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We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: watching TV and videos is one of the most natural, enjoyable, and powerful approaches to learning a language.
Whether we’re talking telenovelas, streaming news in Spanish, or a good old fashioned Netflix binge, video has the power to open your eyes and ears to all the contours of a foreign language and let you dive in brain-first.
That’s why YouTube should be one of the main ingredients in any learner’s recipe for Spanish fluency. The king of online video content is not just one of the best resources for beginner Spanish learners, but is also bursting at its digital seams with video content for learners of all levels.
Beginner and intermediate learners may have a preference for channels geared to just that: learning the language. Just type “learn Spanish” into YouTube’s search bar and you’ll see there’s no lack of instructional videos on everything from basic vocabulary to perfecting your pronunciation.
But if your Spanish skills are already at an upper intermediate or advanced level, you might want to think about losing the training wheels and jumping into the deep end: Spanish video content not expressly designed with learners in mind, but instead just for any speaker of the language with an interest in comedy, current events, science and technology, or whatever else you’re already interested in your mother tongue.
The following videos are presented more or less in order of difficulty, from videos more geared towards beginners to those that demand a higher level of fluency to understand and enjoy. Try to push yourself and venture outside your listening comfort zone, as these channels get more interesting and enjoyable as you go!
Channels like Butterfly Spanish are the pan y mantequilla of language learning. This channel features a native speaker, Ana from Mexico, guiding you through basic Spanish subjects with her whiteboard and her own native insight. This video on the differences between ser and estar is a good example of Butterfly Spanish’s videos, the kinds of back-to-basic refreshers most of us can use now and then at any level.
Sometimes it’s helpful to hear a native English speaker guide you over some of the hurdles we face as learners. The Spanish Guy does just that with his relatively long instructional videos on vocabulary, grammar, and culture, like this one on por vs para.
FLAMA and its popular series Joanna Rants is probably the most accessibly hilarious YouTube channel for English speakers with some understanding of Spanish. Venezuelan Joanna and her team bring a youtubey Millennial brand of humor to topics like Spanish accents and the various cultures of Latin America. This recent video on “accidental Spanish cursewords” is quintessential FLAMA: you’ll laugh out loud and learn about the complexities of Spanish slang at the same time.
TED lovers will be glad to know that there’s an entire YouTube channel devoted exclusively to TED talks en español, where you can learn about the world and ideas while also reinforcing your Spanish. This Spanish language TED talk on learning languages, for example, discusses how translation can be used for social good, a topic doubly of interest to Spanish-learning language enthusiasts.
VICE Español has the same alternative vibe as Vice’s English brand, with a perspective that blends investigative journalism with counter-culture aesthetics. Their YouTube channel includes music videos and cultural documentaries, like this one about violence in the Mexican state of Guerrero.
The Ecuadorian Enchufe TV is a comedy channel that includes parody and sketches with a College Humor feel. Following the native speech and culturally-attuned humor may be a challenge for intermediate learners, so don’t feel bad if you need to turn on the subtitles (in Spanish) to understand videos like this one, “Drunk Uncle Tells the Story of Christmas”.
Fundéu’s YouTube channel will be helpful to learners and native speakers alike, as it investigates issues of language use and gives advice on common mistakes made even by the natives. Most helpful for learners is the recomendaciones de uso del idioma playlist, which includes videos like this one on the finer points of phrases like “pese a que” vs “pese que“.
This Chilean YouTuber has the second most popular channel on the site and the most popular in the spanish-speaking world, Latin America’s answer to the generation of solo comedians combining choppy editing and self-aware ridiculousness with first-person addresses to the camera. Many of German’s videos include typically rapidísimo Chilean speech, but despite the speed he speaks quite clearly in a way that should be understandable to upper intermediate and advanced learners.
Moreover, his videos seek to find the hilarity in everyday situations, like in this one about finding a job, that introduce native Spanish vocabulary and usage that you’ll need to describe the same situations yourself.
These 8 YouTube channels are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to video resources for learning Spanish online. Be sure to check the “related channels” menu that comes up when you click on any of the above, and if you like learning Spanish by watching video and TV shows, read more on where to find more shows in your language online.
Do you know some more funny, interesting, or educational Spanish YouTube channels that have helped you with learning the language? Tell us about them in the comments!