Get Fluent With Spanish Audio Books
Make life easy and ease into Spanish by challenging yourself to sit back, relax, and listen to… audio books! (audiolibros)
Audio books can help you learn Spanish by improving your pronunciation, boosting your familiarity with different accents, and making your ears adapt to the new language. It’s true that the more chance you get to hear the language, the better you can tune into it.
Listening to books is a really useful learning tool especially for those students who do not have the benefit of living in a Spanish-speaking country and need opportunities to practice their listening-comprehension skills.
I found that Spanish audio books are also a fantastic way to introduce yourself to the greats of Hispanic literature too. It means we can explore famous writers such as J. L. Borges, Gabriel García Marquez, Isabel Allende, Roberto Bolaño, and Angeles Mastretta without even having to pick up a book!
Make learning easy with Spanish audio books!
If you want to really make it easy for yourself, it is best to find an audio book in Spanish of one of your favourite novels. This way, you already know what the story line is and you can concentrate on the Spanish itself, rather than trying to figure out what is happening if you miss a sentence, or get confused midway through dialogue.
A really handy trick is to have your notebook with you. Any words you don’t know? You can write them down. Any new verbs? You can make a note and this will help you expand your vocabulary. Missed something? Replay and repeat until you catch it enough to copy it down.
But remember: you don’t need to be writing everything down! This can become a distraction from the task of listening. It is not important to know every word, sometimes it is enough to figure out the meaning from the context.
Where do you start with audio books and how do you know what to listen to?
The best advice is to begin with what you know!
Are you a beginner who loves Harry Potter? Download an audio book version and you will be surprised at how quickly you can identify familiar words and plot turns. You can really build confidence and listening skills by working on familiar ground before heading into more difficult reads.
Are you a more advanced learner with a passion for poetry? You can download audio books of poems by García Lorca or Gabriela Mistral and feel how the language comes alive when read aloud off the page.
It’s a tried and tested way to really make a difference by supporting your learning through developing keen listening abilities, not just focusing on hard reading skills. It will test your audio competency while bringing the rhythm of Spanish to life, and help you grow familiar with accents, inflections and cultural themes.
Find an audiolibro!
The best way is to explore on YouTube for your favourite books. You can also download books from free sites, but there may be limited choice.
Worth checking out:
– Audible.com with a 30-day trial offer
– Gutenberg Project
– Amazon mp3 downloads
– iTunes audio book downloads
– Librivox (Free audio books in the public domain)
Don’t know where to start?
Here are some great versions for you to try (in order of difficulty):
– Laura Esquivel – Como Agua para Chocolate (Like Water for Chocolate) (MEX)
(Best narrated version: by Yareli Arizmendi)
– Isabel Allende – La Casa de Los Espíritus (The House of Spirits) (CHILE)
– Gabriel García Márquez – Cien Años de Soledad (100 Years of Solitude) (COLOMBIA)
– J. L. Borges – El Aleph (a book of short stories) (ARGENTINA)
– Federico García Lorca – Libro de Poemas (Book of Poems) (SPAIN)
LingQ is the perfect tool for listening to Spanish audio books!
Immersing yourself in Spanish doesn’t require you to travel abroad or sign up for an expensive language program.
However, it can be a bit tiresome to find interesting content, go back and forth between sites, use different dictionaries to look up words, and so on.
That’s why there’s LingQ. A language app that helps you discover and learn from content you love.
You can import videos, podcasts, and much more and turn them into interactive lessons.
Keep all your favourite Spanish content stored in one place, easily look up new words, save vocabulary, and review. Check out our guide to importing content into LingQ for more information.
LingQ is available for desktop as well as Android and iOS. Gain access to thousands of hours of audio and transcripts and begin your journey to fluency today.
Emi Xant is an author and writing aficionado with years of experience in translation and teaching students in both English and Spanish.