When it comes to literature in English, I’m admittedly a snob. To improve my Spanish, I’ve had to rethink my standards.

When the Harry Potter craze started several years ago, I listened to the critics who said it was shallow writing, the fast food of literature, meant only for short term commercial success. Besides, I had already read the Lord of the Rings series several times when I was young, and didn’t imagine those could be improved on.

So, when I started learning Spanish, the first thing I went for was the high brow stuff. Cortázar, Borges and Unamano. I loved these, and would still recommend them to anyone, especially the short stories of Cortázar. They were especially great reading.

But then I started wanting to listen to more audiobooks as a way of improving my Spanish listening skills. I wanted to be able to work on my listening abilities at the gym, in my car, or while cleaning up around the house. In other words, without a dictionary in my lap. And it needed to be entertaining to hold my interest while I was doing other things.

While living in Argentina, I’d caught bits and pieces of the Harry Potter movies on television. And thought they’d maybe be at the appropriate level, and focused enough on entertainment for my needs. It took me some time to track down the audio books. As far as I can tell, the usual places – iTunes, Audible, etc. don’t carry the Harry Potter audio books.

Eventually I found one that may or may not have been pirated, and was apparently read by amateurs (you could hear the pages turning, and occasionally a background noise would disrupt the recording. But overall, the sound quality was great, and it was just what I needed.

The Potter series is truly addictive, and as it contains several really long books, it provided me with literally months of daily listening in Spanish. I enjoyed it all so much, that I’m now on my second round of listening to them.

I would say that in my last 6 months of listening to the Potter series, my Spanish listening skills have improved  greatly. At the same time I’ve learned lots of words that may or may not be useful in daily conversation, such as hechizo (spell), varita (wand), and caldero (cauldron). But I’ve also learned things that are very useful, such as reporting words like chillar (scream), cuchichear (whisper), farfullar (babble or sputter) and mascullar (mumble).

More importantly, it helped my ability to not get hung up on every word, but to relax, let words I didn’t know float by, and follow the thread of the story.

Check out the clip below for a taste:

If you’re searching for Spanish audio books, you may check here, although I’m really not sure if these are legal downloads, and you’ll always want to be sure of what your downloading before you click…

All in all, I’d highly recommend the Potter series for improving your Spanish.

I’m still not going to read the Twilight series, though. That stuff is crap.

  • Michele

    Hi, I’m desperately seeking H.P. in Spanish as well. I logged onto the Que de Libros but to no avail. All I can find is reviews of the H.P. books. I don’t know if my Spanish is just not good enough to follow the directions or my ability to use this computer is the problem. Is there anyway you could double check if they are still downloadable?

  • anon

    Hi there!

    They are all availeable on TPT.
    Harry Potter Todos los audiolibros en español:


  • may3

    It totally worked! Thank you SO MUCH!!!

    I’ve been studying Spanish and I wanted Harry Potter in Spanish Audio badly. I bought the first one on Amazon, but they don’t sell the others! Why not???? It’s Harry Potter, for God’s sake! They do sell this no name garbage that nobody would ever listen to!

    Anyway, I was getting really desperate, and right when I was about to give up, I found your post! It totally worked, and it is a life saver. I am NOT listening to Don Quixote.

    Thanks again!

  • Pavla

    :-))) This so reminds me of my own story… but in my case the target language was English. Only, my very first listening which triggered my addiction to audiobooks were original radio series of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. By the way, nothing has beaten that yet…

  • RT

    I still can’t find it anywhere!!! Anyone have any other links?? I have the book and I really want to read while listening in Spanish. Thanks!

  • RT

    If anyone finds any links to the to download/buy first Harry Potter audio please let me know! I am living in Colombia and it is nearly impossible to get anything shipped here and none of the stores carry it!

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