Learning Spanish with Telenovelas

There is no doubt about it that one of the easiest and most entertaining ways to learn a language is from watching television.

Telenovelas or Culebrones (long snakes) are like soap operas but instead of  running on an ongoing basis, they are shown for a definite amount of time, say a year, so that they have a beginning, middle and an end to the storyline. Each episode is known as a “Capítulo”.

By listening to native speakers using everyday language spoken on the streets you will pick up not only a good accent but also useful expressions that you may not find in a dictionary or grammar book.

In this blog post we will give tips on how to learn from a Telenovela and also tell you about the most popular ones to watch.

How to get the most out of watching Telenovelas

* To get the maximum benefit out of watching a telenovela we would recommend spending about an hour a day so that you get to know the characters and follow the storyline. Most telenovelas are shown every day at the same time.

* Record an episode so that you can watch it over and over again – you will pick up a little more each time. You can pause it to look up the odd word if necessary or to make notes on useful words, expressions or short dialogues.

Most popular Telenovelas in Spain

Supervivientes – Spain’s version of “Survivors”.

Los Serrano – A sitcom of a family living in the imaginary neighbourhood of Santa Justa, in Madrid.

Gran Reserva – is a bit like Dallas but set in the vineyards of Spain.

Escenas de Matrimonio – Follows the lives of several couples living in the same building.

Soy Betty, La Fea – based on the Colombian soap “Ugly Betty”. It is about a young professional woman portrayed as unattractive, who experiences life changing events whilst working at a fashion magazine.

Cuéntame cómo pasó – a historical drama about a family living in 1970s and 1980s Spain.

You may also like to know that Spain has an equivalent of Gordon Ramsey – Chef Alberto Chicote whose programme is called, “Pesadilla en la cocina” (Nightmare in the kitchen). Here  is one such episode on Youtube.

All of the above telenovelas can also be found on Youtube. Here is the first episode of “Gran Reserva” on Youtube.

You may also be interested in learning Spanish with music – see the article by Gritty Spanish“How to learn Spanish fast & Improve Spanish comprehension with music”.

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