How to Learn Spanish Vocabulary with Reddit, Memes and More
You say you’re too busy to learn Spanish?
Let’s be real here.
You’re probably spending some of your time at work or home tumbling, pinning, tweeting, facebooking, blogging, or busily turning blue links purple on Reddit.
Lucky for you, many of these productivity-sapping activities can be converted into a fun, chill way to learn Spanish.
- What Is Reddit?
- The Advantages of Learning Spanish with Reddit
- How to Learn Spanish Vocabulary with Reddit
- The Advantages of Learning Spanish with Memes
- How to Learn Spanish Vocabulary with Memes
- And One More Thing…
What Is Reddit?
If you haven’t discovered Reddit yet, it is singular for its ability to both provide essential, topical, and fascinating information and be a massive time succubus. Armed with an anonymous username, you can spends hours alone on the “front page,” where top content from all over the site engages in a never-ending battle for the #1 spot. Images, links, screenshots, news articles, videos, gifs and memes, all just one click away and offering instant gratification. Beyond the front page, there are endless subreddits, pages with specifically themed content, which cover every topic under the sun.
For seasoned redditors, I’m offering you the opportunity to turn mindless link-clicking into productive, valuable learning time. For those of you who are Reddit virgins, why the heck do I love it so much as a Spanish learning tool?
The Advantages of Learning Spanish with Reddit
- Diverse content. There are pages full of Spanish grammar lessons and online learning tools, others devoted to Latin music and dance. It’s up to you to decide how you learn best.
- The international community provides a portal to open discussion about Spanish language, culture, and current events in Europe and Latin America.
- It’s personalized and user friendly. Subscribe yourself to the most useful subreddits and get daily updates on new, fresh, popular posts.
- It’s interactive and community-driven. This means that you can post helpful content for other language learners to see, write comments, and ask questions to the whole community.
How to Learn Spanish Vocabulary with Reddit
Go to your preferences at the top right corner of the page. Under the heading “Content Language” check the box for español or all future endeavors here will be for naught. This enables you to see posts in Spanish as well as English. If you’ve already been anointed as a redditor, I double dog dare you to full-on change your interface language to Spanish and start navigating in your new language.
Now, start exploring subreddits.
*(Beginner’s tip: to get to a subreddit, type in www.reddit.com/r/[subreddit name here]).
The big Spanish language subreddit is the aptly named /r/Spanish. This is where gaggles of enthusiastic redditing Spanish students gather to discuss grammar woes, decipher regional idioms, and promote or dispute the value of various learning tools. A permanent fixture on the right-hand sidebar is a list of online guides to get yourself started learning basic Spanish. Though this subreddit page is typically flooded with questions about how to use this or that verb tense correctly, you’ll get exposed to a lot of internet destinations you might otherwise never have discovered.
Just today I saw a discussion about offensive slang words throughout Latin America, a list of documentaries from Spain, and a link to the top 100 Spanish songs on Spotify.
To find Skype partners to practice Spanish with or pen pals – wait, are they called keyboard pals nowadays? – head over to /r/languagelearning.
For the serious, technical inner workings of language, /r/linguistics is the ticket.
Another large Spanish-lovin’ community is /r/espanol. That’s right, espanol, not español. This subreddit is like the front page, but in Spanish – a huge assorted grab-bag of links to relationship questions, news articles, not-safe-for-work pictures, memes, you name it, posted and upvoted by hispanohablantes. This is where the denizens of /r/latinamerica and all other Spanish-speaking regional subreddits (such as /r/peru and /r/chile) unite.
Regional subreddits for Spanish-speaking countries are a great place to meet people and learn about the humor, idioms, culture and current affairs of individual countries. A good chunk of subscribers to these subreddits are foreign expats who live in-country. Don’t be afraid to jump in and ask questions or make comments in either English or Spanish!
There are new subreddit options popping up every day: /r/ciencias (recently switched to a private subreddit – invite only) invites Spanish-speaking science lovers to share informed opinions and intellectual dialogue, /r/futbol is a chaotic den of rabid international soccer fans, and /r/videojuegos caters to gamers of all kinds.
If you’re more advanced and looking for a challenge, record yourself speaking Spanish and post to /r/judgemyaccent for constructive criticism (and sometimes not-so-constructive criticism).
More fun less work? Visit /r/latinhouse, /r/salsa, and /r/hispanicmusic to find some Spanish-language music. Or say music just doesn’t sound fun enough? Wow. Do you really need a whole cup full of honey to take a sip of medicine? Alright then…
The Advantages of Learning Spanish with Memes
- Memes are short and sweet. Short sentences and phrases, easy vocabulary. The best memes are able to pack a punch with a simple message.
- With memes it’s super easy to figure out what’s going on. If you’re not familiar with memes, you can look at a bunch of them and quickly catch onto the patterns.
- Regardless of the language, you already know the feeling behind the message. Pretty coo, right? Most of us are all too familiar with memes. When you see Bad Luck Brian’s braces or the Success Kid’s infamous fist pump you know exactly what to expect.
- You can pretend you’re working while silently giggling at your computer screen. That’s all any of us really wants, anyway.
How to Learn Spanish Vocabulary with Memes
Rage comics may have passed from fashion in other parts of the world, but they are raging on in Latin America. Cheap jokes, cheesy puns, and minimalistic formats transcend the language barrier. These old-fashioned internet classics may be a little been-there-done-that, but the simplistic humor is easy to understand even with minimal knowledge of Spanish. Here’s a good example:
Catch the joke there? That little face on the control is the “troll” face. Con/Sin = With/Without. Definitely not reaching Monty Python levels of hilarity, but that hackneyed humor might merit a snort.
Some other key players in rage comics are:
Siempre solo: Forever alone
Asumido el reto: Challenge accepted
The hottest memes right now are images recycled over and over again to convey quick messages. Each image has its own connotation. The tears of the First World Problems girl suggest a petty problem is being griped about, while the College Freshman meme details the naïve blunders of a first-year student.
Those are just some examples of what’s out there. Hang out around /r/memexico for a while, explore, and find even more! When you’ve had enough subreddits and memes for one day, step outside of Reddit and hop over to ureddit.com, the University of Reddit.
There, Reddit users who love learning teach their specialty subject in a structured, traditional classroom format – not too structured, I guess, since some teachers have previously used Minecraft and other online games for instruction. All this comes at no cost to participants. Spanish is currently available from introductory to advanced levels.
You see? The internet isn’t just for procrastination! Instead of aimlessly surfing, tell the internet who’s boss and use it as a fun, effective tool to boost your Spanish learning experience.
If you need additional support for learning with Spanish Reddit, FluentU might be useful. You can use it like a video-based dictionary to look up the vocabulary and grammar you run into while scrolling subreddits.
FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.
Then get out there and start learning with all the weird and wonderful resources the internet has to offer.
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. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)