Top 10 Ways to Learn Spanish for Pennies (or even for free!)

Spanish for pennies - Image by Spanish does not have to be expensive. You can even do it for free. To prove it, we’ve compiled a Top 10 list of the best low-cost and free ways you can start learning Spanish today.

#10 – Change your gadget and social media language settings

Have you thought about changing the language on your Facebook page, your smartphone settings or your digital TV menu to Spanish? If you speak intermediate Spanish, your language skills will probably be good enough for you to stumble your way round your favourite web pages or your phone agenda without too much trouble. This way, you’ll pick up some useful vocabulary, for free… just make sure you have a good dictionary to hand if you get stuck!

#9 – Get a good digital dictionary

When it comes to dictionaries, there’s nothing better than accessing an online one, on your smartphone or tablet. Whilst we love for English-to-Spanish translations, if you’re a serious student of Spanish, the Real Academia Española (RAE) website is the real thing.

RAE is the official royal institution that regulates everything to do with Spanish language in the whole world.  In fact, there are three dictionaries available on the website: the complete Spanish language dictionary, the essential dictionary (a more basic version of the above) and the Diccionario Panhispánico de Dudas, or ‘The Pan-Hispanic Dictionary of Doubts’. The latter offers clarification on ambiguous uses of certain Spanish words or expressions. You can’t beat that.

#8 – Learn Spanish with the BBC

It’s a real shame the BBC’s Learn Spanish site is no longer being updated. It’s the only reason why we’ve dropped this excellent resource to #8 on our list. Thanks to the high quality of the site, however, we’re still featuring it as one of our favourite free Spanish language learning resources.

Here you’ll find complete lessons sets, including the 12-week Mi Vida Loca interactive video drama for beginners, and the Talk Spanish online video tutorials. Whatever your age, background or reason for learning Spanish, the BBC Learn Spanish site has something for you: holiday phrases, football Spanish, GCSE Spanish, the CBeebies Lingo Show for kids, vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation mini-lessons, Spanish crosswords with audio, links to Spanish newspapers and TV channels – even Spanish for Welsh speakers!

Luckily, although no more material is being added to this site, all the lessons, video tutorials and grammar and vocabulary exercises are definitely there to stay. Enjoy!

#7 – Get passionate about your hobbies and interests… in Spanish

Don’t feel you have to constrain yourself to your Spanish course book or CD lesson set, to read and hear Spanish!

The best way to learn a language is through subjects that genuinely interest you. If you love reading the Hello magazine, why not swap for an online subscription of Hola? Do comics float your boat? Then order your favourite Marvel issues in Spanish and pick up some super hero vocab. And whether you’re into sports, music, dog training, music or soap operas, YouTube is absolutely overflowing with video clips in Spanish – on pretty much any topic…. try Learn to Speak Spanish with Funny Videos or the Ser Vs. Estar Rap for starters.

#6 – Listen to Spanish language podcasts

Podcasts are a fantastic resource for language learners. You can listen to them while driving, cooking or jogging – and they are totally free. Check out NotesInSpanish, they have three podcast series at beginner, intermediate and advanced levels, aimed to get you chatting in “real” Spanish as quickly as possible.

#5 – Get Spanish language apps

Don’t let your smartphone or tablet go to waste if you’re trying to learn Spanish. There are great apps to teach you vocabulary and phrases, from 0€ to 10€. Try some of these for fun:

  • Free app for iOS and Android
  • Free L-Lingo Learn Spanish Now app for iOS and Android
  • ABC Spanish for Beginners app, Android, price 0,99€
  • Learn Spanish with MosaLingua app for iOS, Android, price 4.99€

#4 – Get an online language exchange buddy

Language exchange happens when two people who each speak a language that the other one wants to learn, spend time talking and teaching each other for free. Traditionally, language exchange buddies might meet up in a café once or twice a week, and spend half an hour speaking one language, for example Spanish, and the second half hour speaking the other language, like English.

Now, by using a language networking sites like LiveMocha, you can easily find yourself a language exchange buddy anywhere in the world. Once you find your ideal partner, simply chat whenever you want, using a free call service like Skype.

#3 – Skill swapping for Spanish lessons

Learn spanish for pennies or even free -Image by

If you don’t want to do language exchange, you could consider swapping another skill for Spanish lesson

s. Can you teach something else, like piano or guitar? Or do you have a professional or creative skill that you could exchange for lessons, for example IT, writing or accounting?

Try placing a free classified advertisement on a site like Craigslist, to locate a skill swap in your area. (Remember to be sensible, though, and always meet strangers off the web in a safe, public place).

#2 – Go to Spain

This may not be a completely free way to learn Spanish (you’ll have to pay for a flight and digs), but you can get much higher value out of your trip to Spain if you change your holiday agenda slightly.

Everybody knows that the best way to learn a language is to immerse yourself in it. Why not combine a beach holiday or a cultural visit with language learning? You could do an intensive Spanish course while enjoying the exotic Andalusian culture in Sevilla, a business Spanish course in Madrid as you take in the Prado Museum and go for tapas bar crawls, or you could even consider a full gap year on the beaches of Malaga. Language learning in Spain is great fun and you’ll be making a long-term investment that will definitely benefit your career.

#1 – Get a Spanish-speaking girlfriend or boyfriend

Our top tip for learning Spanish for free is to fall in love with a native Spanish speaker! Nothing will quite motivate you to speak Spanish like wanting to communicate your feelings to your sweetheart.

Not interested in romance? Well, you can still consider getting a native Spanish pen pal, finding a Spanish speaking flatmate or just jumping back to our suggestion #4 and finding an online language exchange buddy.

We hope you enjoyed our Top 10 list this week! Be sure to let us know your best tips for learning Spanish for as little cost as possible.

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