The Scoop: Dating someone who speaks a different language can be exciting, but if you want to make a deep connection, you’ll need a little more immersion into his or her culture. That’s what News in Slow Spanish can do. The educational podcast and subscription service presents newsworthy events — in Spanish — to help listeners understand the language. There are many ways to learn a new language today, but many of the options are limited to practical skills like ordering a coffee, asking for directions, or talking about the weather. News In Slow Spanish offers listeners something a little more in depth.
When you approach someone you find attractive, but he or she speaks a different language, it can be challenging to make a more meaningful connection. To find out if you have more in common than being in the same bar or café, you’ll need to understand more than a few phrases about the weather.
Learning and understanding some of the language the other person speaks will help you relate to them. Some people even consider learning a new language a benefit of dating someone from another culture.
But when many daters think of learning a new language, they envision classes, audio recordings, and textbooks. News in Slow Spanish, a subsidiary of language learning company Linguistica 360, dispels that notion and improves the language-learning process.
The podcast helps listeners learn a new language through an immersive experience that allows them to make connections to their own languages.
“Language learning services often do a disservice because they don’t have an immersive quality. You have to spend time with the vocabulary, listening to people, and hearing the language. That’s why travel is so good for learning a language because it is about spending time somewhere,” said Renzo Ampuero, Artistic Director at Linguistica 360. “It allows for a deeper connection to the ideas. When we create all these podcasts around news stories or interesting cultural conversations, that’s what makes it special.”
Adults may find it challenging to pick up a new language if they aren’t exposed to it. News in Slow Spanish is a useful tool that can be more engaging than textbooks, courses, or language learning apps that aren’t necessarily designed to be entertaining.
Some learning platforms promise results by committing just a couple of minutes a day, but the News in Slow Spanish team understands that’s not how language learning works.
Teaching Spanish, French, German & Italian
The idea for News in Slow Spanish came when its founder was trying to learn the language himself. He said he was disappointed when he discovered a lack of learning tools for someone on an intermediate level.
“He had done the basic courses and even took a trip to Spain. But at home, again, he found a desert in terms of content. There were books and TV programs and music, which are always great things to explore, but he wasn’t confident understanding everything,” Renzo said. “That was his a-ha moment. He needed something slower and more compelling. So, he started doing the podcast out of his own house — and it kept growing.”
The team behind the podcast and subscription service is a multi-cultural and multi-talented bunch, with representation from Peru, Venezuela, France, Russia, Sweden, and the United States. And the team’s voice talents hail from Germany, Italy, Spain, and Mexico. Team members with backgrounds in journalism and linguistics help write scripts and create interesting, engaging content. Linguistica 360 has versions of the News in Slow Spanish podcasts in French, German, and Italian.
“We have podcasts in several different languages,” Renzo said.
When users log on to the site, they can also choose between dialect from Spain or Latin America.
Travelers to Central and South America certainly understand that local dialects can be challenging. That’s why the site has a dedicated section that explains the different expressions and phrases used in different regions and parts of the world.
Options for Many Different Types of Learners
The News in Slow Spanish podcast is available for free, and the site offers additional programming and in-depth resources through its subscription.
“We get a lot of feedback and audience participation, in terms of comments, from a younger audience for the free content. For the paid, our demographics trend a little older,” Renzo said. “That also has to do with the subject matter, which is news. And we actually cover a wide variety of topics, so once people listen to the show, they’ll hear that.”
The team produces a show that covers a few stories each week, rather than trying to cover everything that takes place, and News in Slow Spanish often covers controversial topics, including U.S. politics and other critical international issues.
It may not always include light current events, but the podcast presents content listeners can use to learn. Then, they can talk about those subjects with someone they’d like to get to know better.
“It’s still something that can bring something together. A healthy disagreement can bring people together — all while they’re practicing the language,” Renzo said. “We want people to talk about relevant topics and have interesting conversations with their partner, not just about the weather but something more meaningful.”
News in Slow Spanish: Lessons Delivered at a Slower Pace
News in Slow Spanish was developed to help people learn to communicate by combining immersion, education, and current events. But the podcast is just one of News in Slow Spanish’s many resources.
“For every piece of grammar we feature in a story or conversation, we have comprehensive lessons on a range of subjects that you can reference at any time — including quizzes that test your knowledge,” Renzo said.
The company has a new program called GUTS (Get Up To Speed), and it’s great for students who are a little rusty and need to continue on an intermediate level. Linguistica 360 also offers advanced lessons and segments as part of its subscription service.
News in Slow Spanish is planning to upgrade its services soon. Renzo said the company will make significant improvements to its presentation and content offerings in upcoming months.
Still, the team plans to develop engaging podcasts and interesting lessons that introduce listeners to the language through real-world topics, and that can help loved ones relate on a deeper level.
“Our name is a little tongue-in-cheek, but the word ‘slow’ has weight to it. Everything moves so fast. Take the time to listen to something and prioritize enjoyment while you are learning,” Renzo said. “Absorbing everything as you go can be a nice change of pace. It’s deeper, too. It’s talking about real issues and listening to real conversations about relevant topics. When I speak to my wife, we talk about silly things, but it’s nice to connect on something that matters.”