Today I’m going to give you a list of my favorite websites that you can use to help you learn Spanish via watching Spanish-language TV (news, shows, telenovelas, whatever), almost all of which are entirely free. I’ve divided it up alphabetically by country. Here we go…oh, and if any of these links are dead or you know of a site that I left off please leave a comment and let me know, I’ll fix it, I promise–which reminds me, I just want you to know that I actually checked each one of the sites below to make sure that they were working and actually had streaming video available, unlike every other list of Spanish language TV/radio station sites I’ve managed to find online (all of them had links to broken sites, all of them).
Edit (September 4, 2014): Best website for Spanish-learners who want to use Spanish-language TV shows, movies, and cartoons to learn Spanish from:
If this is you, definitely check out both FluentU and Yabla (I used to just recommend Yabla, then FluentU came out of nowhere around mid 2014 and improved quite a bit in the meantime) – these are a fantastic pair of websites and my top recommendations if you’re looking for Spanish-language videos for the purpose of learning Spanish. I emphasize the last part because that’s specifically and solely what these two sites are designed for and they’re the only two on this list (or in existence, that I’m aware of) that are solely intended for that purpose. They’re also the only two on this list that cost money, just so we’re clear (they’re cheap, but not free, no). What they do is take Spanish-language media that was originally produced in Spanish-speaking countries and intended for native speakers (TV shows, movies, news casts, cartoons, documentaries, etc.) and then integrate them into a whole Spanish-learning interface they have that allows you to see word-for-word Spanish subtitles and their English translation at the same time (you can turn either or both off while watching the video) as well as a dictionary, vocabulary learning game, and flashcard system that’s very easy to use and all on the same page as the video you’re watching.
Also, I did a whole extensive review of Yabla here that I recommend you check out if this sounds like something that might interest you, plus you can just go on over to their site and try out the free demo videos. Oh, and they do provide volume discounts for educators and organizations.
First I’ll share some of my favorite Spanish-language YouTube channels with you, then we’ll get to country-specific TV stations.
Español en Episodios – This is one of those series like Destinos or Extr@ that’s formulated to help people learn Spanish, so they speak slowly and clearly and at a level slightly below what adults normally would. They do seem to offer a transcription they’ll email you, but they want a small donation for it.
Malvistos – This is a very popular series of comedy sketches on YouTube made in Spain and intended for adult native speakers. They speak very quickly and use lots of colloquialisms. I enjoy it but it’s definitely difficult to follow, even for me.
MariebelleTV – This is the…vlog(?) of a Mexican girl living in Germany. She talks mainly about German culture, Mexican culture, German culture as it compares to Mexican culture, etc. She tends to speak very clearly and, as Latin Americans are wont to do, noticeably slower than Spaniards (it’s not that Latin Americans speak slowly, it’s that Spaniards tend to speak very quickly).
Japon con Jamón – This is the very popular vlog of a family living in Japan: the husband is Spanish, the wife is Japanese, and they just had a daughter. It’s very interesting and very well produced. They talk mainly about (Spanish and Japanese) culture.
Christian Córom – This is a vlog by a Spaniard, Christian Córom, mainly about his travels around the world and the various aspects of culture he finds interesting. He loves amusement parks and just recently moved to Orlando, Florida. He speaks clearly and surprisingly slowly for a Spaniard.
Inesmellaman – Another vlog by a Spaniard. She’s a bit more random in her choices of topics but hers is one of the oldest Spanish vlogs on YouTube (I think she’s been around for something like 8 or 9 years now). She’s a bit more difficult to understand than Christian above, for example, but it’s still usually just her talking and her accent is pretty clear.
Videópatas – This is another comedy sketch channel like Malvistos. Spanish, very popular, and again they speak quickly and their intended audience is adult native speakers, so you really need to have your listening comprehension skills at a pretty high level to be able to follow along. I think they’re funny.
Canal 5 Tucuman (a little disorganized but there are tons of videos on there you can watch)
Canal 6 TV (good one, lots of videos of recent news events)
Canal 26 (scroll down to “videos destacados”)
CMTV (Music videos, TONS of stuff on here)
Teleruba (click on “Teleruba Live!” in the menu bar at the top)
Costas (look under “videos noticias” in the middle of the page there)
Canal 54 LivTV (click “Ver Señal Online” and it should load up a streaming video player)
Canal CNC (dear god that is the ugliest website I’ve ever seen before in my life!)
Cubavision Internacional (links to video feeds are on the right where it says “en vivo”) Edit: As of 12/17/2011 their site is down, but I’m going to leave this link here because it is their official website and should come back up at some point.
TV Marti (based out of Miami but it’s entirely targeted at a Cuban audience hence its inclusion under the “Cuba” section instead of the “United States” section)
Cubasi – Same story, as of 12/17/2011 they’re down, but who knows when they’ll come back up again.
Yuna Vision Canal 10 (same story, requires VLC)
El Caribe (scroll down and look on the right where it says “Transmisión en vivo”)
CDN (really nice, simple setup, video player works great)
RTV de Vercruz (click on “Televisión en Línea”)
Grupo Fórmula (scroll down to “Noticias en Video”)
SinTesis TV (click on “TV en vivo acqui”)
Multimedios TV (scroll down to “Videos más recientes”)
Bethel Television (look to the right where it says “Señal en vivo” and choose either low or high quality)
JN19 (I hope you like Jesus…)
Wapa TV (not available in the U.S.)
TelemundoPR (scroll down to where it says “videos”)
RTVA (tons of videos right there on the front page)
Popular TV (to get the live feed click “Emisión en Directo” in the menu bar at the top)
Telemadrid (nice clean setup, fast load, recommended)
Congress TV (live feed of Congress, Parliament, and archives – menu is on the left)
Informativos Telecinco (videos are all down the right-hand column of the page)
RTPA (live feed is on the right)
BBC’s Spanish Language TV Section – Just awesome, includes Spanish programs from the BBC with downloadable transcripts (!!) as well as Spanish language news and TV shows, absolutely worth checking out.
DominicanYork (hover over “Videos” in the top toolbar and select a section)
Azteca America (scroll down to the “Video” section)
LATV (tons of videos on here)
MTV Tr3s (Music videos – MTV owns them)
HITN TV (educational programming)
Drama Fever (this was submitted by a commenter, if you’ve got one not on the list please let me know–thanks, Carlos!)
Globovision (click “Señal en vivo” in the menubar at the top)
VTV (click either “Señal en vivo” or “Videos” in the menubar at the top – by the way, this is the official government TV station)
This list was already really long with just sites that had streaming TV (a lot of them also have streaming radio, by the way), I didn’t want to make it any longer or prolong publishing it any more by trying to put together an inevitably equally long list of Spanish-language radio stations’ sites, so I’ve cheated a bit and just put links to other people’s lists of such sites where you can listen to Spanish-language radio below. Again, I can’t vouch for how many of the links on the below listed sites actually work, but most of them should be good-to-go at the very least.
E-Spanyol’s list of 600 Spanish-language radio station sites categorized by country (see why I didn’t want to try to do a list here?)
If you think a complete, structured course may help you…
That is, something designed to take a beginning or intermediate learner from where they are to a more advanced level. I have a few that I recommend below (very short explanation of each) if you’re interested. I receive a commission on the sale of some of these, but not all of them (the stuff on Amazon I make very little on because the commission rate is ~6.5% on books which only cost about $10). The way it works is I determine if I am willing to recommend a particular product first, and then if so, I check to see if they have an affiliate program. This and my book (how to learn Spanish from media like movies, TV shows, music, books, etc.) is how I support this website and how I manage to keep it ad-free: I pitch my book and these products here and there (via links only, no ads). If you do happen to be interested in buying one of them I’d like to ask you to use one of my affiliate links below as it costs you nothing extra (my commission comes out of the merchant’s pocket, not yours) and helps me keep writing (and buying beer, which is just as important).
- Synergy Spanish – Fairly short course (~30 days to complete), all material based on the 138 most commonly spoken Spanish words. For beginners (A1 level, A2 max), incorporates a lot of dialogue that would be immediately useful to a traveler/tourist (ordering, restaurant/hotel/airline/reservation stuff) so if you’re leaving soon and need to make the most of the few weeks you have, this is probably your best bet. Uses audio and video as the principal teaching material with written instructions/dialogue to support it.
- Learning Spanish Like Crazy – A more comprehensive course (30 days per level, there are 3 levels) specifically focused on making the student conversationally fluent in Latin American Spanish (he favors Colombian speakers, an excellent choice in my opinion as they speak a very clear, neutral, grammatically correct Spanish that everyone in Latin America can easily understand). In this case I would say “conversationally fluent” equates to ~B1 level spoken Spanish, that is capable of talking about everyday topics with natives without too much trouble or need of outside references (dictionaries, Google Translate, etc.). It’s intended for beginners, though intermediates could start out at one of the higher levels if they liked.
- Practice Makes Perfect Series – A series of workbooks by McGraw-Hill that teach various aspects of Spanish, written by various authors. They do a good job of teaching what they purport to and, what I really like about them, you can write in them. Some workbooks expect you to do the exercises elsewhere (notepad, whatever) – these don’t. You don’t need anything but the workbook and a pen. The ones I recommend are: Spanish Grammar, Spanish Verb Tenses, Spanish Conversation, and Spanish Pronouns and Prepositions.
- Pimsleur – No link for this one as I think it’s ridiculously overpriced ($181 per level, and there are 4 levels, on Amazon right now). It’s great for learning pronunciation and getting a basic feel for the language but that’s about it. Very slow (that’s a good thing for beginners), audio only. Check the various torrent sites, they all have it (I believe Audible does as well, or at least some of it, if you want to stay legal).
- Benny Lewis’ Language Hacking Spanish book – Very good for beginners, especially those who will be going in-country soon and need some tips/tricks/hacks now. I reviewed the Italian version here (picked Italian because I had no experience with the language, wanted to see what it was like for a beginner). I actually consulted for him (along with a native speaker from Spain) on the Spanish version linked to above and helped him adapt the material from French to Spanish (he wrote the French version first and then adapted it to all the other languages).
Unlike the above list, I can’t vouch for whether or not all the TV stations’ sites listed on the sites below work or not. If you’re looking for TV stations you can watch online in languages besides Spanish, check out:
wwiTV.com – Biggest compilation I’ve seen yet, truly impressive.
Like I said in the introduction, if you’ve got any additional sites that I missed or any of the above links stop working, please let me know in the comments as this page will be continuously updated to keep it current.