Using Univision Telenovela Transcripts and Readlang to Learn Spanish

Using Telenovela Transcripts and Readlang for Learning Spanish

Telenovela Transcripts Now Available at

Univision usually includes Spanish subtitles for their telenovelas online, but I’ve recently noticed that they now also include the ENTIRE TRANSCRIPT of each episode below the video. This is great for copying and pasting into other programs (think of the corpus linguistics applications!), but it also means that you can use the Readlang add-on to quickly translate a word you don’t know by clicking on it – as I have done with the word rebaños in the screenshot. This is not possible with the subtitles, which you cannot click on or copy and paste elsewhere.

This example above is from episode 10 of El Hotel de los Secretos (The Hotel of Secrets), which you must check out. It’s a Mexican telenovela, but not like the stereotypical crazy telenovelas since it’s more like a period drama. It takes place at a fancy hotel in the Mexican countryside in 1908, and it’s actually an adaptation/remake of the Spanish drama series Gran Hotel (which has been called the Spanish Downton Abbey). I’m a tiny bit obsessed with it already.

El Hotel de los Secretos Telenovela on Univision

There are lots of mysteries and (obviously) secrets to figure out, and the plot advances rapidly so you won’t get bored waiting for the obvious to happen like with so many other telenovelas. Plus there will only be 80 episodes total so it won’t keep dragging on.

If you have access to the Univision videos online, you can watch most of the episodes for free. The latest five episodes are locked unless your cable provider allows you to log in, or you can subscribe to Hulu for all of the episodes. Another option is Univision’s new subscription app that lets you watch Univision live or anything shown within the past 72 hours.

The other major Spanish-language channel in the US, Telemundo, also provides videos of their telenovelas online, but so far they only offer subtitles in Spanish embedded in the videos.

Dr. Wagner has a PhD in Linguistics and is dedicated to learning and teaching languages online and abroad. She has studied in Quebec and Australia, taught English in France, and is currently based in the US.