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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Spanish Language: A Learner's Guide: Getting Started

Rosetta Stone

The Library subscribes to Rosetta Stone Foundations, which features 30 languages from around the globe. To enter the database, go to Rosetta Stone Foundations/ Alternative link . You can also use Rosetta Stone on a mobile device. To get set up, use the      Tutorial for Rosetta Stone Mobile. If you have trouble entering the database and signing up for an account, contact Paula Carns at If you have difficulties once you set up your account, please use the "Contact Support" option at Rosetta Stone (linked off of the entry page).

Spanish Translation Tools

Online Dictionaries Spanish


Web of Dictionaries: Spanish

For synonyms and antonyms:

 El Mundo Dictionaries

Verb Conjugation

Verbix -- Spanish Verb Conjugator
Spanish Verb Conjugations
Wordreference Verb Conjugator



Google Translate

Print Dictionaries

The Literatures and Languages Library circulates print dictionaries. To find a monolingual Spanish dictionary, search the Online Catalog using the subject heading Spanish Language Dictionaries (Tips For Searching the Online Catalog). To find a Spanish/English dictionary, search the Online Catalog using the subject heading Spanish Language Dictionaries English. 

Online Resources


Great Ways to Learn Spanish Online

BBC Languages: Spanish--A comprehensive and lively collection of free audio and video courses for both beginners and intermediate learners.

Marco ELE -- An educational magazine that helps in learning Spanish as a second language. It has many great articles on the acquisition of language and analyzes resources and books that deal with learning languages. Spanish Language -- The website maintaned by's Spanish Guide features a variety of language lessons, blog posts and several interactive elements including quizzes.

Spanish Blog: Language and Culture -- Great blog maintained by Transparent Language, a leader in language software. It has a staff of several writers and uses lessons, videos and even cultural anecdotes to help you learn grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation and more.

Destinos -- These videos teach speaking, listening and skills to understand Spanish through the telenovela or Spanish soap opera. There are dialects from Mexico, Spain, Argentina, and Puerto Rico that allows the listener to learn of the different Hispanic cultures. The videos are closed captioned in Spanish. 

Coffeebreak Spanish--Excellent Spanish Podcast aimed primarily at beginning and early intermediate learners.

More Online Resources

FSI Language Courses -- Free Spanish audio courses taken from the courses designed by the U.S. Foreign Service Institute. It looks a bit stiff and formal but there are exercises, lessons and a wealth of audio files. There are many other languages available as well, not just Spanish.

Notes in Spanish and Notes From Spain --Sister sites that offer a wide variety of helpful resources for Spanish language and culture. NIS focuses on learning the Spanish language with a series of podcasts and NFS focuses cuisine, lifestyle and travel in Spain.

The Spanish Blog --A good resource put together by a Spanish teacher from Bilbao, Spain. Blog posts range from pronunciation guides to recipes and there are a wide variety of cultural and multimedia resources to help you learn and have fun at the same time.

Spanish Language and Culture--Maintained by a Spanish professor at Colby College, this website contains grammar exercises and some excellent activities which use songs, videos and even poems to help improve your Spanish.

Learn Spanish in Chile--Their Spanish Learning Area offers online quizes and games for practicing Spanish.

Study Features a wealth of tutorials for grammar, pronunciation, vocabulary and verbs available for free. Mostly for beginners and intermediate learners, with advanced lessons available if you sign up for their premium account.

Social Sites to Help Learn Spanish

Bitacoras and Meneame--If you've heard of the social bookmarking site Digg, these are two Spanish language equivalents. Search across thousands of blog posts and articles in Spanish, read the most popular posts on their homepage and vote for ones that you like. Great way to practice your reading skills and you might even meet some interesting new people. The two function almost exactly the same. Forums and Forums--Active language forums where you can post grammar questions to have them answered by native speakers, or you can learn by reading other threads or answering others yourself. You will almost always get replies by authoritative, knowledgable posters, which you can verify by seeing their native language, number of posts and reputation.

Subject Guide

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Literatures and Languages Library
225 Main Library
1408 W. Gregory Drive
Urbana, IL 61801
(217) 333-2220


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