High-level Spanish resources that are NOT Spain-focused!
January 30, 2020 9:40 PM   Subscribe

Help me decolonise and broaden my Spanish learning. Details/snowflakes inside.

I recently started a Spanish class that's C1 level (according to the Common European Framework for languages; explanation here.

My teacher is fantastic, but she's from Spain, and our textbook is very Spain-focused as well. We as a class really want to do more from other Spanish-speaking countries, especially the smaller ones, but being in a country with pretty much no history with Spain (seriously, we don't even touch on the Spanish colonisation of the Americas and parts of Asia in any detail in history class) we're at a loss for where to begin, especially since there's so much.

What I would love is for links to websites by/for people in Latin America, about current events, pop and high culture, history, people we should know, as well as individual pieces of media that you think it's important for people to know about - articles, comics, and songs are all great, but videos are especially appreciated, since one of our goals with this class is to get better at understanding different varieties of Spanish. Online much preferred to print, as shipping things here is a non-starter.

¡Muchas gracias!
posted by Tamanna to Education (15 answers total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
Take a look at Radio Ambulante’s app.
posted by zebra at 10:27 PM on January 30, 2020 [5 favorites]

The thing that blew my mind when I was at uni was that Spanish is actually Castilian and there is also Catalan, Galician, Euskara (Basque),etc. Colonisation begins at home. The reason Spanish is a world language is the same as why English and French are.
posted by freethefeet at 10:28 PM on January 30, 2020

Response by poster: I'm aware of the language diversity within Spain, freethefeet, my teacher is from Madrid and we've been talking about the Catalan independence movement for the last couple of levels, which is why my focus is on Latin America now.
posted by Tamanna at 10:42 PM on January 30, 2020

This FPP, and even more so, its comments, are a canon for reading material. Go nuts!
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 11:06 PM on January 30, 2020

Diana Uribe's Historia Del Mundo radio show has been recommended here in the past, and it's great. If you go back through the streaming archives she has the history of Peru, Chile, Argentina, Mexico, Paraguay, Cuba, and Brazil, all from a latin american historian.

She has a new podcast that can be found at Dianauribe.fm. She just did a special on the current events in Chile where she interviews a Chilean journalist. Many of her podcast episodes are on Youtube with auto-generated subtitles, perfect for working on listening comprehension.

She has also written several books, both about history and current events.
posted by umber vowel at 11:44 PM on January 30, 2020 [2 favorites]

I enthusiastically second the recommendation for Radio Ambulante, which I listen to as a podcast. It comes with translations and transcriptions, which are helpful for attuning to different accents.
posted by tavegyl at 11:49 PM on January 30, 2020 [2 favorites]

For YouTube videos, although maybe 50/50 fun vs. instructional, I hit a deposit of 'Latinos React to Mexico' channels a while back, if that's interesting for you.
Hold on, let me look...

This channel is all about "So you moved to Mexico from Cuba/Ukraine/Spain/Scotland/etc - What do you think so far?"

Somos Paisanos (Ellie and her dad) and Jon Sinache are two channels of Spanish Mexico-philes who watch and react to videos about Mexican history, pop culture, etc.

Informative despite the hostile sounding name, Neurokiller's channel is A Venezuelan In Mexico, posting videos about differences, such as "A Venezuelan and a Cuban go to a luxury supermarket in Mexico."

And for pure Latin American branded fun, since most of them will be mainly in English (with the occasional swear word), with various Latinos talking and making jokes about Latin American culture and language, there are some great videos on the Pero Like channel and some old funny bits on Flama I especially liked Joanna's rants.
posted by bartleby at 12:06 AM on January 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

Relato Nacional is a heartwarming podcast of improbable, true stories that happen in South America, mainly Chile. The accent is regional but clearly spoken, so it shouldn't give you too many issues.

To give you a sense of it, one of the stories is about a penguin in Patagonia who took up residence in a family's garden shed. Another is an incredible search for a lost child/lost father, the child having been given up on adoption in the 1970s.
posted by ipsative at 1:33 AM on January 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

Univision and Telemundo are the two big Spanish-language TV networks in the USA; they have shows, news, etc and their websites cover some of both. Both headquartered in New York with production mostly around Miami.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 5:29 AM on January 31, 2020

Check out Global Voices' Spanish coverage of the Americas.
posted by wintersweet at 6:20 AM on January 31, 2020

I listen to Radio Ambulante and, surprisingly, Duolingo's Spanish podcast. Each episode features a Spanish speaker from a different part of the world talking about some issue or story. Ones that come to mind immediately include a Colombian woman who's working to become a F1 driver, a Mexican woman who became a sky diving instructor, and a Puerto Rican man who is using mafongo for hurricane recovery. The nice thing for me is that it's in "intermediate Spanish" and there's an intermittent narrator who explains the finer or more complex points in English as well.
posted by ChuraChura at 6:30 AM on January 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

Gritty Spanish might not be suitable for class, depending on your tutor/institution (sample scene titles: Pregnant girlfriend; Vietnam Hustler; Road Rage; Rough Night in the Bronx), but might suit you for using at home. It has audio scenes, with transcriptions, with a wide variety of Latin American accents, and specifies the country of origin for each character - it's really interesting to hear the different accents up against each other, compare and contrast, pick up some of the different vocabulary from different countries.

I really enjoy the Duolingo podcasts, but they're definitely at the easy end of Intermediate - I'd say more like B1 than C1, so you might find them a bit tedious in terms of speed and complexity.
posted by penguin pie at 7:05 AM on January 31, 2020 [3 favorites]

News in Slow Spanish is a good resource, especially for a class. They have a Latin American version.

Fun youtube videos are also great. Search for cooking shows from various countries and you can often find them without subtitles. For instance, search for "cocina peruana". (Plus you can discover the delicious joy of papas rellenas. Sooo fiddly, but damn tasty.)

It helps to know which accents are easier for learners. For instance, Peru and Bolivian accents are wonderfully clear and annunciated; the Chilean accent is fiendishly hard and they use a lot of slang.
posted by EllaEm at 8:00 AM on January 31, 2020

Oh, and I just thought of a cute movie, for cultural references in South America. Again more for entertainment than classroom material - it's a lowbrow comedy with sex jokes and a lot of slang -but 2015's Lusers plot sounds like the setup for a classic joke.
Three strangers; a Chilean, a Peruvian, and an Argentine, get lost in the jungle on their way to the World Cup final. Humorous complications ensue.

Besides the language and accents, I find I get some insight into how neighbors see each other, and themselves, by the jokes they tell about each other. Oh, that's such a Chilean thing to say! Really? How so, let me take notes.
It's not the greatest, and you probably won't get all the 'inside jokes' (there's a bit where they're doing a "you're on MY side of the log, that's your side over there" and going back and forth about it, that suddenly makes sense, considering these three neighboring countries must have had territory disputes, and that's what they're satirizing, for example).
I assume everywhere must have some version of 'a Goan, a Kashmiri, and a Tamil are shipwrecked on an island...' that's going to be some mix of mildly offensive and it's funny because it's a little true. This is one of those, for southern South America.

But if you have no sense of history or cultural background reference points, you might want to warm up with -sorry, these are in (fast) English not Spanish - some things like Geography Now's various episodes on SA countries or just a quick amusing Who Hates Who in Latin America?
posted by bartleby at 2:24 PM on January 31, 2020

News in Slow Spanish switched away from podcasts and to their own app last year (the podcast is now headlines, finished with directions to go to the app) The app limits the content available if you aren't logged in, and has lots of dead air as it (presumably) downloads segments.
posted by JawnBigboote at 6:13 PM on February 1, 2020

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