Announcing the Duolingo Spanish Podcast!
Duolingo is launching a bilingual podcast for Spanish learners today! In creating this, we wanted to combine great storytelling with language learning: each episode of the podcast features compelling, true stories that are told in easy-to-understand Spanish with English narration throughout. Although the vocabulary used is linked to the CEFR, these are not your standard language lessons, but rather captivating stories designed to help learners improve their listening comprehension throughout their daily lives.
There are currently nearly 110 million English speakers learning Spanish on Duolingo, and we believe this weekly podcast will push intermediate and advanced learners in particular to the next level. So, whether you are nearing the end of your Spanish tree or just looking for great stories to listen to on your commute, download the Duolingo Spanish Podcast from your favorite podcast provider!
You might also like: Learn Spanish with this innovative podcast (Mashable)
PS: You can also access it via Duolingo Labs
Do you have already plans what will be the 2nd or 3rd target language?
Maybe Portuguese like Duo Labs stories?
Well, we know you have some Spanish and Portuguese internal resources available ;)
.........and yes, there are million of Spanish learners on DuoLingo according to the Incubator statistics....acknowledged.
Nice that your team has new ideas and brings them to life for first tests....
Yes. I hope the three target languages will be :Spanish, Portuguese and French! I think these are the languages with the most learners anyway.
Just when I thought that Duo was becoming stale for me, you raised the bar. First, I attended a Duo event here in San Francisco, una buscada, a scavenger hunt! Muy divertido, even though I was the least fluent. Then the stories, which I have followed almost every day, added a new dimension.
But now, the podcasts! I was feeling almost weepy listening to the story of meeting one's sports idol and could follow most of the words. This is exactly the type of exercise my Spanish teacher at community college has been suggesting - listening to Spanish with Spanish subtitles.
Thanks for pulling me back to Duolingo!
Dear Duolingo.....I love you so much :-* !!!! Thank you for all that you do and these great resources!! I have listened to both podcast and they are great!! After a brief hiatus, I have recently re-immersed my self in duolingo. GREAT to be back! I just keep discovering new resources!! It's great!
I just want to say, I know that most people choose to learn Spanish here at Duolingo, but does Spanish always have to be the first language? Maybe you could do something with French or German. While all of your updates are great, a lot of people can't access any of them. For instance, stories is only available to Portuguese (YAY!) and Spanish speakers, and I understand that that's in beta. But maybe next time you make a feature, consider starting it with a language such as French.
Anyway, with my annoying complaining out of the way, onto the praise! This sounds like a great option for Spanish learners. I think once I become a bit better at Esperanto, I'll want to find podcasts to listen to as well, so I don't annoy my mom by being on the computer so much. This is a great opportunity, and I hope you go farther with it! Thank you!
(Also, sorry if the first part came off as rude, I didn't know how to put that specific feedback in a suitable wording, but I still wanted to get the message across. Looking back at it, it looks incredibly rude. Sorry!)
Perhaps there is a larger number of people learning Spanish than the other languages?
Spanish is definitively and by far the language(°) to which the largest number of accounts have subscribed(°°). You can see here that
|Rank|||#Subscribers (in Millions)||Target language(°)|
(°) Only speaking about courses for English speakers here, otherwise it'd be the second one, the first one being its reverse course (with more than 142M subscribers).
(°°) impossible (for us) to know the data about #accounts "actively" learning each language, so we're left with the number of subscribers.
a lot of those might possibly be like me, who are simply taking both courses to improve your Spanish skills.
The same argument applies for the Spanish from English course: a lot of those might possibly like me, who are simply taking both courses to improve your English skills. ;)
Probably because Spanish has the most English learners. Therefore, more people would use this feature.
I agree with Luke, having funny and interesting podcasts is awesome. That is exactly what people need (and I believe even beginners can benefit from listening).
Just as with stories, I would encourage you to increase reusability of your content (which is not cheap to produce). English interruptions might be useful (though I doubt that), but they limit the audience of the podcast to English speakers only. If you had an uninterrupted audio of the story (maybe as a separate file), then anyone could listen them. For instance our users of Spanish for Russian speakers would be happy to listen them, I'm sure.
It is really great, that you'll share the text of the story. Speakers of any language can use it. Users of any Spanish course on Duoingo can create a discussion on the forum to translate the text or discuss podcast's grammar and vocabulary.
I agree with your feedback, but at least this first one wouldn't really work without the narration (be it in English or whatever language) -- there's not enough context for the Spanish bits if you take the narration out. That's easily tweaked for future stories, of course.
Yup, but that's essentially NPR's Radio Ambulante. :-)
(Although I do enjoy that show, which is a suitable step up in complexity and length from this first Duolingo podcast, I have to say that the themes of Radio Ambulante are often very dark and depressing. I hope the Duolingo podcasts will be more varied and suitable for all ages.)
Duolingo says Intermediate without a CEFR specification (AFAIK).
I would say it is somewhere between A2 and B1. At B1 the input should be clear but at a more normal pace. These podcasts are clear but Spanish is spoken slower than normal.
It is so slowed down that I can do shadowing exercise without losing sync (repeat what the Speaker said while continuing to listen).
I listened to the first episode, which was pretty nice. It's really useful to have the transcript readily available -- with it, this is probably a pretty good level for someone just finishing their Duolingo Spanish tree and not having a whole lot of listening experience from elsewhere. (The jump in complexity is pretty huge, but the Spanish speaker spoke very clearly, and I guess the idea of a podcast like this is to be able to follow the story, as opposed to analyze the details of the grammar involved.)
You mentioned that the vocabulary is linked to the Common European Framework levels -- what does this mean in practice? I was expecting to find some indication of the level of the first story, but couldn't find it.
Overall, it felt very "Radio Ambulante:ish", although easier because of the narration being in English. Which of course isn't surprising if some of the same people work on this. I'm surprised Duolingo entered the pretty crowded market of language podcasting, but will be looking forward to future episodes.
Edit: Oh, and I get a "Podcast series currently not available" or something similar when I try to add in using Google Play Music.
Found the transcripts! Turns out, I had immediately clicked into one of the advertised players for it, instead of scrolling down to the rest of the duolingo.podcast.com page where there is both a player and the transcripts in English. ^_^
Hi annika_a, I haven't been able to find the transcripts. Would you share where you located them? I'm using the Google Music route to access it. If you're using something else, will you still share where you found them? There might be other people using the same as you who are also looking for them.
"You mentioned that the vocabulary is linked to the Common European Framework levels -- what does this mean in practice? I was expecting to find some indication of the level of the first story, but couldn't find it."
Hi annika_a! My understanding is that most of the vocabulary used is targeted at intermediate level learners, as defined by the CEFR. For example, we typically don't use words like "cataclismo," since that's a word used by advanced Spanish speakers. Instead, we use simpler words that Spanish learners at an intermediate learners would most likely understand. I hope that helps explains a little bit of what this looks like in practice!
Are you still getting the error on Google Play music?
Thank you for creating this resource ! And I agree with Lrtward. It is like an amazing early Christmas present !
I am so looking forward to it being about to rolled out for many more languages in the year to come.
Also I want to congratulate the team who have produced this for creating the associated transcript ,
Tinycard deck !
Thank you !
Guys, this is so well done and professionally produced. Bravo! I encourage everyone to check it out, whether you're learning Spanish or not. That will give you an idea of what to expect if it expands in the future and will also help show support for this new venture.
I listened to the first podcast. It's engaging and interesting, but I have one BIG problem with it. I have to switch my listening from English to Spanish too often - takes a couple of words to go to Spanish for me. It would be better, I think, to have the narration in Spanish, since the transcript is available if needed. I think progress would be faster that way, as it would allow you to truly immerse yourself in the language. The narration should translate into fairly simple Spanish. It is actually more difficult to switch like this than to listen to a strictly Spanish narration. LOVE LOVE LOVE the innovations.
I reallly enjoyed this podcast, I felt like the story was engaging and I found it interesting that having the narration in english. I managed to stay interested more than if the narrator had simply translated the story. At first I thought the switching between languages might get akward but it managed to keep a nice flow.
I listen to a lot of podcasts for language learning. In the last 4 years I have probably listened to around 1000 hours of podcasts. I have added Duolingo Spanish podcast to my collection of podcasts.
Having just listened to the first episode, I recognize it as a podcast in the style of Radio Ambulante except that the narration is done in English and Spanish is clearer and somewhat slower, making it more suitable for early intermediate students.
I wished there was a version where the narration was done in Spanish as well. That would actually make the podcast suitable for all learners of Spanish, not just English speakers learning Spanish.
For an intermediate learner, the vocal speed is very acceptable. It would be interesting to see variants of accents or speeds (Spain, Ecuadorian, Argentine, Mexico, Chilean).
Perhaps a background photo behind the text would be useful in adding context clues, unless it should feel more like NPR. Providing font colors to different languages could be a possibility.
Maybe in the future, users could create their stories and type it up for submission.
I wasn't into Duolingo Stories, but the podcast is awesome. I don't even like Spanish, but have been learning it a long time... this is the first time I was enthralled by something in Spanish that was recorded. I am actually excited for the next ones! Also greatly dislike the use of English in foreign language podcasts generally, but this is the first time I've heard it done really well. I didn't like it here either at first, but I think it helped me follow along and enjoy it. If you can add something like this for the languages I DO like, I will be even more excited! And radio with transcripts is how I learned French, and became semi-fluent in it with a decent accent without ever visiting a French-speaking region. So love that there are transcripts here. I don't know if I like Spanish enough to really bother with them, but I definitely would with other languages.
dreamconsciously, one thing I know is that if the Spanish podcast doesn't get enough downloads/listens, there's no chance of it adding other languages. So, what I've been doing is playing it from different download sources listed on its page, boosting it on social media, and asking my friends to go play it too. I Like Spanish. I'd also like it to eventually be available in other languages too, like Japanese. It's gotta succeed in Spanish to even have a chance though, same with Duolingo Stories. crosses fingers :)
Telling others about it is great, but listening to it yourself repeatedly in a manner that you wouldn't normally only to boost the stats will skew the data. If they make a decision based on incorrect data about expected listener numbers, it could have a deleterious effect on the potential to monetize the podcast. It's happened before. Several times I have seen businesses launch something based on what seemed to be wide-spread interest only to see it fizzle. True enough, you'd probably have to be pretty intensely dedicated to gaming the system (or you'd have to build a bot, as seems to have happened in the cases that I witnessed), but... (I recently started doing data for a living, so it is close to my heart.)
At the onset, a big wave makes a big splash with good ripples. If people share it through social media more people will find it. And if the numbers are good at the onset, media will boost it bringing in more listeners. I'm aiming for the ripple effect. At the moment, mostly people on the website will find it. Most of Duolingo's users are not on the website. It's a sound strategy. :)
I listened to part of the first episode, and my suggestion would be to have the interviewee speak at normal speed and cadence. I have been able to understand this sort of slow speed, perfect enunciation narration for years, but I don't believe that has gotten me any closer to understanding normal speech, which would be the goal.
Having English narration and a readily available transcript will guide people even if they miss something. If you are going to climb Everest, you will want to practice in the Rockies, not the steepest hill in Iowa.
Always excited to try out a new feature! My Spanish isn't good enough to follow very well, but I did not see the transcription of the podcast till nearly the end, so that helped just a little.
As an English native speaker, I just wanted to point out for anyone who might be using this for learning English from Spanish, in the 4th to last paragraph in the sentence "Rodrigo was relieved and happy to hear these news", since news isn't a typical plural, 'these' should be 'this'.
@All: FYI, a new story has been released in the Duolingo Spanish Podcast.
Memorias y milanesas
Roberto Herrscher was one of the many Argentinians who fought against Great Britain in the Falklands War in the 1980s. Decades later, Herrscher returns to the islands to confront his memories and ends up making an unlikely friend.
I am loving this new feature, but a little disappointed with the content of the first four podcasts. There have been two non-romantic stories about men, and two stories with women protagonists which were both about heterosexual romance. I hope to see more content with women acting as more than love interests, perhaps even something that passes the Bechdel test (a very low bar for gender equality).
How long it lasts will depend on how successful it is (i.e. how much it gets used). If folks use it a lot, then Duolingo will commit the resources needed to maintain and grow it. If it doesn't get used, they will abandon it.
But it will be around longer than just today :)
This is fantastic, and probably just what I need at this stage in my learning (just beginning to nudge toward intermediate). I don't think I understand enough to get along without the English narration. I have listened twice so far, once just with the audio and then with the transcript (to pick up words that went by too quickly). I also did the tinycards.
I can't wait for the weekend to roll around so I could have the chance to listen to this! Although Spanish is my first language, I was never properly taught grammar topics or tenses so with the help of Duolingo and their various separate services, I'll be on the road to speaking perfect Spanish!
ginquill33, personally I think it'd be good for everyone learning Spanish to listen to it, even if they are still working on basics1. It's listening comprehension and reading comprehension practice. When I think of "intermediate" I think of someone who has completed the Spanish tree. I wouldn't let that deter anyone from listening to it though. It think it would help people advance more quickly.
I agree with Usagiboy7. I am at a similar level to you, and I enjoyed listening to the first episode. I was pleased to simply be able to hear/understand single words and short phrases within the full sentences. I will keep the podcasts to use again when I've advanced further.
If you are able to listen to Spanish and understand about 80% of the spoken Spanish than you should be OK. If not, you probably need to improve a bit more. However, listening podcasts is a great idea. I have been doing it since 2014 (every day) and it has helped me tremendously. If Duolingo podcast is difficult listen to more basic podcasts. There are a ton of them.
If the website is for Medium, it's the correct place. Medium is one of the places hosting the podcast. If you go there, ignore the sign in button unless you want to create a Medium account. Scroll down instead and you will see the current two episodes of the Duolingo Spanish Podcast. You can listen to them without making an account. :)
The podcasts are available in a variety of ways, including Google Music. On the web, you can access it from the Duolingo Labs tab. https://www.duolingo.com/labs (I can on my see this when I view my browser app in desktop mode.) Use the links in the post to find it on Google Music, Stitcher, and others. It's accessible to just about everyone, on any device. :)
however i it has one flaw is it possible to listen to it ONLY in spanish?
Not a flaw as it is a SPANISH podcast.
The day there will be French podcast, that one will be in French, the day there will be English podcast (for non English speakers), that one will be in English, etc.
I have just listened to the 4th podcast (the one about China). I liked the new feature of showing the transcript in a video window -- less scrolling. However, because this an image and not text, I cannot as easily copy out the vocabulary that I want to review later. Also, in this podcast, the Spanish was spoken very slowly. At my level of understanding, this does help but I think I would be better off with faster audio, even if I struggle.
Each episode contains audio, video subtitles, and text transcripts. If you go to https://podcast.duolingo.com/episode-4-una-chilena-en-china-cc355caadfba, keep scrolling down the page and you will find the text transcripts. :)
The Duolingo podcast program is excellent! I am using a four-step method for each episode to increase my comprehension.
- I listen to the podcast episode with out aids.
- I read the full transcript.
- I listen to the podcast a second time while reading the transcript simultaneously.
- I listen for the third time without the transcript.
And these stories are pretty entertaining as well. Nice job Duolingo!
First of all the podcasts are great. I have listened to them many times so that I can increase my understanding of what's being said. Now maybe this shows my lack of understanding but it's never mentioned in the first podcast what book Belen read that she was so immersed in? Any way to find out?
I’ve listened to all the episodes now, within a week! I felt they were well put together and easy to learn from. The stories were engaging as well. Unfortunately, it looks like there are no episodes past January, and it is already April. I hope this is not the end of the podcast, as it has been great for learning.
Android auto now refuses to play the Spanish podcast, instead it only finds and plays the French podcast. I tried to find the podcast in the Google podcast app to download it and had the same problem: only Duolingo French shows up even when searching for just Spanish. It's possible to find the podcast on the website and use Google podcast to play it when not using Android auto, but when in the car those results aren't visible and you are back to French only.
The host, Martina Castro, explains it EVERY episode. The Spanish speaker is telling his or her personal story. Martina tells you something else about the story in English.
I feel they are good for listening practice, as each speaker has a different accent and style of speaking, most speak at a reasonable pace. But the vocabulary is intermediate level, so you can try to follow it, maybe learn some new words.
There is a transcript on the website it you prefer to read and listen at the same time. https://podcast.duolingo.com/spanish
I like to listen a few times without the transcript to get acquainted with the speaker's rhythm. Then I try to repeat what the speaker is saying as they are saying it. This is easy in one's native language, but a challenge in the target language!
I hope you give the podcasts another try! Best wishes.
Since they are all Intermediate Spanish, you can start anywhere. Each season does have a theme. If you go to the list it tells you what the titles are a quick summary of the episodes. Only one year was it necessary to listen in order as it was a 6 session serial. At the beginning of each season they have a "preview" of about 10 minutes describing what will be coming during that year. New season starts the first week of August!
Hi, listening to the podcasts help me keep up my Spanish since I've moved back to the US from Latin America. I have a couple of ideas of true stories about people in Peru that I'd like to pass along to the podcast team, but not sure how to do so. I can't seem to find it in the FAQs. Thanks and keep up the good work.
Lucky Spanish speakers. You get this, stories, (only other language supported is Portugeuse) and bots. (only other languges supported are French and German) If you are one of many Italian, Russian, or Dutch learners, getting this experimental stuff from Duolingo is very, very unlikely.
I think it would be helpful for there to be a transcription of the podcast as well. Sometimes you can get lost in the language, especially if you do not know it that well. For me, it has always been easier to read Spanish than to listen to it so if I could read along with the podcast it could help some people, including me, learn.
I think it would be helpful for there to be a transcription of the podcast as well..
Indeed and that's why Duolingo does provide a Transcript of each (and whole) podcasts. ;)
Go to the Duo's page of the podcast (first link in the OP) and, from there, open each podcast's page. There the content of those pages is mainly (in terms of filling the page) the transcript.
Although, this does seem like something that the volunteer course creators can do on their own right away if they wish... since this is all stuff that's being hosted offsite, we really wouldn't need special code other than the links to the podcast providers.
I'd say just give the course creators guidelines to follow and let them decide for now.
Sign this petition to help bring Immersion back: https://www.change.org/p/duolingo-bring-back-duolingo-immersion-program
I only wish Duolingo staff could proceed with things quickly. I get it that they roam in swanky offices and all but I have a gut feeling that these guys are really slow at their jobs. New developments comeby in 6 months or so. Courses take years and years and the labs thing on my german course is basically useless. It just has spanish. How much more effort would it take to add german content? Not a lot. German also has millions and millions of learners. Hire me if you need results in a single night. No kidding. And yeah, I know duolingo is free. I just think that this company can do much better (with me).