My goal is to read and write in Spanish, and converse well enough to have a basic conversation with a native speaker.

Actualización: He olvidado mucho de mi español. Voy a actualizar esto más tarde.

lista de quehaceres

+ currently deferring study


These are approaches that I have found the most useful, and would recommend to anyone learning Spanish.

1. Study for at least 600 hours.
Whether you study a little bit every day for many years, or you cram for 10-hours a day for 60 days, you’ll do well after 600 hours of immersion.

2. Embrace the Sexiness of Spanish.
Afterall, it is a romance language: everything has a gender, it sounds sexy, and conjugations are basically verbs making love to pronouns. Learn with sexual metaphors, everything will be more memorable.

3. Get to know the Cognates.
Spanish is a cognate language to English. There are tens of thousands of similar words between English and Spanish. Most English speakers have encountered many of these words already. Get to know the cognates, as well as the false cognates.

4. Escribe un diario en español, cada día.
Write to yourself daily, this was painful at first because there was little I knew how to write, but eventually I started journaling in Spanish.

5. Leer en español.
Read in Spanish daily; comic books, novels, newspapers, whatever you find the most interesting. The Spanish translation of Harry Potter is particularly popular amongst language learners.

6. Música y películas en español.
Watch and listen to as much as you can. Dubbed movies can be fun, and listen to music that you enjoy (Zoé es fabuloso). I found Netflix somewhat helpful for Spanish dubbing (e.g., Guerra do los Clones). Here are some other resources:

Inicio (Wizards)

7. Switch smartphone to español.
Smartphone, tablet, and PC can support español (latino or España). This was surprisingly helpful, especially at intermediate to advanced levels.


Michel Thomas; the Spanish beginner course is fantastic, and it helped me with the most difficult parts of Spanish.

Memrise; good for vocabulary, although like most spaced repetition approaches, it’s not good for building automaticity.

Duolingo; it’s fun, and gives a sense of accomplishment, although I achieved “fluency” without any fluency in real life conversations.


+ How to Improve Your Foreign Language Immediately, by Boris Shekhtman
+ Direct and Indirect Objects

no recomendado

These are resources that I tried, but either didn’t enjoy or didn’t find useful.

¿ podcast or audio drills while working?
No, this didn’t work, not even a little

¿ Pimsleur ?
Boring and uninspired

¿ 90 days, 20 minutes minimum per day ?
Nope, you need 600 hours, daily practice and exposure, deep immersion, and repetition towards automaticity

¿ How to learn a language blog posts ?
They’re almost all english-speaking white guys offering no substantive information or help. Self promoters, avoid like the plague

¿ italki ?
Mildly useful for random tips, but too much English

¿ flashcards ?
No, use memrise, duolingo, pocket dictionary, etc

¿ anki ?
Not as useful as memrise or duolingo, and spaced repetition software is overhyped

¿ fluentu ?
No, clickbait type website without good music or video suggestions

¿ Top YouTube videos (by region) ?
Not really a source of content that I like

¿ ?
Lamentablemente, nunca lo usé

¿ Internations ?
No me interesa, acaso útil para conocer personas nuevas

Other unhelpful sites and channels: (fucking rosettastone bullshit) (useful content buried in garbage ads) (missing the most common cognates like -tion to -ción) (quieren demasiado dinero) (pero BBC Mundo parece decente)