Learn Spanish Fast: Watch a Telenovela
Spanish-language Soaps -- a Fun, Plot-driven Learning Tool
Spanish students: Have you had it with verb conjugations, with figuring out whether to use le, la or lo and -- last but not least -- with making sense of that baffling "Mode" your Spanish teacher calls the Subjunctive?
Take some of the stress out of your less than pluperfect life and watch a Spanish-language telenovela. Telenovelas are soap operas; Mexico's telenovelas are considered the best among the millions of viewers worldwide who enjoy this genre. In the United States, the Univision and Telemundo networks offer the most telenovelas, and these networks come with basic cable in many of the U.S. markets.
So sit back, grab the remote and enjoy a telenovela. Be sure to set the subtitles to Spanish so that you can read the action while watching the actors love, fight and stab each other in the back. (I promised this would be more fun than conjugating verbs!).
...Or, Then What Happened?
People love a good story -- A main character with goals and aspirations. Conflict that prevents our hero from getting the girl or the guy. A villain. Business deals gone bad. Telenovelas are a great tool for learning Spanish. Because they are plot-driven, the characters are not overly complicated and much can be figured out by watching a character's body language alone. Each episode ends with a cliffhanger, so you WANT to tune in again same time, same station. What a motivator! Add to that subtitles in Spanish, and you soon learn to get a good feel for conversational Spanish.
Are you a beginning Spanish student? Do not fret. Start out by watching English-language subtitles. Slowly you will find yourself picking up bits and pieces of conversational Spanish.
Telenovelas from Amazon
My all-time favorite telenovela. En Nombre del Amor transcends the genre. Carlota -- one of television's all-time great villains, in any language.
The title of this one is "My Sin." Need I say more?
Love on the high seas and in the Mexican port city of Veracruz, home of "La Bamba."
Mexican singer/actress Lucero stars in this horse opera set in the high plains of Mexico. No cowgirl should be allowed to show so much cleavage.
New Telenovela premiers in the U.S.
Televisa presenta "Hasta El Fin Del Mundo"
August 2014 marks the U.S. debut of the Mexican telenovela "Hasta El Fin Del Mundo." (Until the End of the World.) It is the comedic love story of a voluptuous, blonde gourmet-chocolate artisan and her chauffeur, a race-car driver.
photo credit: Alejandro Linares Garcia, wikimedia commons.
Help! - What does this mean in English?
Once you are hooked on a telenovela, you will want to look up those words you desperately need to know. Here is the best tool I know of to help you do just that.
The gold standard of Spanish/English dictionaries. I keep mine next to my computer. Entries describe in which Spanish-speaking country a word or idiomatic expression is used. Think British English versus American English -- this dictionary will help you keep it straight.l