Como algunos ya saben (like some of you may already know), watching TV in the target language is one of the funnest ways to improve your listening skills, which will also benefit your fluency. Actually, Netflix es un muy buen recurso (is a great resource) para mejorar tu español (to improve your Spanish).
En este artículo vamos a explorar (in this article we’re going to explore) 5 Netflix originals that can come very handy for you to up your Spanish game. In a moment, I’ll also show you the best method to watch these series so you learn the most Spanish!
I will also reveal a major mistake most language learners make when watching Spanish shows and that prevents them from making ANY progress in Spanish, even if they’re watching hours and hours a day…
Read until the end to make sure that you don’t make this mistake when watching these amazing Netflix shows!
1. La Casa de Papel (The Paper House)
Also known as Money Heist, this international success es una produccion española (is a production from Spain) that narra la historia (tells the story) of a super cool group of bandits led by a clever and enigmatic man known as El Profesor, who attempts to pull off hits muy complicados, including robbing the National Mint of Spain…
Hence the name, La Casa de Papel, which literally translates as “The House of Paper”, in allusion to the paper with which bills are made.
Pay attention to the Spanish accent, particularly the way they pronounce letters C, S and Z… and their use of words like vosotros (plural you).
2. La Casa de las Flores (The House of Flowers)
A Mexican black comedy and drama that, at least en la primera temporada (in the first season), stars Verónica Castro, a Mexican actress and national treasure.
The series is about la familia De La Mora, a dysfunctional, upper class family full of personajes que vas a adorar (characters that you’re going to love).
Presta atención (pay attention to) the character Paulina de La Mora… Mexicans absolutely fell in love with her and her unforgettable forma de hablar (way of speaking).
Paying attention to this will also help you avoid that big mistake most language students make… More about that in a minute!
3. Siempre Bruja (Always a Witch)
Always a Witch cuenta la historia (tells the story) of Carmen, played by la hermosa (the beautiful) Angely Gaviria.
So, it’s 1646, the Inquisition is rampant in colonial Colombia and our protagonist is accused of witchcraft and is set to burn at the stake… But then, she makes a deal that will make her end up… in 2019!
Escucha muy bien (listen carefully) to that hermoso acento colombiano (beautiful Colombian accent).
4. Club de Cuervos (Crow Club)
The story revolves around the football club Cuervos FC, based on the fictional city of Nuevo Toledo, México, and the power struggle that follows the death of its long-time owner and patriarch.
Club de Cuervos stars two of the hottest Mexican actors at the moment: Luis Gerardo Jiménez and Mariana Treviño, as dos hermanos (two siblings) fight over the ownership and direction of the team.
Tengo que confesar (I have to confess) that I haven’t watched this, pero I included this because mi sobrina (mi niece) told me it’s hilarious and she’s usually right about this kind of stuff.
5. Las crónicas del taco
Este documental (this documentary), more than a documentary, is a poem.
It’s a love song to one of the best things about life: tacos.
Las Crónicas del Taco explora (The Taco Chronicles explores) everything there is to know about Mexico’s most beloved street food, its variations, its origins, where you can get the best of each kind… This documentary is beautifully made and I believe it really does make justice to tacos!
If you love food, Las crónicas del taco te va a encantar…
Language Learning Tips
¡Muy bien! Ahora ya sabes (Now you know) what you should binge-watch next and… let me give you a final tip to make sure you learn tons of Spanish while watching:
Te sugiero (I suggest) you check out a couple of episodes to get a feel for them. Escoge una serie (Pick a show) and watch the same episode a few times.
Primero (First), you can use English subtitles. This way, you’ll understand what the episode is about and only after that, watch it in Spanish WITH Spanish subtitles.
Now, you obviously don’t need to do this for every single episode, as it might become a bit boring and can suck out the fun of watching native content. But once in a while, it will help you to improve your Spanish.
Haz esto un par de veces (Do this a couple of times) per episode and write down expressions you hear popping up throughout the episode, multiple times, unchanged…
Those would be Spanish chunks! And they can be very helpful to become fluent, since you can start using them right away!
Check out the free Spanish training hosted by my dear Lukas, Spring Spanish co-founder, who explains our “Conversation Based Chunking” method, which is at the core of the Spring Spanish Academy (and our videos here on the YouTube channel). This method will help you get fluent much faster! There are also Free Spanish Sample Lesson available.
Avoid this mistake
As I mentioned towards the beginning, there is one major mistake most language learners make when trying to learn a language with Netflix or other streaming platforms. Doing this will prevent you from learning ANY Spanish from all the shows we talked about today.
Here it is: if you have English subtitles activated, make sure to still listen to what they are saying in Spanish first and only then read in English what it meant.
Pay attention to the phrases, chunks and words they are saying and try to understand them before reading the translation. This process is what actually helps you learn Spanish.
If you don’t pay attention to what is being said, you might unconsciously ignore it and just end up reading the subtitles in English. Your brain does it automatically to save energy. Unfortunately, when doing that, your results from watching anything in Spanish will be pretty much none.
So, make sure not to make that mistake. You’ll thank me later!