Review: Destinos

Destinos Review

Made in the 1980s Destinos tries to cover many of the various forms of spoken Spanish.

The storyline opens in Mexico with a dying patriarch receiving a letter telling of a child he never knew he had. The story then follows a lawyer’s search that takes her first to Spain then Puerto Rico, Argentina and back to Mexico.

After a short introduction in English the rest of each episode is entirely in Spanish. If you use this as the basis of your Spanish learning you will certainly need the written support material. Fortunately it is still easy to find even though the series is 30 years old.

Destinos takes the form of a telenovela. Personally I go out of my way to avoid soap operas in any language so after 30 years I am finally gritting my teeth and watching the last half dozen episodes.

Of course if you are an avid viewer of “Days of our Lives” you might in fact enjoy it and there is plenty of worthwhile language in each of the 52 episodes.

Interestingly there are lots of Romanians who speak Spanish well purely from watching the telenovelas from Mexico without the option of subtitles in their own language.

The main problem for me apart from the soapie style is that it came out at the same time as the fabulous French in Action and its approach suffers badly by comparison. With FIA each new word was quickly shown in a series of different contexts to allow the viewer to understand the meaning from the context.

If only the Spanish course had used the Capretz method I would have been speaking decent Spanish decades ago!

Several years after the release of the original series Nuevos Destinos takes the original material and revisits it.

If you are looking for a drama serial based course have a look at Espanol en Episodios which uses short scenes set in a student share house and art gallery. Each short scene of the story is followed by a classroom scene where the main character is learning Spanish.