The Official /int/ How to Learn A Foreign Language Guide Wiki

Spanish (español) is a Romance language named for its origins as the native tongue of a large proportion of the inhabitants of Spain. It is also named Castilian (castellano) after the Spanish region of [[1]] where it originated. Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world natively, after Mandarin.

Spanish speaking world

In 1999 there were, according to Ethnologue, 358 million people speaking Spanish as a native language and a total of 417 million speakers[12] worldwide. Currently these figures are between 400[2][3] and 500 million people respectively. Mexico contains the largest population of Spanish speakers. Spanish is one of the six official languages of the United Nations, and is used as an official language by the European Union and Mercosur.

Spanish is a part of the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several dialects of spoken Latin in central-northern Iberia around the ninth century[28] and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile (present northern Spain) into central and southern Iberia during the later Middle Ages. Early in its history, the Spanish vocabulary was enriched by its contact with Basque and Arabic, and the language continues to adopt foreign words from a variety of other languages, as well as developing new words. Spanish was taken most notably to the Americas as well as to Africa and Asia-Pacific with the expansion of the Spanish Empire between the fifteenth and nineteenth centuries, where it became the most important language for government and trade.[29]

Due to its increasing presence in the demographics and popular culture of the United States, particularly in the fast-growing states of the Sun Belt, Spanish is the most popular second language learned by native speakers of American English. The increasing political stability and economies of many larger Hispanophone nations, the language's immense geographic extent in Latin America and Europe for tourism, and the growing popularity of warmer, more affordable, and culturally vibrant retirement destinations found in the Hispanic world have contributed significantly to the growth of learning Spanish as a foreign language across the globe.

Spanish is the third most commonly used language on the Internet after English and Mandarin. It is also the third most studied language and third language in international communication, after English and French, in the world.[30][31][32]



Spanish English Frequency Dictionary[]

This Spanish frequency dictionary covers about 95% of all spoken Spanish, and 85% of all written Spanish you encounter on a daily basis. In the book you will find

  • 2500 most used Spanish words listed by frequency and alphabet
  • Frequency rankings as part of speech (most used nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc..)
  • 2500 Spanish to English example sentences showing word usage
  • Phonetic spelling of Spanish words with the International Phonetic Alphabet
  • Recommended in conjunction with an audiomethod (Michel Thomas or Pimsleur)
  • Great for building vocabulary fast
  • No grammar


  • Unlimited advancement available.
  • Recommended as an adjacent learning tool.
  • Not recommended to be used as the only tool.
  • Covers every field.
  • Very useful as it offers a lot of material for translation, forcing the user on a hands on approach while offering good aid.
  • 3 minutes to create an account and know all there is to it about how it works.
  • Free. Thank you based anon!


SpanishDict is an English-Spanish dictionary that lists most English words along with their Spanish equivalents. It is reliable for quick word and sentence translations.

  • Complete verb conjugation charts
  • Examples of words being used in sentences
  • Grammar Guides
  • Pronunciation guides, both European and Latin American
  • Translatable common phrases and expressions not found in English
  • Flash card feature
  • Strongly not recommended as the only learning tool.

Pimsleur []

  • 5 levels available with 150 lessons available, usually 30 minutes each.
  • Recommended as a learning tool.
  • Strongly not recommended to be used as the only tool.
  • Covers mainly speaking and being able to hold a conversation.
  • Easy to use, just open the audio file and repeat.
  • Try a free lesson!

Rosetta Stone[]

  • 5 levels available for both European Spanish and Latin American Spanish
  • Recommended as a beginning tool.
  • Strongly not recommended to be used as the only tool.
  • Covers pronunciation, reading, listening, vocabulary, writing.
  • Very poor for grammar.
  • Easy to use. Shouldn't take more than an hour to set up and begin using.
  • More expensive than it's worth. Thank you based internet![]

  • Numerous lessons on grammar, vocabulary, verbs, pronunciation, etc.
  • Not recommended as the only learning tool.
  • One of the best tools for Spanish Grammar.
  • Partially free, but requires payment for additional content.


  • Language exchange social networking website.


  • People who want to learn English are willing to help you learn Spanish. (And a lot of them are really cute!)

Books and .PDF files[]

Webs to Download eBooks in Spanish[]



Movies and TV[]


Youtube shows/programs[]

Spanish TV series:[]

  • Águila Roja (RTVE )
  • Al Filo de la Ley (RTVE )
  • Amar En Tiempos Revueltos (RTVE )
  • Ana y los 7 (RTVE )
  • Aquí no hay quien viva (Antena3)
  • Bandolera (Antena3)
  • Betty la Fea (Ugly Betty) (The original version of Ugly Betty. Yes, imperialist dog US of A along with the rest of the world ripped this show off. The original version is the best version without a doubt.)
  • Con el culo al aire (Antena3)
  • Cuéntame (RTVE )
  • El Barco (Antena3)
  • El Comisario (Tele5) (Mitele)
  • El corazón del Océano (Antena3) Takes part during the conquest of America, the King Carlos I is worried about the race mixing so he decides to send a ship with 80 spanish maidens to you-know-what in the New World and spread the Spaniard love.
  • El Príncipe (Tele5) (Mitele)
  • El Secreto de Puente Viejo (Antena3)
  • El tiempo entre costuras (Antena3)
  • Física o Química
  • Gran Hotel (Antena3)
  • Hispania, la Leyenda. (Antena3)
  • Hospital Central (Tele5) (Mitele)
  • Karabudjan (Antena3)
  • La Reina del Sur (Antena3) Colaboration between Colombia and Spain, based on reality, a Queen Drug Dealer.
  • La Rosa de Guadalupe (Televisa)
  • Los Hombre de Paco (Antena3) Follows a police man and his friends.
  • Los Serrano (Tele5) (Mitele)
  • Manos a la obra (Antena3)
  • Mujeres Asesinas (Based on real cases of crazy women killing people. To the degree of how much is based on real life is arguable but the series is good overall.)
  • Qué vida más triste (laSexta) A guy tells his life to a camera, with a lot of irony and sense of humor, also yeah, his life is quite sad lel.
  • Rescatando a Sara (Antena3) Mini serie about a woman trying to get her daughter back after she has been kidnapped.
  • Señoras que (Antena3)
  • Sin tetas no hay paraíso (Tele5) (Mitele) Spanish version of the Colombian original series.
  • Tierra de Lobos (Mitele)
  • Toledo (Antena3)
  • Un Paso Adelante (Antena3)
  • Velvet (Antena3)
  • Vientos de Agua.

Spanish TV Programs of Actuality:[]

  • Al Rojo Vivo (laSexta) Politics, politics and more politics under extreme left-wing POV.
  • El Intermedio (laSexta) News and political news with a lot of humor liberal propaganda.
  • El Objetivo (laSexta)
  • Encarcelados (laSexta) Program about different spanish people imprisoned abroad.
  • Equipo de Investigación (laSexta) Investigations about different kind of topics, issues and news.
  • laSexta Columna (laSexta)
  • La Sexta Noche (laSexta) Basically political debates, they end up easily shouting and insulting at each other.
  • Más Vale Tarde (laSexta) News

Spanish TV Programs of Entertainment:[]

  • Atrapa un millón (Antena3) Kinda stupid, but meh, people from all over the country and can be fun.
  • Bricomanía (Nova)
  • Buenafuente (laSexta)
  • Callejeros (Cuatro) (Mitele) They make programs of "investigation" trying to get to dirtiest of the dirt. Still good to practice the listening as there are people from all over Spain (and foreigners) with different accents and using more or less slang, or not using it at all.
  • Cruz y Raya (RTVE) It's a bit old program (1987-2007), made of humorous sketches. You can find many of them on YouTube.
  • Desafío extremo (Cuatro) (Mitele)
  • El Club de la Comedia (laSexta)
  • En el aire (laSexta)
  • Frank de la Jungla (Mitele) The guy is a jerk, but you can laugh.
  • La hora de José Mota (RTVE)
  • Museo Coconut (Antena3)
  • Pasapalabra (Mitele)
  • Policías en acción (laSexta) Program that follows different police in action and their duties.
  • Sé lo que hicisteis (laSexta)
  • Vaya semanita (eitb) (YouTube) Program of humor about Euskadi and the rest of Spain. Very good.

Spanish Webseries:[]

  • Cálico Electrónico (YouTube) A damn fucking hell of abusing cunts using bloody goddamn fucking strong language.
  • Comaland (YouTube) It has a big accent from south Spain and some slang.
  • Crónicas Drakonianas (ATP) (YouTube)
  • Enjuto Mojamuto (RTVE) (YouTube)
  • Familia Ibérica (YouTube)
  • Háztelo mirar (ATP)
  • Las Crónicas de Maia (ATP)
  • Malviviendo (YouTube)
  • Niña Repelente (YouTube)
  • Treintañeros (ATP)
  • Zombicidas (ATP)

Television Stations in Spain:[]

Some of the TV series dubbed in Spanish: (virtually all American shows have Spanish subtitles)[]

  • Adventure Time
  • Breaking Bad
  • Bones
  • Criminal Minds
  • Futurama
  • Friends
  • Game of Thrones
  • Gossip Girl
  • Hellcats
  • House
  • How I Met Your Mother
  • Metalocalypse
  • Misfits
  • Modern Family
  • My Name Is Earl
  • Pretty Little Liars
  • Prison Break
  • Raising Hope
  • Scrubs
  • Sex and the City
  • Skins
  • South Park (Latino)
  • Supernatural
  • The Big Bang Theory
  • The Mentalist
  • The Simpsons
  • The Sopranos
  • The Walking Dead
  • True Blood
  • Weeds


Spanish Monologuist:[]

They could be a bit hard to follow because of the speech's speed of the comedians. Here's a list of some popular and recommended artists:

  • Dani Mateo
  • Dani Rovira Andalusian accent [1]
  • Goyo Jimenez Specialist in Murrica stuff.
  • Luis Piedrahita [1] [2]


Small indications: Inside "[]" will go additional genres, pe.: Flamenco rock, Danzón electronic, etc. And the country of origin will be at the end in Superscript style. The wikipedia pages have their corresponding more complete version in Spanish, check them while you're at it.


  • Buena Vista Social Club: [Son, Danzón, Afro-Cuban] Cuban
  • Susana Baca: [Afro-Peruvian] Peruvian
  • Monsieur Periné: Colombian

Bachata Dominican Republic[]


Bolero Cuba[]

Cumbia Colombia[]

Flamenco Spain[]

  • Andy & Lucas: [Pop] Not really flamenco, but a "light" version of it, kinda.
  • Camarón
  • Camela [Pop]
  • Diego "El Cigala"
  • El Fary: [Copla]
  • Kiko Veneno: [Rock]
  • Los Chichos: [Rumba]
  • Los del Río: [Sevillanas, Rumba, Pop]




  • Carla Morrison: YT Mexico (if your into soft indie, this is your girl)
  • Triángulo de Amor Bizarro: [Noise Rock]
  • Los Punsetes

Mariachi Mexico[]


  • El Reno Renardo: [Comedy heavy metal] They are rude, gross and lewdy funny. A few songs also have very strong critics against the goverment/society mixed with irony and humor. It can be difficult to understand because they have a lot of cultural references and use slang/rude words. Spanish
  • Saratoga: Spain
  • Stravaganzza Spain



Reggaetón Puerto Rico[]

  • Angel y Khriz
  • Becky G
  • Daddy Yankee
  • Don Omar
  • Bad Bunny
  • Ivy Queen
  • J Balvin
  • Maluma
  • Nina Sky
  • Ozuna
  • RKM y Ken-Y
  • Tito el Bambino
  • Wisin y Yandel
  • Zion y Lennox

Regional (Banda/Corrido/Norteño) Northern Mexico[]



Tribal Mexico[]

  • 3Ball MTY: (literally the only guys. this is what happens when you teach Indios how to use computers)

Bonus Songs[]

Some songs are and/or have been quite popular, growing a special place in the people's heart. In general those songs have big cultural roots so it's more likely that they would be popular on certain countries and completely unkown in the rest.

Por clasificar/To Classify:[]

  • [Band/singer] (category)

Other websites that may catch your interest:[]

  • Asco de Vida: A website where people say "bad, awful, sad, fail" things that have happened to them and other stuff. Sometimes you can laugh too much. Sometimes life sucks. Sometimes life is a potato.
  • Inciclopedia: The Red-pilled wikipedia about everything in the world. Totally and absolutely serious in every aspect. Every word can be understood as The Ultimate Truth given to the plebs from the deities while they were hanging out with Chuck Norris in the rave of the Party God. Use with caution. Once you have seen it, you cannot unsee it


  • If you have any experience learning this language, please share it. It's greatly appreciated!
  • English movies and TV are all dubbed in Spanish. The Spanish love to dub things, so if you have seen a movie or TV series before in English, you can download it in Spanish without subtitles. Many people say this is one of the best ways to learn languages, and many people who have learned English say this is how they did it.
  • Spanish is a language that spans 3 continents and many, many cultures and dialects. Every country has their own distinct accent, and there are regional accents within each country. They're all understandable, but this makes it very easy to know someones place of origin. Media can sometimes be found in a "neutral" Spanish accent for the Americas, and another for Spain proper.
    • The "neutral" accent is a term used for a Spanish variant used in several forms of internationally exported media across Latin America. Examples of these types of media are dubbings and advertising on cable tv. This accent is usually not attested in real life situations (not even formal settings) and might even sound awkward. Whether in Spain or Latin America, the standard for a neutral accent consists in eliminating as many localisms (e.g. pronunciation, lexic, etc) as possible, and comes to life by the decisions of dubbing companies. This might not always be the case, as voiceover or dubbing companies might still prefer to use a local variant, for several reasons. The "neutral" accent in the Americas was a standard fabricated by Mexican dubbing industries, which were thriving in the decades of the 80's and 90's, and this variant was picked on by abd continued by companies based on populous countries like Colombia. Still, traces of one or another accent can be found in these media, but far enough from their own local variant to be considered "foreign", as it eliminates most "key" distinctive features of the dialect. Typically, dubbing for Spain is made in places like Valladolid (Castilla).
  • Don't worry about your accent or on getting a specific one, don't even bother about getting a neutral accent. In the beginning, your goal is to be understood, not to blend in. A native accent is only attained by living in your target region, so you'll end up picking up an accent later on anyways. And this all depends on who you practice with, or wherever you go. If later, someone tells you that you sound like a Spaniard, Mexican, Argentinian, or any other nationality, take it as a compliment because that means you are speaking in an understandable, native manner.
    • In rough terms, there are at least seven dialectal regions of Spanish in Latin America. Mexican (central and north), Central American (from the south of Mexico to Nicaragua), Caribbean (rest of the Atlantic coasts), North Andean (Ecuador, Perú, Bolivia), Chilean, and Platense (Uruguay and most of Argentina), and Paraguayan.
    • In the case of Spain, dialects can be grouped into mostly three categories: North, South, and the Insular spoken in Canarias. The northern accents have two important subgroups. One of them is in the eastern coast, in contact with the Catalan language (most isolated even in the Balearic Islands). The other being in the north west, just above Portugal, and in contact with Galego (Galician) and the very same Portuguese).
    • These dialects are in a geographical continuum, and as such, there's some overlap and situations where the accent sounds like a "mix" of two other accents (e.g: Ecuatorian = Peruvian + Colombian). Nevertheless, there are also marginal areas where a different dialect from the main region is spoken, like the ruralside or mountain areas, and so on. Most importantly, picking a target dialect will make slightly more difficult the understanding of dialects from far regions. In the same way, nearby accents are often more intelligible (but not necessarily mutual), but this might be due more tu cultural proximity or affinity rather than actually shared features. For instance, the Chilean and the Argentinian accent are vastly more different than any other pair of nearby dialects, and brimming with their own vocabulary and idiomatic expressions, and very different pronuntiations (but one thing in common is the aspiration of /s/). Both speakers of both countries will have infinitely less trouble understanding each other than a regular speaker from Caracas or Little Cuba, and speakers, and the later might sound unintelligible at times for them even. The opposite could also be true. On the other hand, the Chilean could understand better someone from Perú, México, or Madrid (except for slang or different names for everyday objects),
  • There are 3 general ways to address someone in Spanish, not including just using someones name. They are "tú", "usted", and "vos", and they vary depending on who you're speaking to, and/or what country your learning from. Usted is universaly used as a sign of respect, and would be used when speaking to a stranger, a person of authority (government figure, doctors, teachers, etc.), or someone who deserves respect (someone who is older than you, older family figures like grandparents and in most countries parents). Most countries are know to tutear and is used for family and friends or people you see as an equal. Vosear is restricted to specific regions (Central America, Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay) and is used as a mid-way between tu and usted (neighbors, classmates, coworkers). It's not related to the Castilian vosotros, and is so unique that words in these areas have their own conjugations, sometimes even different between the countries that use them
  • The Spanish language has examples of great literature for all tastes, it might be fair to say that some of the best exponents of literature wrote in Spanish. Starting from Miguel de Cervantes, Roberto Bolaño, Jorge Luis Borges, Julio Cortázar, Mario Benedetti, Octavio Paz, Gabriela Mistral, Nicanor Parra, Vicente García-Huidobro, Federico García Lorca (not related), Gabriel García Marquez, Mario Vargas Llosa, Lope de Vega, Miguel de Unamuno, are names of a very big list or prestige authors in narrative and poetry. For non-fiction writers, you can check out philosophers and thinkers like Francisco Varela, Nicolás Gómez Dávila, Humberto Gianini, José Martí, Andrés Bello, José Pablo Feinmann, Enrique Dussel, José Ortega y Gasset, Fernando Salvater, among others.
  • Textual richness of the language is also found in its music. Spain and Latin America contain a myriad of musical styles and genres, and the lyrical traditions of the music contains many opportunities for the listener. Why would you learn another language to listen to music that is already common in your own culture? Flamenco, tango, marimba and many other genres have rich lyrics for you to explore.
  • If you find yourself drawn to learning how to learn a language too much, try to read articles in Spanish about how to learn English, thus solving both problems.

Pronunciation Brotips[]

  • A general rule of thumb is that almost all words have a small accent (or stress) in them, and can be found in the second to last vowel of the word. Eg. tortilla is pronounced tor-TEE-ya, and chocolate is cho-ko-LA-teh. 
  • The vowels may use an accent mark [acento agudo] ( ´ ) in some words to express stress in different syllables. Eg., á (árbol), é (intrépido), í (país), ó (canción), ú (último). 
  • Spanish only has 5 vowel sounds. English, for example, despite having 5 or 6 written vowels, has upwards of 12 different vowel sounds. So limit yourself to "ah" as in father, "eh" as in let, "i" (ee) as in beat, "u" as in "blue" and o, which is discussed below.
  • English-speakers are notorious for botching the "o" in spanish. In English, this word actually has two vowel sounds "o" at the beginning of the vowel and  then "oo" made by rounding (puckering) the lips. Essentially, we have the "u" vowel hidden inside our way of pronouncing oh. Practice saying "No" in English and in Spanish. Put a finger to your lips as in the gesture for silence (Shh!!!) and say English "No". You will feel your lips contract. Now, say "No" in Spanish. If your lips contract, stop. When you can say "No" without moving your lips (not actually all the difficult) congratulations, you've eliminated one aspect of your gringo accent in one word. Keep trucking, there's still lots of work to do.
  • All of the stops in Spanish are unaspirated. If you are familiar with reading music, this basically means all sounds are pronounced with Staccato, and so words are spoken short and dicey. This is also found in Japanese pronunciation.
  • The "R" is Spanish has two expressions. Intervocalic R is a flap, the same the sound represented by the two T's in the American pronunciation of butter; if you're a weeb, it's that Japanese sound that is rendered in romaji as R. Word-initial R (and sometimes word-final R) and RR are trills, the rolled R. Don't roll all of the R's, as that will obscure the difference between "pero" (but) and "perro" (dog).
  • While we're at it, the Spanish letter "D" also has two sounds. Whenever it is the first letter in a word, or found after an "n" or an "l" it is pronounced similarly to the "d" in the English word "dog". To pronounce the hard “d”, your tongue touches the back of the front teeth, instead of than the gum ridge. In any other situation, specially between vowels, it's pronounced more like an English "th" sound like in the word "this". In some regions, this consonant is dropped in some words (or articulated as an approximant like in Chile). The difference between "d" and the hard dental "th" is subtle but makes a big difference in pronunciation.
  • The consonants "b" and "v" are allophones, but depending on where you are, one or the other is preferred. Spaniards prefer b, and will pronounce "vaso" as "baso". In most of Latin America, the opposite will happen, and "bosque" will be pronounced as "vosque". This doesn't mean that every single time this happens, or that both sounds aren't distinguished. There's one caveat in here, and it exactly lies in the matter of preference: Your own native language might prefer "b" or "v" , because one of the two consonants does not exist or is less used or barely if at all. So it's something you might want to keep in mind one choosing the accent that's easier or suits you better.

Useful Links[]

Romance Languages
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