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I have a dream speech in Spanish

I have a Dream Speech in Spanish Class

Inside: Learning about Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have a Dream” speech in Spanish.

As we near Martin Luther King Jr. day, many of you Spanish teachers are looking for ways to incorporate Dr. King’s influential “I Have a Dream” speech — one of the most famous speeches in the entire world.

Before we dive in, I would like to offer some caution. Schools using a speech like “I Have a Dream” year after year can present a certain danger: paired with cutesy clipart, simplistic lessons, and “let’s just all get along” messaging, we can do a serious disservice to King’s legacy.

I do want us honor the legacy of Dr King and love that it’s a national holiday. Every student should be intimately familiar with this iconic speech. Let’s just make sure we present a robust picture of the Civil Rights movement, with much work left to do.

As you prepare to teach about MLK Jr., I encourage non-Black teachers especially to research anti-bias and anti-racist teaching. Take the time to educate yourself on the larger movement beyond this one speech.

a speech in spanish

Related: Resources for Celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Spanish Class

First, a note: you might be surprised that both the audio and text of the “I Have a Dream” speech are not currently in the public domain. According to the Washington Post , however, teachers may use it with their students:

The speech is not in the public domain but is private property, owned by the King family, and anybody who wants to use  it is supposed to pay for that right. For that matter, all of King’s papers and speeches are owned by family members, some of whom also operate the licensing operation through which those who want to use them must go. While some use of the speech or parts of it can be lawful without approval — individual teachers, for example, are not challenged when they use the speech in violation of the copyright — the makers of the 2014 film “Selma” were never given permission to use King’s words or life story because they couldn’t get a license, which had been sold to two companies for a movie about King’s life that Steven Spielberg is supposedly going to make. – 53 years later, you still have to pay to use Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous ‘I Have a Dream’ speech

What’s included in this post:

  • I Have a Dream in Spanish Lesson Ideas
  • I Have a Dream Speech Transcripts in Spanish
  • Comprehensible Quotes from I Have a Dream
  • Audio and Video from Dr. King’s Speech

I Have a Dream in Spanish – Lesson Ideas

With all of that in mind, let’s look at some ideas for using the speech with Spanish students. I do think that Spanish class can be a good context for studying I Have a Dream , because it”s familiar to most students.

If you are trying to stay in the target language as much as possible, in-depth and nuanced conversations can be tough, and working with familiar texts can make that a bit easier.

Some ideas for Spanish teachers:

  • Choose some more comprehensible sections of the speech and have students match the English and Spanish versions .
  • Pull several quotes out in Spanish AND use some unrelated quotes not from the speech . After discussing or translating the quotes into English, let students try to guess which ones are from MLK Jr., and which ones are not.
  • You could also choose two quotes from the speech, and two lesser-known MLK Jr. quotes (perhaps pull from “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”). Students can guess which are from the speech.
  • Use just one quote or paragraph from the speech, and do a shrinking summary . Students (alone, in groups, or as a class) can highlight what they think is the most important sentence. Then, they can underline which phrase is the most important from that sentence, and finally circle just one word. You could compare what different groups decided on.
  • Adapt lesson plans from Civil Rights Teaching to your students’ proficiency levels . You do have to register, but there are some good resources. The PDF from Martin Luther King Jr.’s Radical Vision is really helpful and will help your students dig deeper beyond the well-known quotes. They may be surprised to learn how unpopular the Civil Rights movement was, and how MLK Jr. was regarded as an extremist at the time.
  • Use this free Spanish printable with elementary students, with activities for writing about the I Have a Dream speech, from Fantastic Teacher
  • Use these bilingual printables  for elementary students, including a sheet to compare the before/after impact of MLK Jr.’s life and a “Yo tengo un sueño” sheet for drawing or writing, from Hola Bilinguals.
  • If you work with kids who are advanced Spanish speakers, here is a vocabulary sheet in Spanish for teaching about Dr. King’s speeche.

I HAVE A DREAM speech IN SPANISH Transcripts

The language Martin Luther King Jr. used in this speech is best suited to advanced Spanish students, but you can find a complete transcript of the speech here at El Mundo .

Please keep in mind that this speech obviously uses the term “negro” as a translation when referring to Black people. This may be shocking or upsetting to your students if you don’t provide context first. At the time of writing this post I came across this article explaining the history of the word in different language, and will keep searching for more guidance on how to discuss with students.

It may be more useful to include shorter quotes for novice and intermediate Spanish students. Here are some excerpts that may be more comprehensible for Spanish learners:

Yo tengo un sueño de que un día esta nación se elevará y vivirá el verdadero significado de su credo: ‘Creemos que estas verdades son evidentes: que todos los hombres son creados iguales’. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
No debemos permitir que nuestra protesta creativa degenere en violencia física.  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Hace cien años, un gran estadounidense, cuya simbólica sombra nos cobija hoy, firmó la Proclama de la emancipación. Este trascendental decreto significó como un gran rayo de luz y de esperanza para millones de esclavos negros, chamuscados en las llamas de una marchita injusticia. Llegó como un precioso amanecer al final de una larga noche de cautiverio. Pero, cien años después, el negro aún no es libre; cien años después, la vida del negro es aún tristemente lacerada por las esposas de la segregación y las cadenas de la discriminación; cien años después, el negro vive en una isla solitaria en medio de un inmenso océano de prosperidad material. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Yo tengo el sueño de que un día en las coloradas colinas de Georgia los hijos de los ex esclavos y los hijos de los ex propietarios de esclavos serán capaces de sentarse juntos en la mesa de la hermandad. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Cuando los arquitectos de nuestra república escribieron las magníficas palabras de la Constitución y la Declaración de Independencia, firmaban una promisoria nota de la que todo estadounidense sería heredero. Esa nota era una promesa de que todos los hombres tendrían garantizados los derechos inalienables de ‘vida, libertad y búsqueda de la felicidad’. Es obvio hoy que Estados Unidos ha fallado en su promesa en lo que respecta a sus ciudadanos de color.  En vez de honrar su obligación sagrada, Estados Unidos dio al negro un cheque sin valor que fue devuelto con el sello de ‘fondos insuficientes’ . Pero nos rehusamos a creer que el banco de la justicia está quebrado. Nos rehusamos a creer que no hay fondos en los grandes depósitos de oportunidad en esta nación. Por eso hemos venido a cobrar ese cheque, un cheque que nos dará las riquezas de la libertad y la seguridad de la justicia. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Sería fatal para la nación pasar por alto la urgencia del momento.  Este sofocante verano del legítimo descontento del negro no terminará hasta que venga un otoño revitalizador de libertad e igualdad.  1963 no es un fin, sino un principio.  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Yo tengo el sueño de que un día incluso el estado de Mississippi, un estado desierto, sofocado por el calor de la injusticia y la opresión, será transformado en un oasis de libertad y justicia. Yo tengo el sueño de que mis cuatro hijos pequeños vivirán un día en una nación donde no serán juzgados por el color de su piel sino por el contenido de su carácter. ¡ Yo tengo un sueño hoy! Yo tengo el sueño de que un día, allá en Alabama, con sus racistas despiadados, con un gobernador cuyos labios gotean con las palabras de la interposición y la anulación; un día allí mismo en Alabama, pequeños niños negros y pequeñas niñas negras serán capaces de unir sus manos con pequeños niños blancos y niñas blancas como hermanos y hermanas. ¡Yo tengo un sueño hoy! Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Audio and Video I Have a Dream speech in Spanish

You can also see interpretations of the speech in these YouTube videos:

I hope these resources and ideas are helpful for Spanish-speaking educators and parents. You know your students and classrooms best, and I encourage you to dig a little deeper into the Civil Rights Movements and the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., whether or not you decide to use this particular speech.

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Cambridge Dictionary

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Translation of speech – English–Spanish dictionary

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  • She suffers from a speech defect .
  • From her slow , deliberate speech I guessed she must be drunk .
  • Freedom of speech and freedom of thought were both denied under the dictatorship .
  • As a child , she had some speech problems .
  • We use these aids to develop speech in small children .

FORMAL TALK

  • Her speech was received with cheers and a standing ovation .
  • She closed the meeting with a short speech.
  • The vicar's forgetting his lines in the middle of the speech provided some good comedy .
  • Her speech caused outrage among the gay community .
  • She concluded the speech by reminding us of our responsibility .

(Translation of speech from the Cambridge English-Spanish Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

Translation of speech | GLOBAL English–Spanish Dictionary

(Translation of speech from the GLOBAL English-Spanish Dictionary © 2020 K Dictionaries Ltd)

Examples of speech

Translations of speech.

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a game in which two, three, or four players use mallets (= long wooden hammers) to hit wooden balls through small metal hoops (= curves) fixed into the grass

Infinitive or -ing verb? Avoiding common mistakes with verb patterns (1)

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▾ dictionary english-spanish, speech noun ( plural: speeches ) —, discurso m ( plural: discursos m ), slurred speech n —, keynote speech n —, hate speech n —, elevator speech n —, opening speech n —, indirect speech n —, speech problems pl —, everyday speech n —, public speech n —, introductory speech n —, inaugural speech n —, inauguration speech n —, short speech n —, speech audiometry n —, campaign speech n —, speech transmission n —, televised speech n —, passionate speech n —, christmas speech n —, official speech n —, speech competition n —, speech problem n —, speech of thanks n —, goodbye speech n —, ▸ wikipedia, ▾ external sources (not reviewed).

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What is the translation of "speech" in Spanish?

"speech" in spanish, speech {noun}.

  • volume_up discurso
  • disertación
  • forma de hablar

speeches {pl}

  • volume_up discursos

Queen's Speech {noun}

  • volume_up Mensaje de la Corona

direct speech {noun}

  • volume_up discurso directo
  • estilo directo

free speech {noun}

  • volume_up libertad de expresión

Spanish translations powered by Oxford Languages

Speech noun, translations.

  • "manner of speaking"
  • open_in_new Link to source
  • warning Request revision

speeches {plural}

Context sentences, english spanish contextual examples of "speech" in spanish.

These sentences come from external sources and may not be accurate. bab.la is not responsible for their content.

Monolingual examples

English how to use "speech" in a sentence, english how to use "speeches" in a sentence, english how to use "direct speech" in a sentence, english how to use "free speech" in a sentence, english how to use "discurso directo" in a sentence, english how to use "estilo directo" in a sentence, english how to use "libertad de expresión" in a sentence, collocations, "give a speech" in spanish.

  • volume_up dar un discurso

"graduation speech" in Spanish

  • volume_up discurso de graduación

"abusive speech" in Spanish

  • volume_up discurso abusivo

Synonyms (English) for "speech":

  • actor's line
  • manner of speaking
  • oral communication
  • speech communication
  • spoken communication
  • spoken language
  • voice communication

pronunciation

  • speculative stocks
  • speculative theory
  • speculative trading
  • speculative venture
  • speculator buy
  • speculator drive
  • speculator push
  • speculators betting on
  • speech and language therapist
  • speech balloon
  • speech bubble
  • speech clinic
  • speech codes
  • speech command
  • speech defect
  • speech defect caused by an abnormal frenum

More translations in the Polish-English dictionary .

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Indirect Speech in Spanish Grammar

Indirect speech in spanish: the basics, how to change direct speech to indirect speech in spanish, changing the tense in indirect speech, changing information about place and time.

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What is estilo indirecto ?

Reported speech or indirect speech (el estilo indirecto) is when we repeat what another person has said without directly quoting it.

This means that we often have to adapt or change certain parts of speech such as pronouns , tenses and time and place markers to reflect that we are only reporting what was said, not repeating it word-for-word.

Learn all about reported speech in Spanish with Lingolia, then practise in the interactive exercises.

Direct speech repeats someone’s utterance word-for-word and is placed within quotation marks (comillas: «…»).

Indirect speech reproduces something a person has said without quoting them exactly.

Indirect speech is therefore introduced by a reporting verb such as decir say , afirmar confirm , contar tell , exclamar exclaim , explicar explain , preguntar ask  …

Sentences in reported speech take the following form: reporting verb + que (= that)

Questions in reported speech do not take question marks.

Yes-no questions (oraciones interrogativas totales) take the following form: reporting verb + si (= if)

When a question contains a question word (oración interrogativa parcial) , we use this in place of si : reporting verb + question word

Indirect Questions

Remember: questions in indirect speech are not the same thing as indirect questions (las oraciones interrogativas indirectas).

To learn more, check out our page on indirect questions in Spanish grammar .

There are several parts of speech that we have to change when converting direct speech to indirect speech in Spanish.

Luckily the process is almost exactly the same as it is in English, which means you already know more than you think!

Let’s start off with a simple example in English:

In this example, we can see that the following parts of speech have changed:

  • personal pronouns (I → he)
  • verb (like → liked)
  • demonstrative pronoun (this → that)

In Spanish, we change the exact same things (plus a few others). Let’s break them down in detail:

  • personal pronouns (yo, tú, él, ella …) Example: Juan: «( Yo ) estoy estupendamente». Juan: “ I’m great.” → Juan dijo que ( él ) estaba estupendamente. He said that he was great. 1st person to 3rd
  • possessives (mi, tu, su …)
  • demonstratives (este, esta, ese …)
  • information about place and time
  • the verb changes its person and tense (more info on this below) Example: Juan: « Estoy estupendamente». Juan: “I am doing great.” → Juan dijo que estaba estupendamente. Juan said that he was doing great. 1st person to 3rd; present tense to imperfect

When moving from direct to indirect speech, we often have to change the tense of the verb.

Whether we have to change the tense depends on the tense of the reporting verb.

No change in tense

The tense in the indirect speech stays the same if the reporting verb is in the present, future or perfect tense (él cuenta, él contará, él ha contado ). The person still changes.

Exception: the imperative

The imperative is a special case. Even if the reporting verb is in the present or perfect, the imperative does not remain the same in the indirect speech; it changes to become the present subjunctive .

However, when the reporting verb is in the past, the imperative behaves like other tenses and changes to the imperfect subjunctive in indirect speech.

When to change the tense in indirect speech

When the reporting verb is in the preterite, imperfect or past perfect (él contó, el contaba, el había contado ), the tense of the indirect speech moves back one. This is known as backshifting.

The table below shows how to backshift the tense from direct speech to indirect speech when you have a reporting verb in the past.

Time and place references have to be adapted in indirect speech.

The table below shows how to convert time and place references from direct speech to indirect speech.

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Reported Speech in Spanish: Master the Art of Talking About What Other People Say

Reported speech is everywhere.

In English, you use it dozens (if not hundreds) of times every day without even realizing it.

The good news is that you can be that natural in Spanish, too. You’re literally just an article away from becoming a Spanish reported speech master yourself!

Don’t believe me? Give this post just 10 minutes of your time, and you’ll see how easy it can be.

What Is Spanish Reported Speech?

Basics of spanish reported speech, spanish reporting verbs, decir  (to say, to tell), preguntar  (to ask), querer saber (to want to know), pedir  (to ask), querer (to want), other reporting verbs in spanish, using  que (that), spanish reported speech word order: subject + verb + object, spanish reported speech based on questions, yes or no questions, “wh-” questions, other changes in spanish reported speech, personal pronouns and possessives, time and place expressions, verb tenses, and one more thing….

Download: This blog post is available as a convenient and portable PDF that you can take anywhere. Click here to get a copy. (Download)

Direct and reported speech are two of the most frequently-used grammar points in languages, and Spanish is no exception. Whenever you talk about what someone else has said, you use either direct or reported speech.

When you repeat exactly what another person has said and explicitly indicate who said it, you’re using direct speech. For example:

Daniel dice: “Estoy muy cansado hoy.” (Daniel says: “I am very tired today.”)

Now, let’s say you don’t remember exactly what your  compadre (buddy) Daniel said, but you do remember the gist of it. If someone else asks you what Daniel said, you’d say something like:

Daniel dice que está muy cansado hoy.  (Daniel says he is very tired today.)

That, in a nutshell, is reported speech. Spanish reported speech is where you talk about someone (other than yourself and the person you’re talking to) and what that person said without necessarily quoting them verbatim.

In written texts or messages, it’s usually easier to differentiate between Spanish direct and reported speech. For starters, direct speech uses quotation marks to enclose the statement being quoted, while reported speech doesn’t. Direct speech quotes the person being talked about word-for-word, while reported speech may or may not use their exact words, though the gist of what they said is always present.

So that’s it, right? Differentiating direct and reported speech in Spanish is just a matter of using the right punctuation marks and whether you used the other person’s exact words, yes? 

Not quite. Although English and Spanish reported speech are similar for the most part, the latter has some unique quirks that we’ll be discussing in the next sections.

Like in English, reported speech in Spanish consists of a few basic elements: reporting verbs, connecting words like que (“that”) and the message from the person being talked about—whether the message is verbatim or not.

Let’s break them down below.

Similar to English, Spanish reporting verbs (also known as communication verbs ) are used to signal that you’re either quoting someone directly (direct speech) or paraphrasing them (reported speech).

There are dozens of reporting verbs in every language, although we tend to use some of them more often than others.

Here are a few of the most common reporting verbs in Spanish:

Decir is probably the most common Spanish word to use when talking about what someone else said.

If you want to tell someone about what another person is asking, use preguntar.

Querer saber can be used in a similar way as preguntar.

When you’re talking about what someone else wants, use pedir.

Instead of pedir, you can also use querer.

As I’ve mentioned earlier, there are so many Spanish reporting verbs that it would be impossible to list them all here. However, I can give you some of the most common ones:

You may have noticed that almost all of our examples above have the word que . I’m telling you now: que is going to be your new best friend, because every single reported statement and command in Spanish will include it, even if you omit or don’t need “that” in English.

Let’s look at a few examples:

It doesn’t matter if you’re talking about a statement, command or question. The word order will always be Subject + Verb + Object, as is typical of Spanish sentence structure .

When the reported speech Spanish speakers use is based on questions , it deviates slightly from the structure we just discussed and is based on whether you’re using a “yes or no” question or a “wh-” question.

In reported speech that’s based on this kind of question, you use si (if, whether) instead of que .

Recall the Spanish equivalents of the English “wh-” questions:

When you’re reporting a “wh-” question, you use the appropriate question words above instead of  que or  si .

One thing to keep in mind: when using the verb preguntar , you can add que just before the question word.

Don’t be afraid to write two que together! They aren’t the same word, and they don’t have the same function.

In reported speech, the personal pronouns and possessives change from the reported version. Luckily, it works the same way in English—that is, the change is necessary so that the core message isn’t lost or misinterpreted.

Again like English, time and place expressions in the reported speech Spanish speakers use change from their direct counterparts.

Here are some of the main changes that take place:

There’s a group of words I’d like to include in this section. They’re neither time nor place expressions, but they imply distance from the speaker.

Undoubtedly, the most troublesome part of reported speech in Spanish is that the verbs change their tenses.

The good news is that these changes don’t happen all the time, and you have almost identical changes in English.

But when do we need to make changes in verb tenses? How do we know?

The only thing you have to bear in mind here is the reporting verb. Yes, that little friend present at the beginning of the reported sentences we studied before.

There are only two straightforward rules, really:

1. If the reporting verb is in the present simple or the present perfect tense, you DON’T have to change any verb tenses unless you have a command.

2. If the reporting verb is in the preterite, the imperfect or the past perfect tense ( pluscuamperfecto ), you DO need to make changes.

Have a look at the following examples. The reporting verbs (in bold) are in the present simple or the present perfect, so there are no verb changes in the reported sentences.

As stated before, when you have a command, you do need to make changes even when the reporting verb is in the present or the present perfect tense. Therefore, the imperative changes into the present subjunctive .

Similarly, if the command’s reporting verb is in the past tense, the imperative changes into the imperfect subjunctive.

In those sentences where the reporting verb appears in the past tense, you need to make verb tense changes in the reported fragment. These changes are almost identical to those in English, but here are the most important ones for your convenience:

In those sentences where the verb is in the imperfect , conditional or past perfect ( pluscuamperfecto ), there are no tense changes.

I know this can all sound very overwhelming and confusing, so I’d like to introduce you to the language learning platform FluentU , where you can watch reported speech in Spanish in action.

FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.

You can try FluentU for free for 2 weeks. Check out the website or download the iOS app or Android app.

P.S. If you decide to sign up now, you can take advantage of our current sale!

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And that’s all!

As you can see, Spanish and English reported speeches are very similar.

Just remember the few rules I’ve taught you in this post, and you’ll have no problem at all!

If you've made it this far that means you probably enjoy learning Spanish with engaging material and will then love FluentU .

Other sites use scripted content. FluentU uses a natural approach that helps you ease into the Spanish language and culture over time. You’ll learn Spanish as it’s actually spoken by real people.

FluentU has a wide variety of videos, as you can see here:

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FluentU brings native videos within reach with interactive transcripts. You can tap on any word to look it up instantly. Every definition has examples that have been written to help you understand how the word is used. If you see an interesting word you don’t know, you can add it to a vocab list.

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Review a complete interactive transcript under the Dialogue tab, and find words and phrases listed under Vocab .

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Learn all the vocabulary in any video with FluentU’s robust learning engine. Swipe left or right to see more examples of the word you’re on.

a speech in spanish

The best part is that FluentU keeps track of the vocabulary that you’re learning, and gives you extra practice with difficult words. It'll even remind you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned. Every learner has a truly personalized experience, even if they’re learning with the same video.

Start using the FluentU website on your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play store. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)

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a speech in spanish

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Spanish Grammar Lesson: Direct vs Indirect Speech

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March 25, 2017

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Direct vs Indirect Speech

The difference between direct and indirect speech (also called reported speech) is pretty easy to understand.  

But it's not very easy to apply when speaking in a foreign language. It is a very important part of communicating, however, and plays an major role in most conversations.

Read on for a quick introduction and guide to direct vs indirect speech in Spanish.

So, what’s the difference?

That’s a very good question! Before we get too far ahead of ourselves with all the little technicalities, let’s make sure that we understand what we’re dealing with here.

In order to do this, take the following conversation:

Pedro: Where are you going?

Jose: To the store.

1: Will you get milk?

2: Sure, no problem.

Now, let’s say Pedro later goes on to have a conversation with someone else, about the above mentioned interaction. There are some options for how they could go about doing this. Let’s just say it looked something like this:

  • Pedro: I asked Jose where he was going. He said, “to the store.” So, I asked if he would get some milk, and he said “sure, no problem.”

The above recounting of a previous event or exchange with another person is what we’re going to look at. You have two options when doing this.

The first, is by using quotation marks. This is direct speech. This means that the words are being repeated exactly like they were said.

  • He said, “to the store.”
  • ...and he said, “sure, no problem.”

The second way of recounting a conversation is through indirect speech. In the example above, this is done through changing the verb tense, although that isn’t always required (we will look at that more later).  

  • Reported: I asked him where he was going.
  • Reported: I asked if he would get some milk.

Basically, there are 3 important rules to keep in mind when using indirect (reported) speech. They are:

  • You will not use quotation marks
  • Since you’re not quoting, you don’t need to say word-for-word what the person said
  • When reporting what someone said, you generally change the verb tense.

Reporting Verbs

There are still a few things we need to talk about before getting into everyone’s favorite part about grammar--the technicalities.

In order to identify that something is being “reported” or to communicate that you are repeating something that someone said previously, you’ll use a reporting verb. We have them in English as well. The most common are:

*Most common of the most common

“Que”--your new best friend

You’ll notice that (almost) all of the examples above in the chart using reported speech include the little word “que.” This is not a coincidence.

When speaking in reported speech you will always use the “que” (meaning “that”). Even if in English we can and would omit the “that” you still need it in Spanish.”  

“She said that she was tired.”- Here, in English the “that” is optional. This is not the case in Spanish.

“He asked that I go to the store.” (He asked me to go to the store.) - this is one of the examples where the “that” wouldn’t be use in English, but it would in Spanish.

But wait… the questions…

If you’re reporting a question, you have a few options available as they don’t always need the “que”.

Yes and No Questions.

If the answer to the question being reported can be “yes” or “no” you don’t need the “que.” In these situation we would use the “si” like in English (if).

“He asked me if I could go to the store.”- Me preguntó si iba a la tienda .

Questions with question words

If you are reporting a question that contained the question words  (where, who, when, etc.) you will not need the “que” but stick with the question word used in the original context.

  • María: Where is Sara? ( ¿Dónde está Sara? )

Reported speech: Maria wanted to know where Sara was. ( María quería saber donde estaba Sara. )

Let’s get a little more technical.

We’ll try to ease you into all of this grammatical stuff. It seems like a lot to remember. But, a lot of it is very common in English as well, so try to not to get too overwhelmed!

Personal pronouns and Possessive pronouns.

Again, let’s start with an example:

  • María: Can you tell my brother that I need to talk to him? ¿Puedes decirle a mi hermano que le tengo que hablar?

Here, obviously a few things need to change if you want to report this statement. For one, he’s not your brother and for another you’re not the one that needs to speak to him.

In this situation, the personal pronouns (you, I) need to change, as well as the possessive (my). Here’s how this statement would sound when repeating it later on to someone else:

  • The pronouns remain the same.
  • Here, you can see that the pronouns did change.

So far so good, right? It’s pretty basic stuff up to this point. Just like in English, we need to change the subject and the pronouns.

Time phrases

Obviously, more often than not, if you’re reporting something that happened it’s because the person you’re recounting the event to wasn’t there when it took place--i.e. it was in the past.

So, here’s how you would change around your time phrases so they line up with what you’re saying:

As you’ll notice above, all of the examples are written in the past. This is also something important to pay attention to, and probably one of the most important grammatical points of reported speech. So, let’s go ahead and dive right into that!

Verb tenses in indirect (reported) speech.

The tense the reporting verb is in (present, past, future) will have a big impact on the rest of the sentence. Not only will you need to pay attention to the tense, but also to what is being said.

Command/Request vs information

Depending on the context of the conversation being reported, you’ll need to use different ways of repeating it.

This is where things can start to get a little tricky. We do have similar rules in English as they do in Spanish, but in English they are a little more flexible, and followed less frequently.

Here are some good rules to keep in mind when using indirect speech in Spanish:

  • If the reporting verb is in the present or present perfect tense you do not need to change the verb tense--unless it’s a command (we’ll talk more about this in a minute).
  • If the reporting verb is in the preterite, imperfect, or the past perfect tense you do need to change the  verb tense.

Let’s look at a quick scenario and see what we have:

Scenario: Let’s say you’re texting with someone, and your friend (who you’re with physically) wants to know what the person texting you is saying.

Person 1: What did he say?

Person 2: He asked if we are free tonight. ( reporting information )

1: Why? What does he want?

2: He wants us to help him move. ( reporting a request )

Here, we can see that in the first part, Person 2 is simply repeating the information . He asked a question, and this is what it is. The reporting verb “want to know” is in the present, so the second verb is in the present as well.

In the second part of the exchange, the reporting verb is in the present, so in English, we keep the it in the present as well. In Spanish, however, if we are reporting a request or command , we need to use the subjunctive. In this case it will be the present subjunctive because the reporting verb is in present.

In Spanish the conversation would go like this:

Person 1: ¿Qué dijo?”

Person 2: Quiere saber si estamos libres esta noche. (present-present)

1: ¿Por qué? ¿Qué quiere?

2: Quiere que le ayudemos a hacer la mudanza. (present-present subjunctive)

Note: This change to the subjunctive only happens with certain verbs: Decir, Pedir, Querer. An easy way to remember this is if they verb will be followed by “si” or “que.”

  • Quiere saber si podemos salir esta noche. (He wants to know if I can go out tonight.)
  • Me pregunta si quiero quedar mañana. (He’s asking if I can meet up tomorrow.)
  • Again, in this situation you’re not necessarily relaying the request or the command, but merely the information contained in the request itself.
  • Me dice que tenga cuidado. (He tells me to be careful.)
  • Frenando me pide que le ayude con los deberes. (Franks asks me to help with the homework.)
  • Fernando me dice que tengo que ir a clase mañana.

Verb Tense Changes

So, if you feel like all of that has settled into your mind and it’s not going to explode just yet, let’s keep chugging along!

As mentioned above, if the reporting verb is in present, it will only change (to present subjunctive) if the thing being reported is a command/ request. When the reporting verb is in the past, however, the rest of the information being reported will need to change tense. Here’s how that is going to work:

Present Simple--Imperfect

  • Direct speech: Angela dijo, “No puedo ir.” (Angela said, “I can’t go.”)
  • Indirect/ Reported speech: Angela dijo que no podía ir. (Angela said that she couldn’t go.)

Preterite--Pluscuamperfecto (past perfect)

  • Direct speech: Sergio dijo, “Ayer compré un movil nuevo.”  (Sergio said, “Yesterday I bought a new cell phone.)
  • Indirect/ Reported speech: Sergio dijo que el día anterior había comprado un movil nuevo. (Sergio said that the day before he had bought a new phone.)

Future simple (will)--Conditional simple (would)

  • Direct speech : Candela dijo, “Llegaré tarde.” - (Candela said, “I’ll arrive late.”)
  • Indirect/ Reported speech: Candela dijo que llegaría tarde. - (Candela said that she would arrive late.)

Imperfect/Conditional/Past Perfect

With these, you will not change second verb tense. Yay!

  • Direct speech: Juan dijo, “la playa era muy bonita.” (Juan said, “the beach was very pretty.”)
  • Indirect/ Reported speech: Juan dijo que la playa era muy bonita . (Juan said that beach was very pretty.)

Conditional:  

  • Direct speech: María dijo, “Me gustaría vivir en Nueva York.” (Maria said, “I would like to live in New York.”
  • Indirect/ Reported speech: María dijo que le gustaría vivir en Nueva York. (Maria said she would like to live in New York.
  • Past Perfect
  • Direct speech: Mi padre me dijo, “a las 5 ya había llegado. ” (My dad told me, “at 5 I had already arrived.”)
  • Indirect/ Reported speech: Mi padre me dijo que a las 5 ya había llegado . (My dad told me that a 5 he had already arrived.)

Just one more thing… I promise!

One last thing to remember, like we saw with the present tense, if the verb in the past is a reporting verb, and what is being reported is a command or request, you will use the subjunctive--past subjunctive this time!

  • Direct speech: Mis padres me dijeron, “vuelve a casa a las 23.00. ” (My parents told me, “be home at 11:00pm.)
  • Indirect/ Reported speech: Mis padres me dijeron que volviera a casa a las 23.00 . (My parents told me to be home by 11:00 pm.)

¡Madre Mía! That was a lot of information!

Let’s see if we can condense it down just a little bit.

Important rules to remember. If you are using reporting speech:

If you do need to change the verb tense, this is why and when:

  • Commands or requests with a present tense reporting verb will take the present subjunctive conjugation in the following verb.
  • Again, commands or requests with a past tense reporting verb will need to take the past subjunctive conjugation in the following verb.

If the reporting verb is in the past, these are the changes you’ll make:

  • Present simple--imperfect
  • Preterite-Past Perfect (Pluscuamperfecto)
  • Will future--simple continual (would)

Verbs that will not change the tense of the others verbs:

  • Conditional

Things to keep in mind:

  • Remember your reporting verbs
  • Remember to change the personal and possessive pronouns
  • Remember your time phrases

In reality, it’s not as complicated as it looks. It may take a little practice to get used to, but after a while, you’ll find that is relatively similar to what we do in English. Do you have any shortcuts you use to remember the rules mentioned above? Is reported (indirect) speech something you struggle with? Let us know in the comments!

Single blog with both side sidebars

About the author 

Anastasia is a Chicago, Illinois native. She began studying Spanish over 10 years ago, and hasn’t stopped since. Living in Spain since 2012, she loves Spanish tortilla, vino tinto, and anything that contains jamón ibérico.

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How to Write Dialogues in Spanish for Maximum Clarity

Have you ever seen a Spanish dialogue and thought it looks a bit different from an English one? 

If you haven’t seen one yet, let me show you!

On my bookshelf, I have two editions of One Hundred Years of Solitude (Cien años de soledad) by Gabriel García Márquez: one is in English and the other is a 2007 commemorative edition from the Royal Spanish Academy (Real Academia Española). 

Here are two lines of a dialogue between José Aureliano Buendía and the gypsy:

Desconcertado, sabiendo que los niños esperaban una explicación inmediata, José Arcadio Buendía se atrevió a murmurar:  —Es el diamante más grande del mundo.  —No —corrigió el gitano—. Es hielo.

Disconcerted, knowing that the children were waiting for an immediate explanation, José Arcadio Buendía ventured a murmur:  “It’s the largest diamond in the world.”  “No,” the gypsy countered. “It’s ice.”

Notice the glaring differences in punctuation? 

Keep reading to learn why Spanish dialogues look different and how to write them in Spanish!

Angular Quotation Marks, Double Quotation Marks, or Long Dashes?

As you can see in the dialogue above, Spanish uses long dashes called rayas (—) as dialogue punctuation. Conversely, English uses double quotation marks. 

Some Spanish writers use double quotation marks or angular quotation marks (« and »), but the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE) says it should be rayas .  

In this article, I follow the official RAE recommendations by using rayas . However, I also tell you what to watch for when using double or angular quotation marks. 

  • Spanish Alt Codes
  • The Spanish Keyboard: How to Type Anything in Spanish

How to Punctuate Dialogues in Spanish

To write dialogue in Spanish, you need to do a bit more than change the quotation marks into long dashes. 

Here are a few more factors to take into account!

1. Punctuation Goes Outside Quotation Marks

Whereas in American English, commas and periods go inside the quotation marks, in Spanish, they always go outside. 

No matter whether you use quotation marks (double or angular) instead of long dashes, you must apply this rule.

“No me gusta su gato”, dijo Pedro. «No me gusta su gato», dijo Pedro.

“I don’t like his cat,” Peter said.

Fun fact! It’s also the rule in British English for punctuation to go outside single quotation marks.

2. Long Dashes Precede New Speakers

In Spanish dialogue, the long dash precedes the intervention of each of the speakers, without having to mention their names.

—¿Cuándo te escribirás a un curso de español?  —No tengo ni idea.  —Apúrate, tienen una promoción en la escuela de la esquina.  —Gracias, voy a verlo esta tarde.

“When will you enroll in a Spanish course?” “I have no idea.” “Hurry up, they have a promotion at the school around the corner.” “Thanks, I’m going to check it this afternoon.”

Normally, in Spanish novels, what each character says appears on a new line, just like in English.

No space goes between the long dash and the character’s words and the closing of what the character says ends with punctuation, not with another long dash.

3. Long Dashes Introduce the Narrator’s Comments

Narrative texts also use long dashes to introduce or frame the narrator’s comments. 

—Tengo hambre —dijo Pedro. —Tengo hambre —dijo Pedro—. Voy a prepararme algo.

“I’m hungry,” Peter said. “I’m hungry,” said Pedro. “I’m going to prepare something.”

You use the long dash to introduce the character’s words at the beginning of the line. Later, you use it only to introduce or frame what the narrator says, such as: 

—dijo Pedro—

It’s not necessary to add the long dash again to introduce additional character dialogue. 

Now, we need to consider two situations when alluding to the narrator’s comments. They may use “speaking verbs” to credit the speech to the character who said it or it may refer to something completely different (as you’ll see).

Punctuation With Speaking Verbs

When the narrator indicates that a character is speaking, they use so-called “speaking verbs,” such as: dijo (said) , respondió (answered) , and preguntó (asked) . 

Some formatting standards to keep in mind include:

  • Leaving a space between what the character says and the long dash that introduces the narrator’s comment.
  • Not leaving a space between the long dash and the narrator’s comment

—Tengo hambre —dijo Pedro.  “I’m hungry,” said Pedro.

  • The narrator’s comment begins in lowercase:

 —dijo Pedro.

  • The punctuation mark corresponding to the character’s phrase is closed after the narrator’s clarification, whether it’s a comma, period or semicolon.

—Tengo hambre —dijo Pedro. —Tengo hambre —dijo Pedro—. Voy a prepararme algo. —Tengo hambre —dijo Pedro—, y tengo sed. —Tengo hambre —dijo Pedro—; y tengo sed.

  • If the punctuation mark that you want to put after the narrator’s entry is a colon, write it after the closing long dash:

—Ayer salí a correr —y añadió: Ahí conocí a alguien. “I went out for a run yesterday,” and added, “I met someone there.”

  • If the punctuation mark that corresponds to the character’s phrase is a question mark, exclamation mark, or ellipsis (…), they should always close before the narrator’s intervention

—¿Tienes hambre? —preguntó María. —¡No comas esto! —gritó Juan—. ¡Es veneno!

Notice how the narrator’s intervention starts in lowercase even though there is a punctuation mark before that would require an uppercase letter. 

Make sure you don’t make the mistake of capitalizing the speaking verb:

—¿Tienes hambre? —Preguntó María. (incorrect)

  • If the dialogue continues, it closes with a long dash after the narrator’s intervention.

—Tengo hambre —dijo Pedro—. Voy a prepararme algo.

Common Speaking Verbs in Spanish Dialogue

Here is a list of the most common speaking verbs in the third-person past tense:

You can use these verbs to vary your narrator’s comments in a Spanish dialogue, but remember that the narrator’s comments should be transparent. Using overly sophisticated speaking verbs may trip up the reader. 

Punctuation Without Speaking Verbs

When you introduce the narrator’s comment that includes “non-speaking verbs,” there are a few more rules to remember:

  • The character’s words must be closed with a period and the narrator’s phrase must begin with a capital letter.

—No te preocupes. —Cerró la puerta y salió corriendo. “Don’t worry.” He closed the door and ran out.

  • If the character’s speech continues after the narrator’s comment, write the period that marks the end of the narrator’s comment after the closing long dash.

—No te preocupes. —Cerró la puerta y salió corriendo—. Volveré pronto. “Don’t worry.” He closed the door and ran out. “I’ll come back soon.”

Punctuation for Thoughts

What do you do when your character thinks rather than says the words aloud? Use angular quotation marks instead of long dashes.

«Tengo hambre», pensó Pedro. “I’m hungry,” Pedro thought.

—Puedes hacerlo —le dije y pensé «pero te costará mucho trabajo». “You can do it,” I told him and thought, “but it will cost you lots of work.”

Practice Your Spanish before Writing a Spanish Dialogue

Now you know how to write dialogue in Spanish between two friends or characters. Congratulate yourself on taking yet another step towards fluency in Spanish! 

While traveling to a Spanish-speaking country is enough motivation for most Spanish learners, if writing is your thing, other possibilities await you.

Just imagine, one day you could become a bilingual writer! 

Yes, there are some bilingual writers who write books in their second or even third language. Sometimes they are able to publish books in all the languages they know. Isn’t it amazing?

Our 1-on-1 classes at Homeschool Spanish Academy will help you improve your language skills faster than if you were studying alone. To see if it works for you, sign up for a free class with one of our amazing, Spanish-speaking teachers from Guatemala. Show them your Spanish dialogues and scripts to practice them with a professional! 

Ready to learn more Spanish grammar? Check these out!

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  • Spanish Words with Multiple Meanings in Latin America
  • How Many Words Are in the Spanish Language? Really?
  • Avoiding Common Errors in Spanish Grammar
  • El or La? Mastering Spanish Gender and Articles
  • Ways of Saying ‘Of Course’ in Spanish
  • Spanish Adjectives To Describe Everything You Need
  • Your Go-to Guide to Say Safe Travels in Spanish
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a speech in spanish

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Reported Speech Spanish Guide: Examples + Verb Changes 

Coverage Image Reported Speech

Reported speech is an overlooked yet crucial feature in everyday conversations. In short, it allows you to convey what someone else said adequately. Since mastering this topic can boost your fluency, in this reported speech Spanish guide, you’ll learn: 

  • How to form reported speech
  • Verb Changes in Indirect Speech
  • Downloadable PDF

In addition to this, I’ve also included different examples of how to apply this concept in real-life situations. Let’s do this! 

What Is the Reported Speech in Spanish?

Reported speech in Spanish, also known as indirect speech, conveys what someone else said without quoting their exact words. 

Graphic showing the difference between direct and indirect speech in Spanish

Simply put, Spanish indirect speech allows you to rephrase and report what someone said. On the contrary, direct speech involves quoting the exact words a person used. For instance: 

In Spanish, decir is the most common verb to form the reported speech. However, you can also use the following verbs: 

  • Aclarar : Clarify / Explain
  • Afirmar : Affirm / Clair
  • Anunciar : Announce
  • Contar : Tell
  • Explicar : Explain
  • Pedir : Ask 
  • Preguntar : Ask
  • Prometer : Promise
  • Recordar : Remember 
  • Recomendar : Recommend 
  • Sugerir : Suggest

Spanish indirect speech allows you to share information and someone’s thoughts or opinions with different people. As a result, it’s commonly used in news and writing environments, but also in daily conversations. 

How to form indirect speech 

To report what someone said, we use one of the previous verbs followed by que: 

[Verb] + que + [statement]

When using reported speech in Spanish you’re repeating what another person said, we must do some modifications to preserve the meaning of the original sentence. These changes include: 

  • Adjust the pronouns and adjectives
  • Change the verb tense (if applicable)

Take this graphic as an example: 

Graphic explaining how reported speech works in Spanish

Spanish Reported Speech: Verb Backshifting 

When it comes to reported speech, verb conjugations are one of the major adjustments you must make. In simple words, we must change the tense of the original verb to maintain a logical sequence. In Spanish grammar , this is known as backshifting . 

To help you understand and apply backshifting in reported speech, I’ve prepared this table that compares the original tenses with their backshifted equivalents: 

We only change the tense of a verb when the original action already took place . Let me break this down for you. 

Let’s say you’re traveling and you call me today to tell me when you arrive. You’ll say: 

Llegaré a las dos.  I will arrive at two. 

But the time comes, and you’re not here. Everybody is asking me what time you’re supposed to arrive and I repeat what you said: 

Me dijo que llegaría a las 2.  He said he would arrive at 2. 

In this case, I backshifted the verb because the original action (arrival time) had already passed. The same happens with other tenses. 

However, the tense of the original statement doesn’t change when talking about facts or when the action is still relevant (it just happened). 

Take this sentence as an example: 

This example implies that I’m immediately telling you what our friend said. 

Reported Speech: Additional Spanish Resources

Transforming from direct and indirect speech requires knowledge of diverse grammatical elements. For starters, you must have a good command of Spanish pronouns so you know which pronoun to use for your sentence. 

On that same note, you should also get familiar with possessive adjectives in case you need to mention someone’s belongings. And, of course, you must be comfortable conjugating verbs in different Spanish tenses . 

Make sure you know how to form the:

  • Present indicative
  • Present perfect
  • Present subjunctive
  • Preterite tense
  • Imperfect subjunctive
  • Past perfect
  • Imperative  
  • Future simple
  • Conditional tense

Download the Spanish Reported Speech PDF

Download a free PDF made for this guide including the graphics for reported speech as well as the backshifting verbs table so you can learn how to convert direct into indirect speech.

Daniela Sanchez

¡Hola! Soy Daniela Sanchez, I've been studying Spanish professionally as well as teaching it in Mexico and online for over 10 years. I’ve taught Spanish to a wide array of foreigners from many backgrounds. Over the years, I've made it my mission to work hard on refining many challenging to understand grammar topics to make my students' learning experiences easier, faster and more enjoyable. Read More About Me

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Javier Milei and the Spanish Tradition of Liberty

The Spanish tradition of limited government is older than the Magna Carta. Argentina will do well to revive it.

Daniel Raisbeck

Javier Milei’s popularity has had unforeseen consequences. One of these has been the creation of the “ Milei Explains ” account on X (formerly Twitter), which teaches libertarian principles by posting old, subtitled interviews with Argentina’s new president. This is a welcome innovation—and not least because it is making many native speakers of the current lingua franca aware of a Spanish tradition of economic liberalism that most people did not realise even existed. 

Milei in Italy 2024: Rediscovering Freedom. About: Public education, University, Gramsci, Keynes, Marx, Mises, Hayek, Friedman, Huerta de Soto, Bernardo Ferrero, media, culture, education, liberalism. pic.twitter.com/O0SkxyhNG4 — Milei Explains (@Milei_Explains) February 16, 2024

This is important. As I wrote in 2020, Latin America needs to rediscover what legal scholar Leonard Liggio has called the “Hispanic tradition of liberty.” The expression refers to Medieval Spain’s long history of limited government, a tradition most powerfully ingrained in two historical institutions: the fueros and cortes .

The fueros were general law codes or municipal charters for towns, in which the nobility, clergy, and freemen claimed for their persons and property legal protection from the power of the king. The cortes were proto-parliaments: representative assemblies that often withheld money from the monarch. The essence of these institutions, as Liggio notes, was the principle “that the king must live on his own resources.”

These institutions are likely to remind Anglosphere readers of the 1215 Magna Carta, which, as Rudyard Kipling puts it in his poem “ The Reeds of Runnymede ,” was “the first attack on Right Divine.” Today, as much of the English-speaking world marvels at the rhetoric of an Argentine libertarian, we should not forget that the Spanish tradition of limited government is older than Magna Carta.

Mariano Rajoy, the former Prime Minister of Spain, learned this the hard way. In 2017, he had to apologize to the people of León, a city of Roman origin, after writing an article for the London paper, the Guardian , in which he calls England “the cradle of parliamentarism.” In fact, the 1188 Decreta of León contains “the oldest known written information regarding the European parliamentary system,” according to UNESCO.

Though slightly older than England’s, the Hispanic tradition of liberty faced overwhelming headwinds at the onset of the modern era. Victory in the centuries-long Reconquista required a highly centralized and militarized state and that state was taking its first steps towards absolutism. In 1492, the local Jews and Moriscos were either expelled or forced to convert to Christianity on pain of death. When the Habsburg dynasty took over in 1516, following the ascension of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V (Charles I of Spain), Spain’s medieval freedoms were further eroded. In 1591, Charles’s son and heir, Philip II, decapitated the last authentic justicia of Aragón, an official before whom monarchs had once knelt at their coronations, as they swore to respect the people’s ancient liberties.   

In 1700, the Bourbons succeeded the Habsburgs as Spain’s ruling dynasty and introduced their French brand of absolutism to Spain, and to its American colonies. By the 1780s, the “ Bourbon Reforms ,” which imposed a roster of new and increased taxes, including unpopular levies on goods like tobacco and aguardiente , had spurred revolts in Peru and New Granada (present-day Colombia). In the latter colony, the rebels’ slogan recalled the old limits on kingly power: “Long live the king, and death to bad government!”

a speech in spanish

The phrase was borrowed from a line of thought inspired by the School of Salamanca : a group of late 16 th and early 17 th -century neo-scholastics broadly associated with the University of Salamanca. They included the Jesuits Francisco Suárez and Juan de Mariana, who argued that monarchical power rested on popular consent. If that consent was violated—for example, through excessive or arbitrary taxation—it constituted tyranny. Mariana and Suárez even argued that tyranny justified regicide. (Some contemporaries blamed Mariana for inspiring the assassination of Henry IV of France.)

Mariana fell foul of Spain’s Habsburg authorities in 1609, when he published a book denouncing King Philip III for debasing the Spanish currency. Mariana had dedicated a book on good kingly governance to Philip in 1599, but now the ruler was, he believed, abusing his authority. Philip ordered that all silver be removed from vellón coins, thereby halving their weight. Then as now, governments were fond of monetizing their excesses—wars, subsidies, luxuries—by manipulating the currency, in an attempt to obtain more money without raising taxes. Currency debasement is a surreptitious means to steal individuals’ property, Mariana writes , one of several “disguised ways to impose taxes on them, bleed them dry, and seize a part of their estates.”

Though a preeminent scholar in his day— his 1592 history of Spain was still praised in the late 18 th century—Mariana is no longer a household name, even in the Spanish-speaking world. Nonetheless, Cervantes scholar Eric Graf has argued that his writings had a direct influence on some of the main thinkers of the Anglo-American classical liberal tradition. John Locke’s library held a copy of Mariana’s 1599 book De Ponderibus et Mensuris , a treatise on ancient weights and measures, as scholar Gabriel Calzada has confirmed. Thomas Jefferson kept a copy of Mariana’s General History of Spain in his own library and was so impressed by that work that, while in Paris, he had an English translation sent to James Madison.

Jefferson was a keen Hispanist , who often recommended Cervantes’ Don Quixote to others. As Graf notes, the novel is imbued with some of the basic economic concepts of the Salamanca school: currency debasement as an act of tyranny, the pernicious effects of inflation, the common people’s natural preference for sound money, the subjective nature of prices. This last idea—most fully developed by 16 th -century Dominican scholar Martín de Azpilcueta— eluded economists like Adam Smith and David Ricardo, and was only “rediscovered” during the field’s 19 th century “Marginal Revolution.”

a speech in spanish

However, despite Spain’s rich tradition of liberty, the country failed to prosper in the way the Anglosphere did. In the UK and US, many Whiggish historians have traced a direct line of descent from the Magna Carta to the Glorious Revolution and beyond to the American Revolution and the US Bill of Rights . It is to this history that Winston Churchill is alluding in the preface to his 1956 History of the English-Speaking Peoples , when he refers to them as the heirs to “a body of legal and what might be called democratic principles,” which were in place by 1492, “at any rate in primitive form.” Churchill stresses that the key democratic institutions—Parliament, trial by jury, local government, a fledgling free press—“survived the upheavals and onslaughts of the French and Spanish empires.”

In his treatise on the Hispanic tradition of liberty, Liggio takes a different stance . For him, “on the eve of colonization, Spain shared all the institutions of Europe and England.” The later history of the English colonies diverged from those of Spanish America, Liggio argues, because,

Spain embarked on the creation of an Absolutist state in Spain and the colonies; England languished in its medieval heritage, and its medieval heritage was carried by the Colonists to North America. The American Revolution was a successful struggle to retain the English medieval heritage when London itself seemed to move in the direction of Absolutism.

Most people would not attribute the wealth and progress of English-speaking North America to its conservation of medieval English institutions, nor would many people argue that it is Latin America’s overeager embrace of modernity that has led to its relative poverty and stagnation. But consider this: the Latin American obsession with political novelty and intellectual fads has led many countries to constantly draft and re-draft their constitutions. And in many cases, the newer constitutions have granted progressively less freedom and led to ever increasing political and economic instability and, in some cases, almost pre-modern levels of poverty.

Venezuela is a case in point; its current, “Bolivarian” constitution, created by Hugo Chávez in 1999, is the twenty-sixth in the country’s 213-year history. When it was ratified, Chávez promised to institute “a revolutionary programme” against poverty and corruption. Instead, in 2021, Venezuela’s per capita GDP fell beneath that of Haiti. As recently as 1982, Venezuela was the richest country in Latin America—it was once richer than Spain. But unlike Venezuela, Spain had the good sense not to embrace socialism a mere ten years after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

There are other examples of Latin American countries that have rushed to change their constitutions on a whim—even amidst national prosperity. For instance, since 2019, political debate in Chile, which boasts the region’s highest per-capita GDP, has revolved almost exclusively around the supposed need to get rid of the 1980 constitution. Heavily amended since its introduction, the Chilean constitution has been among the most successful in the history of the region in terms of its material results. And after three referenda, the election of two constitutional assemblies, and the rejection of two alternative constitutions, it has finally become clear that a majority of Chileans prefer to stick with their current, proven model of progress, however imperfect it might be. 

 As philosopher Nicolás Gómez Dávila has commented : “Liberty flourishes better under bad laws than under new ones.” This is part of what makes common law, with its emphasis on precedent, so effective. It also explains the strengths of America’s extant, 18 th -century constitution, as well as Britain’s unwritten one. It is far better to stick with time-tested old principles of limited government than to remake the state every few decades according to the current, voguish forms of interventionism.

Milei is an outlier among Latin American leaders in that he is not proposing a new constitution for his country. Instead, as he made clear at his recent speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, if Argentina is to prosper in the future, it must look to its own past. It must restore its own tradition of liberty, a principle clearly endorsed by Argentina’s 1853 constitution , which expresses unequivocal respect for private property (Article 17), free trade (Article 12), and unrestrained industry (Article 14). “Thirty-five years after we adopted the model of freedom, around 1860,” Milei declared , “we became a leading world power.” (Spanish speakers can find the original speech here ; a transcript of the original Spanish is available here .)

Then, in the 1920s, came the rise of nationalism, which morphed into Peronism. Juan Domingo Perón himself, a corporatist strongman, argued that “the ultimate meaning of ethics is the correction of egotism.” In 1949, Perón amended Argentina’s constitution in order to “bind the individual to society,” writes scholar Alejandro Herrero. Perón nationalized industries, strengthened labour unions, and heavily regulated the economy. Milei summarizes the results of this anti-individualist ethos in his Davos speech: “When we embraced collectivism over the course of the last 100 years, we saw how our citizens started to become systematically impoverished.”

Milei’s speech was intended as a cautionary tale. The effects of Peronism should serve as a warning to the West and particularly to today’s Anglosphere, given some of the dangerous trends that have emerged in recent decades, especially the United States’ recent slide towards fiscal insolvency, as chronic fiscal deficits have led to perilous levels of debt. The example of Argentina, a serial defaulter, shows how ephemeral even world-leading prosperity can prove if a government fails to live within its means.  

Peronism was above all a cultural phenomenon, based on a rejection of the 1853 constitution’s “materialist” element and its “egotist individualism,” Herrero writes. Vulgar, commercial concerns, Peronist theorists argued, should not override the nation’s Christian morals. Their priggish, holier-than-thou denunciations of Argentina’s classical liberal tradition were akin to the recent rise of the neo-Puritanism of the progressive left in the United States, which seems bent on turning against the Anglo-American tradition of liberty. Progressives have campaigned against the legacy of the American Founders—by removing statues of the men themselves—and, more importantly, even legal scholars from institutions like Harvard and Yale have argued against the US Constitution itself. There have been growing calls to ditch the Constitution altogether since, in the words of one writer , “it simply isn’t cut out for 21 st -century governance.” A glance at the history of Latin American constitutional reforms should dispel any such notions.

It is fitting that Milei’s warning speech at Davos was delivered in the language of Cervantes. After all, the term “liberal” in its political sense is of Spanish origin. As Liggio points out, the first liberales arose “in the context of the Spanish struggle for liberation from Napoleon.” Thus, Franco-Swiss author Benjamin Constant , one of Friedrich Hayek’s favourite writers, “saw the Spanish peasants as the liberators of Europe.”  

Milei’s election and his agenda to overturn a century of collectivist failure are encouraging—and not just for Argentina. If he can turn that failing state around, it could provide an important example for Latin America in general. And the effects of his resurrection of the Spanish tradition of liberty could be felt far beyond the Spanish-speaking world.

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a speech in spanish

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How to use reported speech in Spanish?

Reported speech, also known as indirect discourse, is the reproduction or “repackaging” of someone else’s message. In English and in Spanish, we normally begin reported speech with a reporting verb ( dijo ( " he/she said " ) ), preguntó ( " he/she asked " ) , etc.), followed by a conjunction ( que ( " that " ) ) and then the message. With that said, reported speech in Spanish has a few rules we need to keep in mind. Are you ready to be the messenger? Let’s get started!

Table of Contents

Direct vs indirect speech.

Spanish and English both have different means of communicating what someone has said. One way is called direct speech. Direct speech works the same in both languages: you use direct quotations and a punctuation mark to introduce the message. In English, we use a comma, but in Spanish, we introduce direct speech with a colon. Here is an example of direct speech:

El profesor fue claro. Nos dijo: “Hagan la tarea para mañana.”

The professor was clear. He told us, “Do your homework for tomorrow.”

Indirect speech, while still relaying a message, has a few more things to consider. In Spanish, we can indirectly report statements, questions (yes/no and content), and commands/requests . Because we use indirect speech way more than direct speech in our daily life, we need to make sure you know how to use it and how to build it to avoid confusion or mixed messages. What does indirect speech look like, you ask? Here are some examples:

Indirect statement:

La señora explicó que para abrir la puerta necesitábamos jalar, no empujar .

The lady explained that t o open the door we needed to pull, not push .

Indirect command:

Mi mamá me dijo que hiciera la cama y guardara los platos .

My mom told me to make the bed and put away the dishes .

Indirect question:

Mi hermana nos preguntó si íbamos a reunirnos para su cumpleaños .

My sister asked us if we were going to get together for her birthday .

While still relaying a message, see how the reported/indirect messages have to change in both languages? Let’s get our learning going!

How to build indirect speech in Spanish?

Before we begin any type of indirect speech, we must start our clause with a verb of reporting. The following are some frequently used verbs of reporting:

  • decir ( " to say, to tell " )
  • preguntar ( " to ask " )
  • querer ( " to want " )
  • explicar ( " to explain " )
  • afirmar ( " to assert " )
  • añadir ( " to add " )
  • contestar ( " to reply, to answer " )
  • insistir ( " to insist " )

The verb of reporting can refer to the present or the past . If it refers to the present, the verb of reporting will be in the present (simple or progressive) or present perfect :

El niño dice/ha dicho que quiere su biberón.

The boy says/has said that he wants his bottle.

If it refers to the past, the most common form is the preterite :

El niño dijo que quería su biberón.

The boy said that he wanted his bottle.

The second ingredient in indirect speech is a conjunction that follows the verb of reporting. The conjunctions are normally que ( " that " ) or si ( " if " ) .

Finally, we must adapt three additional items when building indirect speech. The three changes are: relation , time , and location . Keep reading to learn more!

Subject pronouns and possessives

When using indirect speech, we need to make sure we change subject pronouns No definition set for subject pronouns Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum. and possessives to match the message that was given. This also happens in English. Here’s an example:

Direct speech:

María dijo: “( yo ) Quiero mi burrito.”

María said, “ I want my burrito.”

Indirect speech:

María dijo que ella quería su burrito.

María said that she wanted her burrito.

Notice how the indirect speech goes from first to third person since we are indirectly referring to what has been said.

Change in location and time

When we are using indirect speech, we must adjust our time and location references as well. This also happens in English! It should not be too difficult to pick up.

Time changes:

hoy ( " today " ) → ese día/aquel día ( " that day " )

Julio dice: “Llego hoy.”

Julio says, “I arrive today.”

Julio dijo que llegaba ese día.

Julio said that he would arrive that day.

ahora ( " now " ) → entonces ( " then " )

La niña insiste: “Quiero jugo ahora.”

The girl insists, “I want juice now.”

La niña insistió que quería jugo entonces.

The girl insisted that she wanted juice then.

mañana ( " tomorrow " ) → al día siguiente ( " the next day " )

El estudiante añadió: “No estaré en clases mañana.”

The student added, “I will not be in classes tomorrow.”

El estudiante añadió que no estaría en clases al día siguiente.

The student added that he would not be in classes the next day.

Click the link to see some additional Spanish expressions and how they change with indirect speech !

Notice that if you're reporting in the present, you might not need to change the time reference. It’s all a matter of time relativity! For instance, llego hoy ( " I arrive today " ) , if you're relaying this message on the same day then there is no need to change:

Dice Julio que llega hoy.

Julio says he arrives today.

Location changes:

Adverbs of place: aquí ( " here " ) → allí, ahí ( " there " )

Mi papá dijo: “Estaciónate aquí.”

My dad said, “Park here.”

Mi papá quiso que me estacionara allí.

My dad wanted me to park there.

These include demonstratives, adjectives, and pronouns because they deal with distance from the speaker!

este, esta ( " this " ) → ese, esa, aquel, aquella ( " that " ) estos, estas ( " these " ) → esos, esas, aquellos, aquellas ( " those " )

Directionality/verbs of direction will also change!

llevar ( " to take " ) → traer ( " to bring " )

ir ( " to go " ) → venir ( " to come " )

And vice versa!

Ana says, “I’ll bring coffee for everyone.”

Ana says she’ll bring coffee for everyone.

For more on how to use these particular verbs in Spanish , head over to our post!

Adapting verb tenses in indirect speech

The last crucial change in building indirect speech happens to verb tenses. Just like we change time expressions above, sometimes we need to change verb tenses to ensure the message is being communicated appropriately. Here are a couple of examples:

If the reporting verb is related to the present , then there is NO NEED to change the verb tense.

El doctor dice : “No ⤷ present puedo atenderte.”

The doctor says, “I can’t see you.”

El doctor dice que no ⤷ present puede atenderme.

The doctor says he cannot see me.

If the reporting verb is related to the past , then you will need to change the verb tense.

El doctor dijo : “No ⤷ present puedo atenderte.”

El doctor dijo que no ⤷ imperfect podía atenderme.

For a full list of Spanish verb tenses and their corresponding tense in indirect speech , click the link!

We will see next that these rules also apply to indirect questions, but they do not when using commands. Keep reading to find out which verb tenses you use with Spanish commands.

Indirect questions in Spanish

If you are relaying a question with indirect speech, there are a couple of different options for doing so. However, the most common verbs of reporting for questions are: preguntar ( " to ask " ) and querer saber ( " to want to know " ) . With regard to verb tenses, it works exactly like the indirect statements above. Let’s check questions and indirect speech, shall we?

Yes and no questions

Mi hermano preguntó: “¿Tienes chicle?”

My brother asked, “Do you have gum?”

Mi hermano preguntó si tenía chicle.

My brother asked if I had gum.

To report a yes/no answer, you can say:

Dice que sí/no.

He/she says yes/no.

Dijo que sí/no.

He/she said yes/no.

Questions words

f you are reporting a question that originally had a question word (who, what, when, where, etc.), you will not require the use of que ( " that " ) or si ( " if " ) . Instead, you will keep the original question word in Spanish as your "bridge" between the reporting verb and indirect speech. For example:

El chico preguntó: “¿ Dónde está la Rambla?”

The boy asked, “Where is the Rambla?”

El chico preguntó dónde estaba la Rambla.

The boy asked where the Rambla was.

Erica quiere saber: ¿Cuándo es la asamblea?

Erica wants to know, “When is the assembly?”

Erica quiere saber cuándo es la asamblea.

Erica wants to know when the assembly is.

In colloquial speech it is common to insert " que " between the reporting verb “ preguntar " and the question word or before si for yes/no indirect questions.

Enrique me preguntó (que) por qué habías llegado tarde.

Enrique asked me why you had arrived late.

Los estudiantes preguntaron (que) si podían tener una extensión.

The students asked if they could have an extension.

For more on questions, check out: " How to build questions in Spanish? "

Indirect commands in Spanish

To use indirect speech to relay commands, the format continues being similar to indirect statements:

Introduce the indirect speech with a verb of reporting.

  • exigir ( " to demand " )
  • mandar ( " to command " )
  • pedir ( " to ask for/request " )

Follow it with the conjunction que ( " that " ) .

Finally, if the verb of reporting is in the present, present continuous, or present perfect, then the command will be in the present subjunctive . For example:

Compra leche, por favor.

Buy milk, please.

Tu papá pide que compres leche, por favor.

Your dad asks that you buy milk, please.

On the other hand, if the verb of reporting is in the preterite, imperfect, or past perfect, then the command will be in the imperfect subjunctive .

Tu papá pidió que compraras leche, por favor.

Your dad asked you to buy milk, please.

Need a refresher on these subjunctive tenses? We have you covered with these posts on the Spanish present subjunctive and the Spanish imperfect subjunctive .

To sum it up

Indirect speech is used for indirectly reporting statements, questions (yes/no and content), and commands/requests. In order to build indirect speech appropriately, we need to keep in mind the following pieces:

Start the clause with a verb of reporting, such as decir ( " to say, to tell " ) , preguntar ( " to ask " ) , querer ( " to want " ) , etc.

Follow the verb of reporting with a conjunction .

que ( " that " ) for indirect statements and commands, or

si ( " if " ) for yes/no questions

a question word (who, what, when , where, etc.) for content questions.

Finally, we must adapt three additional items when building indirect speech:

Time changes: making sure the time expressions are appropriately adjusted to fit an indirect message.

Location changes: making sure words that imply distance from the speaker also match the indirect speech.

Verb tense changes: We change verb tenses to ensure the message is being communicated appropriately.

Statements and questions use verbs in the indicative.

Commands use verbs in the subjunctive.

While it seems like a lot of stuff to remember, these changes make sense because so many of them also happen in English. The best way to master indirect speech is to practice it, so I have created an activity for you to get you started with it. You can check it out by clicking the link!

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The Telegraph

El Salvador’s ‘cool dictator’ boasts country would be ‘a one-party system’ after election win

N ayib Bukele, El Salvador’s millennial president, attacked Spanish colonialism and imperialism in a fiery victory speech after he won a landslide victory. 

Amid claims he is turning the country into a dictatorship, he boasted to flag-waving crowds below the presidential palace that El Salvador would be the first country with “a one-party system in a democracy”.

“The entire opposition together was pulverised,” Mr Bukele, who once styled himself the “ world’s coolest dictator ”, told the cheering masses.

The baseball cap-wearing Mr Bukele, 42, has become vastly popular for his war on gangs , but he has also been accused of stifling the courts and silencing opposition .

In his speech he said a Spanish journalist had recently asked him why he wants to dismantle democracy .

“I told him: But what democracy are you talking about? Democracy means the power of the people, and if the Salvadorans want this, who is a Spanish journalist to tell us Salvadorans what we should do?” Mr Bukele said.

He said the idea of democracy the journalist spoke to him about was “what his bosses tell him, there in Spain”, adding: “But that is not democracy; that would be colony, imperialism, elitism, plutocracy, you can call it whatever you want, but it is not called democracy.”

Early figures show that Mr Bukele has won 85 per cent of the vote.

In his first term, Mr Bukele used his huge majority in parliament to suspend civil liberties and jail 75,000 people without charges, producing a steep decline in what was one of the world’s worst murder rates.

Critics have also accused Mr Bukele of stuffing the courts and other state institutions with supporters, effectively making the country a one-man state. El Salvador’s Supreme Electoral Tribunal last year permitted Mr Bukele to run for a second term even though the country’s constitution prohibits it.

Mr Bukele counters that such criticism comes from outside El Salvador, from “liberal elites”, including the financier George Soros amongst his presumed enemies.

Mr Bukele was congratulated on his victory by China, which has invested in the country during recent years. Mr Bukele has championed the introduction of Bitcoin as legal tender and plans to build Bitcoin City , a tax-free crypto haven powered by geothermal energy from a volcano .

“We are not substituting democracy because El Salvador has never had democracy. This is the first time in history that El Salvador has had democracy,” Mr Bukele said.

Referring to the Spanish journalist he said had asked about the alleged erosion of democratic rights in El Salvador, Mr Bukele said Spain should show his country respect.

“We respect your hereditary monarchy, but you are obliged to respect us,” he said.

Professor Carlos Malamud, senior analyst for Latin America at Spain’s Elcano Royal Institute think-tank, said that there was no particular bilateral tension between San Salvador and Madrid, but added that the Spanish press’s coverage of Mr Bukele’s re-election campaign had been more extensive than that of other countries and included more criticism of human rights abuses.

“In the end, it’s a free hit for him to connect this anti-colonial stance against Spain with his general attack on international elites he says are lining up against him,” Prof Malamud told the Telegraph.

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Nayib Bukele, seen here with his wife Gabriela Rodriguez de Bukele, has become popular due to his war on gangs - Shutterstock/Rodrigo Sura

Spanish Punctuation

Spanish and English use the same punctuation for many things. For example, both use periods at the end of statements and commas to separate elements in a list. There are also some punctuation marks used only in Spanish, as well as some punctuation marks that English and Spanish use differently.

First, here are some common punctuation marks, or signos de puntuación !

List of Spanish Punctuation Marks

And now, on to some of the uses of these signos de puntuación !

Punto : Uses and Examples

  • Used at the end of a statement .
  • Used at the end of an abbreviation .
  • Used in urls and email addresses .
  • Used to separate the hour and minute in time expressions (using a colon is also ok).

Coma : Uses and Examples

  • Used to separate dependent and independent clauses .
  • Used to separate elements in a list .

There is no coma used before conjunctions like y or o in Spanish lists.

  • Used before question tags .

Question tags are short, often one-word questions used to affirm a previous statement.

Comillas : Uses and Examples

  • Used to denote quoted speech .

Las comillas españolas are often used in quoted speech, especially in books written in Spanish.

In Spanish, final punctuation falls outside of quotations, whereas in American English, it falls inside the quotations. The Spanish style can sometimes lead to what would be considered double punctuation in English (like the . following the ? in the example above). In Spanish, this is correct!

Puntos de Exclamación : Uses and Examples

  • Used to frame exclamations .

Although often omitted in texts and emails, Spanish exclamations should open with a signo de apertura de exclamación ( opening exclamation mark ). Note how the opening exclamation mark goes just before the part of a sentence that is the actual exclamation.

Puntos de Interrogación : Uses and Examples

  • Used to frame questions .

Although often omitted in texts and emails, Spanish questions should open with a signo de apertura de interrogación ( opening question mark ). Note how the opening question mark goes just before the question tag or the part of a sentence that is the actual question.

Learn more about Spanish punctuation with these articles!

  • Advanced Spanish Punctuation
  • How to Type Spanish Accents and Letters
  • What Is the Upside-Down Question Mark?
  • What Is the Upside-Down Exclamation Point?
  • Written Accent Marks (Tildes)

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Our Spanish voice actors sound more fluid and human-like than any other TTS AI reader so you can understand and remember more.

How Spanish AI Voice Over Generator works

Using Speechify Spanish Voice Over Generator is a breeze. It takes only a few minutes and you’ll be turning any text into natural-sounding Voice Over audio.

  • Type in the Spanish text you’d like to hear spoken
  • Select a voice & listening speed
  • Press “Generate”

$10B Public Company uses Speechify AI Voice Over for Earnings Call

On Feb 28, 2023, Endeavor (NYSE: EDR) made history by delivering its annual earnings call using an AI voice over from Speechify.

The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) uses Speechify Voice Over to create a video for its Digital Acceleration Campaign, partnering with the UN.

A more sustainable and more inclusive future for all is on the horizon, thanks to recent advances in digital technology.

See Sample Voice Overs

See samples of natural-sounding ai generated voices that sound just like human voices. The use cases are plenty and range from AI political ads, explainer videos, eLearning, podcasts, and even audiobooks you’ve authored and download the audio file in high quality lossless formats.

Political Ad Voice Over

AI Political Ads

Create AI driven political ads in minutes and get your message out quickly. Even your interns can do this.

Apple Vision Pro AI Product Demo

Product Launches

Voice overs that are ready for the big stage and the spotlight. Engage the world with beautiful presentations.

Death on the Nile Chapter 1 Audiobook created Using Speechify Voice Over

Turn any book you’ve written into an audiobook. Dust off those drafts and bring your stories to life. 

Frequently asked questions

Everything to know about AI Voice Generator

Can I try Speechify Spanish AI voice generator for free?

Yes, Speechify Spanish AI Voice Generator offers a free plan, so you can try it before you commit to a premium plan.

What other languages does Speechify AI voice generator support?

Speechify AI Voice Generator supports over 100 languages, including English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, Arabic, Hindi, Tamil, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indonesian, Ukrainian, and more.

What is an AI voice?

An AI voice refers to a synthesized or generated vocal output produced by artificial intelligence algorithms in the form of Spanish AI voice generator characters, simulating human-like speech patterns for various applications such as virtual assistants, narration, and voice overs.

What is an AI Spanish voice generator?

An AI Spanish voice generator, such as Speechify AI voice generator text to speech, is a technology that utilizes artificial intelligence algorithms to convert text into realistic and natural-sounding human-like speech.

Which is the best Spanish AI voice generator?

There are many top quality Spanish AI voice generators in the market these days and the quality of the voices are more or less on the same quality level. So, choosing the best AI voice generator by just the quality of voices is not the best way to go about it. The best way to look at it is by evaluating the company, the feature set, the roadmap, how quickly they are iterating, the pricing, and the customer support. If you look at all these aspects, Speechify is the best Spanish AI voice generator in the market. If you search for “ai voice generator free” you’ll see quite a few options, but Speechify is the leader in this industry.

Is there a free Spanish AI voice generator?

Yes. Speechify is the best free Spanish AI voice generator. Just create an account and begin using our premium AI voice studio for free!

What is the Spanish AI voice generator everyone is using?

The top Fortune 500 companies, small businesses, content creators, and influencers use Speechify AI Voice Studio.

Can I make an AI version of my own voice in Spanish?

Yes you can, with Speechify voice studio you get more than just voice overs, you can clone your own voice and then use your voice for Spanish AI voice overs. Our AI Dubbing & Cloning products integrate seamlessly with our Voiceover product. There is even an AI voice generator Spongebob tool somewhere out there. While Speechify does not provide this functionality, it goes to show you how versatile this technology is.

Is Speechify voice over different from the text to speech reader?

Yes, Speechify Spanish Voice Over is different from Speechify Text to Speech Reader and they’re two different subscriptions. Speechify’s Text to Speech Reader is an app that reads any text aloud in a natural-sounding voice and can be used to read books, articles, PDFs, emails—whatever you’re reading. Voice Over allows users to create high-quality, human-sounding voice overs for their own content, such as podcasts, videos and audiobooks. Voice Over provides a variety of professional voice actors and offers advanced editing and customization features to help users create the perfect voice over for their content.

What’s the ROI of Speechify Spanish AI voice generator?

Spanish Voice actors regularly cost $200+ for just a minute of audio. Speechify can easily save any business $10,000+ per month. The Speechify Voice Over will also improve the quality and impact of your audio content, which leads to better engagement with your target audience and increased revenue opportunities.

How long can I use the free plan?

As long as you want and it has full functionality. This free plan is designed to give users a taste of our product’s capabilities and to help them decide if they want to upgrade to a paid plan. Once you’re ready to start sharing what you’ve built with the outside world and you need to download your work to an mp3, you can upgrade your plan to Voice Over Pro or reach out to our sales team for enterprise pricing.

Do I have commercial rights with Speechify AI voice over?

Yes! Speechify Voice Over is meant for creators, businesses, and anyone who wants to put their content out into the world. With Voice Over you own the audio output and commercial rights in perpetuity to use for your own projects.

Speechify Studio Pricing

Get our entire suite of AI studio products bundled into one transparent price.

Pricing Plans

Simple way to get started

$0 per month forever

  • No Downloads
  • AI Voice Over
  • Video, Slide, and Image support
  • Try all 200+ voices
  • All 20+ languages & accents
  • Support adding pauses
  • 10 minutes of voice generation
  • Support adjusting pronunciation
  • Support uploading of .txt, .docx, .srt scripts, as well as Youtube URLs

The basics for individuals

$69 per month / user

Everything in Free

  • Download as video, audio, or text
  • Video and audio Dubbing
  • Video and audio Transcription
  • 50 hours of voice generation per user/year
  • 12 hours of Dubbing per user/year
  • 50 hours of Transcription per user/year
  • Commercial usage rights
  • 8000+ licensed soundtracks
  • Thousands of Stock Images & Videos

MOST POPULAR

Professional

For professionals and teams

$99 per month / user

Everything in Basic

  • Voice Cloning
  • 100 hours of voice generation per user/year
  • 36 hours of Dubbing per user/year
  • 100 hours Video and Audio Transcription
  • 1 hour of AI Avatar Video/year

Customizable capability based on your business needs

Everything in Professional

  • Multiple seats
  • 1,000+ hours of voice generation per user/year
  • 500+ hours of Dubbing per user/year
  • 1,000+ hours Video and Audio Transcription
  • 20+ hours of AI Avatar Video/year
  • White Glove Procurement Assistance
  • Dedicated Customer Success Manager
  • Share, Editing, Commenting & Enterprise Collaboration Features
  • Custom Invoices
  • SOC2 Compliant
  • Company-wide on-boarding & Training

AI voice generator use cases

Spanish social media marketing.

Create or edit TikToks, Instagram Reels, posts, YouTube videos or YouTube Shorts. No more waiting for a video editor to create your video. Get your message out early and get quick results. Video content creation is a breeze and works right in your browser.

Spanish Audiobook and E-Learning Narration

Spanish AI voice overs are used to narrate audiobooks you’ve authored and e-learning modules, providing a cost-effective and efficient alternative to human narrators. They offer consistent voice quality and can easily adapt to different genres or educational content. Quickly convert text to audio with lifelike custom voices, even your own voice, with our built in voice cloning feature with real-time previews.

Customer Service and Virtual Assistants

In customer service, Spanish AI voice overs power virtual assistants and chatbots, offering a more natural and engaging interaction for users. They can handle routine queries, guide users through processes, and provide information 24/7 without human intervention.

Spanish Video Game and Animation Character Voices

Spanish AI voice overs can bring characters in video games and animated films to life. AI speech generators allow for a wide range of voices and can be easily modified to suit different characters, from fantasy creatures to realistic human characters.

Product Demos

Quickly create product demo videos and publish them to your site or social media. Gone are the days where creating a great demo took time. Now you can get your demo out there in minutes. Our text to speech technology offers high quality voices, even AI avatars to help explain your product features in an engaging manner.

Marketing and Advertising

In the marketing and advertising industry, AI voice overs are used for creating commercials, product videos, and promotional content. They offer flexibility in terms of voice styles and can be tailored to target specific demographics.

Accessibility Features for the Visually Impaired

Spanish AI voice overs play a crucial role in making content accessible to visually impaired individuals. They can be used to read out text from websites, apps, and digital documents, enabling easier navigation and access to information for those with visual impairments.

Automated Customer Service and Call Routing in IVR Systems

Spanish AI voice overs are increasingly employed in IVR systems used by businesses for automated customer service. These systems can handle a high volume of incoming calls, providing callers with clear, natural-sounding voice prompts. Best of all, you can create these messages in minutes!

Multilingual Voice overs

For those looking to scale their multilingual video or audio strategy, easily convert your script to over 50 languages. From Italian, and Japanese, to Hindi, Portuguese, or even Korean. Grow your global audience with human-like voices with inflections and emotion.

Spanish AI Voice Over for Corporate Training Videos

Quickly create a library of training videos that are easily editable. Simply tweak the script and with our speech synthesis engine, you can generate a new training video in minutes. Choose from high quality voices that sound professional, even edit the voice to best match your brand.

Speechify AI Voice Over Generator online reviews

It’s so easy to control and to use with any podcast or project for school.

Incredible!

This is incredible! The quality of the voices you offer is unmatched compared to the other services I’ve been experimenting with.

This application and its features are amazing. I like how the voices sound less robotic, and how efficiently and quickly the voice overs can be edited and generated.

I love that the voice over recognizes punctuation and enunciates with such clarity.

Better than Murf

Way better than Murf! It actually sounds realistic.

Sound natural

Great voice over software overall. lots of customization for emphasis and making it sound more natural. It’s sounding not so robotic and more and more human to me.

Absolutely stunning

This is the best service I’ve used so far! Absolutely stunning.

This is so perfect. This is exactly what I was looking for. It contains all the features. Thank you so much. Truly appreciate it.

Only available on iPhone and iPad

To access our catalog of 100,000+ audiobooks, you need to use an iOS device.

Coming to Android soon...

Join the waitlist

Enter your email and we will notify you as soon as Speechify Audiobooks is available for you.

You’ve been added to the waitlist. We will notify you as soon as Speechify Audiobooks is available for you.

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Translate Spanish Audio to Text with AI Converter [Only 3 Steps]

Home > Speech-to-Text > Translate Spanish Audio to Text with AI Converter [Only 3 Steps]

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Karen William

• Filed to: Speech-to-Text

5622 views, 4 min read

How to translate or transcribe Spanish audio to text within a few steps? We will unveil the best AI Spanish audio-to-text generator for you to initiate the translation quickly.

The translation is also advantageous for the student's research works, business and content creators. Using an AI tool, you can convert Spanish audio to English text or English text to Spanish audio. Most people love to automate their work to save time and workforce. So learn it now.

transcribe spanish audio to text

  • Part 1: How to translate Spanish audio to text?
  • Part 2: Faqs about Spanish Audio to Text

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  • [3 Steps] How to Text to Speech

How to translate Spanish audio to text?

Many companies hire translators at high wages to transcribe Spanish audio to text. You can save the cost of hiring an individual with an AI tool that is much more efficient and quicker to translate Spanish audio to English text.

Many people think AI tools can make errors, but we will introduce a highly accurate converter. If there is some distortion in the audio, a human won't be able to recognize it, but an AI tool can convert that Spanish audio to text.

Video Tutorial

How to transcribe spanish audio to text

FAQs About Spanish Audio To Text

1. is there any app that can translate spanish speech to english.

Yes, many apps can translate Spanish speech to English. In this article, you will get to know one of the best, How dose VoxBox . It not only converts Spanish but also supports 100+ languages. It offers incredible accuracy and natural voiceovers in no time.

2. How Long Does It Take To Translate Spanish To English Text?

It depends on the size of the audio file you imported to translate Spanish audio to English text. Generally, a mid-sized file will take 1-2 minutes for the conversion. You can convert it at a faster rate by using iMyFone VoxBox.

3. What Are The Benefits Of Translating Spanish Audio To English?

There are many benefits of translating Spanish audio to English text. It will help the users to understand more clearly if they don't understand Spanish. You can also use the converted text to send the information directly to someone in your organization.

Students can also use it if they are regularly in contact with a person using a different language. This will decrease the individuals' language barrier issues and allow them to create an understanding for stronger teamwork.

Best Audio To Text And Text To Speech Voice Generator with 3200+ AI Voices

Finding an AI voice generator is not much difficult but finding the right one with high accuracy is not everyone's game. You don't need to worry because we will show you the best and fastest tool, iMyFone VoxBox , one of the top and most popular text-to-speech generators.

iMyFone VoxBox has 3200+ text-to-speech voices that no one can judge, whether fake or real. It has 100+ languages to make conversions between any of them. You can convert the text to any celebrity or famous character's voice. It also supports the image and document formats to extract the text from them. The users import the images to get all the information in text form to convey ahead.

translate audio to text on voxbox

Operate System : Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS

Let's see the list of some of the cool features of iMyFone VoxBox.

Key Features:

You can do real-time recording for various platforms.

It has a feature to convert the MP4 files to MP3.

You can transcribe Spanish audio to text using its audio-to-text feature.

It has 3200+ voices stored with 46+ languages support.

The recorded audio can be edited in the editor window, where you can delete and merge the audio files.

You will be allowed to alter the converted voice's speed, volume, and pitch.

How To Use Audio to Text With VoxBox

In this part, we will see how to convert Spanish audio to English text in a few steps. First, we will guide you through the downloading and installation procedure for a seamless conversion experience.

Step 1 : Hit the Download button below and select a secure destination to download the setup. Install the setup on your PC or mobile phone. Launch iMyFone VoxBox on your PC and switch to Speech to Text from the left-hand menu list.

translate audio to text on voxbox

Step 2 : Select the language you want to convert the text. Click the drop-down arrow and select English from the menu. Click on + Add File and select the Spanish audio file from your PC to import. You can enable punctuation if you need grammatically corrected text.

transcribe audio to text and export

Step 3 : It will quickly transcribe the Spanish audio to English text. You can now export the txt file or copy the text directly.

How To Text To Speech With Popular AI Voices

For this part, we are assuming that you have pre-installed iMyFone VoxBox so that we will take you directly to the conversion steps.

How to text to speech with spanish to english

Step 1 : Launch iMyFone VoxBox on your PC and switch the modes to Text-To-Speech from the menu.

Step 2 : Type the text in the box that you want to convert into audio form. Click Change Speaker and select the desired voice for the conversion. Tap any of the voices and click Use to apply.

transcribe text to audio and export

Step 3 : Hit the convert button to get the audio format. After the conversion, click the Export icon and select a safe place to export it.

change text speeker for audio translation

If you don't understand Spanish, you can translate Spanish audio to English text free. You can use VoxBox . It is an incredible tool to convert any type of audio to text and vice versa. We have shared a step-by-step guide on how to transcribe Spanish audio to text. Download the free version of iMyFone VoxBox and convert any audio to text in a few clicks.

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IMAGES

  1. Parts of Speech in Spanish: A Simple Guide to the 9 Parts

    a speech in spanish

  2. Indirect Speech in Spanish Grammar

    a speech in spanish

  3. PPT

    a speech in spanish

  4. (PDF) Spanish Speech Acts

    a speech in spanish

  5. Parts of Speech in Spanish: A Simple Guide to the 9 Parts

    a speech in spanish

  6. Parts of Speech in Spanish: A Simple Guide to the 9 Parts

    a speech in spanish

VIDEO

  1. Sisyphus Prime Speech

  2. This is How Spanish People Really Speak #learnspanish

  3. Pilot Welcome Speech Spanish Project

  4. golden freddys speech spanish

  5. (1/3)President Arroyo during the FILCOM-Madrid

  6. The Great Dictator (1940)-spanish language-spanish language

COMMENTS

  1. Speech in Spanish

    a. el discurso. (M) A great speech can change the world.Un gran discurso puede cambiar el mundo. 2. (ability to speak) a. el habla. (F) Many people say that speech is exclusive to human beings.Mucha gente dice que el habla es propia del ser humano. 3. (spoken communication) a. el habla.

  2. I have a Dream Speech in Spanish Class

    Use this free Spanish printable with elementary students, with activities for writing about the I Have a Dream speech, from Fantastic Teacher. Use these bilingual printables for elementary students, including a sheet to compare the before/after impact of MLK Jr.'s life and a "Yo tengo un sueño" sheet for drawing or writing, from Hola ...

  3. Parts of Speech in Spanish

    Los Sustantivos ( Nouns) El sustantivo is the part of speech used to name a person, place, or thing in a sentence. Nouns are either masculine or feminine in the Spanish language and can be singular or plural. The noun plays various roles in a sentence, such as the subject (who or what is performing the action of a verb), direct object, or ...

  4. SPEECH

    SPEECH translate: habla, discurso, discurso, discurso [masculine, singular], habla [masculine, singular]. Learn more in the Cambridge English-Spanish Dictionary.

  5. Parts of Speech in Spanish: A Simple Guide to the 9 Parts

    There are nine parts of speech in Spanish: Determiners make the noun more specific. Nouns name or label things, people, or concepts. Verbs express the action or state of being of a noun. Adjectives qualify and describe nouns. Pronouns replace nouns and represent their characteristics.

  6. Indirect Speech in Spanish

    Indirect Speech in Spanish. El estilo indirecto ( indirect speech / reported speech) is used in Spanish to report what someone has said without quoting them directly. In this article, you'll learn the difference between direct and indirect speech and about the different types of indirect speech.

  7. speech

    speech n. uncountable (faculty of speaking) habla nf. Speech is one of the things that separates humans and animals. El habla es una de las cosas que separan a los humanos de los animales. speech n. (declaration, address) discurso nm. The vice president's speech was politely applauded.

  8. speech

    Many translated example sentences containing "speech" - Spanish-English dictionary and search engine for Spanish translations.

  9. SPEECH

    Translation for 'speech' in the free English-Spanish dictionary and many other Spanish translations.

  10. Indirect Speech in Spanish Grammar

    Indirect speech in Spanish: the basics. Direct speech repeats someone's utterance word-for-word and is placed within quotation marks (comillas: «…»). Example: Juan: «Estoy estupendamente». Juan: "I'm great.". Indirect speech reproduces something a person has said without quoting them exactly. Example: Juan dice que está ...

  11. Reported Speech in Spanish: Master the Art of Talking About ...

    The reported speech Spanish speakers use is similar to its English counterpart—with a few key differences. Read this post for a thorough breakdown of how Spanish reported speech works, how to form it and a bonus resource you can use to master reported speech in Spanish once and for all.

  12. Spanish Grammar for Beginners: The 9 Parts of Speech

    Discover the 9 Parts of Speech in Spanish. If you want to learn Spanish grammar for beginners, then knowing the parts of speech is a must. These categories are the building blocks for Spanish grammar. 1. Articles () Articles draw special attention to the noun that they precede. The type of article shows the way that the speaker is thinking ...

  13. Spanish Grammar Lesson: Direct vs Indirect Speech

    The first, is by using quotation marks. This is direct speech. This means that the words are being repeated exactly like they were said. He said, "to the store.". ...and he said, "sure, no problem.". The second way of recounting a conversation is through indirect speech. In the example above, this is done through changing the verb tense ...

  14. How to Write Dialogues in Spanish for Maximum Clarity

    To write dialogue in Spanish, you need to do a bit more than change the quotation marks into long dashes. Here are a few more factors to take into account! 1. Punctuation Goes Outside Quotation Marks. Whereas in American English, commas and periods go inside the quotation marks, in Spanish, they go outside. No matter whether you use quotation ...

  15. Indirect Speech

    Indirect speech is more complicated than direct speech, because it requires certain changes (in both English and Spanish). 1. Subject pronouns and possessives may need to be changed: Pablo dice: « (yo) quiero mi libro». Paul says, " I want my book." Pablo dice que (él) quiere su libro. Paul says he wants his book. 2.

  16. Reported Speech Spanish Guide: Examples + Verb Changes

    Spanish Reported Speech: Verb Backshifting . When it comes to reported speech, verb conjugations are one of the major adjustments you must make. In simple words, we must change the tense of the original verb to maintain a logical sequence. In Spanish grammar, this is known as backshifting.

  17. Spanish Text-to-Speech service

    Text to Speech Translator. ImTranslator offers an instant Spanish text-to-speech service which converts any text into a naturally sounding voice in one click of a button. TTS system presented by animated speaking characters converts text into a natural human-sounding Spanish voice. It reads it aloud, synchronously highlighting words on the ...

  18. Speech in spanish in Spanish

    Translate Speech in spanish. See authoritative translations of Speech in spanish in Spanish with example sentences and audio pronunciations.

  19. Javier Milei and the Spanish Tradition of Liberty

    Instead, as he made clear at his recent speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, if Argentina is to prosper in the future, it must look to its own past. It must restore its own tradition of liberty, a principle clearly endorsed by Argentina's 1853 constitution , which expresses unequivocal respect for private property (Article 17), free ...

  20. Text to Speech Spanish

    Try our Castilian Spanish text to speech free online. No registration required. Create Spanish audio guides, language lessons, video voiceovers and audiobooks easily. Make Spanish text to speech MP3 files from Word documents, or turn Powerpoint slideshows into narrated videos. Read Spanish text aloud with the best Spanish text to speech online ...

  21. How to use reported speech in Spanish?

    Reported speech, also known as indirect discourse, is the reproduction or "repackaging" of someone else's message. In English and in Spanish, we normally begin reported speech with a reporting verb (dijo ("he/she said ")), preguntó ("he/she asked "), etc.), followed by a conjunction (que ("that ")) and then the message.With that said, reported speech in Spanish has a few rules we need ...

  22. The Parts of Speech in Spanish

    What is a "Part of Speech"? We all can agree there are thousands of words that exist in English and Spanish. Parts of speech exist to help categorize and identify a different kind of words. Parts of speech group words together based on their function in a sentence. In Spanish, the main parts of speech are Noun; Pronoun; Adjective; Verb ...

  23. El Salvador's 'cool dictator' boasts country would be 'a one-party

    Nayib Bukele, El Salvador's millennial president, attacked Spanish colonialism and imperialism in a fiery victory speech after he won a landslide victory. Amid claims he is turning the country ...

  24. Spanish Punctuation

    Spanish Punctuation. Quick Answer. Spanish and English use the same punctuation for many things. For example, both use periods at the end of statements and commas to separate elements in a list. There are also some punctuation marks used only in Spanish, as well as some punctuation marks that English and Spanish use differently.

  25. Spanish AI Voice Generator: #1 AI Voice & Text To Speech

    Speechify Spanish AI Voice Generator uses advanced AI text to speech technology, which allows video creators, podcasters, narrators, gaming developers, business professionals, and more to create lifelike generative Spanish AI voice overs, saving time and money. Spanish Al Voice Generator is perfect for beginner content creators and pros alike.

  26. Virgin Media O2's Spanish owner slashes value of stake by £1.5bn

    Telefonica has written down the value of its stake in Virgin Media O2 by €1.8bn (£1.5bn) as the telecoms company grapples with soaring debt costs. The Spanish mobile giant said it had booked a ...

  27. Transcribe Spanish Audio to Text with AI Converter Easily

    FAQs About Spanish Audio To Text 1. Is There Any App That Can Translate Spanish Speech To English? Yes, many apps can translate Spanish speech to English. In this article, you will get to know one of the best, How dose VoxBox. It not only converts Spanish but also supports 100+ languages. It offers incredible accuracy and natural voiceovers in ...