It’s been a while since I started my Spanish learning journey. In its early days, I remember myself sitting comfortably on a couch every evening and going through the first chapters of the Spanish course on Duolingo.
At the beginning it was great. I was just checking boxes and playing the words puzzle and was being fed with instant dopamine hits after completing each step.
However, after 2 or 3 weeks of doing so I realized that it’s not the ideal way of learning spanish.
Sure, I was able to write very basic stuff like “Mi nombre es…” or “De donde eres?” but I felt something was missing in my spanish learning journey.
I quickly realized that duolingo, despite it being a great app for beginners, won’t get me far on that journey.
I needed to step up my game with listening comprehension. Like, since I was about to visit some spanish speaking countries like Colombia or Spain, then being able to just write and read won’t help me to have a real conversation in spanish, right?
I wasn’t ready to take Spanish online classes at that time, so I turned towards free resources such as Youtube and podcasts. If you search for the best podcasts to learn Spanish, google will spit you a ton of opportunities to choose from.
However, not all of them are great for starters. It took me a while to try most of them out there and to sort them by levels. You may ask why not Youtube where I can also see what’s going on? Let me explain…
Podcasts have great advantages over YouTube, such as:
- You can listen to them while driving a car
- or doing your dishes
- or walking your dog
- I can go all day long with this list 🙂
You get the idea. You can do your things, without cutting extra time out of your busy schedule and listen to podcasts anytime, anywhere.
Before I start with the list of podcasts, I want to share with you very important tips so that your excitement doesn’t cool down quickly:
- Don’t worry if you don’t understand much
It’s completely normal when you start learning a new language. You won’t understand much. Just go with the flow and listen, try to catch a word or two and over time you’ll start understanding what it is about from the context alone.
- Don’t make too much notes
Trust me. Don’t force yourself to take notes while listening (unless you really love it), otherwise you’ll hate podcasts quickly and this cool way of learning spanish will go to hell.
Your brain will absorb the most common and important words first and as you progress, you’ll be able to catch more details.
Go with the flow and enjoy the podcast 🙂
- Use earphones
To get the most out of the podcasts and catch the detail of the pronunciation, then earphones is a must.
Unless you’re driving a car.
Ok, final words before we jump into the list. Despite the title says it’s a list of podcasts for beginners, I’ve highlighted which ones are for absolute beginners that barely know any words in Spanish and for beginners who have been learning Spanish for a couple of weeks now.
Below I present you my top list of podcasts to learn Spanish for beginners
1. Coffee Break Spanish (Season 1)
It is one of the first podcasts that usually pops out after searching for podcasts in google. No wonder, they have been around since 2008 and still producing useful content today. Pretty impressive consistency of work.
Coffee Break Spanish is a great place to start for absolute beginners as the course is hosted by a person that speaks English and Spanish. The host is not alone, as most of the time he has a guest that acts as a student (you) and responds to hosts’ questions and helps to create a conversation.
What I really like about Coffee Break Spanish:
- Very clear pronunciation
- Discussing and repeating each news phrase
- Bilingual host [es] [eng]
- 100+ episodes
I have included links to the first episode so you don’t have to scroll thru 🙂
🇪🇸 Test Your Spanish Knowledge 🇪🇸
One more thing, don’t be surprised by the first 30 seconds of each recording. It sounds like a guy sitting on a train with a little background noise, telling you what you are about to learn in the upcoming recording. After ~30s he fades away and 2 people speaking in a studio will appear accompanied by high-quality sound.
2. Light Speed Spanish
Languages: Spanish 🇪🇸 & English 🇬🇧
Recommended for: Absolute Beginners & Beginners
Available on: Website
This podcast is hosted by a lovely couple – Gordon and Cynthia. He’s from the UK and she’s from Spain and both form a perfect partnership to teach spanish via podcasting. They started teaching spanish in 1998 which is even more impressive.
All podcasts are simply soundtracks separated from their youtube videos, and as far I know the only form to discover them all in one place is their website, which I’ll link below.
What I really like about Light Speed Spanish:
- Gordon has a perfect voice as a host
- 200+ Free recordings
- Very natural conversations with jokes in between (they are a couple after all)
Important! Scroll down to the end of the article to see the play button to listen to it in your browser, or hit download as seen above.
3. Duolingo Spanish Podcast
It is a surprise to many that Duolingo offers more than just an app. Their podcast started in late 2017 and the project continues to this day, with approximately 3 new recordings per month.
Duolingo offers more than 60 recordings in their library completely for free, available on many platforms. Similar Duolingo App, this podcast is an absolutely one of the podcasts to learn Spanish.
Unlike Coffee Break and Light Speed Spanish, each track is more of a short story when you can sit back and let your imagination do the job. There is no lesson #1 where you have to start and follow through. Instead, you can jump right away into any story as they are not connected with each other.
What I really like about Duolingo Spanish Podcast:
- Transcript of each recording is available for free on their website
- Absolute top quality recordings
- 60+ free recordings, ~20mins each
- Tracks are not connected with each other story-wise (you can listen to any track you want from their library)
Important! The english narrator is not translating what the spanish voice just said. Instead, it acts as a bridge between scenes and gives you a moment to think and get a sense of what’s going on.
4. Unlimited Spanish
Hosted by a guy called Òscar, who states that most of the students can’t speak spanish. I couldn’t agree more as I have met many people in my life who claimed to know spanish, but when it came to a discussion, they weren’t able to say a word.
This podcast, despite being for beginners, requires you to possess at least very basic spanish vocabulary in order to follow up with the recordings. If you are learning spanish for like 3 or 4 weeks now with Duolingo, then you should be good to go!
Òscar only speaks spanish, so be prepared for that. Again, I want to remind you to not to worry if you don’t understand much at first. You’ll understand a lot from the context, I promise!
What I really like about Unlimited Spanish Podcast:
- Free transcripts on his website
- Professional voice and sound quality
- Nearly 200+ free episodes
If you are looking for more podcasts, make sure to check out our full list of best Spanish podcasts to learn Spanish improve your listening comprehension.