Learn Castilian Spanish with this List of Free Resources
Castilian Spanish has accentuated differences that distinguish it from Spanish in Latin America. It is most common in north and central Spain, and it’s the standard language for movie and entertainment translations, subtitles, and dubbings.
The three main differences between Castilian and Latin American Spanish are slang, accent, and grammar. These may sound like trivial differences, but they are more influential than they seem!
Keep reading for all the facts you need on Castilian Spanish and a slew of free learning resources.
Castilian Spanish Characteristics
Castilian Spanish has slang words that you won’t find anywhere else. Latin American slang tends to bleed a bit in between countries since they’re so close to each other. Castilian Spanish, however, tends to be more stable since it’s more isolated from outside influences. Tío, mola, vale, and güay are examples of slang words unique to Castilian.
While most accents vary in tone and pronunciation, the Castilian Spanish accent is directly related to its grammar. This is done by the clear distinction between the sounds for c, s, and, z. In Latin America, we use a single “s” sound for all three letters (with the exception being the hard c)
In Castilian Spanish, you have to know the spelling of the words to have a better accent. It comes naturally to them, but I always have a hard time imitating the Spanish spoken in Spain because I have to actively think of the spelling for each word before saying it.
The main grammatical difference between Latin American and Castilian Spanish is the use of vosotros. Check out our blog post to learn the rules and situations in which you should use vosotros.
Free Castilian Spanish Learning Resources
Notes in Spanish
It seems this podcast keeps appearing in forums, top 10 lists, and even in our own blog posts! That’s because the quality of free lessons on here is top-notch. Notes in Spanish has episodes for all Spanish levels, and it gives you comprehensive and practical Spanish lessons that will also train your ear to understand and practice imitating the Castilian Spanish accent!
You can choose from three levels of difficulty: beginner, intermediate, or advanced. This podcast is great for moments such as sitting in traffic, waiting at the dentist, or just relaxing and listening to some Spanish on a Sunday morning.
If you want to learn more about free podcasts to learn Spanish, check out our post on 5 Spanish podcasts that are perfect for beginners.
Listen to Famous Spanish Singers!
The awesome language-teaching powers of music are undeniable. Listening to Castilian Spanish singers is a great way to grasp their unique way of speaking. Some examples are Jarabe de Palo, Camilo Sesto, and Miguel Bosé.
Video ELE offers Castilian Spanish lessons from levels A1-B2. Their free content consists of video lessons for each level. While it’s not as fast or personalized as one-on-one Spanish lessons, Video ELE is a free and accessible way to learn.
Castilian Spanish Phrasebook
The Castilian Spanish Phrasebook is an excellent free reference material. It covers topics such as vowels, consonants, stress, numbers, common phrases, time, you name it! It’s so good you might want to consider printing it if you’re visiting Spain any time soon. Spanish people always appreciate it when travelers take the time to learn their language.
Castilian Spanish Literature
Miguel de Cervantes is perhaps the most famous and influential Spanish writer out there. You probably know him for his magnum opus, Don Quijote de la Mancha. This book is a great way to learn Castilian Spanish; but it’s difficulty level means only advanced Spanish speakers will get all of the benefits from reading it.
If you’re an intermediate level learner, having a dictionary or a phrasebook handy will be enough to successfully understand and learn while reading. This method, while slow, is effective if you want to learn Castilian Spanish. My mom used this method to learn the Southern U.S. English accent by reading To Kill a Mockingbird while having her phone handy to look up any unknown slang. Other Castilian Spanish books that might interest you are Lazarillo de Tormes, El Cantar del Mio Cid, and the Capitán Alatriste series.
YouTube has become a powerful teacher for many independent learners and students alike. Do you want to learn how to change a tire, build a deck, or sing like an opera master? YouTube probably has a video for that. Channels like Catalina Moreno’s and Spanish Academy TV provide fun videos centered around learning the language. Nadie Sabe Nada and ¡Que Viva la Cocina! will put your comprehension skills to the test. They also give you some leeway by including clear context clues to help you follow along with the topics that are being discussed with ease.
Learning Spanish is Fun!
Spanish has a lot of variety, but it’s simple enough that we can all understand each other regardless of which country we come from. That’s why learning Spanish is so useful! If you want to learn Spanish faster and easier, why not take a free class with Homeschool Spanish Academy? Our one-on-one live classes with native speakers will give you great results in no time, and trying it out is free!
We’d love to know more free resources to learn Castilian Spanish, so leave a comment if you know of any resources we might’ve missed.
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