In the battle for supreme Spanish skills, you’ll need build up your knowledge into a mighty fortress.
But the slings and arrows can bring you down, and sometimes fighting your way to fluency can seem impossible.
That’s when it’s time to wheel out your secret weapon: subtitled YouTube videos!
You may already know that there are some awesome YouTube channels out there to help you learn Spanish. Whether you’re a beginner Spanish learner or you’re looking to hear Spanish as it’s really spoken, YouTube can be an amazing learning resource.
Want to fortify your learning even further? Turn on those subtitles.
Subtitled Spanish videos can help you boost multiple language skills at once and can also help you pick up and retain new vocabulary. Below, we’ll check out subtitled YouTube videos for learners of any proficiency level and language goal.
Gather your forces and embark on the journey to learning that’ll build your Spanish skills into an impenetrable fortress. Let subtitled Spanish YouTube channels guide the way!
Why Watch Subtitled YouTube Videos to Practice Spanish?
There are lots of Spanish activities and lessons out there that focus on either Spanish reading or listening practice. Subtitled movies allow you to practice listening and reading comprehension simultaneously. You’ll be absorbing both written and spoken Spanish and encountering any new vocabulary or phrases in both contexts.
But it’s not just about logging those reading and listening practice hours. Watching Spanish-language videos with Spanish subtitles can actually reinforce both skills. First, if you don’t understand the spoken words, Spanish subtitles will help you understand without having to translate to your native language. This is especially helpful if you’re watching a movie with regional accents.
Second, seeing the words spelled out while listening will help you master Spanish phonetics and even improve your own pronunciation.
For learners who aren’t quite ready for a full-Spanish movie experience, there are also benefits to watching with English subtitles. They can help you pick up new vocabulary quickly and accurately by providing in-context translations of any unfamiliar words.
Looking for middle ground between these two learning experiences?
FluentU offers the best of both worlds.
FluentU takes real-world videos, like music videos, commercials, news and inspiring talks, and turns them into Spanish learning experiences.
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 like soccer, TV shows, business, movies and even magical realism, 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 it recommends you examples and videos based on the words you’ve already learned. Every learner has a truly personalized experience, even if they’re learning the same video.
Start using FluentU on the website with your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play store for iOS and Android devices.
10 Spanish YouTube Channels with Subtitles to Strengthen Your Skills into a Fluency Fortress
BookBox’s YouTube channel offers free animated stories that are created for children, but can also provide valuable lessons for beginner learners of all ages. The stories are narrated and captioned in Spanish.
BookBox’s mission is to promote literacy and a love of reading in kids with content from around the world. The stories are straightforward, the speech is slow and the captioned words are highlighted as they’re spoken so you can easily follow along. The videos are also quite short (five to six minutes) which means you won’t get lost or overwhelmed too easily.
“El Viento y el Sol” (“The Wind and the Sun”) is a nice option to brush up on your weather terms with a fun story.
Mextalki DE is designed to help Spanish learners improve their skills. With videos appropriate for a range of Spanish proficiency levels, including several that are focused on regional Spanish variations, Mextalki DE offers some great material.
Some videos focus on grammar and vocabulary, while other focus primarily on providing listening activities. Many of these videos offer Spanish and/or English subtitles. They’re offered through the CC (Closed Captioning) YouTube feature (but they’re not auto-generated, meaning they’ll be accurate), so you can turn them on and off. This way, you can practice listening without using the subtitles as a crutch, but you have the option of turning them on.
Some videos even begin with instructions on how to best use subtitles to maximize learning.
If you’re looking to learn some helpful words related to dating, you might try this video about first dates, which offers Spanish subtitles along with a few helpful English translations.
MinutoDeFísica (Minute of Physics) is an educational YouTube channel designed to teach Spanish-speaking viewers basic physics lessons. Most videos come with Spanish subtitles (some are specifically in Latin American or Mexican Spanish). Others only have the subtitles that are auto-generated by YouTube, so beware of errors on those ones.
Since MinutoDeFísica uses a number of technical and scientific terms and the pace is quick, this channel is a good choice for advanced learners who are looking to improve their ability to understand Spanish in an academic context. MinutoDeFísica would be particularly ideal for anyone considering studying abroad in a Spanish-speaking country since this will help you master learning new material in Spanish (as opposed to traditional Spanish lessons).
You might want to watch “¿Qué es la gravedad?” (“What is gravity?”) to brush up on some common science terms. Plus, it’s easier than learning about gravity this way than through trial and error!
MinutoDeLaTierra (Minute of the Earth) is MinutoDeFísica‘s sister channel. Like MinutoDeFísica, MinutoDeLaTierra conveys scientific information in Spanish with Spanish subtitles. However, in this case, the information focuses on nature.
Again, the rapid speed of the narration and more complex subject matter makes this channel ideal for advanced Spanish students.
If you’re looking to learn some helpful science terms, you might want to give “La historia de nuestro planeta” (“The history of our planet”) a try.
Easy Languages is designed to help students learning a number of different languages by listening to how they’re spoken “on the streets.” This is nice because it gives you exposure to real people using Spanish authentically.
Easy Languages’ Easy Spanish playlist features more than 50 street interviews on a wide variety of topics including everything from Mexican bread to Pokemon GO and much more. Each video has built-in subtitles in both Spanish and English, so this is an approachable learning tool to help any level of learner familiarize himself/herself with authentic Spanish.
You might want to watch “What do you want to study?” to learn and practice vocabulary related to education.
LAF Producciones (“LAF Productions”) is a Chilean YouTube channel. Here you’ll get authentic (and hilarious) Spanish videos created for a native speaker audience. These are primarily comedy videos, which can often be difficult for learners to follow, but most of their newer videos are captioned in Spanish to make it easier to follow along.
Plus, the language is accessible for Spanish students since Chilean Spanish is usually relatively slow and the accent is similar to that taught in American schools. The videos are short, so they won’t be confusing or overwhelming.
Looking for a laugh (or LAF, as the case may be)? Try “Cosas de mamás” (“Mother things”), which uses general language to portray familiar and funny interactions that you may have had with your own mom.
Note: This YouTube channel does contain adult content.
Hola Soy German (Hello I’m German) is a popular Chilean YouTuber. His videos also focus primarily on comedy, and captions are available in Spanish or English (and typically several other languages as well).
This channel is a good choice for intermediate and advanced Spanish students to push their comprehension skills up a level. German speaks very clearly but he’s also a super fast talker, which might make it difficult for beginner students to follow the videos.
However, more advanced students will enjoy these brief, funny videos on topics ranging from food to zombies to pretty much anything else you can think of. (Note: food-related vocabulary will hopefully continue to be more useful than zombie vocabulary).
Spanish Buenos Aires offers a small handful of useful videos you can easily incorporate into your studies. There are a couple of regional Spanish lessons, but the real standouts are the subtitled movie clips on this channel.
Through these clips, you can pick up Colombian, Chilean, Argentinian Spanish and more. The subtitles are built right into the videos, so you can’t toggle them on or off. These clips are relatively brief and entertaining, making this channel is an unintimidating option for any Spanish learner.
You might particularly enjoy this video of Pope Francis, subtitled in both Spanish and English, where he tells a joke about Argentinians.
Spanish Tutors Hong Kong offers an assortment of videos intended to help students learn Spanish.
These videos include episodes of “Extr@,” a sitcom for Spanish students. Some of these videos are captioned in Spanish, some in Spanish and English (and others aren’t captioned at all). This first episode of the series has both Spanish and English subtitles.
Spanish Tutors Hong Kong also has a couple other videos that discuss culture. These videos offer a mixture of Spanish and English subtitles and exclusively English subtitles. For instance, “Learn Spanish by culture, Festival – La Tomatina“ incorporates both English and Spanish subtitles to teach you about La Tomatina, a tomato-throwing festival in Valencia, Spain.
LanguageComics uses videos that incorporate Spanish audio, Spanish and English subtitles and cartoon images. These videos are specifically designed to help viewers improve their Spanish skills.
The spoken Spanish is slow, so this is appropriate for any level of language learner. The videos focus on common, relevant themes like travel and health, so listeners will pick up useful vocabulary and skills.
Getting a year older soon? Give “Birthday in Spanish” a try to prepare yourself!
Try out these awesome subtitled Spanish YouTube channels and lay siege to learning!
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn Spanish with real-world videos.