Dedicated: Five Free Ways to Learn Spanish Online

Considering learning Spanish, but unsure how to go about it? In a perfect world, we could learn another language by traveling to a foreign country and immersing ourselves completely. Mixing cultural experience and language learning gives a unique richness to the way we speak, write, and understand. But sometimes we don’t have the time, the money, or the desire to travel—luckily, learning Spanish online has never been easier. And while finding Spanish tutors online with a service like Preply.com, or paying for a program like Rosetta Stone, are arguably the most powerful computer-based learning tools, a whole range of online options exist that won’t cost a penny.

Here’s a roundup of five great online resources where you can learn Spanish for free. With such a variety of approaches, we’re confident you can find the right Spanish learning website for your needs.

#5 SpanishDict.com

The power of basic translations and quick word lookups shouldn’t be undervalued. Will this resource help you learn to speak fluently? Probably not, but will it help expand your vocabulary and communicate in a pinch? Absolutely. Easier than flipping through a physical dictionary or phrasebook, SpanishDict.com is a great staple in any online learning curriculum.

#4 YouTube

We’re not kidding—YouTube has a treasure trove of online Spanish lessons. From beginner-level basics to complex conjugation, YouTube videos provide an excellent—and free—resource for people practicing their Spanish skills. Pick your favorite host—fun and entertaining or a bit more studious—and start learning Spanish.

#3 SpanishPod101

This podcast-based resource gives you the choice of mobile apps, desktop software, and website to learn Spanish online for free. The subscription is free and allows access to a vast volume of learning resources. You bring the motivation, and they’ll bring the audio and video lessons, flashcards, and online forums.

#2 BBC Spanish

Yes, BBC teaches Spanish online for free! In addition to aggregating interesting content like puzzles, articles, and news, BBC’s Spanish Page offers a free interactive video drama mystery series.

#1 Duolingo

In just a few short years, Duolingo has become the heavy-hitter in the “freemium” language learning scene. With the belief that “free education will really change the world,” founder Luis von Ahn created a platform based on a game-like skill progression. For a free Spanish education software, Duolingo is surprisingly effective: a study estimated that with just 34 hours of Duolingo usage, a language learner could achieve the same rate of fluency as a student in a university-level Spanish 101 course.