Top 5 Free Spanish Resources Online
It can sometimes be difficult, annoying, and time-consuming to weed through all of the resources out there for learning another language.
I thought I would compile a list of my personal favorites. I´m sure there are others out there, but these are the resources that I use most often.
1. Google Translate
This is a classic. Just type into your top bar translate.google.com, and you have a very quick, concise translation to just about anything. And, if you type in any url or website, it can translate just about everything. Whenever I am working on a computer in anything Spanish related, I will have Google Translate open. It is, like most Google products, efficient and user-friendly.
The one downside? The vocabulary is incomplete. Some localized words cannot be found in Google Translate.
As a passionate This American Life listener (I´ve listened to every podcast since May 2011) I was ecstatic to find a podcast like TAL in Spanish. Radio Ambulante offers interesting stories, and even if your Spanish is at a very basic level, it is good to listen to. Amidst what seems like hundreds of wierd or lame Spanish podcasts, Radio Ambulante is hands-down the best story-telling program to listen to in Spanish. Great for learning, and has enticing stories.
As perhaps one of the best unofficial DIY (Do-It-Yourself) websites, it seems like you can learn just about anything on Youtube. There are lots of good Spanish Youtube channels out there. YouTube is perhaps best supplemented with a class or a textbook, but it serves as an amazing way to get free and simple explanations to complex problems. My favorite Spanish Channel is from Senor Jordan. His channel is at http://www.youtube.com/user/tontitofrito .
He does a great explanation of reflexive verbs. If you don´t know what those are, check this video out! It helped me greatly with understanding this concept!
SpanishDict does everything Google Translate can´t. It has a much better and extensive vocabulary list than Google Translate does, and it will tell you words that are in slang. For example, there are many words in Central America that are A-OK in one country, and quite offensive in another. Or consider the word ¨coche¨. This can be used to describe a car, a pig/swine, or a person who is a jerkface. SpanishDict can most likely tell you the difference.
If Google Translate doesn´t have it, look on SpanishDict. If SpanishDict doesn´t have it, it might not be a word. Check with someone who is fluent.
DuoLingo incorporates into it´s Spanish-learning software something most softwares lack: social networking and competition. As an online network, in DuoLingo you not only have intuitive lessons where you apply similar ¨overlearning¨ techniques like in Rosetta Stone, but it incorporates social networking in an innovative way. You can also help translate the internet, or so they claim. I´m currently a level 10, and I´d love to compete. Add my username davidshinabarger and we can compete!
I realize that there are a plethora of these resources out there. Studyspanish.com gets a shout out, but these five are my current personal favorites!
Let me know if you have any other suggestions to share!