Yabla is an interactive video program for learning Spanish. You watch videos in Spanish, with subtitles in Spanish and English below the video.
I am a big fan of it, as it is similar to my dual translation videos I make on YouTube and on this website.
I am a fan of the system of learning by watching music, videos, and other Spanish clips and that’s exactly what Yabla provides!
Yabla offers more than my videos on Youtube, as you can see the dual translation below the video, and you can click on any word and get an explanation of it.
You will improve the most at the comprehension part of the language. There are some writing exercises as well, but in terms of speaking, it will something you will have to do yourself!
What do you get?
Yabla offers a large collection of Spanish videos such as interviews, music, drama and news from the real Spanish speaking culture and from real and contemporary Spanish television.
Everything that is said will be subtitled below the video in both Spanish and English.
You can click any word for an explanation of the word, in case you don’t understand it, or simply want an explanation.
You can also slow down the video if it’s too fast for you to understand, and you can click back to go back a few seconds to re-listen to a phrase you missed.
There is also a “Games” section, where you can practice your writing, as you listen to the video and have to fill in some of the missing words.
Pros of Yabla
1) It’s entertaining!
It can be a lot more entertaining than other programs for learning languages. You get to watch interesting videos and have fun with the added bonus of learning Spanish.
So it’s not something that you will find difficult to get yourself to do!
2) Perfect to transition from a course to watching Spanish
In a course, you are in a very structured environment, so it’s great to follow that up with actual real life clips to get yourself out of the comfort zone.
3) Great at learning language comprehension
By simply watching videos with the bilingual translation, you would be very surprised at how much you’ll begin to understand in a relatively short period of time, due to the “immersion” in the language.
Cons of Yabla
1) Not exactly suitable for complete beginners
They do have ratings of difficulty, but complete beginners, even the 1 star videos may be a bit of a struggle.
2) It doesn’t have a clear structure / progression
While the loose structure can be a pro, it can also be a con for those starting out. They do have some specific videos for teaching language rules and grammar, but it is not as well structured as some other courses
3) Not much focus on speaking
So you don’t get comfortable speaking the language from early on, so even if you would have a good understanding of the language, you may need to overcome some resistance when it comes to actually speaking it.
Who is it best suited for?
Yabla is a great choice as a second program you take when learning a language.
So, I wouldn’t recommend starting with Yabla, as it may be too overwhelming at the start.
Then, after spending a few weeks or months on the first course, you can switch to Yabla and challenge yourself to understand real Spanish conversations.
Then, after you comfortably understand the majority of the vidoes on Yabla, you can move on to watching Spanish movies and listening to Spanish music.
So Yabla is a perfect transition between doing a course and consuming Spanish media!
Then after testing yourself with Spanish media in a non-pressure environment, you should be good at enough at Spanish to start practicing by taking to real people!