Podcasts. We don’t have to explain what they are, but we are going to just feel alive for one glorious moment.
Podcasts are digital audio files that have established themselves as a popular and convenient way of learning a foreign language among other things. Why are they so popular? You can listen to them anywhere at any time and on a variety of platforms.
Gymglish has come up with a list of 5 free can’t-miss podcasts bound to help you in your Spanish language learning process and expand your general knowledge. We think a gracias is in order.
Distributed by NPR, Radio Ambulante is a storytelling podcast featuring compelling and engaging stories from across Latin America. Listening to this podcast daily will help you get more familiar with the diversity of Spanish accents and intonations. The podcast became so popular that it was awarded the Gabriel García Márquez Prize for Innovation in 2014 and won Best Documentary in a Foreign Language for the Third Coast / Richard H. Driehaus prize in 2017.
Who it’s for: Each episode lasts between 30 and 45 minutes and targets intermediate to advanced learners. We suggest you listen to this podcast in a calm and relaxed environment and write down any words or expressions that you didn’t quite fathom. But hey, what do we know, if you want to listen in a stressed, tense environment, go for it.
Notes in Spanish
Though the title of this podcast might be in English, you’ll soon find Notes in Spanish is a great complement to your Spanish language learning process. Each episode is a conversation between podcast creators (and couple) Marina and Ben. Together, they broach a variety of topics focusing on Hispanic culture, current affairs and so much more. Not only does Notes in Spanish cover fundamental Spanish, but it will also help you get a better understanding of modern and conversational Spanish and improve your oral comprehension.
Who it’s for: the podcast is divided into three different categories: beginner, intermediate and advanced, making it accessible for learners of all levels. The first episodes targeting beginners include dialogues both in English and Spanish.
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TED en Español
Launched in April 2012 with TED Radio Hour, TED podcasts offer a huge diversity of themes and opinions to their audience. This ambitious project strives to create even wider access to ideas and cultures without spending a single dime. Exclusively recorded in Spanish, TED en Español will help you improve your general knowledge, all whilst improving your oral comprehension.
Who it’s for: Episodes are quite complex and target high-intermediate to advanced learners of Spanish. To start off, we suggest you choose a short episode (of about 15 minutes) so that you are able to stay focused from beginning to end. You may also want to split long episodes into several short sessions to conserve brainpower.
Las noticias de la mañana
Boost your comprehension, learn new vocabulary and idiomatic expressions – that’s the goal of Las noticias de la mañana (literally “The Morning News”). Created by network giant Telemundo and broadcast in the US, this podcast will make your commute to work much more bearable as it offers a condensed version of what’s trending across the Hispanic world in just under 10 minutes.
Who it’s for: Episodes are short and will help you immerse yourself in Hispanic culture. What’s more, Las noticias de la mañana is ideal for those who understand written Spanish but have trouble grasping conversational Spanish spoken at a normal pace.
Though there are countless reasons to learn Spanish, preparing for an upcoming trip is essential. And that’s when Nómadas takes listeners on an audio adventure to a different part of the Hispanic world every week. With new episodes released every Friday night, and Saturday and Sunday afternoon, the podcast gives listeners the opportunity to practice travel-related vocabulary and broaden their knowledge of the culture behind the language.
Who it’s for: As the pace is fast and the hosts use a lot of idiomatic and informal expressions, we recommend this podcast to intermediate and advanced Spanish students. Each session showcases a different part of the world and a different culture, making it ideal to discover the array of dialects the Spanish language has to offer.
Bonus: Vidas en español
We end this selection on a high note with the educational podcast Vidas en español (“Lives in Spanish”). Each episode features a biography of a historical figure such as Antoni Gaudí, Virginia Woolf, Salvador Dalí, and many more. Our must-hear episode is the biography of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo.
Who it’s for: Vidas en español enables listeners to revise typical grammatical structures as well as idiomatic expressions. Plus, your vocabulary gains will be off the charts. Why are you still reading this?
Looking for more? We all are. Try our online Spanish course Hotel Borbollón for free: fun, short and personalized lessons to jump-start your Spanish learning.
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