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Learn Spanish: Best Free Resources

In this article, we are going to explore the best free resources for learning - or better yet, acquiring the Spanish language. This will be a collection of all of the best materials that I have found over the past three years studying Spanish.

I'm going to share (music) playlists, free Spanish stories, YouTube channels for all levels, Apps, Language exchange platforms, and a game you can play in Spanish to acquire through immersion!

¿Estás listo/a? (Are you ready?)

Empecemos (Let’s start)

A cartoon woman celebrating with big title that says "best free Spanish resources"

Free Spanish Stories

I’m going to be honest, during the beginner stages (A1-A2) we as language learners can’t really expect to consume truly enjoyable content. It sucks, I know!

It reminds me of the Elon Musk quote “Starting a business is like eating glass and staring off into the abyss”. That quote is super applicable to what we are trying to do.

We have to eat glass daily, and try and make it fun (although it’s not) until we reach the B1-B2 level.

That’s what these stories are for, to try and connect with the language through comprehensible input, even if it doesn’t feel intellectually stimulating.

These are the websites that I recommend most if you want to start reading free Spanish stories online.

The Spanish Experiment is an extension of the website The Fable Cottage and contains 5 stories that you can access for free. These stories include:

  • Little Red Riding Hood

  • Goldilocks And The Three Bears

  • Three Little Pigs

  • The Bird & The Whale

  • Chicken Little

I am currently using these stories to learn French, and as I said, it’s not super fun, but it’s a way to see a couple hundred words quickly. Check it out and see how it works for you!

Amount Of Content For Free: 5 Stories

Price For All Content: $19.95 Per / 3 Months

Snappy Spanish is a website that offers 16 free original stories that are spread across 5 levels including stories for:

  • Beginner

  • Elementary

  • Intermediate

  • Upper-Intermediate

  • Advanced

In my opinion, this is the best website mentioned on this list due to the amount of content they give for free, and that the stories I have read are generally as interesting as they can be.

Amount Of Content For Free: 16 Stories

Price For All Content: Free

We have new stories coming out all the time on this website too! I don't know how many we have here when you're reading this, because I put out new stories all the time!

Here on Acquire The Language I am always uploading new content to make sure that you can come around and acquire vocabulary for free!

Amount Of Content For Free: Always New Stories

Price For All Content: Free

Free Apps To Acquire Spanish Efficiently

There is a lot of noise in the language-learning community about apps. Personally, I keep my “language learning app use” to a minimum.

The reason why is that many apps (like Duolingo) teach useless garbage, and they’re based on a “one size fits all curriculum” - meaning it slows many of us down. The apps in this list are the ones that I do use occasionally, and I truly believe embody my values of acquisition over learning.

First, we’ll go over explicit learning apps - apps that make you write in Spanish, answer questions, etc. Then we’ll look at my favorite Video/Podcast apps for learning languages.

Afterward, I’ll show you the best language exchange apps that you can use to practice Spanish, and see how people really text, and talk.

cartoon woman on her phone with big title that says "Best Free Spanish Apps"

Explicit Learning Apps

As passive as acquiring a language sounds, explicit learning is still needed to achieve our goals! Explicit learning just means that you’re required to pay attention and interact with the learning materials. This list includes the three apps that I use occasionally.

ClozeMaster - Best For Learning Sentences

ClozeMaster is a super simple app, but don’t be fooled! It’ll teach you 5X quicker than any Duolingo lesson.

This app shows you sentences that are missing a word, and it asks you to fill in the blank using the four multiple-choice options provided.

The best part about ClozeMaster is that it shows us super useful sentences like “Where were you yesterday?” rather than Duo junk like “The rhinoceros is drinking juice” (as seen below).

Screen shot of Duolingo giving a weird sentence

How I Implement This Into My Studies:

I count this time using this app as Flashcard use - and while I go through them, I screenshot the best sentences and write them down later.

Falao - Best For Short Lessons

Falao has a ton of benefits but like most apps, it’s going to annoy you often about paying for the premium version. However, what makes Falao different is its Chatbot, and lesson structure.

I would say this is probably Duolingos best competitor and although I don’t use it often, I recommend it to anyone who wants a “Duolingo-type app”.

Collage of screenshots to show how the falao app works

Drops - Best For Miscellaneous Nouns

Drops is a wonderful app for learning nouns in a more enjoyable way with its bright, colorful, and minimalistic design - it’s like flashcards on steroids.

I love this app, but I don’t personally use it until I reach B1 in a language because up until that point, I don’t really care about fruit names, or how to say “Fork, spoon, bowl, etc”.

But for general vocab - I recommend this app 100%!

Collage of screenshots to show how the drops app works

Podcast/Video Content Apps

Getting listening practice is extremely important, after all, it’s one of four skills we need to build to be truly fluent in a language (reading, writing, speaking, listening).

These are apps that I use to get comprehensible input in the beginner stages of learning a language.

Duocards - Best For Video Content With Transcriptions

Duocards has a ton of video content that you can choose from, such as the Easy Spanish series - which is like a sitcom made for beginner Spanish learners.

It also has an awesome flashcard system you can take advantage of - with a Google Chrome browser extension that lets you take words you find on your computer and put them into flashcards!

Collage of screenshots to show how the duocards app works

It has content for all levels of Spanish and all of the videos have transcriptions that you can read along with while you watch the videos!

Language Transfer - Best For Acquiring While You Drive/Clean/Etc

Language Transfer is the perfect app to use when you are cooking, cleaning, driving, or exercising.

This app contains 90 Spanish lessons that are literally just audio clips of private lessons with students that have been edited to be super info-packed and helpful.

Screenshot of the Language Transfer Apps website

The greatest part about this app is that there are no ads or subscriptions, and you can download the content and listen while offline.

This app is not well known, but it’s a must-have! With 90 private lessons, at 20 bucks a lesson - this information would cost us $1,800 - but we get it for FREE!

Language Exchange Apps

Whenever you reach an A2-B1 level, it’s definitely time to start looking for a language exchange app. The two best on the market currently (for free) are HelloTalk and Tandem.

However, as a bonus, I added Chat-GPT to this list, because recently I have been using it as a language partner and a source of invaluable information while studying French.

Let’s dive deeper and see how each of these options works!

HelloTalk - Twitter/IG Combo Meets Language Learning

I always explain HelloTalk the same way and it goes like this: HelloTalk is like if Twitter and Instagram were merged into one app, and all of the users were actively learning a language.

Basically, it’s a language learner's paradise!

On HelloTalk we can explore language partners, make friends, or just look at people's posts where many of them speak in our target language and show photos of where they live

You can also join live chatrooms where many people get together to talk about (and in) different languages!

Collage of screenshots to show how the HelloTalk app works

Tandem - Tinder Meets Language Learning

Tandem in my opinion is like the Tinder of language exchange apps. I personally don’t have much love for this app, but I have spoken with many people who prefer it over HelloTalk.

Basically, you just look through profiles and message people.

Collage of screenshots to show how the Tandem app works

I think the reason why Tandem feels like Tinder to me is because it’s more 1 to 1 intimacy, whereas HelloTalk is like a big community of people sharing their thoughts and questions, and getting help from many people.

Chat-GPT - Ask For Expressions, Grammar Explanations, & Vocab Lists

Chat GPT has taken the world by storm lately and for good reason. This website can do more than most humans and certainly in a much shorter amount of time.

I use Chat GPT while studying to get explanations on conjugations and get recommended expressions, phrases, and words to use.

Screenshot of me using Chat GPT to study a language

I also sometimes ask the Chatbot to have a conversation with me and correct my mistakes.

Chat GPT is not as useful as using the language with native speakers, however, sometimes native speakers feel bad correcting you, so in that way, GPT has its benefits.

Free Comprehensible Input On YouTube

Tons of comprehensible input channels can be found on YouTube. These channels are completely designed for learners of Spanish - and yet they only speak in Spanish.

I broke these up into Latino-American YouTubers and Spanish YouTubers.

If you still don’t know whether you want to learn Latin American Spanish or Castilian - check out this article I did to help you figure out what’s best for you!

cartoon man making a youtube video and a big title that says "Best Spanish YouTubers To Watch"

Latino American YouTubers

These are the two best Latino-American Spanish YouTubers that I have found that make 100% of their videos in Spanish. My personal favorite of the two is Español Con María!

María is a young woman from Colombia who makes comprehensible input videos talking about grammar, vocabulary, expressions, and common mistakes made by learners.

Lately, she has also made some more vlog-like content which, as you can imagine, is super advantageous for us as learners! María does what we’re looking for best, she makes content that we can enjoy - that helps us acquire her language (Spanish) at the same time.

Fabulaudit is a wonderful channel for somebody who is just starting out in their Spanish learning journey. Fabulaudit uses a teaching method called TPRS to teach us sentence structure, and vocabulary. With the way he teaches, his content is best suited for A1/A2 levels.

Spanish YouTubers

These channels are perfect for you if you are trying to learn the Spanish of Spain (Castilian). My favorite of the two is Dreaming Spanish, but Spanish With Vicente is an equally incredible source of comprehensible input!

Dreaming Spanish is one of those channels that just captivates you and makes you binge-watch content in Spanish. This channel has everything from basic TPRS videos to history lessons, interviews, and vlogs - all 100% in Spanish!

Due to the diversity of the content on this channel, I would recommend it for literally any learner from the A1 to the B2 level.

Vicente is an incredible teacher and he does a great job at keeping the classes interesting and helpful. Like Dreaming Spanish, Vicente takes a super interesting and fun approach to language learning.

He does vlogs, videos talking about life/commonalities in Spain, and of course, lessons on vocab, grammar, expressions, and common mistakes.

Listen To Music + Read Lyrics On Google

Another free and super powerful technique is learning Spanish through music. While there are apps out there to help make this seamless for you, the free ones suck. Personally I still to this day use Google and YouTube, and it works perfectly for me.

All you need to do is:

  1. Find a song with enough views (1M+)

  2. Go to Google and search for the song title + lyrics

  3. At the bottom of the lyrics, click the Translate button

  4. Then, follow my RRSL method, or make up your own

For every genre I mentioned below, there’s a playlist that I made for you, in case you don’t already have music that you like - or you want to expand your horizons.

picture of a music note with a huge title that says "How To Learn A Language With Music"

Reggaeton - Best For Colloquialisms

I think Reggaeton is a super useful genre to listen to to find slang words and phrases. Reggaeton, being mostly Caribbean dialect-speaking artists - really helps to learn the Puerto Rican, Dominican, & Cuban dialects.

Classics - Best For Pronunciation & Poetic Vocabulary

The classics are generally slow, poetic, and melodious. I personally use this type of music as a beginner to understand better the standard pronunciation of words and to connect with the language. It’s a lot easier to follow along with the lyrics to songs like these than it is with Reggaeton.

Pop - Best For Memorization

Pop music definitely helps most with memorization due to the repetitive choruses, and predictable lyrics. Usually pop doesn’t contain really any “big words” so it makes it extremely beginner friendly!

Real Games That You Can Play In Spanish

2 years ago I was searching for games that I could play to learn Spanish, and these websites were telling me “Duolingo” and “Drops” and I thought “That ain’t no game!” 🤣

So I went searching on my own and found 3 games that help me get immersed in my target language, and learn topic-specific vocabulary.

My Favorite - Sims Buildit

Sims Buildit is a game where you are given an open piece of land next to a road, and you have to begin to construct a city starting from scratch.

Screenshot of how it looks to play sims buildit in spanish to learn spanish through immersion

You’ll learn words about construction, energy-generating plants, factories, homes, roads, etc. The best part is that it’s 100% immersive and in Spanish.

I recommend that if you don't have a B2 level or higher in Spanish, you keep your computer nearby to translate things you don’t understand.

Screenshot of how it looks to play sims buildit in spanish to learn spanish through immersion

Conclusion: Best Free Resources To Learn Spanish

In this article, we discussed all of the best free resources to learn Spanish including:

  • Website For Spanish Stories (The Spanish Experiment/Snappy Spanish)

  • Free Apps To Learn Spanish (ClozeMaster/Falao/Drops)

  • Podcast/Video Content Apps (Duocards/Language Transfer)

  • Language Exchange Apps (HelloTalk/Tandem/Chat GPT)

  • YouTubers To Get Comprehensible Input (Español Con María/Fabulaudit/Dreaming Spanish/Spanish With Vicente)

  • Music Genres To Learn From (Reggaeton/Classics/Pop)

  • My Favorite Spanish Immersion Game (Sims Buildit)

If you have any suggestions for something that should be added to this list, leave a comment below so that we as a community can help out the future Spanish learners more!

If you are interested in checking out the exact methods that I follow to get fluent in languages, check out this article I did on the 13 Language Learning Methods I Use.

Have a wonderful day/evening/night!

- Ben


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