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The Best Free Online Resources to Learn Spanish Now

It can be hard to digest the fast-moving pace of events lately!  Thankfully there are so many online treasures in the public domain to keep our minds active.  Now, with these links, you can take advantage of the time you spend in your home by absorbing new worlds of knowledge and beauty, at no cost.  People trapped inside during the last pandemic were not so lucky, unfortunately for them…

Diego del Corral y Arellano Ca. 1632. (click to go)

1. El Prado

Topping the list is Spain’s most famous museum of art – El Prado.  Containing many great works of European art from the 12th to early 20th Centuries, including famous pieces by Francisco Goya and Diego Velázquez.  Lovers of classical painting can easily spend hours browsing the well-digitized works.

2. Rock and Roll Quarantine

Juanes and Alejandro Sanz, two of the Spanish world’s biggest rock stars, from Colombia and Spain, respectively, had been touring together when the Covid situation got more serious, and so they decided to give a free concert online.  Titled #LaGiraSeQuedaEnCasa, they gave a surprise live broadcast from Miami on the 15th of May.  You can also use the still-flowing Youtube Chat to learn some informal, internet Spanish.https://www.youtube.com/embed/LlWWT-eKOwU

3. Forvo Pronunciation Dictionary

This is a great resource whenever in your Spanish reading you come across a word and ask, “How on earth would I say this?”  Words like “impermeabilizante,” “desafortunadamente,” or “espantapájaros.”  With Forvo, you can just copy and paste to get the correct pronunciation.  Simple to use and helpful in a pinch.

4. Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía

Also located in Madrid, close to the Prado, El Reina contains notable works by Dali and Picasso, Spain’s most famous 20th Century artists.  The most notable piece in the collection is the haunting cubist masterpiece Guernica by Picasso, an anti-war object of art representing the bombing of a Basque town during the Spanish Civil War.  Don’t miss the dedicated microsite Repensar Guernica (Rethinking Guernica – also available in English).

5. 230 Sayings for Kids from sincopywright.com 

This whole site is a gold mine of spanish language resources, but the list of refranes is particularly useful for learners of spanish.  Bite-sized quotes with memorably rhyming structures like,

A buen amigo buen abrigo.

For example, can be helpful for remembering vocab, not to mention the positive messages they impart (in this case, that a good friend is always willing to lend a hand (“to a good friend, a good raincoat.”)  Simple, fun, and educational!

6. Biblioteca Digital

El manatí, ILCE Biblioteca Digital, one of many great animal stories for kids.

A great resource to improve your reading comprehension, whatever your level, can be found at the online library of the Instituto Latinoamericano de Comunicación Educativa.  They have many great books for kids and an extensive collection for adults, including classic works for advanced students.

7. Museo Nacional de Antropología Mexico

Nice bit from their description:

“…representaciones, expresiones, conocimientos y tradiciones que son patrimonio intangible de la nación y un legado que pertenece a toda la humanidad.”

“…representations, expressions, knowledge, and traditions that are the intangible patrimony of the nation, and a legacy that belongs to all of humanity.”

We should say gracias, Google for including this museum, like the Reina, within their Arts and Culture program.  It’s a great way to visit many museums on earth.  Especially for the visual arts, the digitized museum collections can provide a great substitute for actually visiting the physical location.  And you can do it in your pajamas.

8. Museo de América

For our seventh entry we are staying with the Americas, but returning to Madrid (while never even leaving your house!) for Museum of the Americas, which holds artistic, archaeological and ethnographic treasures from the American continent, ranging from paleolithic times until now.  You can listen to audio guides here and watch a 5-minute video tour here.

9. National Geographic en Español

For intermediate and advanced students, the Nat Geo website offers a great chance to learn new vocab while catching up on worldwide news about efforts to explore and protect our planet.  If you need some ideas about filling up your post-Corona Bucket List than this might be a good place to start.

10. Canticos World

Letting you in on a trade secret here!  A great repository of useful learning videos and downloadable resources, Cantico’s World has been putting much of their material online during the Covid interruption.  Teachers, parents, and students all love their cartoons.  Do you have a favorite character from Cantico’s world?  Well, you will after spending some time on the site…

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