What do videos of dancing cats and people hurting themselves have in common with Spanish learning?
It’s all on YouTube.
YouTube, oh YouTube, what a fantastic place full of amazing videos. It’s easy to get distracted from your Spanish studies by the thousands upon thousands of hilarious and hilariously painful videos there. But it’s an amazing resource for learning Spanish as well.
All work and no play is never fun. Here are some educational videos and some more lighthearted videos. It doesn’t matter if you’re an expert or a newbie, these videos will help you improve your Spanish while having a grand old time on YouTube.
YouTube Your Way to Better Spanish with 12 Spanish Videos for Beginners
If you enjoy learning with YouTube, you’ll 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 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.
First, we’ll start you off with some educational videos for learning the Spanish language.
1. Spanish 101 – Greetings
This video comes from a series called The Travel Linguist. This is a fantastic resource for anyone who wants to improve their Spanish. The Travel Linguist is set up just like a college course. You start with your 101 level which includes: greetings, dining, shopping, safety, numbers, days and so on.
Challenge yourself to watch one of these videos once a week, learn the lessons and then move on to the next video. As I said, it’s like a college course. Start at whatever level suits your current knowledge and skills, then steadily work your way up through to the more advanced videos. You can do it! Take it one week at a time, one video at a time and your Spanish will start to improve just like that.
2. Spanish – Basic Conversation
As the name suggests, this video is full of basic conversational phrases. This video is excellent because it’s organized into neat steps:
1. The narrator gives you the phrase in English.
2. The phrase is spoken slowly in Spanish.
3. There’s a pause for you to repeat the Spanish phrase.
4. The Spanish phrase is spoken again at regular speed.
The reason I love this setup is because it gives you a chance to hear the phrase a few times with different pacing. The phrase is also typed out in the video so that you can read along as the narrator is speaking to you.
With this video, you’ll quickly get a few key phrases up your sleeve to help you navigate wherever you need to go.
3. Learn Spanish with Authentic Recipes
Hungry for authentic Spanish content and delicious dishes from across the Spanish speaking world?
In this video, you can learn how to prepare classic dishes such as the Spanish classic tortilla de patata (Spanish omelet) or one of Colombia’s most popular dishes known as arepa. Plus, you can practice your kitchen vocabulary, boost your listening skills, and take a trip across the globe all in one video!
This is thanks to the FluentU Spanish YouTube channel, which is bringing native content straight to your computer screen. What I like best about the videos is that the creators are passionate Spanish learners who only recommend quality products. They also highlight the best ways to approach real-world content and integrate it into your learning videos.
If you liked the video above, make sure you subscribe to the FluentU YouTube channel now! It’s one of the best things you can do for your Spanish learning.
4. 10 Common Questions in Spanish
Butterfly Spanish is an educational series similar to The Travel Linguist. In each of her videos, Ana (the host) approaches different Spanish topics. The particular video I’ve linked you to covers some basic Spanish questions that you can use to get to know someone.
She covers how to say “Where are you from?” “What is your name?” and other common questions. Her whole series is fantastic. She covers everything from questions to numbers to the alphabet to verbs—and she’ll work with you from beginner level all the way to advanced.
My favorite thing about her videos is that she’s incredibly dynamic, giving her video lessons an interactive feel. She stands in front of a whiteboard where she writes down the main points. As she teaches, she writes out key ideas and other things on the board. It’s your virtual classroom and Ana is your Spanish maestra (teacher).
Jump on over to her channel and take a look at all of the videos.
5. 5 Techniques to Speak any Language
Have you ever watched TEDx Talks? TEDx Talks are presentations about various topics, given by experts from around the world with innovative ideas. You can find videos with presenters discussing advanced technology, culture, archaeology and self-esteem. This particular TEDx Talk is about learning languages.
This speaker, Sid, has learned more than five languages fluently (wow!) and he gives his listeners some real gems about how to learn new languages well.
Sid has great energy and is incredibly motivating. If you want to learn Spanish to fluency but you’re scared to take the plunge, listen to this TEDx Talk and get motivated! Sid is encouraging and he’ll be your personal cheerleader.
TEDx Talks are incredible resources to help you improve your Spanish. Check out “How to Learn Any Language in 6 Months,” “Breaking the Language Barrier” and “Hacking Language Learning.”
6. Learn Spanish: 150 Phrases for Beginners
One of the hardest things for me to master when I was learning Spanish was figuring out when to use the formal tense or the informal tense. In English, we don’t have formal and informal so I found this whole concept incredibly confusing, as do many English-speaking Spanish learners.
This video was made by YouTuber Polyglot Pablo to give you a quick crash course in basic Spanish—and it’ll give you a pretty good sense of how and when to use both tenses in conversation.
It doesn’t cover all verb conjugations, but it does take the time to show you what the informal tense looks like and how the formal tense is different. This video will help you know how you should speak to your boss (formal tense) and how you should speak to your spouse (informal).
Like the other basic conversation video above, the narrator takes the time to say each phrase multiple times at different speeds. This will help you really dissect the phrases and get your mouth to move the right way. By repeating everything slowly, you’ll learn the sounds and syllables you need to build up your Spanish speaking skills.
7. Spanish Lesson: 7 Romantic Phrases
Languages with a Latin root are called Romance languages. These are languages like French and Spanish. So it’s only natural that we should cover some romantic phrases you can use to impress your significant other.
This video has several phrases that can be used to woo any other Spanish speaker. On top of that, they teach you how to propose in Spanish! Now that’s impressive.
Another great thing about this video is that the narrator is a native Spanish speaker. How does this help? You’re sure that she won’t be teaching you the “gringo” way to say things.
Now we’re going to move on to hilarious Spanish videos for fun learning. Much like Mary Poppins, I have the personal philosophy that everything you do should be fun. That includes learning Spanish. Now that we have the serious videos out there, I’m going to show you some of my favorite funny Spanish videos.
8. ¿Qué Hora Es?
Have you ever watched a Spanish soap opera? Or any soap opera? They’re known for being overly dramatic, full of okay-ish acting and ridiculous plot lines. ¿Qué Hora Es? (What Time Is It?) isn’t an exception to these rules.
A group of people got together and decided to make a soap opera full of phrases and words that most Spanish beginners know. The dialogue doesn’t make any sense—since it’s all your favorite Spanish 101 phrases cobbled together—and that’s what’s so fun about it!
Even if you just started learning Spanish a few days ago, you can probably understand most of the phrases the actors are saying in this homemade soap opera.
9. Spanish Words “White” People Can’t Say
Quick little caveat here. This video isn’t making fun of white people or Spanish people. Have you ever listened to someone speak Spanish, but it doesn’t really sound like Spanish? Then they were likely gringo through and through.
There are tons of people out there who have a hard time pronouncing Spanish words. Why? Because in Spanish there are sounds that don’t exist in English.
This video is full of people trying, unsuccessfully, to say Spanish words.
10. Funny Videos Described in Spanish
We all know that YouTube is full of hilarious cat videos. While this isn’t a clip of cats speaking Spanish, which would be awesome, it does have some funny cat moments.
This video is full of short clips that are described in English and then translated into Spanish. Check it out and have a laugh.
11. Fun with Spanish Words
This is a pretty funny video mostly just because of the narrator. He calls himself the Gringo Español. He loves finding “Spanish friends.”
No this isn’t a “Sesame Street” video about friendship. It’s a video about finding words that sound the same in English and in Spanish. These words are called cognates. For example, the Spanish word banco sounds just like its English equivalent, “bank.”
He also briefly touches on false cognates: words you think mean the same thing in English and Spanish because they sound so similar, but they actually have different meanings.
12. One Semester of Spanish Love Song
Last but most certainly not least is the “One Semester of Spanish Love Song.” This is probably my all time favorite Spanish video. Mike is hilarious as he tries to impress his Latina girlfriend with his limited Spanish skills.
I’ve watched this video hundreds of times and whenever I meet someone who speaks Spanish I show it to them. The more you watch it, the funnier it gets.
Added bonus, you probably know the words that he’s saying so you can sing along!
Well there you have it. These Spanish videos are going to be great tools to help you improve your Spanish. Try making your own Spanish video!
And if you’re loving the YouTube study sessions, here are some more amazing YouTube channels that’ll catapult your Spanish forward.
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn Spanish with real-world videos.