Top Four Mexican TV Shows for Learning Spanish
By Katie Collom (guest blogger)
We all wish language learning could be a bit less of a pain – and don’t some of us look forward to the day when some magical potion will make learning any language easy. Spanish is definitely a language to seriously consider taking on; as the second most popular language in the world, it’s a great one to have as part of your repertoire. But consider the problem of learning how to actually speak and communicate like a native: learning a language such as Spanish in the classroom is all very well and good, but where can you go to pick up on slang or practice your listening skills if you live in an environment where Spanish is not generally spoken?
The answer is easy: Mexican telenovelas (soap operas) and TV shows are famous the world over and one of the best ways of learning how to navigate the beautiful undulations of the Spanish language. So here are my top four picks for Mexican TV shows which will help you in your Spanish journey:
1. “Marimar” is an oldie but a goodie and you’ll find people everywhere who love this show! My mom used to watch it religiously to help her pick up on Spanish and I know other language learners who swear by its power to entertain and educate at the same time. Don’t worry, if you can’t understand everything that’s being said, you can definitely make some good guesses according to the over-the-top expressions and dramatic gestures!
2. “Yo soy Betty, la fea.” has since inspired an English version, “Ugly Betty”, so most people will find it difficult to not know what this story is all about. Although these two versions vary in how they are put together, and are pretty much only alike in that they share a similar (albeit translated) title, “Yo soy Betty, la fea” is still a fun watch and a pretty G-rated way to better your Spanish!
3. “El Chavo del Ocho” may seem like just a silly children’s show, but don’t be fooled by its tomfoolery façade, the simplicity and repetitive use of language in this TV show will make learning Spanish a breeze. And you’ll have lots of laughs along the way – once you begin understanding those jokes, of course!
4. “Que Bonito Amor” is a very fun show if you’re a big fan of the mariachi style music which is a large part of Mexico’s history. Sure, some of the outfits are a bit much (I mean seriously, who dresses in a mariachi suite and sombrero 24/7?), but you’ll get a frequent dose of mariachi music and can make fun of the overly-dramatic protagonists all the way through (and there’s a nice love story added into the mix as well!).
At the end of the day, learning Spanish (or any other language) can be an immense challenge; what really matters is how you choose to make the journey fun. If you’re up to the challenge, just sit back with your café, (confused by my sudden desire to insert Spanish words? This cool infographic should be able to help you out), and enjoy learning while being entertained by TV shows. Whether it be with telenovelas or light-hearted comedies, I hope you have a happy learning experience! J