Posted on July 17, 2012 at 12:41 AM.
Top 5 iOS apps for learning Spanish!
Do you remember how tiring it was to learn Spanish before? Heavy books, dictionaries, flashcards, and audio tapes. Now, you can have everything in the palm of your hand and weighing less than 2lb. Today we will review the top 5 iOS apps for learning Spanish. Take notes and start downloading, people!
¡Comencemos! (Let's begin!).
1. Spanish Audio Flashcards, by Declan Software - iPhone, iPad (Free Trial)
Flash cards have always been an important part of learning a new language. Memorizing words and their usage can get difficult sometimes when you don't remember how to pronounce the words themselves correctly. This app provides the user with essential vocabulary and daily expressions, enough to productively consume your time while you ride the bus or the subway!
Pros: The recordings feature native Spanish speakers with a neutral accent (not European nor Latin American), which makes it easier to learn and imitate. The slang is also very neutral and up to date; this way you can be sure that you won't sound like my grandpa when you speak.
Cons: For $12.00 bucks I would expect a much more extensive word bank. The app's interface might feel a little confusing at first. If you want things to be fast and visually attractive then… this app is not for you. The home page feels like a design taken from Windows 3.0 or one of those Spanish text books you carried everywhere 15 or 20 years ago.
2. Basic Spanish for dummies, by Skava - iPhone ($0.99)
We are all familiar with the series of books "… for dummies". Well, here's another title to add to the list. This app is a simple yet fun way to study. Wether you want to impress your hispanic business associate, cry for help, or seduce a beautiful girl at a bar in Mexico city, this app is your perfect wingman!
Pros: For less than 1 buck, it's more like a "survival guide" app than a learning app. All expressions are focused on daily events. Whether it's calling for an ambulance or running from a dog, appropriate language for any scenario you can imagine (or not) that could possibly happen to you or around you can be learned through this app. I would really consider changing the name into "Surviving with Spanish for dummies". In addition to that, it's friendly and, I think, pretty cheap.
Cons: I mean, yes, we are ignorant of many things, but is there really a need to call everyone dummies? Well, they're still selling and selling, right? A big issue is that sometimes the recordings are made by native speakers from Spain; other times, from South American people. It might be confusing for beginners, but it works.
3. Practice makes perfect: Spanish Verb Tenses Companion, by PlaySay - iPad, iPhone ($6.99)
One of the most difficult and troublesome parts of learning Spanish is memorizing the verb tenses. Yo como (I eat), tú comes (you eat), él come (he eats), etc. Verbs change all the time! "How can I keep track of them?" you might desperately ask yourself. But, before you jump out the window, PlaySay has an answer for you! The Spanish verb tenses companion app has turned what used to be a pain in the… into a walk at the park on a sunny day! With visual and simple explanations, flashcards, and audio, you will be victorious! Thou shall conquer SPANISH VERBS!!!!
Pros: PlaySay Inc. partnered with McGraw-Hill to produce this app, so you can be sure that their method is pretty clear and simple. This app includes a very extensive dictionary, which makes studying and reviewing easier. Personally, I think that the price, almost $7 bucks, is not expensive at all. I mean, come on! If you've ever bought a McGraw-Hill book, then you know that this price is quite fair.
Cons: It feels like an app produced for Europeans only because some of the verbs contained in the app are commonly used in Europe but not in Latin America. Also, a lot of the recordings are recorded by Spaniards. Some might say that Spanish comes from Spain, and it's true, but most of the slang and expressions used by Spaniards, as well as their accent, are only used in Spain. This means that you will probably have some slight issues if you plan to go to Latin America.
4.iGrammar - Spanish, by Lima Sky - iPhone, iPad ($1.99)
Grammar, the core of a language. Grammar rules in Spanish are pretty strict, much more so than any other language in my opinion. This application explains the most important grammar rules in a visually simple yet comfortable interface, which relieves a little of that headache you get when you try to understand the difference between "como" and "cómo".
Pros: Simple studying method. Price is quite OK.
Cons: It is focused on people that have been studying Spanish for quite a while.
5. Open Language, by Open Language - iPad, iPhone (Free download, to be used with your Open Language subscription)
The future of education is finally available! Open Language introduces a very futuristic vision, the "Tablet Textbook": a friendly, easy to use, eye-catching, interactive way of learning. With both audio and visual aids, this app provides a curriculum designed by scholars and experts in teaching Spanish as a foreign language. With engaging features such as sentence-by-sentence and word-by-word translation (written and spoken), you will never want to stop learning.
Pros: Boring doesn't fit anywhere near this app. You can easily keep track of what you are studying, listen to the recordings and reviews, and learn expressions, words, and even the culture and traditions of different Spanish-speaking countries in the world. New lessons are being uploaded weekly, so you will never get stuck with the same sentences and dialogues.
Cons: If you want to learn Spanish just for the fun of it, this app is not for you. You can download it for free but the contents have a price. $30 bucks for a month and $240 for a year. It is not only a course for travelers, but also for those who want to learn Spanish in a more formal way. It's pricy, of course, but paying for this course also pushes you to stop being lazy and learn!
Try it now! http://www.openlanguage.com/mobile
I've presented a couple of options here for you to continue your studies. Spanish will be hard if you want it to be, but make no mistake, if you really like it, there is always a way to learn, understand, and practice!
If you guys have any questions, complaints or suggestions, don't be shy and leave us your comments!
¡Ánimo gente! (Cheers people!)
This free up-to-date podcast helps you understand what's going on right now in the Spanish language world while teaching you how to speak real world Spanish. For a more complete learning experience, download the OpenLanguage app or go to OpenLanguage.com and sign up for an account to access OpenLanguage Spanish and SpanishPod lessons. Get your first month for just 99¢. Just use the promotion code - realdeal - when checking out.