SPANISH

About

Spanish is the fourth most widely spoken language in the world and is an official language in 20 countries. Just like French, Italian and Portuguese, Spanish is a romance language and holds the reputation as being the most taught foreign language in the United States. The majority of Spanish speakers are concentrated in the Americas. Of the 20 countries in which it is an official language 18 of them are located in North, Central, and South America. The two countries outside of the Americas where Spanish is an official language are Spain (Europe) and Equatorial Guinea (Africa). Spanish is considered one of the easier languages to learn for native English speakers because of its consistent pronunciation, not so complicated grammar, and the abundant amount of resources available.


Online Resources

FSI Spanish is a course offered by the Foreign Service Institute

Duolingo is a popular language learning platform and they offer Spanish. Check out the review here.

Coffee Break Spanish is a popular and fun course that teaches via podcasts. Also available in other popular languages.

University of Texas - Austin Spanish has a nice website for learning Spanish. Many quick video lessons for various levels.

About.com Spanish has extensive information on the Spanish langauge. You are sure to find something you don't know.

BBC Spanish has a cool series called Mi Vida Loca and also many other resources for learning Spanish from Spain.

Butterfly Spanish is a popular video series for learning Spanish


Online News

La Opinion

BBC Mundo


Top Products

Madrigal's Magic Key to Spanish
One of the most popular Spanish language resources, 'Madrigal's Magic Key to Spanish' is over 500 pages of easy to follow instruction for learning Spanish. Includes illustrations by Andy Warhol.

Living Language Spanish
This book and audio program has 3 workbooks and 9 audio CDs which getting progressively more challenging. Highly recommended.

Pimsleur Spanish Conversational Course
Pimsleur is an all audio program for language learning. The Spanish Conversational course has 16 lessons, each 30 minutes long, for a total of 8 hours. If you like the method you can graduate and buy the full version, which is significantly more expensive.

Fluenz Spanish
Fluenz is a software program which has been well received by language learners. It uses a tutor system rather than pure immersion like its competitor Rosetta Stone. It may or may not be available in your country.

Easy Spanish Step-By-Step
This text focuses on the most important verbs, grammar, and words. Includes many exercises and readings and is meant for the beginner. There is also an advanced version called 'Advanced Spanish Step-By-Step' once this one has been completed.

501 Spanish Verbs
Contains the conjugation of 501 Spanish verbs with special emphasis the 55 most essential. Includes a list of 2000 additional verbs and has example sentences of conjugated verbs. Includes audio CD for extra practice.

Total Spanish - Michel Thomas
This audio program includes 12 hours of listening material in addition to a CD for being able to read what you are listening and speaking. The CD also includes exercises. The method is tutor-like, in that you are listening to a teacher teach two students (with you being the third).

Spanish Short Stories For Beginners
This book includes 8 short short stories aimed at the beginner and intermediate Spanish learner.


Where Can I Study It?

Middlebury Language School offers a Spanish language immersion program

San Diego State University offers a BA in Spanish

Oregon State University offers a BA in Spanish (entirely online)

Texas State University offers a BA or MA in Spanish

University of South Florida offers a BA in World Languages and Cultures - Spanish

University of Colorado - Boulder offers a BA in Spanish Language and Literature

Northern Arizona University offer a BA in Spanish

Utah State University offers a BA in Spanish


Famous Speakers

Francisco Pizarro
This Spanish conquistador conquered the Empire of the Incas in modern day South America

Miguel de Cervantes
Famous Spanish writer who wrote what some people consider to be the best book of all time, Don Quixote.

Che Guevara
Revolutionary Argentinien? Marxism? Cuban Revolution? Execution? Che.

Pope Francis
This Argentinien is the 266th and current Pope of the Catholic Chuch.

Rafael Nadal
Nadal is from Spain and has been one the dominate players in mens tennis the last 10 years.

Francisco Goya
One of Spains most celebrated painters.

Hernan Cortes
Conquered the Aztecs in the New World so that Spain could continue with colonialization.

Lionel Messi
This Argentinen is already considered one of the best footballers of all time.

Pablo Neruda
This Chilean won the 1971 Nobel Prize for Literature

Antonio Banderas
This Spanish actor is well-loved amongst Western audiences. You can see him in many films, including Desperado and The Mask of Zorro.

Pablo Picasso
Probably Spains most famous artist. RIP.

Simon Bolivar
This Venezuelan paved the way for the creation of 6 countries in modern day Latin America.

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
This Mexican director won two Academy Awards for Best Director. The films are Birdman and The Revenant.

Salvador Allende
This Marxist politician was elected by the people to lead Chile. The US helped sponsor a coup against him in 1973 however. The coup succeeded and the dictatorship of Pinochet began.

Augusto Pinochet
Pinochet was a military dictator in Chile from 1973 until 1990.

Shakira
This Colombiana is famous worldwide for her catchy music.

Diego Maradona
Pretty much one of the best footballers (soccer players) ever. Famous for his hand of God.

Pablo Escobar
Probably the most famous drug lord of all time. He was Colombian.

Fidel Castro
Famous Cuban politician and Marxist revolutionary

Hugo Chavez
Famous President of Venezuela

Salma Hayek
This Mexicana has starred in many films. She was awesome in Frida as the artist Frida Kahlo (see below).

Frida Kahlo
Frida is famous for her unusual paintings and relationship with fellow Mexican artist Diego Rivera (see below).

Diego Rivera
Diego was famous for his large and sometimes controversial mural paintings.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez
1982 Nobel Prize in Literature and writer of One Hundred Years of Solitude. He was Colombian.

Pancho Villa
This Mexican leader battled the US during the Mexican Revolution.

Guillermo del Toro
This Mexican film director is known for Pans Labyrinth, Pacific Rim, and also Hellboy.


Cultural Products

Ultimate Mariachi
This CD is a testament to mariachi, a type of traditional Mexican music. Includes 16 tracks.

The Story of Spanish
How did Spanish become one of the most spoken languages on the planet? Follow the story of Spanish from the beginning until modern day and understand Spanish as a linguistic powerhouse which is official in 20 countries.

Gran Cocina Latina: The Food of Latin America
As the title suggests, this cookbook follows the food culture of Latin America, from the tip of Argentina up to the border with the United States. Historian and foodie Maricel E. Presilla paints a story of incredible culinary richness while incorporating over 500 diverse recipes amongst beautiful drawings and photographs.