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Watching TV shows in Spanish

I don't know if this is a stupid question, but is there any merit to watching TV shows in Spanish, with no English subtitles (just Spanish subtitles)? My Spanish isn't very good, but I was wondering if watching TV shows in Spanish would somehow help my learning. Or is it useless to watch TV in Spanish if you barely can make out what people are saying and can't translate everything? Any thoughts?

December 29, 2017



This is a difficult question. I tend to say that watching TV in your target language is always a good idea, if only for the sake of getting accustomed to the sounds and intonation of the language. But on the other hand, you might want to consider how useful it is to listen to people speaking way too fast for you to comprehend a word and thus barely learning new things about Spanish. However, this problem should be solved at least partly by the Spanish subtitles; you could even pause the show at times to rethink what has happened so far.

In any case, I'd at least try it. Maybe you like it, maybe you won't; there's no shame in admitting the latter and there's only more gain in the former (:


I think you will find youtube videos easier to follow. You may want to wait until half way through your tree so you have some reading ability. I think, and I have heard others say the same, that you should go with subtitles in the target language.


Yes, Watch TV shows.. USE the subtitles. Get further along in your tree and watch and listen to Spanish.
And YES again.


Hi Cathy,

I wonder how you can watch Spanish TV shows/videos when you have not finished the DL (incl. reverse) trees or you can already read texts / books on www.bliubliu.com well or listen to native recorded audio.

Personally I like it, that I can listen and read in parallel.
Only listening is too much for me.

How long have you been learning Spanish?

I tried to watch "BigBang Series" in Portuguese BR.
Wow, the syncronized voices are really quite FAST!

I also started to learn Spanish on Lingvist with faster better audio than this TTS stuff, where they read sentences and play the audio.

Honestly, I would not successfully manage to only listen to the sentences, not yet.

Personally I would be searching for "Slow ...." videos, like I hear it more than once for "Slow German".....

Good luck!


Believe it or not, Linqvist also uses TTS, really, really good TTS.


Thank you for your answer! I've been learning Spanish on and off since last summer. It's been a really slow process because I'll go through phases where I don't practice at all. I want to learn Spanish in a interesting and creative way. I like Duolingo, but at times it can become tedious and robotic. That's why I want to watch Spanish TV shows, because I don't like the robotic side of learning a language (ei, doing flashcards over and over again and translating bland sentences)


If you're struggling to understand it, it's probably better to use English subtitles. That way you at least find out what is being said and can connect the two, else you're only learning what you can decipher from context. As your Spanish improves you can at some point decide to take the training wheels off and switch to Spanish subtitles.

I've mainly learnt English from watching TV as a kid.


The problem is I watch the shows on Hulu, which only offers subtitles for the language you are watching in. So a show in Spanish will only offer Spanish subtitles. :(


I watch sesame street/ plaza sesamo clips on youtube. I think it is ideal since it is created for learning, there is lot’s of repetion which is helpful for learning and yet it’s still cute and funny. I try to watch each clip a few times and I pick up more with each viewing.

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