty of information about the best ways to learn Spanish on the internet, but one of the most convenient and economical is definitely studying the language of Cervantes online.
You can find a number of free websites that allow you to learn Spanish without paying a penny! In this guide we will look at some of the options available to you, as well as telling you what to look out for, and be aware of, when looking for a Spanish course online.
How to Learn Spanish Online: 5 Free Sites
Here is the selection of the best free sites to become familiar with the Spanish language.
1. Word Reference
Word Reference will become one of your most important resources during your language learning adventure. This online dictionary offers support in a number of different languages, one of which is Spanish.
Not only can you look up a variety of different words in English or Spanish and quickly find their equivalent meaning in the corresponding language, but the words are given with synonyms and context, making the decision process about which word to choose even easier. This ensures that you always select the exact word that you want, even if other words with a similar meaning are offered.
The website often offers colloquial translations as well, and you will be able to see where the word is used. Remember that colloquial language is often specific to a particular country or region, and therefore not all vocabulary that is used in Colombia is used in Peru for example, and vice-versa.
The other advantage of Word Reference is its forum. If you can't find the word that you're looking for, or if you want help with translating a slightly complex sentence, you can ask the question in the forum and a wide range of respondents will get back to you with their thoughts.
These people are often native speakers, and sometimes even Spanish teachers, so you can usually trust the information that they provide.
2. DuoLingo: Learning While Having Fun
DuoLingo makes learning Spanish easy and fun. If you already have some experience of learning Spanish, you can take a placement test when you begin to see where to start, or you can simply start from the very beginning.
The idea is to have fun by answering questions, earning points (or losing hearts for errors), by responding as quickly as possible to go to the next level.
A kind of Candy Crush in Spanish if you will!
Each lesson allows you to work on several aspects of the Spanish language, from pronunciation to listening and translation with instant correction.
What's more, for those of you who are looking for an app to learn Spanish, you should note that DuoLingo is available on your smartphone or tablet. So you could be learning Spanish whilst killing time on your commute to work, or at the departure gate whilst waiting to board your flight!
3. Work your Spanish vocabulary for free with VocBox
VocBox.com is a free vocabulary tool based on the Leitner system. You have to repeat the Spanish words to get cards and acquire the terms in your vocabulary.
Lists of words and phrases can be added in conjunction with magazines and sponsors, but users can also create lists of words and phrases in Spanish according to their own interests.
To verify understanding and memorisation of Spanish vocabulary, VocBox offers tests to follow the evolution of each student.
By grouping words together by subject, the brain can make easier connections between them, thus making the ability to retain these words easier.
Learning Spanish for beginners can sometimes be overwhelming, but by starting with vocabulary you will be able to see early tangible progress through the memorisation and retention of words which will help to build confidence as you move further down the language learning road.
4. Bilingua: Practise with Native Spanish Speakers
If you want to teach yourself Spanish, you will need a space where you can practise what you learn.
There are plenty of websites and apps that offer language exchanges whereby you can be put in contact with a Spanish native speaker who wants to learn English.
The idea is that you can practise your Spanish with them, and they can practise their English with you.
One such example of this is Bilingua. This platform aims to match you with fluent Spanish speakers based on interests so that you will both have something to talk about.
Another advantage of Bilingua is the guidance and support that they offer during your learning adventure, plus the motivation given to keep you focused when the going gets tough.
Practising with someone who is fluent in the Spanish language will allow them to correct you when you make mistakes, and offer advice about how to continue improving in Spanish. What's more you could have some great conversations with someone who has the same interests as you. You might even make a lifelong friend in the process!
5. Loecsen: Learn to Speak Spanish Quickly
The site www.loecsen.com is based on the speed of learning and is distinguished by its practical travel guide. It is aimed at all users who want to learn Spanish without having to pay a penny, but especially to all those who are preparing a trip to Spain or Latin America.
The principle is simple: expressions of everyday life are proposed to photograph your spelling and pronunciation and quizzes allow to test your memorization.
Mp3 and pdf files are partially accessible in free mode. They contain conversation phrases in English and Spanish which is rather useful to start speaking Spanish simply without spending a penny.
Learn Spanish Free Online with Online Exercises
Lengalia offers Spanish language courses structured from A1 to C1 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). Each lesson starts by introducing the theme in question, which is followed by a short text that can be listened to, so the user learning Spanish associates written words with correct pronunciation.
What tools are available?
- Grammar sheets specific to the lesson. For example the rules of agreement of the masculine and feminine as well as the exceptions.
- Practice with exercises (gap-fill tasks) and multiple-choice questions (MCQs).
- A written comprehension composed of a text to be read and questions. An oral comprehension composed of an mp3 (in reading on the site) and questions.
Lengalia offers a placement test to advise the most appropriate course for you. However, starting Spanish classes from the beginning for free can't really hurt! Registration allows access to all the services for 48 hours without an obligation to pay anything afterwards. This will even give you access to the podcasts classified by level. Why deprive yourself?
Plus: an online Spanish tutoring service is available for free to ask questions to professors.
Study Spanish: Study and Test Yourself
If you go to the Study Spanish website, you will be able to access a wealth of information and resources. You can search for different topics in order to focus on a specific aspect of Spanish grammar, or you can look at generally lists of vocabulary.
There are many advantages of this website. First of all, you don't need to register or sign up; you simply log on to the website and start accessing the free content.
The website is split into 9 different units, each one increasing in difficulty. This means that you can very easily start where you have previously left off in your Spanish learning.
It is an easy to use website, and you can quickly find what you are looking for. Each topic is well explained with examples to help you understand what is being shown.
Afterwards you can access a number of different exercises about the topic that you have just read about, each one with an increasing level of difficulty. This means that you can take an organised and intuitive approach to learning Spanish, without having to worry about getting lost in a sea of complex grammar terms and tenses.
The website has the feel of some of the best books for learning Spanish, due to its layout, its approach to explaining via the written word, and the exercises offered at the end of each section.
Learn Spanish by Using Videos Online
Oh yes, videos can be a very useful medium for learning Spanish. Aside from using movies to study Spanish, the internet is full of video sharing websites which could help you enormously with learning Spanish.
Study Spanish with Videos on Videoele
It is a Spanish professor, Agustín Iruela, who is behind the site www.videoele.com. In his spare time, he has made dozens of videos so that students can learn to speak Spanish for free on the web.
The videos last between 3 and 6 minutes, and they correspond to levels A1, A2, B1 and B2 of the CEFR. For example, the first video consists of a succession of shots associated with a voice over to learn 50 Spanish words.
In addition, instructional guides and vocabulary points can be downloaded to go over the content of the lesson given in each video. Transcriptions have also been made to allow you to come back to the darker points during the audiovisual comprehension.
Students in Spanish rest assured; detailed corrections allow you to understand the errors made at each step. If you want to support the project, you can watch commercials before each video, it's as simple as that!
YouTube Channels to Study Spanish Online
As the internet's biggest video sharing website, YouTube offers countless channels dedicated to the learning of languages. To learn to speak Spanish, it is a very accessible tool!
You will find :
- The bases (the Spanish alphabet),
- Courses of pronunciation and Spanish syntax,
- The basic words of the current Spanish
- Or even a number of expressions of everyday life in Spanish.
Some videos have even been designed to teach Spanish to little ones in a playful way, in order to make them aware of the Iberian language.
Superprof has reviewed the different channels and offers you the most interesting ones to follow, in terms of number of views and quality, for these 100% free Spanish courses!
Aprende Español Con Saby
The program '¡Aprende español con Saby!' offers 4 free Spanish video lessons, each lasting about ten minutes each.
Specifically built for beginners to the Spanish language, the videos are well done and offer you the chance to learn basic grammar rules (definite articles, indefinite articles, the difference between ser and estar etc), some important words in the Spanish language (el niño, una mujer,...), adjectives (high, low,...), different parts of the body etc.
At the end, the virtual teacher asks you questions to verify that you have memorised the Spanish words and the basic grammar rules.
The best part of this channel is the videos. The translation of the Spanish words is given simultaneously and the voice of the teacher is very clear and understandable. 4 HD Spanish courses are offered, and the first course has more than 450,000 views!
150 Spanish Sentences for Beginners
With over 2 million views, this video by Polyglot Pablo tries the ambitious task of teaching you 150 simple Spanish-language sentences in just over 17 minutes!
You will learn words and phrases such as:
- ¿Cómo estás?,
- Buenas noches,
- Vamos a comer,
- ¿Quieres un poco?,
- Tengo hambre
It is a well made, and obviously very useful video. The background is the Spanish flag so you will feel the Spanish connection immediately. You will learn Spanish verbs and master the expressions most frequently encountered on the Iberian peninsula or in Latin America.
If you progress and want to learn more Spanish phrases or already have an intermediate level in Spanish, there are plenty of other Spanish videos. YouTuber, Polyglot Pablo, who is passionate about languages, has published videos to learn English, Italian, Portuguese, German, French and regularly posts videos shot in European capitals!
It is followed by nearly 330,000 subscribers.
Learn Spanish - the basic words
In another useful video for beginners, Youtuber, Linguistmail, offers a 15 minute lesson on knowing how to get by in a Spanish-speaking country. In particular, you will learn how to count to 1000, tell the time, know the days and months, plus everything you need to book a train or bus ticket to Buenos Aires or Madrid for example!
If you are familiar with basic Spanish (Spanish alphabet, everyday vocabulary, basic grammar, etc.), a good Spanish test is to start looking at series in their original version, or to consider language courses in Spain or South America.
"Cu cu, nursery rhyme to learn Spanish for children" or "A mi burro - Spanish Children's Song" are videos composed of beautiful songs and nursery rhymes for children to start learning Spanish fun way, while having fun.
Traposo has posted many videos for children, in several foreign languages such as Portuguese, German, and Spanish. Some of the best ones in Spanish include:
- "Learn the numbers with insects in Spanish"
- "Learning the animals of the Spanish farm".
Images of animals will mark the spirit of the youngest and make them laugh, for sure! Some videos like "A mi burro" have more than 100,000 views!
What is the Best App to Learn Spanish?
In the modern age, 'online' means smartphones. And smartphones mean apps. There are loads of apps to learn Spanish that you can download onto your smartphone or tablet. Here is a quick run through three of the best
Babbel offers courses in foreign languages, French, German, English, Italian, Portuguese, Swedish and of course Spanish, hombre!
The current version of the App, which exists on the App Store and on Android, was updated on March 29th and received no less than 5 stars by the users who downloaded it. This app allows you to choose your own courses according to the subjects you are interested in, with relatively short lessons (15 minutes each).
The built-in revision tool helps you to memorize learned Spanish vocabulary and the speech recognition tool allows you to work your accent and pronunciation of words. You will need to pay to be able to use the full app and its content.
Spanish Nemo is a 100% free app to learn Spanish on your smartphone or tablet.
The most common words and phrases of the Spanish language (¿como te llamas?, ¿donde vives ?, ¿que tienes ?, ¿puedo ayudar ...) will be taught to you with an audio playback by a native Spanish.
To work on your accent, the vocal studio allows you to superimpose your voice on to that of the teacher. You will be surprised to see how useful this tool is to fine-tune your pronunciation.
A lot of apps give access to Spanish lessons, often free, and with speech recognition.
Nemo is a simple app which allows you to start speaking Spanish for free and quickly thanks to fun and interactive lessons. You will be able to engage in basic conversations and make yourself understand your Spanish friends, order food in a restaurant, book a hotel, ask for directions, or even ask for the price in a shop.
Busuu offers complete language courses on both the App Store App and Google Play.
Busuu's promise also ensures corrections by people with Spanish as their mother tongue. In the free version, you will only have the right to the visual support cards and the corrections.
Remember that learning Spanish is for everyone. Advances in technology have now made it easier than ever to learn a language. It doesn't matter if it's a child with dyslexia learning Spanish, or a recently retired person. You'll be able to find the relevant resources on the internet to help you learn.
If you can afford them, we recommend searching for spanish classes london, or lessons in your chosen location.