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I am going to be studying in Spain starting next year.

The Duolingo spanish course has more of a focus on the Latin American version. I was wondering if anyone knows of a course/website which uses the variant of Spanish that is spoken in Spain, rather than in Latin America? It would help if I would be able to speak as the locals do and not seem too foreign.

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Below are a few websites where you should be able to learn European Spanish:

If any other online courses pop up, I'll add them to the list on my website.

  • Great thanks! Oh no! How do I accept two answers? I feel that you both had useful things to say about the matter, but your answer is probably closer to what I am looking for =( – Liz Sep 7 '16 at 17:19
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There are podcasts for learning Spanish at different levels (beginner, intermediate, advanced) at Notes in Spanish. They are done by a couple, Ben and Marina; Marina is a native speaker from Madrid, and Ben is actually English but has been speaking Spanish for years (but sometimes Marina has to correct his grammar). They are helpful for listening practice, and there are transcripts/worksheets available if you go premium. The podcasts don't seem to be still produced, but the ones that have been are there available for listening (note that the forum frequently mentioned in the podcasts has been closed).

5

Assimil has good self-learning courses that teach European Spanish:

Supermemo courses teach European Spanish:

Supermemo also provides a very large set of vocabulary and grammar flashcards, which can be repeated using spaced repetition in the Supermemo app:

All these Supermemo courses/flashcards can be used online (see the links above) or bought from the Supermemo app (for Android/iOS).

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Unfortunately there is no such thing as "Latin American Spanish". Spanish from Argentina differs a lot from the Spanish they use in Mexico, and both have just as many differences with the Spanish from Cuba or Colombia. It's a strange simplification that is quite inaccurate. Spanish from Spain also has different varieties, just like in UK you have Scotts, Welsh, Cockney folks, etc. speaking differently. You probably need NORMATIVE SPANISH (correct general one without local interferences or local slang)

The best book for normative Spanish is one called "A Good Spanish Book!" by University Academic Editions, written by a professor of Spanish, from Spain, with a PhD. We are using it in my university this year and it's wonderful for beginners. Best Book To Learn Spanish

It's first in the rankings as "the best book to learn Spanish for beginners": https://www.librarything.com/list/11238/all/

Hope this helps!

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For the current level of Spanish that you might have, I suppose that you are just starting, Duolingo will help you to learn vocabulary and some phrases. You won't find much difference between the Spanish from Spain and the Latin American Spanish in the basic level.

Nevertheless, if your goal is to speak Spanish, Duolingo will not help you do that. Most of the things that you learn in Duolingo are useless in the real life. There are indeed some funny phrases like “The spider does not speak” or "Look! A flying cow!" Try to use it in real life with a native speaker, and please post the results.

Therefore if you need to learn Spanish for everyday life or studying, besides Duolingo, you need to take into account other resources. Going to a classroom where you can practice with real people is so much better. Otherwise there is a resource that I recommend which is Rocket Spanish (I'm not affiliated with them in any way) which is the closest thing to having a real language class because it gives you real world examples and useful cultural and language tips.

Try to prepare as best as you can, but believe me that you will learn the language out of need when you arrive at your destination.

Source: my real life experience learning french before coming to live in France. I'm a native Spanish speaker.

  • 1
    The "host" of Rocket Spanish (Mauricio) is a native speaker of Latin American Spanish. – Christophe Strobbe Sep 7 '16 at 16:34

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