BRING FUN INTO YOUR EVERYDAY SPANISH PRACTICE AND WATCH NETFLIX
If you feel as though your brain is no longer able to process learning through reading over notes, or maybe you are too tired to go to a language exchange: an alternative method of learning Spanish is through watching TV series. An excellent resource for this is Netflix, which is available in Argentina and has a great selection to choose from.
A common starting point for many people when it comes to watching TV series is to watch their favourite English series, but with Spanish subtitles. For me, this can be a useful exercise to improve my reading skills and can help with concepts like indirect objects (i.e- You gave him the papers > Le diste los papeles.). Alternatively, you could start by watching one of the suggested series below which are all in Spanish, and use English subtitles. This method is effective if you learn best by listening, and can be really useful to hear the various Latin American accents. However, try not to fall into the easy trap of simply reading the subtitles and not listening, or vice versa. In truth, by far the best way to use Netflix to aid learning is to watch Spanish programs with Spanish subtitles. If you miss something or didn’t understand a few phrases, then you can always rewind and use English subtitles, but don’t forget to note down any phrases that you think are useful!
Here are 5 recommendations for series that are available on Netflix in Argentina, and are sure to help you pick up some useful phrases from different Spanish speaking countries.
Boca Juniors Confidential
Not just for football fanatics, this series goes behind the scenes at a turbulent season for Boca Juniors. Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of this docuseries is the focus on individual players’ such as Carlos Tevez who endures a difficult return to the club, and Lisandro Magallan who suffers the trauma of losing his father before the season begins. An excellent choice for brushing up not only on football vocabulary, but also picking up some lunfardo slang from the local players.
IF YOU ENJOY THIS SERIES then you should also try ‘Club de Cuervos’ on Netflix. Featuring characters from around the Latin American region, and even a little European Spanish, this lighthearted drama series is about two siblings who own a football club.
This award nominated Argentine series follows an undercover police officer attempting to infiltrate a prison gang, and expose corrupt prison officers. The prison gang, along with the corrupt officers, have kidnapped the daughter of a judge – a pretty terrible crime by anyone’s standards, yet the characters are so colourful that it’s impossible not to warm to them. Although the Argentine Netflix doesn’t yet have English subtitles for this series, it is worth taking time to watch and try to understand it. There is plenty of Lunfardo here to get stuck in to. Make sure you note down any words you don’t understand and you can ask your teacher for help.
IF YOU ENJOY THIS SERIES then you should try ‘La Casa de Papel’. Listen and learn some European Spanish in this thrilling and funny series about a strange group of bank robbers.
Accent- Series 1-3 Colombian, Series 4- Mexican
Enjoying worldwide success since its release in 2015, Narcos is an excellent option due to its mix of English and Spanish in every episode, allowing your brain a rest every so often. Not only the series is a useful resource for Spanish, it is also a fascinating take on a tumultuous period of history in Colombia. The fourth series takes place in Mexico, allowing you the opportunity to hear another Spanish accent.
IF YOU ENJOY THIS SERIES then you should try “El Chapo”, also on Netflix. This series sets in Mexico and chronicles the dramatic rise and fall of one of the most notorious criminals of all time over three decades.
Accent- European Spanish
This binge-worthy, dramatic murder mystery series has taken Netflix by storm since its release in September 2018. The show follows a set of characters from the ‘Elite’ of society as they become increasingly tangled in a web of lies, deceit, and suspicion which culminates into a tragedy. The tension and suspense build to a crescendo in the thrilling final episode as the viewer finds out ‘whodunnit’ after 8 episodes. I like this series as a learning resource as most of it is set in a school, so the vocabulary is a little easier to understand, and you can also learn some slang words too.
IF YOU ENJOY THIS SERIES… There are not too many other ‘teen’ Spanish dramas, however if you are a general drama fan then I would recommend “Edha”. This series is a story of revenge and betrayal, set in the dramatic Buenos Aires fashion scene, and speaks in Argentine Spanish.
El Ministerio del Tiempo
Accent- European Spanish
An excellent choice for sci-fi and fantasy fans, this series takes an alternative view on Spain’s history as the ‘ministry of time’ have to protect Spain’s past at all costs from potential time traveling invaders. Featuring information about key figures of Spain’s past, such as Philip II, Goya and Franco, the series is a lighthearted romp through Spanish history. Excellent not only for picking up various regional Spanish, but also for learning a little about Spain history which inspires further research.
IF YOU ENJOY THIS SERIES then you should try “Las Chicas del Cable”. Another European Spanish series, this drama is at times hard hitting when one discovers the hardships and battles that women in 1920s Spain faced.