In recent years, anime has become increasingly popular across the continents. And as a result, you no longer have to know Japanese to enjoy it.
Many people try their hand at learning Japanese through anime (sometimes quite successfully!), but did you know that you can also use anime to become fluent in Spanish?
That’s right—with modern technology and a variety of websites, finding Spanish anime has never been easier.
And today, I’m going to introduce you to five of these cheap and easy-to-use streaming resources, plus seven must-use tips for learning Spanish with anime.
Let’s dive in!
How to Learn Spanish with Spanish Anime
If you’re an anime lover, odds are you’ve already watched a handful of series.
When you want to turn anime into a Spanish learning resource, you’ll have better luck learning and understanding anime that you’ve already seen in Engish instead of starting a completely new series.
If you’re already familiar with the storyline, characters and quotable lines, you won’t spend as much time trying to figure everything out in another language. Instead, you can just focus on what’s being said and picking up new vocabulary.
Speaking of picking up new vocabulary, the best way to do so is by using a technique called sentence mining.
Sentence mining is when you pause the show you’re watching to write down and learn each sentence you struggle to understand.
Even if there’s just one word you don’t know, it’s always best to write down the entire sentence so you have some context that teaches you how to use it properly.
Keep a notebook with you (or be like me and keep a Google Doc open) when you’re watching anime or other shows in Spanish so you have a quick and easy way to organize your notes and jot down new vocab and sentence structures.
Try to find anime with Spanish audio and subtitles.
You can learn Spanish with anime in a few ways, such as switching the subtitles to Spanish even if the audio is in another language, switching the audio to Spanish with English subtitles or just finding a Spanish dubbed version.
However, to get te best results, I suggest finding an anime that lets you change both the audio and subtitles into Spanish. This way, you can listen, read and sentence mine Spanish all in the same study session.
When watching Spanish anime, a dictionary app or Google Translate tab is absolutely essential. You’ll need to use it any time you come across a new word while sentence mining.
Plus, tools like Google Translate can help you navigate sentence structure.
Sometimes, you’ll find you understand all the words in a sentence, but you can’t decipher the meaning because you don’t know why the words are ordered a specific way.
Simply run it through Google Translate and you’ll see what it means and, oftentimes, discover a new Spanish sentence structure.
Make sentences with your new words and send them to native speakers.
After you’ve learned new vocabulary, practice the new words by making your own sentences. And to make sure your sentences are correct, there are two methods you should use.
First, use the sentence from the anime you wrote down as a basic pattern. Second, send your sentences to a native speaker and ask for corrections.
I like doing this by writing my sentences in a notebook entry on italki. Once it’s published, native speakers can leave their comments with feedback and corrections.
Rewatch scenes you don’t understand.
If you come across a sentence or two you don’t understand, rewind the anime a bit to see if you can figure out their meaning. If not, learn the new sentences just like you normally do while sentence mining.
Another useful time to rewind is after learning new words or sentences. This allows you to listen to the words you didn’t understand before with confidence.
Shadowing is when you repeat everything you hear as soon as you hear it. As a result, your listening comprehension and speaking skills improve.
Shadowing requires intense focus to what’s being said, and the ability to quickly recall it. Plus, finding fun, entertaining and level-appropriate shadowing materials is pretty easy—especially with a resource like FluentU.
With FluentU, you can browse a library with thousands of Spanish videos that native speakers watch. There are currently no anime clips (yet!) but you can watch all-time famous clips you’ve likely already seen before from cartoons and movies, like “Star Wars,” a “Thor: Ragnarok” movie trailer and even “Sesame Street” scenes.
Before each video, you’re introduced to new vocabulary. And if you come across a word you don’t understand while watching, just click (or tap) on it in the subtitles to instantly see the word’s meaning, example sentences and relevant images and videos.
At the end of the video, take a quiz to measure your progress. And finally, never forget a word again thanks to FluentU’s flashcards that use spaced repetition, which stores new vocab into your long-term memory.
5 Best Places to Watch Spanish Anime Online and Boost Your Language Skills to Over 9,000
With a premium subscription, Funimation provides Spanish dubs to some of their animes. Plus, you won’t have to wait forever for the dubs of new and ongoing animes to be released, because Funimation dubs animes within two weeks of their broadcasting in Japan.
If you prefer watching anime on your phone, Funimation has an app you can download with all the same benefits.
One of the most popular anime sites of all time, Crunchyroll offers anime shows, news, games and mangas all in one place.
For free, you can change the subtitles to Spanish and even Latin American Spanish specifically, but not the audio. Similar to Funimation, though, Crunchyroll’s premium membership is very affordable. With a premium membership, you can change the audio to Spanish on certain animes.
Plus, you can view simulcasts straight from Japan as soon as one hour after they’re broadcasted.
Some of the shows only allow Japanese and English audio and subtitles and unfortunately, there’s no way to filter anime by Spanish dub or sub. But many of the trending and popular anime are available with Spanish audio and/or subtitles!
So, if you come across one or two that don’t offer Spanish dubs or subs, keep looking around and you’re guaranteed to find one you enjoy!
This anime streaming site allows you to filter results based on the available language. They currently have anime in Japanese, English and Latin American Spanish—perfect for learners!
Although their Spanish anime library is a little more limited than other resources, you might find the anime available on HiDive aren’t available in Spanish anywhere else. For example, check out “Land of the Lustrous” and “The Garden of Words.”
Like many of the other streaming sites, you need a HiDive membership to watch anime. However, there’s a free trial if you want to try before you buy.
Keep in mind, however, that not all videos are uploaded legally onto YouTube. Look for the verified checkmark next to the channel’s name for official anime channels. For example, Pokemon has an official Spanish YouTube channel that posts clips from the show in Spanish.
You’re also likely to find channels and playlists that have a collection of Spanish anime clips (and maybe even full episodes), which makes learning Spanish with anime easier and completely free.
With these five resources, you’re bound to become a better Spanish speaker while enjoying some anime binge sessions. Whether you’re watching clips or full episodes, I’m sure you’ll end up with a full list of new vocab soon!
Brooke Bagley is a Venezuelan-American freelance writer, passionate language learner and entrepreneur. She’s learned Mandarin Chinese for seven years, Spanish for three and Indonesian for one. Not only are languages her hobby, but they’re also her portal to new worlds. When she’s not learning languages, she can be found running her freelance writing business and holistic health and wellness blog—Ayurveda Angel.
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