I just love this so much, it’s so much fun and to me that is by far the most important factor when learning a language: it must be fun! If it’s not fun then you, regardless of how determined you initially were, eventually get bored, lose focus, and give up. And what could be more fun than some goofy comics like Garfield (my favorite) or Calvin and Hobbes or something like that, right? Hmmm, can you find Spanish versions of these comics? You can. Online? Yes. It…costs money, doesn’t it? …..Nope! That’s the best part: online and free, so you’re just all out of excuses now aren’t you? Ok, here’s where to find them:
My favorite site, by far, is GoComics.com. They have 33 major comic strips in Spanish, including some serious heavy hitters such as: Garfield (my favorite!), Calvin and Hobbes (very close second place to Garfield), FoxTrot, Cathy, Heathcliff, Ziggy, and many more.
Additionally, there’s this very cool online comic series that I particularly like because it’s designed for language-learners and clicking the speech bubble gives you the English translation, very nifty.
How to use it
Simple, just read along, look up what you don’t know, note it (on flashcards or in a SRS such as Anki), then reread from start to finish making sure you can understand it all. I also recommend you speak what you’re reading out loud–if you have any questions about how to pronounce something, just go to Forvo where you can hear a native speaker (usually multiple native speakers) pronounce a word for you. I recommend you have SpanishDict and Google Translate pulled up along with Anki, or have your flashcards and a Spanish/English dictionary at hand as you’re reading.
Important (and quick) side note!
If you’re reading this you’re probably learning Spanish and at a beginner or low-intermediate level, and if so I strongly encourage you to check out a course called Rocket Spanish, it’s cheap and specifically designed to teach spoken, Latin American Spanish, quickly. The teachers are all native speakers from Latin America and the Spanish they teach is the everyday kind used in normal conversation by those same native speakers, you learn to speak the way people here (I’m in Colombia at the moment!) actually talk. I’ve tried a lot such courses and this is my recommendation for the moment, check it out. Back to the article…
If you run into anything that you still can’t make sense of using those two tools, try just Googling the term itself (as in, “what does [phrase/word] mean?”), check with Urban Dictionary for any slang, or post a question on the WordReference forums if all else fails. Again: speak. Seriously, once you’ve deciphered the whole sentence and can understand it, read it out loud. I also like to go back and do this with each comic once I’ve deciphered the whole thing and can understand it (whether you want to be this fastidious or not is up to you, but definitely do at least read aloud each sentence). That’s it. I really hope you have fun and learn a ton of Spanish with this, and please let me know what you think in the comments, if you have any questions, or if there’s anything I can help you with.