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Can you learn Spanish from watching Spanish TV?

If you are an English speaker, can you learn Spanish from watching Spanish TV? If so whats the best programming to watch(news, kid shows, soap operas)?

I have heard people say they learned to speak Spanish from watching telenovelas and/or Seasame Street (in Spanish). I'd like to find out from the users on here if anyone has found that to be helpful.

I am very excited to learn a new language!

***Edit to add: Thanks for all the replies! So far I have found Destinio to be helpful as well as the series Mi Vida Loca on the BBC's website. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/spanish/mividaloca/)

4 years ago

14 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/GracielaGracee

If you're looking for some telenovelas there is one called "Rebelde". I'm sure you can find some of the episodes on youtube. There's another show called "El Chavo Del Ocho". It was made in ~70s and it's quite comical. Another telenovela is "Maria La Del Barrio" and you can also find it on youtube.

If you're just starting though, you can watch "EXTRA" in spanish on youtube. It was made for spanish learners. It's very easy to follow what they're saying.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sliver1272

I learnt German just by watching German TV channels as a kid and they didnt have subtitles, so at first I was just watching it not knowing what they were talking about, but after a couple of years of listening to it I started to understand everything they were saying. And I became pretty much fluent in German. But it will take you years and hours every day just watching TV channels in that language, it would be best to get some basic knowledge of that language first from sites like Duolingo, that would make it a lot easier. :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rspreng

Google 'telenova method' and you can find a link to site all about learning Spanish from TV

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Klgregonis
Klgregonis
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I have had people tell me they learned languages from the start using television. I do highly recommend adding it to your routine, even listening when you're doing something else gets you used to the sounds of the language. I watch - a couple of telenovelas - Como Dice el Dicho and La Rosa de Guadelupe on Telemundo, (or is it Univision, I just go by channels) a couple of talk shows , documentaries (especially the nature ones, the speech is slow and they are almost always talking about the action on the screen), and movies. Cooking shows are good too. V-Me and HITN are good and usually available with most cable or satellite packages. I feel like my understanding of Spanish has improved a lot in the two or three weeks I've really concentrated on doing this.

I tutor ELAA students and one of them had learned a great deal of English by watching the Vampire Diaries, so it does work..

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/IETBAtotalk

I think that learning English from zero by watching TV or films must be rather difficult for native speakers of Spanish. However, if students have some knowledge to understand what the characters say or parts of their speeches, it will help them. For me, it is completely necessary from advanced level so as to get in touch with the language.

I posted the websites of the Spanish TV channels here:

www.duolingo.com/comment/4163706

I must say Spanish television is not in its best moment. But, the channels broadcast everything dubbed and subtitles made for deaf people are sometimes available. Actually, the news of the main public channel, which is called "telediario", is subtitled in real time, so those subtitles suffer a brief delay in its videos.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ShawnTWhitney

I've tried watching Spanish movies without subtitles and I just get bored because I can't understand enough to keep my attention, let alone learn anything. But there's a "telenovela" that is designed to teach you Spanish called "Destinos". It is a bunch of half hour episodes that have increasing difficulty as you move through the story and travel around the world (so you get to hear different Spanish accents). It's worth checking out.

http://www.learner.org/resources/series75.html

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pobrecito13

I would say it would be pretty hard with TV only. That said, with all the tools we have on the internet, and with subtitles available in your native language I think it would be possible. I prefer independent and foreign films to most mainstream films, and at times have watched a few films in a row from the same country, and managed to pick up a several words in the process. The thing is I didn't continue watching stuff in the same language, and didn't practice, so I don't really remember what I learned, except for maybe a word or two. But if you already know some of the language, and continued studying it, then I definitely think it helps.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Resonance2001

I don't but it is good for preparing your brain before a holiday and aquiring an accent.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Bockenheim

My aunt did it!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NYsportsfan11

What did your aunt watch AgimZerolli? Which type of program and how long?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Bockenheim

She never gave detail, but I heard her speak it well. She was in a time where she couldn't access other means of language learning (she is from Macedonia), so she would use TV and perhaps a spanish dictionary. Any spanish channel will do, and she studied it with her sister for a very long time (they were kids when they learned it). Perhaps years. It will takes years to learn any language, so don't let that get you down!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rrfrankie

Thanks for the link to the BBC's Mi Vida Loca. Looks good. I just finished Destinos (http://learner.org/series/destinos)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ChimpiAV

Hello guys, my name is Adán Ayala, I am a Spanish Teacher from Mexico. I have a lot of experience using media and TV shows (much better than soap operas) as a form of immersion. They can be extremely productive as long as you know how to work and get the most out of them. I realized that my students after finishing their methods and programs in our school developed only some writing and limited speaking skills, and that is very far from being fluent. Most of them didn´t have many opportunities to practice or someone with whom to practice. Part of the problem was their lack of vocabulary, a small understanding of slang and idioms and very little training on their listening comprehension. I must say that the real challenge for me as a teacher was to find good content with subtitles and transcriptions to work and help the students analyze in a controlled class setting. But in the last years, some big networks and streaming services have invested more in Latin American and Spanish productions which is awesome, and it gives us great material to learn. Their topics and contents are closer to the global culture and interests than the traditional so-called "telenovelas". Please send me a message if anyone of you is interested in conversational classes using this method or you can contact me at adan@spanishlive.online or visit my website on http://spanishlive.online/

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/dziubolek_87

Hola Adan, Would you actually recommend andy Mexican telenovels/series? I really like Mexican accent so I would love to watch anything :). Gracias

3 weeks ago