21 Resources to Hear Spanish Words Pronounced for Upgrading Your Pronunciation Accuracy
Listening to native speakers is one of the best ways to hear the correct pronunciation of any new vocabulary. So when you’re learning a new language, open your eyes and ears first.
This post covers everything from online pronunciation dictionaries to super-useful videos and resources for hearing Spanish words pronounced.
By the end of this post, you should feel confident enough to look for your own listening resources so you can keep teaching your ear and get it comfortable listening to the language.
- Best Online Spanish Pronunciation Dictionaries
- Best Videos for Hearing Spanish Word Pronunciations
- Best Podcasts for Hearing Spanish Words Pronounced
- Videos for Dealing With Troublesome Spanish Letters
- And One More Thing…
Best Online Spanish Pronunciation Dictionaries
Pronunciation dictionaries allow you to search for the words you want to learn and listen to how native speakers pronounce them. There are many online dictionaries that do this but these resources are the best:
Forvo is without a doubt one of the best pronunciation dictionaries online. You enter the word you want to hear, choose the language and start learning!
Each word colored in blue is clickable. When you click on a word or sentence, you are redirected to another page where native speakers pronounce it for you. This means that you get to hear the same word or phrase repeated by a number of different speakers to really get the sound into your head.
This is perfect for adapting your ears to different accents, or you can simply listen to the accent you are interested in.
I can assure you that Forvo will be your new best friend from now on.
2. Oxford Dictionaries
Another beast among pronunciation dictionaries, Oxford allows you to choose between three different dictionaries: Spanish-Spanish, Spanish-English and English-Spanish.
You can listen to every word and expression you search for. Best of all, this resource offers two different audios for each entry: one in Spanish and one in Latin American Spanish! What more could you want?
SpanishDict is a classic no student should live without. You can enter words and sentences to have them translated, and you can listen to them both in Spanish and English.
Another must-have in your collection of awesome listening resources!
WordReference allows you to search for definitions, synonyms, translations or conjugations. Once you have the word plugged in, it also offers up examples of usage. It even provides links to questions in their forum that use the target word, so you can talk to others about the word and practice using it in context.
Surf over to the forums for even more learning opportunities. They have boards dedicated to vocabulary, grammar, specialized terminology and resources. Discussing Spanish with others is a great way for independent learners to get the benefits of conventional language classes.
You can also download their free app to your devices.
The Reverso website offers definitions, conjugations and usage examples. With a quick click, the website will even help you search the web for news stories, images and encyclopedia entries.
If that isn’t enough for you, you can also join their free community to build vocabulary lists, add entries to a user-built dictionary and keep track of your searches.
A new and exciting feature that you’ll also want to play around with is Reverso’s “Context” tab. Type in any word, and they’ll give you several different options with a context for each. It’s an easy way to see a lot of options at once. If you’re interested in helping shape the dictionary, you can even suggest your own examples.
Best Videos for Hearing Spanish Word Pronunciations
There are literally millions and millions of YouTube videos about the Spanish language. However, not all of them focus specifically on improving your listening skills.
The following four videos were made especially for learners to practice hearing Spanish words without effort:
6. Spanish Phrases
Fancy a four-hour video? Try this one!
This video contains a thousand Spanish conversation phrases both in English and Spanish, read by two native speakers. Listen, repeat, rewind, fast-forward… or just grab some popcorn and relax on your sofa while you train your ears!
7. More Spanish Phrases
What’s that? Four hours is too long for you? No problem! If you only have one hour but want to learn 500 basic Spanish phrases, try this video on for size.
Listening to a native speaker talk for an hour has never been easier… or has it?
8. Learn Spanish Pronunciation in 12 Minutes
Sometimes, you just want to watch one super informative video that goes over all the Spanish pronunciation basics with you. Well here it is! I can guarantee that after watching this 12 minute video, you’ll feel more comfortable with your Spanish pronunciation skills.
9. Spanish Pronunciation Guide
If you don’t have 12 minutes to watch the previous video, learn the basics of Spanish pronunciation in a mere five minutes with this super helpful video.
10. Sleep Learning: Basic Vocabulary
Yes, you read that correctly. Sleep learning! At first, I was very skeptical about this kind of learning technique, but after waking up one day knowing around 100 Polish words I did not know the day before, I am now the biggest fan of this system.
Just play the video and go to sleep. Your brain will do the rest!
The best part is that you will be listening to Spanish vocabulary read by a native speaker, so your ears will also be getting their dose of exposure to the Spanish accent.
Of course, you can also use this resource while you are awake. Or both! After all, there is no harm in trying, right?
11. Sleep Learning: Spanish Phrases
When you are done with learning basic vocabulary, move on to learning Spanish phrases, all while you sleep. Magical!
12. Spanish News for Students
This super helpful video by FluentU shows you how you can use native Spanish news sources to improve your listening and pronunciation. Since FluentU is a language learning company, they include plenty of super helpful tips.
FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.
Best Podcasts for Hearing Spanish Words Pronounced
Once you have mastered the basics, you can move on to listening to podcasts.
Once again, there are probably millions of podcasts on Spanish learning, but the next two have that “something special” that, for me, make them stand above the rest:
13. Spanish Pronunciation Podcast by Collins
This well made series of podcasts goes through all the sounds of the Spanish language, with each episode focusing on one to four letters and their corresponding sounds.
Then the podcast goes into the Spanish alphabet, spelling conventions and gets into practice words and phrases, so you can speak along to mimic native speakers.
They also have an excellent pronunciation guide called “Getting Inside Your Mouth,” which goes over how we physically pronounce words.
14. LightSpeed Spanish
With hundreds of free downloadable episodes divided by level, an Additional Materials section and a whole series of videos on the subjunctive tense, LightSpeed Spanish is to podcasts like Forvo is to pronunciation dictionaries!
15. Spanish Obsessed
The free version of Spanish Obsessed gives you access to over 100 excellent podcasts to improve your Spanish and your listening skills.
It also allows you to create an account to keep track of your progress and gives you a taste of three premium features: podcast transcriptions, notes and translations and downloadable episodes.
If you want more content you can buy the Premium Membership for $69/year, or the Gold Membership, which will give you full access for $99/year.
Videos for Dealing With Troublesome Spanish Letters
To learn the most accurate pronunciation of Spanish words, it’s a good idea to focus on troublesome letter sounds within the language. To do that, zoom in on these Spanish sounds:
16. C, S and Z
These three sounds confuse many Spanish learners. Watch this video to have it all sorted out.
17. B and V
These letters can sound very similar in many varieties of Spanish. Check out this video to get these straight.
18. G, GU and GÜ
Spanish has an umlaut, you ask? It does indeed. Watch this video to learn how to pronounce that and more.
19. LL and Y
That sneaky double L that sounds like Y confuses many Spanish learners. Watch this explainer video to hear them properly pronounced.
20. C, K and QU
Another three sounds that often confuse Spanish learners, get these letters sorted here:
21. R and RR
It’s a slight difference in pronunciation, but getting the different pronunciation of these two sounds will make you seem more native.
To read more about problematic Spanish pronunciations, check out this post:
Acquiring a Spanish accent and improving your listening skills do not have to be difficult. Do not give up! You’ll get it if you keep on practicing.
And One More Thing…
If you've made it this far that means you probably enjoy learning Spanish with engaging material and will then love FluentU.
Other sites use scripted content. FluentU uses a natural approach that helps you ease into the Spanish language and culture over time. You’ll learn Spanish as it’s actually spoken by real people.
FluentU has a wide variety of videos, as you can see here:
FluentU brings native videos within reach with interactive transcripts. You can tap on any word to look it up instantly. Every definition has examples that have been written to help you understand how the word is used. If you see an interesting word you don’t know, you can add it to a vocab list.
Review a complete interactive transcript under the Dialogue tab, and find words and phrases listed under Vocab.
Learn all the vocabulary in any video with FluentU’s robust learning engine. Swipe left or right to see more examples of the word you’re on.
The best part is that FluentU keeps track of the vocabulary that you’re learning, and gives you extra practice with difficult words. It'll even remind you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned. Every learner has a truly personalized experience, even if they’re learning with the same video.
Start using the FluentU website on your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play store. All annual subscriptions now on sale!