Spanish learning shows: 10 Netflix shows to learn Spanish with ‹ GO Blog

10 Netflix shows to learn Spanish with ‹ GO Blog

Ever feel bad about spending too much time binge-watching Netflix? Well, no need to feel guilty anymore because all that watching is for a good cause  – here are the top 10 Netflix shows to learn Spanish with:

1. La Casa de Papel

This suspense-packed show will have you at the edge of your seat (or bed). It follows the story of a man and his eight recruits planning the most daring bank robbery in history. The mission is to break into the Royal Mint of Spain and get away with more than 2 billion euros, but before they manage, they have to deal with the police and a whole bunch of hostages…

Want to know how good it really is? It was meant to be a mini-series, but because of its popularity, Netflix bought it up and more seasons are now being planned.

2. Narcos

The show follows the infamous journey of Pablo Escobar, from his humble origins in rural Colombia to global drug kingpin. It offers an interesting and at times very brutal look into the drug trade in Latin America, the corruption and politics surrounding it, and the way American authorities became involved at the dawn of the so-called ‘war on drugs’.

Seasons 1, 2 & 3 deal with Escobar and the Cali Cartel (that took over from Escobar), while season 4 takes a look at Miguel Felix Gallardo, Mexico’s answer to Escobar.

3. Elite

When three Spanish students from a working class background are awarded scholarships to Spain’s most elite school, drama ensues. The show is full of forbidden romance, clashes and even a murder that brings with it a police investigation.

4. Ingobernable

A Mexican Netflix series that many have compared to House of Cards. It follows the life of a Mexican president and his first lady, trying to use their time in office to promote peace in their country. All does not go as planned and high-suspense, keep-you-on-your-toes drama ensues.

If you enjoy cliff-hangers and unexpected twists, this is a show for you.

5. Paquitas Salas

A show so unexpectedly popular that Netflix bought it after the first season. The show is about a talent agency that is losing clients left, right and center. When their last, most important client terminates the relationship, the main character and her eclectic team are forced to re-invent themselves and go on the search for talented individuals that could save their firm.

If you love your comedy – and want it in Spanish – this show’s for you.

6. Velvet

Set in one of the most prestigious fashion stores in Spain in the 1950s, the show centers on the romance between the heir to the store and one of the seamstresses. If only it were that simple. Jealousy, money and drama rope in family, neighbors and customers, turning this romance into a rather complicated (but highly entertaining) affair.

7. Club de Cuervos

A tongue-in-cheek drama about a football club in Mexico and a sordid inheritance battle that erupts when the owner dies.

Funny and original, this show is a great choice for those of you who want to combine football with comedy (and Spanish-learning, of course).

8. Tiempos de Guerra

From the producers of Velvet, this historical drama takes us back to to war-torn Spanish Morocco in the 1920s. At the time, many upper classes ladies volunteered as nurses there and perhaps predictably, drama, adventures and romance ensues.

9. La Reina del Flow

A Colombian 82-episode thriller that’s all about the life of a wrongly imprisoned song writer. When she is finally released after 17 years, she sets out to bring down those responsible for her time in prison and for the murder of her family. At the same time, the main character must battle with the fact that her former lover stole her notebook full of songs that he then used to make himself rich.

10. 3%

OK, OK, so this show is actually in Portuguese, but it’s possible to switch the language to Spanish, so it sort of counts, right? Set in the distant future in a reality in which society is split between an affluent colony and impoverished mainland Brazil. Each year, all 20-year olds are subjected to a test that determines their entire future. Pass, and you get to join the colony. Fail, and you remain in poverty. With only 3% of applicants succeeding, competition is tough and survival uncertain.

Just go ahead and cancel your weekend plans (it’s that addictive). And just thank us later.

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The 14 best TV shows to learn Spanish on Netflix (and Amazon Prime)

Have you ever thought about learning Spanish by watching Spanish TV shows?

Instead of sitting in a classroom memorising irregular verbs, you could be learning Spanish by sitting on the couch in your pyjamas munching popcorn.

But if it was really that easy, wouldn’t everyone be speaking Spanish by now?

And come to think of it, wouldn’t you have already done it?

Watching Spanish TV shows is a fab way to learn, but there are some pitfalls to watch out for. And you need strategies to make sure that you learn as much Spanish as possible while you watch.

In this blog post, you’ll find recommendations for the 14 best Spanish TV shows on Netflix and Amazon Prime right now. But we won’t leave you hanging there!

You’ll also find advice on how to make the most out of these Spanish TV shows, including:

– How to choose the right series so you’ll get addicted to Spanish TV – and to learning Spanish!
– What to do when you don’t understand (a common problem that’s easy to solve when you know how)
– More than chilling: study activities to boost your learning with Spanish TV shows.

Here to help us out with the recommendations is my friend Fabricio, a polyglot who creates Spanish courses and is currently living in Barcelona.

Over to you Fabricio!

The best Spanish TV shows to learn Spanish

A lot of people still believe that you can only learn a language in the country where it is spoken. It can certainly help, but you have to ask yourself: “why is that?”.

The main advantage of being in another country is the immersion. Listening to people speak Spanish all the time helps your ears get used to the sounds, words and expressions of the language. Since you may not have the chance to live in a Spanish speaking country, you need to create this immersion environment right where you are, and that’s exactly how TV series can help.

Of course, you won’t be fluent after one episode of Las chicas del cable. Learning any language takes time and effort, and it helps to combine watching Spanish TV shows with your Spanish studies.

But by watching Spanish TV shows, you’ll be constantly improving your listening skills. And if you use the subtitles in Spanish, you’ll also improve your reading and pick up vocabulary more easily. It’ll even improve your speaking as you’ll get used to hearing common phrases over and over, and they’ll come to you more easily when you need them in conversation.

Best of all, you’ll be learning and having fun at the same time, genial!

How can I learn Spanish by watching TV shows?

At this point, you might be thinking: sounds great, but I’ve already tried listening to Spanish TV shows and I understood nada.

And even if you do understand bits and pieces, watching TV in a foreign language can feel overwhelming. Where should you start? How do you know if you’re learning?

Keep reading after our list of the best Spanish TV shows and you’ll find a step-by-step guide with advice on:

1. How to choose the right Spanish TV shows for your level.
2. Ayuda! What to do when you just don’t understand.
3. Activities to get the most out of learning with Spanish TV shows.

But first, let’s get to the best 14 Spanish TV shows on Netflix or Amazon Prime to help you learn Spanish.

The 14 best Spanish TV shows on Netflix and Amazon prime

Spanish TV show 1: La Casa de Papel

Let’s start with the big guys. “La Casa de Papel” was originally aired on a regular Spanish TV channel. Later, it was acquired, edited and re-aired by Netflix, only to become one of the most watched foreign language series of the whole service.

It tells the story of a group of robbers who broke into the Royal Mint of Spain, taking hostages as part of their plan to print and escape with more than 2 billion euros.

Netflix has all three seasons on their catalogue, and the fans are eagerly waiting for the fourth season.

Spanish TV show 2: Narcos

Another huge Netflix production, set and filmed in Colombia, it tells the story of Pablo Escobar, one of the most famous drug lords of all time, who became a billionaire through the production and distribution of cocaine. The series also focuses on the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents who were sent to Colombia to fight the drug cartel. Several different Latin-American accents can be heard, since the actors come from different countries.

Spanish TV show 3: Las Chicas del Cable

A drama series set in 1928 in Madrid, “Las Chicas del Cable” tells the daily adventures of four young women who work for a modern telecommunications company.

Where: Netflix

Spanish TV show 4: Elite

This Spanish series tells the story of three working class friends who, after the collapse of their previous school, are given scholarships the most exclusive private school in Spain, where the elite send their kids to study.

But it’s not your typical high school drama – in the opening scene, the first character is covered in blood, and no one knows why. Watch the whole series to find out what happened.

Where: Netflix

Spanish TV show 5: El Chapo

Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán was one of the most powerful drug lords in the world. The series goes over his beginnings in 1985, when he was a low-level member of the Guadalajara Cartel, his rise to power as head of the Sinaloa Cartel, and his downfall. A good follow up if you’ve already finished “Narcos”.

Spanish TV show 6: Isabel

“Isabel” is a Spanish historical fiction television series, originally produced by and broadcast on a Spanish TV channel. The series is based upon the reign of Queen Isabella I of Castile, through her childhood, wedding, and arrival to the Crown, and even the beginning of Christopher Columbus’ journey to America.

Where: All three seasons are currently available on Amazon Prime (and you can watch a full episode here!)

Spanish TV show 7: Gran Hotel

The series, available on Netflix, was filmed at the Palacio de la Magdalena in Santander and takes place in 1906–1907 in Spain, during the reign of King Alfonso XIII. A working-class boy arrives at the luxurious Grand Hotel to visit his sister Cristina, who works there as a maid. He is told by a waiter that Cristina was fired for theft a month before, a story he does not believe. He is convinced something happened to her at the hotel and there was a cover-up. He takes a job there as a waiter to investigate his sister’s disappearance.

Spanish TV show 8: Vis a vis

Last but not least, “Vis a vis” was also originally aired on Spanish TV, and it tells the story of a young woman who goes to prison because of crimes she committed because of her boss, with whom she fell in love. If you like “Orange is the New Black” this may be a good follow up.

Where: Amazon Prime and Netflix.

5 of Katie’s favourite Spanish TV shows

Note from Katie: I’m currently learning Spanish and watching a lot of Spanish TV shows, so I thought I’d add a few of my favourites too!

Spanish TV show 9: Club de Cuervos

This Mexican comedy series tells the story of feuding siblings Chava and Isabel Iglesias after they inherit their late father’s football team.

I’m not a fan of football but I love this series – the characters and storylines are developed with a playful humour that has me giggling all the way through.

And with all the gueys, netas and pinches, it’s perfect for learning Mexican slang.

Where: Netflix

Spanish TV show 10: Paquita Salas

Another one of my favourite Spanish shows on Netflix is the comedy Paquita Salas. A washed-up agent to the stars, Paquita was big news in the 90s but is now struggling to keep her agency afloat.

The straight-faced humour reminds me a lot of The Office, and the actors are fantástico.

Spanish TV show 11: Made in Mexico

Ahem… I also happen to quite like watching reality TV, especially if it’s in a foreign language because it’s guilt free – I can be a couch potato and learn a language at the same time!

It’s also the best way I know to train yourself to understand native Spanish speakers, as the conversations are more natural compared to scripted Spanish TV shows.

Made in Mexico is about as glossy as they come, and very addictive.

Where: Netflix

Spanish TV show 12: High seas

Secrets, murders, fires…

In this glamorous Spanish series set in the 1940s, two sisters are stuck at sea and strange things start to happen.

Where: Netflix

Spanish TV show 13: House of flowers

What happens when you find the body of your fathers’ ex-lover at your parents’ anniversary party?

This gloriously over-dramatic series explores the secrets of a family-run flower shop. A bit like a telenovela, but with a really smart, dark humour.

Where: Netflix

Spanish TV show 14: 45 rpm

I just started watching this series yesterday and I’m already hooked. Set in Madrid, it follows music producer Guillermo Rojas as he tries to launch a sub-record label. Amongst a backdrop of rock music and booze, the series also deals with challenges of the changing times, like Rojas’ assistant’s struggle to be taken seriously as a woman in the workplace in 1960s Spain.

Where: Netflix

How to learn Spanish by watching TV shows

So now you’ve got some great Spanish TV shows to choose from. You can watch them as a beginner, but since they’re aimed at native speakers, you’ll probably enjoy them more if you’re already at an intermediate level or above as you’ll be able to understand more of what’s being said and pick up new words without too much effort.

That said, it is possible to enjoy Spanish TV at lower levels too, you just need a slightly different approach. In this section, you’ll learn how to improve your Spanish by watching Spanish TV shows at any level.

You’ll also learn:
– How to choose the right series to get you hooked on Spanish TV shows (and consequently learning Spanish!)
– Study strategies to make sure you’re learning lots of Spanish while you watch.

Which series should I choose?

The most important thing is to choose a show you really like. It’s pointless choosing a drama/thriller like “The Walking Dead” if you don’t like this genre. You’ll get bored and drop it in no time.

Try to think about the kind of series you get hooked on in your native language and look for something similar.

– Into gangster films? Narcos might be your thing.
– Reality TV junkie? Go for Made in Mexico.
– Fan of Orange is the new black? Vis a vis could hit the spot.

How can I choose the right show for my level?

Some shows might not be the best option depending on your level. Giving a popular show in English as an example, I was a huge fan of “Game of Thrones”, but when it comes to using it as a study tool, it’s a pretty complicated series, especially for beginners. Being an epic story, some “older” vocabulary is often used: words like “jester” and “dagger”, which are practically useless at this stage; and the fact that each episode lasts about 1 hour makes it difficult to follow.

The best way to find out whether a Spanish TV show is suitable is by putting yourself to the test! Choose a show and play an episode with the Spanish subtitles on. Yes, both audio and subtitles in Spanish! Watch the episode for a few minutes.

If… could follow the Spanish TV show

Great! From now on you will only watch this and other series with the Spanish subtitles on, listening and reading at the same time. This will help you memorize and see the usage of words you already know and, especially, it will help you understand what’s being said by getting your ears used to these sounds while you read the words. If you find words or phrases you don’t know, you can pause the episode and write them down or add them into a flashcard app such as Anki. Over time this will become more and more natural and, when you feel comfortable enough, you may even abandon the Spanish subtitles.

…it was too hard to follow

No hay problema! If you found it very difficult to follow the series with the subtitles in Spanish, you still have some options. In the next section, we’ll look at activities that you can try when you don’t understand.

Ayuda! What if I don’t understand the Spanish TV show?

1. Try the Language Learning with Netflix app

If you struggle to keep up either because:

– There are too many words you don’t know
– They speak too fast

…there’s an amazing Chrome extension that will help. It’s called Language Learning with Netflix and has interactive subtitles that you can click on to get the definition in your native language. It also pauses automatically after every line to help you keep up. If you only do one thing after reading this blog post, give it a try – it could transform your Spanish!

Language Learning with Netflix makes it a lot easier to watch TV in Spanish because there are interactive subtitles. Just click on a word you don’t know and the definition will pop up!

2. Use the Spanish TV show as as a study resource

If the series is too hard to follow when you watch it like a TV show, no hay problema!

As long as you have subtitles (most of the Netflix series do), there are plenty of study techniques you can use with the TV show to keep learning Spanish. Read this post for a list of ideas:

5 smart ways to learn a language by watching TV and films

OK, so you may not get to kick back and relax with this one, but it’s still a lot more fun than sitting in a classroom memorising lists of words for stationary.

2. Start with a learner series

One of the reasons Spanish TV series can be tricky to follow is that they’re designed for native speakers – that’s people who’ve spent their whole lives (at least 105120 hours for an 18 year old) listening to Spanish. No wonder they’re tricky for learners!

If Spanish TV shows aimed at native speakers go straight over your head, try a series aimed at learners.

Spanish Extra is a great place to start.

3. Watch the Spanish TV show with subtitles in English

Another option is to try using subtitles in your native language, just to get your ears more used to the new sounds.

One of the dangers with this technique is that you focus too much on reading the subtitles in your language, and you don’t benefit much from the Spanish audio.

One thing you can do to get around this is to pay as much attention to the audio as you can. You’ll notice that many words and expressions are repeated quite often by the actors.

When this happens and you don’t know them, write them down in your study notebook or add them into a flashcards app such as Anki. If you can’t identify the words by ear, write down what’s written in the English subtitles and use a dictionary to translate it or just google it. Alternatively, you can flip to the Spanish subtitles to see the expression written down.

In the meantime, keep studying Spanish, learning more vocabulary and over time you’ll notice that you understand more of the sentences without even reading the subtitles anymore. At this point, take the test above again to check if you can already move onto the Spanish subtitles phase.

More than chilling: activities to boost your learning with Spanish TV shows

Sometimes, when you’re watching Spanish TV shows, it feels mágico. You’re sitting there in your sweatpants eating ice-cream and learning Spanish at the same time. It’s a win.

But then a niggling doubt creeps in… is this enough? Shouldn’t I be doing more to learn Spanish? While watching Spanish TV can do a lot for your listening and speaking, there are more focused activities you can do to accelerate your learning.

The best bit – they still involve watching TV!

Check out the post below for some handy study strategies you can use to learn Spanish by watching Spanish TV shows.

Read this article for 5 smart ways to learn Spanish by watching films and TV.

Over to you

While we were writing this post, we asked the joy of languages community for their recommendations, and we got even more suggestions for the best Spanish TV shows. Click on the links below (comments box for Facebook) to see what people said.

Do you ever watch Spanish TV? Got any good recommendations?

— Katie Harris (@Joyoflanguages) May 21, 2019

Have you tried watching Spanish TV shows to learn Spanish before? Did you find it useful? Have you got any other good ones to add to the list?

You might like these too…

– 5 Smart ways to learn a language by watching films and TV.
– Become fluent in Spanish in 1 year without leaving the house: A step-by-step guide.
– Improve your listening in a foreign language, the ultimate guide.
– Still can’t understand spoken Spanish? Learn how with Juan from Easy Spanish.

Top 5 YouTube Channels to Help You Learn Spanish Fast

In today’s fast changing world, it is easier to use information technology to better understand a foreign language. In fact, various apps and communication channels can help you learn any language effortlessly. And you can do it anywhere, anytime.

Did you know that Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world? Want to learn how to speak Spanish like a local? So how much time do you spend online? If you’re going to use most of that time watching educational video content, this is the best solution. YouTube is one of the resources that allows you to make the dream of learning foreign languages ​​a reality. This user-friendly site provides quick access to thousands of original videos on topics such as grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation and even culture.

Here’s why YouTube is one of the best ways to learn Spanish:

  • You may have already taken structured lessons and reviewed books recommended by a tutor. In any case, it is always a good idea to add new sources of information to your curriculum.
  • Watching YouTube videos provides an opportunity to find and communicate with other students who have the same level of foreign language proficiency.
  • Many videos allow you to track the movements of the lips and facial expressions of native speakers.
  • You can watch and rewind videos to the desired moments.

Despite the fact that there are thousands of Spanish video lessons on the site, their quality varies greatly. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the top 5 YouTube channels to help you learn Spanish quickly. We hope that you will easily achieve your goals. No more excuses for not studying! Let’s get to the list!

The channel of Mexican Daniela Bos will be an excellent source of new words for upper intermediate and advanced students. Daniela seems to make videos on almost every topic.

On this YouTube channel you can find many funny sketches and moments of everyday life, as well as interesting facts about current events. Daniela’s style is light and simple. Thanks to its distinct pronunciation, you will not only learn about new topics, but also expand your vocabulary.

In fact, this is one of the most popular channels on YouTube. With over 33 million subscribers, the Hola Soy German channel surpasses even Rihanna, Ellen and Taylor Swift in popularity. Thus, despite the fact that the teacher’s speech is quite fast, this channel deserves a place on the list.

But don’t worry! Even if you are a beginner, you can still enjoy funny videos and learn Spanish by listening to jokes. If you are already an advanced student who understands what Hola Soy German is talking about, you can start improving your language skills.

The main goal of SpanishPod101 is to teach you how to speak, hear, read and write in Spanish. The channel consists of video tutorials that provide educational information that reveals all aspects of the Spanish language, culture and life.

The length of the video is between 2 and 4 minutes. The video also comes with subtitles in Spanish and English. Thanks to this, watching the SpanishPod101 channel will be useful for both beginners and advanced students. In addition, the icing on the cake are the videos dedicated to the Mexican dialect of Spanish.

This channel was created by Ana, a young woman who provides students all over the world with the advice and guidance they need to start communicating confidently in Spanish. Her video tutorials are structured yet entertaining. In addition, the content often takes the form of a list (for example, “13 funny and not funny Spanish phrases using body parts”).

Lessons typically last 10-45 minutes and are useful for Spanish learners of all levels. Thanks to this channel, you can learn the basics of Spanish grammar, expand your vocabulary and improve your pronunciation. So, if you want to learn how to talk about food, congratulate a friend, or agree with someone in Spanish, be sure to check out Ana’s channel.

Looking for an exciting channel for kids to learn Spanish? Spanish Playground is exactly what you need. There are not many videos on this channel (about 15), but each one is made with great attention to detail. The channel’s owner, Jorge, is a fun-loving teacher who uses props ranging from socks to fruits to teach.

Parents can watch videos with their children as it’s great fun, regardless of age. All videos are subtitled, and Jorge’s accent is easy to hear. As such, his channel is a fun and easy way for kids to learn Spanish.

Undoubtedly, YouTube can be an entertaining and interesting way to learn foreign languages. Do you have any favorite YouTuber channels to help you learn Spanish? Feel free to share them in the comments below.

Useful articles:
How to learn Spanish
Best resources for learning Spanish

Spanish in 16 hours

Intensive course “Polyglot. Spanish in 16 hours!” is a special project of the Kultura TV channel, in which participants in an intellectual reality show, together with the audience, are invited to master communication skills in Spanish over 16 lessons.

Dmitry Petrov, a polyglot and the author of his own methodology, acts as a teacher.

There are 8 people in the group, members of the Spanish Polyglot: Anna Aglatova – opera singer; Ekaterina Mechetina – pianist; Oleg Dolin – actor; Miriam Sehon – actress; Gregory Svitel – actor; Alexander Samoilenko – actor; Polina Solovieva – journalist; Lyubov Tolkalina – actress.