What resources do you use to learn spanish?

Hello spanish learners, Hola!
As I am learning Spanish, I am curious to know which resources do you use to learn this language?
Which books / stories are appropriate for beginners?
Muchísimas gracias!


Hi @mila83 A useful answer to your question depends on what you aims and timeline are? Also, what’s your current level of knowledge of the language?

As a general principle, as a beginner you should probably avoid trying to read a new word without hearing it previously or at the same time.


I use Duolingo, Busuu, and Rosetta Stone. Of those, Duolingo is the best.


I taught myself German using:

1st: Memrise - I started with the raw beginner courses, such as Basic German, Hacking German, and Minimal Viable German. Then I started the course for Comprehensive German Duolingo Vocabulary. Once I’d planted 2-4 lessons, I started using Duolingo. There are similar Spanish courses: Basic Spanish, Hacking Spanish, and Minimum Viable Spanish. One advantage to these old courses is that they’ve been around for years, so they have a lot of good mems, have had typos corrected, and have had confusing clues clarified. Edit: here’s the link to Spanish Duolingo.

2nd: Duolingo - Learning the words in Memrise made using Duolingo a lot more useful and fun, since I could use it to focus grammar and sentences.

3rd: Podcasts - I found 2-3 podcasts aimed at complete beginners. GermanPod101.com is one. There is a Spanish version—SpanishPod101.com. (Look on iTunes.) There’s also Coffee Break German and Coffee Break Spanish. Both SpanishPod101 and Coffee Break Spanish give you several episodes for free, and offer more options if you pay. I aimed to spend 10-30 minutes listening 3-5 times per week.

4th: Deutsch Interaktiv - This German course by the radio company DeutscheWelle aims to be a fairly comprehensive beginner language course. I’m not aware of a parallel in Spanish, but http://studyspanish.com/grammar is quite useful. When I was focused on improving my Spanish, it was my go-to resource for grammar questions. You might also try the Spanish courses by the Göthe Institute and the Spanish courses by the BBC. (Disclaimer: I have not tried either of these…)

No longer beginner… moving up to intermediate:

5th: More Memrise - After completing some beginner courses, I added more Memrise courses. In my case, that was Deutsch für Euch, 1000 Words of Elementary German, German A1, German A2, and 5000 Words sorted by frequency. You might like Comprehensive Spanish Vocab, 501 Spanish Verbs, and First 5000 Words of Spanish. (I have completed all three of these courses.)

6th: Classroom - After studying German on the internet for 9-10 months, I spent a month in Berlin in a German course for 3 hours per day, 5 days per week.

7th: More Memrise & more Duolingo

8th: Clozemaster - Clozemaster is great for seeing vocabulary in context. It presents you with sentences that are missing one word. You fill in the blank, either multiple choice or typing (you choose).

9th: Speaking - The biggest gap in my self-taught German is speaking. The classroom experience helped, but what really made the difference was spending time this summer with Germans that don’t speak English! I visited friends whose parents only speak German, and my ability to speak skyrocketed. If I were to do it all over again, I might use iTalki or some other language exchange website to practice speaking much sooner.


Apart from memrise I used for spanish duolingo and recently also linqg.


correctly lingq

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Hello everyone, and thank you.
@ian_mn I am an ultimate beginner, I started studying spanish on memrise recently (maybe, two weeks ago). My aim - of course- is to be proficient at the language, to be able to read novels and books in spanish, to understand conversations, and to be able to speak the language if I have to. I didn’t fix a timeline, because I don’t know how much time learning will take, but the shorter is the better is (I get bored easily).
Thanks for bringing up the listening matter in spanish, I don’t understand why a single word is pronouced differently, it is a bit confusing.

@Kaspian your experience is really inspiring and encouraging, I will try the courses you mentioned. For the moment, I am taking the duolingo spanish course on memrise (and I appreciate it) and other courses (to french speakers, and to english speakers).

Any idea about stories suitable for beginners? maybe it’s too early, but I would like to break a bad habit I have got since I learned english: I have to think in French before writing in english. I don’t want to keep this annoying habit while learning spanish.

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As for reading books/stories, as a beginner, you might really benefit from reading comics and comic books. Garfield translated into Spanish is great for beginners. The website gocomics.com has a variety of Spanish comics, some translated from English and others by Spanish cartoonists.


Hi @mila83

If you live in the U.S. or the U.K., I’d suggest joining your local library, then borrowing a range of materials to try them out - and perhaps ordering off-site materials using inter-library loans.

My immediate suggestion would be to start working on one of the very basic Memrise courses (see Kaspian’s post above) and also work through a few Pimsleur all-audio lessons (try to borrow these from a library, as they are quite expensive to buy).

Another good thing to do initially would be to get hold of a phrase book that comes with a CD. There will be a lot of overlap with the very basic Memrise courses.

One factor that you might want to consider is whether you want to listen to Latin American accents or accents from Spain. Memrise recently split their course grouping along these lines. All audio materials use one or other of these accent types, so you may want to decide up front which general accent you want to eventually speak with.

One mistake I made was to buy too much material initially - I’d suggest heavily focusing on a limited number of sources, especially at the early stages. This seems to make learning more efficient (and probably less expensive).

Anyway - good luck!


I made a page with a full list of free resources I used to learn. https://sites.google.com/site/learnspanishdirectory1/

There are so many free resources online that you don’t really need to spend any money to learn Spanish. If you are going to spend money the only thing you can’t get online is a real life teacher. So real life classes or Skype classes would be the way to go if you did want to invest in something.


Hola Mila! I like to listen to podcasts. I have very little time on weekdays so I like to listen on my way to work. Right now I am with https://radioambulante.org/ and Podcasts for Spanish Learners
Then on weekends I like to watch series on Netflix. Right now I am with El desorden que dejas.

I hope it is useful for you.