Table of Contents
- Technical Setup
- Your Weekly Study Routine
- Your Core Content
- Pimsleur Audio Lessons
- Grammar Book/Course
- Torrent Sites
- Final Notes
The internet has completely revolutionized how people learn languages, specifically in the area of obtaining good content to read, watch and listen to. It used to be very difficult to get content in your target language such as books and movies. This is not the case today. You can easily obtain all kinds of media in any language you want.
These days it is possible to download most books, movies, TV shows, courses or any other kind of digital content completely free. Spending money to watch movies or TV shows or to read books is not really necessary. “How is this possible? Why don’t I know about this?” you may ask. It always seemed strange to me that other people didn’t know this was possible and has been possible for a long time. Knowing how to access this content has been the single most important thing in my process for learning new languages. That’s why I’ve written this guide.
Downloading and consuming language content on the internet has been the main driver of my progress while I studied three different languages in my life: Thai, Japanese and Spanish. The internet is rich with all kinds of books, movies, podcasts, and even complete language courses. It’s quite interesting to see what kinds of things you can find in each language. Today, I can’t imagine studying a language without my regular routines of scouring the internet for anything interesting I can find. That was always the funnest part.
There is an ocean of information out there on the internet and it’s easy to get lost and not make any progress in the language. Therefore, the goal of this guide is to focus your attention only on what you need in order to progress to intermediate level as fast as possible. As a beginner, you don’t need a lot of content to get yourself to the next level. I will not overwhelm you with lists of top 20 websites for learning Spanish, or top 10 TV shows for learning Spanish, or any of that. I will show you exactly what content you need to consume and how much time you need to spend consuming said content to progress through the language.
With the information on this page, you can easily reach an intermediate level in Spanish for less than $20. That’s right, instead of paying thousands of dollars to take a Spanish course at your university or a language school, you can keep your money and learn better and faster using free resources on the internet. This is how I learned Spanish.
If you don’t have the time or energy to go through this basic program and consume this content, it’s unlikely that you’ll have the time or energy to learn Spanish and taking a class won’t help you. In my 10 years of experience learning and teaching languages, I’ve seen how many people think spending more money will help them learn faster but what they really need to do is spend more TIME learning Spanish.
Should I take a class? Do I need to take a class?
Everything I’m sharing with you on this page is really much better than what you would receive in a Spanish class. Usually in a class you are given the content and don’t have the option to choose things that you like and interest you. In this guide, I will show you where to find all kinds of content and you can choose according to your personal interests.
What about online lessons?
Not a bad idea. The beginner stage of learning a new language is the most difficult, especially if you’ve never learned a new language before. I’m obviously an independent, self-motivated, and disciplined person. I’m also completely obsessed with learning languages. Not everybody is like me. Some people need help.
I teach 1-on-1 online classes and there are a number of reasons my students like having a teacher help them. They appreciate my guidance in their learning process. I give them feedback on how they’re doing and let them know if they need to spend more or less time doing something. Learning a new language is a long and sometimes overwhelming experience. I help my students maintain constant effort and keep them accountable. I give them support and encouragement and I don’t let them give up.
If you are learning a new language for the first time and struggle with keeping yourself accountable, I highly recommend taking a class one or two times per week. It can make a huge difference.
I’d be happy to help you! Feel free to book a FREE consultation call with me at my booking calendar page.
I must warn you, many of the things I’m going to recommend in this guide involve downloading files using methods and websites that may not be legal in your country. Regardless, it’s rare that anyone gets caught doing this, and even rarer that anyone gets caught and actually persecuted in any way. The worst that can happen to someone getting “caught” downloading files illegally while at home, using their own private internet connection (not a public one) would be to get a warning letter from your internet provider asking you to stop downloading files from those websites. In that case you can use a VPN (virtual private network) and you will be completely undetectable and safe. More info on this later.
Is this really ethical?
One day I was thinking about all the different kinds of information that exist in the world. Think about this. There are books about how to murder someone and not get caught, websites to teach you how to make or where to buy drugs, how to make bombs and ethical hacking courses for whatever purpose you might have in mind. All of this is legal. That’s when I thought of the idea to write this guide.
As I’ve traveled the world, I’ve seen how many countries just don’t participate in our Western markets of digital content. Downloading pirated content is the norm in countries like Thailand and China.
I’ve seen how people can benefit a lot from these pirated resources. I’ll never forget the moment when I got my first video editing job at a Buddhist temple in Thailand and I saw their entire editing department’s computers were fully equipped with the latest, pirated version of Adobe Premier Pro and other professional video and image editing software. In their production of different kinds of educational and promotional videos they rarely complied with copyright laws in terms of music and images as I did when I studied video production at my university. This Buddhist temple produced a lot of great content to teach people about meditation and Buddhism. In my opinion their illegal use of pirated editing software, music and images is ethical in this case. They’re Buddhists and they follow the law of karma. I don’t think their karma has been affected negatively. And I don’t think your karma will be affected negatively by learning a new language using the same methods of obtaining effective learning materials.
I have also benefited tremendously as a language learner by using these illegal methods of obtaining content. I think anybody who uses these methods to help themselves learn a new language is doing so ethically. And I know from my years of experience learning different languages and teaching other students that you can learn much faster this way. I can’t help but recommend these methods to anybody who is interested in seriously enriching, enhancing and accelerating their language learning process.
If you combine what you learn in this guide with my AnkiMaster Flashcard system, which was built specifically for input-based learning, you will have a collection of tools and resources more powerful than even the best language courses or schools.
What I’m about to show you and teach you in this guide is the most beneficial information I can share in terms of helping you learn Spanish better, faster and more efficiently. You will find your learning process much more fun and exciting as well because you will have complete freedom to explore the language through all of the content that exists on the internet.
I know you all want to learn HOW you can use this information to help you learn Spanish so let’s get into it!
Before you get started, you will need to do some technical setup on your computer. Please follow the steps in this guide: Torrenting – Technical Setup.
Weekly Study Routine
I’ve organized a weekly study routine for you. Please see Weekly Study Routine – Beginner Spanish
Fluent Forever Pronunciation Trainer Flashcards
These flashcards are SUPER important because they will teach you how to pronounce the language. (See: Why you should study English pronunciation. It’s about English pronunciation but applies to learning pronunciation for any language) These flashcards are not free but they are not expensive either (only $12!).
Purchase and download at the Fluent Forever website. Instructions are included in the downloaded files. Select the English->Spanish (Latin American) option.
Watch this video to learn about them.
This is my secret weapon for learning languages. I developed this technology for my students and I. It’s a customized flashcard system built specifically for learning Spanish through input-based learning. There is a free version and paid version. The paid version makes the process of creating the flashcards much easier and faster but is not required.
To learn more about the flashcards go to: A QUICKSTART GUIDE TO LEARNING WITH ANKIMASTER
Pimsleur Audio Lessons
This audio course consists of 90 30-minute audio lessons. It takes 1-2 days to finish one lesson and pass to the next. Although very difficult, you could finish the course in three months. A more realistic timeframe would be 4-6 months.
The course is very straightforward. Just follow the instructions included in the download.
The Pimsleur course will teach you a lot of grammar but it doesn’t teach you everything. A grammar course or book can walk you through the basics of Spanish grammar.
There are TONS of Spanish courses out there but you only need one. Choose one and stick with it. As an effective, free option, I am recommending Easy Spanish Step-By-Step by Barbara Bregstein.
Warning about grammar books
Follow the information in your grammar book normally but don’t do ALL the exercises and activities in the book. Grammar books are good as reference material or to get an overview of certain grammatical concepts in Spanish, but not as your main course of study.
Just to give you some perspective, I had a grammar book when I studied Spanish but I didn’t use it very much and I never finished reading it. It’s hard to actually retain all of the detailed information in a grammar book. It’s too overwhelming. It was reading and listening a lot to Spanish that allowed me to internalize the grammar and actually use it in a conversation.
Always remember, your grammar book is your least important resource and will become less and less important as you progress through the language. The flashcards and Pimsleur audio course will always take priority over your grammar book/course.
In terms of input, the best things that will work for you as a beginner are graded readers and other content designed for your level. Graded readers are books written for specific levels. The vocabulary and grammar are simplified to make it easy for you to understand.
Where to get graded readers
Rutracker is a Russian website. You’ll need to use Google Translate to navigate these pages. Download the Google Translate Chrome extension.
You’ll find all the graded readers on this page. As you can see, everything is in Russian.
Use google translate to change the page to English.
Here I can see some A1 level books. Let’s check out this book called Amnesia.
Click on the magnet link to download the book.
When it is finished downloading, you will see the book appear in your designated downloads folder.
Check out these pages for some massive collections of graded readers and other content.
You don’t have to download all the files. Just download the graded readers if you want.
Those torrent sites have enough content to keep you busy for a lifetime, but if you’d like to try something different, LingQ is a great website that provides all kinds of audio content with transcripts. You won’t need the word-tracking or flashcard features of this website because you already have the AnkiMaster flashcard system which works much better. Just use LingQ to find interesting input that you can read and listen to. You will use AnkiMaster flashcards to learn new vocabulary.
Visit their website to get started: LingQ.com
That’s basically everything you need to learn Spanish to a pretty advanced level all by yourself. Learning a new language costs time most of all. Most of this time is spent consuming content that is relevant to your level and interests. Here on this page, you can find all of that content. There’s no library or university that could arm you with a better set of resources to help you learn Spanish. If they did they would charge you hundreds or thousands of dollars for it! So please enjoy this massive collection of FREE tailored resources just for you!