I keep getting this nagging feeling that's it's just wrong to have a site about learning Spanish and not having a list of resources. It's like the obligitory "Welcome to my blog post", it just has to be there.
But in the spirit of my blog, I'm not going to recommend any sites that focus primarily on grammar. I'm going to send you to the best "Learn Spanish Free" sites I've found so far that give you not only text, but audio and/or video in the context of real life scenarios. All of which are free. And if you're interested in learning spanish, the best way to learn spanish is to learn spanish for free.
The number of sites available for you to learn spanish for free is truly amazing. In fact, I often wonder why so much free material to help you learn spanish is available, and who has the time to put all this free stuff together. Bueno, no importa. What is import is identifying some of this free material and sharing it with you.
Let's get started...
This site is composed of amatuer video filmed in several countries, namely Argentina, Ecuador, México, Nicaragua and Spain. What's great about this is someone grabbed a camcorder and hit the streets recording real life conversations as they conduct their day to day business in the streets.
You'll see footage of someone ordering ice cream, talking to cab drivers, buying medicine at a pharmacy, and a whole lot more, this is the real deal. Nothing fake, nothing scripted. They also provide transcripts in both English and Spanish. And the videos are downloadable.
These guys produce very funny videos about whatever. Every single one of them is like a mini Seinfeld epsiode. Cien por ciento en español. And if memory serves me correctly, the videos have captions that display in either English or Spanish, you choose. And the videos are DVD quality, or at least pretty darn close. Great stuff, downloadable in various formats and transcripts are provided. And if you download them, you still get the captions on playback.
The University of Texas
This site delivers video in levels, beginner thru superior. Each level is broken down into categories like 'Count to ten', 'Introduce Yourself' or 'Life without electricity' and even role playing. The list of categories is extensive. This site is impressive. And like the other sites, they supply video and transcripts. The videos are all interviews with native speakers from different countries, talking off the cuff.
Each category has 4-5 vidoes, with the first video being straight-forward; no slang, the Spanish is spoken at a moderate pace, proper enunciation, etc. The remaining videos are of people speaking naturally, whatever that is for them. They provide transcripts, short, simple grammar explanations related to the conversation and vocabulary. Another great site.
Mi Vida Loca
This site is an interactive telenovela. Yes, I said interactive. You have to see it to apreciate it. It's more directed to beginners, but it's interesting just the same. The story takes place it Spain, and I have to say I find it interesting. You actually have some input on the direction the storyline takes. The technology is truly amazing. Mixed in with the story are some explanations of the Spanish used and some grammar as well. Another must see.
I can't say enough about this site. It's another online telenovela.
This course was produced by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. It's not only a telenovela, it's a well thought out curriculum to teach you Spanish through what is essentially an incredibly long movie. The acting is very good, the story line will capture your heart and your interest. There's an outline of what each chapter (there are 52 of them) focuses on.
You can even buy supplementary material such as a textbook (I happen to have it, thanks to a very good friend of mine), work books, a transcript of all 52 episodes, and maybe even more things than what I've already mentioned. Each episode is about 30 minutes, and over the course of all 52, you'll cover the present tense to the subjuntive and I don't even know what else.
Another must see. The episodes are not downloadable though, but if you look hard enough you can find The Destinos on DVD.
Lastly, but by no means least we have...
This site is all audio and text based, but everything is in Spanish. You will not see or hear one single word of English in any audio or transcripts they produce. This site will definitely seperate the men from the boys, so to speak. The topics the audio files cover are many - TV, news, radio, and books just to name a few. If you're ready to test yourself or step up your game, this is the site to do it at.
Well, that should be more than enough to keep you busy. There are a ton of sites where you can learn spanish for free. I find these types of sites all the time (ok, maybe not all the time) and I'll keep you posted as I find more.