How telenovelas will help you learn Spanish

Could you use a hand to improve your Spanish? Do stories about star-crossed romance, drama, revenge, and rivalry keep you glued to your seat for hours? Do you find yourself yelling at the TV when your favorite character gets cheated on? Then, welcome to our post about telenovelas, the popular Spanish soap operas!

Watching telenovelas is a terrific method to learn Spanish. They allow Spanish learners to learn daily life words and expressions, and they are also a great conversation starter. When studying in Peru, Ecuador or Bolivia you will maybe encounter some die-hard fans of a certain telenovela, then knowing what it is about will give you a chance to make new friends and practice your Spanish!

Besides, as it happens with films, by watching telenovelas you will get to learn new grammatical structures and improve your listening comprehension skills. At first, and especially if you are just beginning with Spanish, the speech rhythm may be too fast to catch the details. If you are a beginner try to find telenovelas with English subtitles available.

As you get to an intermediate English level, not to hinder your progress, after each episode jot down on a notebook the words that you recognize to set everything into context and look up for the words that you recognize but don’t know the meaning. Then watch the episode a second time and jot down both the words that you know and those that you previously looked up. You will see how little by little you will be able to grasp more information.

Enough talking, it’s time for you to discover some famous telenovelas. Grab your popcorn and enjoy learning Spanish!

Note: Telenovelas not suitable for children

1. Rebelde Way

Rebelde Way was a youth-oriented telenovela from Argentina. Originally broadcast 2002-2003, Rebelde Way was a resounding success nationally and internationally. So much that the main characters, Benjamín Rojas, Camila Bordonaba, Luisana Lopilato and Felipe Colombo formed a music band called “Erreway” that toured around countries such as Argentina, Dominican Republic, Peru, Israel, and Spain. There was even a movie version released called “Erreway: 4 caminos”.

The telenovela revolves around the Elite Way School, a boarding high school internationally renowned. The majority of students come from wealthy families, whereas those with humble origins are discriminated against and watched by a secret organization called “La Logia”. Despite the enormous differences and arguments between the main characters, they end up bonding together and sharing their love for music.

2. Pasión de gavilanes (Hidden passion)

This Colombian telenovela was originally broadcast 2002-2003 and starring Danna García, Mario Cimarro, Juan Alfonso Baptista, Paola Rey, Natasha Klauss and Michel Brown. Pasión de Gavilanes was an adaptation of the Colombian telenovela “Las aguas mansas”, from 1994. The telenovela revolves around three brothers (Juan, Óscar and Frank) who seek revenge for the death of their sister. To that end, they start working in Elizondo’s family mansion. What the brothers do not expect is that they would meet the three landlord’s daughters and things would get far way more complicated…

3. Amor real (Real love)

Amor real is a Mexican telenovela originally broadcast in 2003 and starring Adela Noriega, Fernando Colunga, and Mauricio Islas. It is based on the book “Bodas de odio” by Caridad Bravo and the telenovela of the same name (previously made) by Ernesto Alonso. The telenovela depicts the conflicts arising from the love of Matilde Peñalver (Adela Noriega), a young woman living in Trinidad, for Adolfo Solís (Mauricio Islas). The fact that Matilde’s family doesn’tt approve their relationship and the appearance of Manuel Fuentes (Fernando Colunga) will complicate things for Matilda, who finds herself stuck in a love triangle.


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