Learning Spanish shouldn’t be a chore.
One of the keys to successfully learning Spanish is finding ways to combine your passions with your language practice.
For example, if you like movies, you can learn Spanish with classic Argentine movies.
Or if you like music, popular Spanish songs are a no-brainer.
And if you’re a news addict, learning Spanish through the news (or Spanish podcasts) is a perfect addition to your Spanish study routine.
How do you know if you’re a news addict? Ask yourself these revealing questions:
- Do find yourself refreshing the BBC homepage multiple times per hour?
- Do you get the shakes at the idea of being the last one to know about a major world event?
- Do you have multiple favorite world leaders?
These are all signs of a serious news habit.
Why not feed your news addiction and your Spanish fluency at the same time?
Other Reasons to Learn Spanish with the News
Another important key to learning Spanish is regular practice.
If you always start your day with a dose of news over breakfast or coffee, or finish it by watching the nightly news over dinner, you have a guaranteed half-hour language learning slot just waiting to be filled with Spanish news.
Here’s a little head start on great resources for learning Spanish through news that we’ve put together in video format on the FluentU YouTube channel.
News is a great way to build useful vocabulary. Unlike works of fiction or even films, the vocabulary used in news is highly formulaic, meaning you won’t have to worry that learning the words for basket-weaving (cestería) or windshield wipers (limpiaparabrisas) will fill up valuable Spanish vocabulary space in your brain.
This gives you more opportunities to learn individual words, as well as confidence that the words you do learn will be useful.
For those who aren’t full-fledged news junkies, this list includes a few alternatives to the more serious, detached approach of mainstream journalism.
Tips for Learning Spanish Through the News
Learning Spanish through the news isn’t difficult.
Beginner Spanish learners may want to start with a news website that offers both English and Spanish versions of major news stories, such as El País or the Miami Herald (Nuevo Herald).
So, how can you get the most out of your practice?
- Setting yourself a target of at least one article per day. Consistency will help you remember what you’ve learned!
- Keep a notebook with the words you translate each day. Writing down what you learn—especially, writing it by hand—will make your learning more active and help you remember better what you learn.
- Revise your notes after each news reading session, and again at the end of each week. The more news stories you follow, the more nuances you will learn. Your initial impressions of a word or phrase might change—you might realize that it can mean several different things. As you revise your notes, you’ll reinforce and refine what you’ve learned.
The most important thing is to find a news source that actually interests you. You don’t have to be addicted to world news to get something out of reading Spanish news.
There are 460 million Spanish speakers in the world. With a market that large, you can be sure there’s a Spanish language publication for every interest.
There are Spanish motor magazines, fashion magazines, celebrity gossip magazines, and more. There’s even a Spanish magazine for train enthusiasts! (It’s called Revista Tren, if you’re interested.)
There’s absolutely no reason to worry about finding highbrow content. In fact—especially when you’re starting out—the lower the “brow” of your content, the better. Simple vocabulary and short sentences are exactly what you want to aim for as a beginner.
For best results, combine reading and listening comprehension through print and TV or radio news.
You may want to try summarizing news articles in a few short (Spanish) sentences after you’ve finished them. This gives you an opportunity to reinforce the vocabulary you’ve just learned, while practicing your Spanish grammar and sentence structure.
If, however, you find this technique turns your reading practice into such a chore that you find yourself making excuses to avoid it, deséchalo (throw it out)!
We’re aiming for repeated exposure to Spanish news—and the surest route to success is maintaining your continued interest.
How to Say “News” in Spanish
Before you start reading, watching and listening to the news in Spanish, let’s look at a few different kinds of news you’ll encounter.
(To get an idea of how to pronounce these terms, just click on the links.)
Breaking news — las noticias de última hora
¡Interrumpimos este programa por las noticias de última hora! (We interrupt this program for breaking news!)
News bulletin — el boletín informativo
Tendremos más detalles más tarde, en el boletín informativo. (We will have more details later, in the news bulletin.)
World news — las noticias internacionales
Como directora de una corporación multinacional, siempre estaba interesada en las noticias internacionales. (As the head of a multinational corporation, she was always interested in world news.)
Local news — las noticias locales (Spain); los noticieros locales (Latin America)
Las noticias locales en Barcelona hicieron un reportaje sobre el próximo Festival Grec en Montjuïc. (The local news in Barcelona did a feature about the upcoming Grec Festival in Montjuïc.)
Mi amigo en Bogotá va a ser entrevistado en los noticieros locales la próxima semana. (My friend in Bogotá is going to be interviewed on the local news next week.)
Financial news — las noticias financieras
El contable ve las noticias financieras todos los días. (The accountant watches the financial news every day.)
Sports news — la información deportiva
La información deportiva es lo más importante para mí, ya que soy un fanático del fútbol. (Sports news is most important for me, since I’m a soccer fanatic.)
Traffic report — el informe de tráfico (Spain); el reporte del tráfico (Latin America)
Siempre miro el informe de tráfico antes de salir a trabajar por las mañanas, para evitar cualquier atasco. (I always watch the traffic report before I leave for work in the mornings, to avoid any traffic jams.)
No tomó ese camino porque había oído hablar de ese terrible accidente en el reporte del tráfico. (He didn’t take that way because he’d heard about that terrible accident on the traffic report.)
15 Great Resources for Learning Spanish Through the News
Ready for all the news that’s fit to print and stream? Check out these resources for Spanish news that’ll increase your Spanish fluency and keep you in the know!
Noticias Google (Google News in Spanish)
Google News’ Spanish Service aggregates content from news media around the world into a scrolling list of articles, organized according to themes.
The site includes a variety of customization options to increase or decrease the presence of a certain media provider, region, or theme, in your news feed.
Familiarize yourself with Spanish news jargon by studying carefully curated clips!
News reports are often delivered at a rapid pace. The meticulously captioned news videos on FluentU help you understand every word.
If there’s an unfamiliar Spanish word or phrase, you can get an instant definition with just a tap or a click.
Best of all, each news video you watch on FluentU comes with its own custom-made quiz, so you can master new words and phrases—plus, you can easily review them using FluentU’s multimedia-enhanced, virtual flashcards.
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 topics, 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.
Plus, 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 studying with the same video.
For up-to-the-minute coverage of news in the Spanish-speaking world (and beyond), hop on over to YouTube and check out the Noticias Telemundo channel.
Constant updates keep you at the forefront of las noticias de última hora (breaking news). Stream coverage to watch events as they unfold.
The channel boasts thousands of videos, including both news reports and more in-depth coverage and investigative journalism.
The videos are neatly organized into topical playlists, so you can follow the developing events of specific stories.
If you’d prefer to read your news, Noticias Telemundo also has written news articles on its website.
El País is a major metropolitan daily paper based in Madrid, Spain. The site offers several portals that filter the high-quality content according to region.
The Mexico, Spain and America (including Latin America) portals are presented in Spanish. (The Brazil portal provides coverage in Portuguese; news on the Catalonia portal is delivered in Catalan.)
El País also offers an English portal with translations of a small selection of articles featured on the main page. This makes it a good option for beginning Spanish learners, as these articles can provide a good first step into Spanish news.
News in Slow Spanish
News in Slow Spanish is the definitive resource for beginning Spanish learners who wish to improve their comprehension.
The two hosts go over a selection of news items from the past week at approximately three-quarters of the normal reading speed. This may sound strange, but for intermediate students of Spanish, this little bit of extra time is all that’s needed to dramatically boost comprehension.
Radiotelevisión Española (RTVE)
Radiotelevisión Española is Spain’s national public broadcaster. RTVE’s a la carta (on the menu) service allows viewers from all around the world to select from its programming list.
There’s a variety of news and current affairs programs such as “Informe Semanal” and the “Telediarios.”
For those of you who enjoy watching a solid half-hour of news over dinner every night, RTVE is an engrossing option.
SBS Spanish News
The website of the Australian Special Broadcasting Service includes content in Spanish in a variety of formats. Print news in Spanish is complemented by a collection of short news radio programs focusing on Australian and international news.
For Australian viewers, SBS also offers an on-demand option for their daily, one-hour Spanish TV news program.
This is a news podcast, produced by NPR, that focuses on Latino and Latin American stories—particularly, ones that often get overlooked by many other news services.
You can download each episode; most run between a half-hour and an hour. Access each episode’s transcript by clicking on the “notes” icon in its listing:
The transcript is particularly helpful for beginners and lower-intermediate learners, allowing them to see what they are hearing.
Among other sources, Radio Ambulante (Walking Radio) is available through Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts. You can also have it delivered to you via RSS feed.
Voz de América
With a dozen different radio shows, downloadable as podcasts, the news from Voz de América (Voice of America) includes programs about specialized topics:
- Buenos días América — Morning news coverage
- Conversando con la VOA — Conversations with experts on current events
- Deportivo Internacional — Sporting news around the world
- Nota económica — Financial news
- Entretenimiento — All the latest news about art, live shows and movie premieres
BBC News: Mundo
Enjoy the world-renowned journalism of the BBC, delivered in Spanish.
Primarily written coverage keeps you up-to-date with news about Latin America, Central America and the international scene. You’ll also find stories about science, culture, technology, health and the economy.
For video versions of these articles and additional coverage, check out the BBC News Mundo channel on YouTube.
You don’t always have to read serious news!
Football is a huge part of the culture all across the Spanish-speaking world. If you’re learning Spanish to talk to Spanish people, you’re going to need to learn how to talk about football.
You can filter your results by country and by region if you’re interested in traveling to a particular region, or are already a fan of a Spanish team.
Juxtapoz is an arts and culture magazine with its origins in the lowbrow art scene of 1990s Southern California.
The Spanish-language edition of Juxtapoz continues to feature lowbrow and alternative art forms such as street art and poster art. However, its focus is now more international, with a great deal of art from Spanish and Latin American artists.
If you’re passionate about art, Juxatpoz is the perfect way to introduce yourself to the art scene in the Spanish-speaking world.
Connect with Spanish-speaking communities in the USA through El Especial, the online presence of the weekly newspaper El Especialito.
Based in the New York/New Jersey area, El Especialito is a Hispanic weekly with the largest circulation en los Estados Unidos (in the United States).
In addition to the national news coverage, an extensive recetas (recipes) section brings home the sabor (flavor) of Hispanic life in the US.
Vogue is the most prominent publication in fashion. The Spanish edition of Vogue was started only a few years after its American counterpart and is every bit an equal in the depth and quality of its coverage.
This includes coverage in a variety of media, including short videos. It’s a good mixed-media platform for those looking to improve their listening comprehension skills, as well as their reading skills.
Vice publishes three Spanish editions: Spain, Mexico and Colombia. (You’ll see that there’s substantial content overlap between the three.)
The editions feature Vice’s distinctive style of journalism: focusing on marginal characters and themes, and many stories written with a Gonzo approach to journalistic immersion.
Vice has recently moved into covering major news stories; however, the approach of their journalists is unlike mainstream news media and may be very popular among people who don’t find major news providers appealing.
Spanish news sources are as varied as the types of Spanish spoken in the world today.
Whether you like focusing on local news, sports, fashion, money or science—or the happenings in dozens of other areas—there are Spanish news sources that can immerse you in the language and gradually improve your fluency.
Mix and match your news sources. Use the information you learn to spark conversations with Spanish-speaking partners.
You can use the news to practice both Spanish reading and listening comprehension—all while keeping on top of the latest news and getting a better understanding of the world we share.
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