If you want to learn Spanish, you must commit to practicing it continuously over a long period of time. This strengthens your “language muscle” so that speaking Spanish becomes a habit that requires little effort.
Fortunately, mobile app technology is on your side. Smartphone and tablet apps making practicing a language convenient and affordable. Spanish apps are a great way to supplement Spanish classes or private lessons.
So what’s the best app to learn Spanish on? While there are more than 100 apps that claim to teach to Spanish quickly, here are the top five.
What’s the Best App to Learn Spanish? Here are 5 Options…
Duolingo won the “best application” award in 2013 from the Apple App Store. It tracks your progress in an encouraging way and focuses on 1,500 of the mostly commonly used words in the Spanish language. It’s a top choice because it incorporates voice technology for speaking practice and encourages continual practice of all four inputs and outputs of successful language learning: writing, reading, speaking, and listening.
While it’s comprehensive and a great tool (touching on adverbs, pronouns, adjectives, and question vocabulary), its main weakness is that it does not specifically teach grammar, which is why we recommend complementing it with private tutoring and one of the more grammar-oriented applications below.
SpanishDict has great multiple-choice games to make learning fun, although it’s most useful once you already have a solid foundation of Spanish skills and can carry on a basic conversation. Its dictionary tends to be more accurate than “Google-Translate.”
This app contains the most comprehensive dictionary we have yet to find and it incorporates common phrases where the searched words can be properly used. It’s also frequently checked and added to by native Spanish speakers from all over the 24 Spanish-speaking countries.
Learn Spanish by MindSnacks is a fun application, most appropriate for younger learners. One of the games users particularly like is one that pronounces a word aloud so you can correctly identify it on the screen, while a clock is ticking away.
The app also keeps score with fun badges and other cartoon-like images. Full access to the first 50 lessons is $5. The images are most appropriate for younger children but can be fun for any age!
4. Rosetta Stone
Rosetta Stone is arguably the most well-known language-learning tool, and also the most intensive. One distinguishing factor is that it attempts to immerse its users in Spanish immediately without explaining and translating everything in English, as if you were learning Spanish as a child, instead of as an adult.
While this can be frustrating for those who want their activities explicitly translated so they understand every word and phrase, it can actually accelerate learning. This option is best for those who are especially motivated, have a special knack for language-learning, and don’t get flustered easily.
Memrise is possibly the most creative app, designed to teach you specific words through modules such as “Basic Argentine Spanish,” “Intermediate Spanish,” and “100 most commonly spoken Spanish words.” Each contains several lessons reviewing 10-20 words. It’s creative because instead of learning through mechanical repetition, it incorporates clever plays on words to boost learning and make it fun.
For example, “bañarse” is a reflexive Spanish verb that means “to shower or bathe oneself,” and is remembered by “However shy you are of nakedness as you shower, you’ll never be able to ban your ‘arse’ from the bath!” Once your brain makes this “click” it’s unlikely that you will forget this word!
Bonus App to Learn Spanish
Mosalingua takes a unique approach to learning a new language by using the spaced repetition method, meaning it reviews what you’ve learned before you’re likely to forget it. It also uses dialogues and helps test your comprehension with different accents. You get rewarded for your success with bonus materials. Mosalingua is fun and easy to use!
Enjoy your Spanish learning journey and don’t forget it’s supposed to be fun! The best app to learn Spanish is the one that works best with your unique learning style. If you need some extra help along the way, don’t hesitate to reach out to a Spanish tutor for guidance.
These Spanish apps are best used to help you practice in between language-learning sessions with a private tutor! Browse Spanish tutors near you today to really accelerate the path to fluency.
Jason N. tutors in English and Spanish in Fairfax, CA. He majored in Spanish at UC Davis, lived in Mexico for 3 years where he completed a Master’s degree in Counseling, and studied Spanish Literature and Psychology at the University of Costa Rica. Learn more about Jason here!
Photo by Tom Raftery