As I stated in last week´s blog, very rarely do I leave my house without my handy iPhone to help me navigate around the amazing city of Buenos Aires. In addition of finding great apps for the city, I have also found some wonderful apps to help me study Spanish… Here are my top 10 Spanish learning apps (including a couple of podcasts)!
1) Basic Spanish for Dummies ($.99) – I think we are all familiar with this series of books that always simplify our lives by starting with the basics! Its goal is to give you the essential vocabulary you´ll need to get around – greetings, expressions, directions, time, etc. I would strongly suggest to download this app a week or two before leaving, to get you started – your Expanish teachers will take it from there!
2) El Mejor Ahorcado ($.99) – We all get bored and like to play games on our phones as we are waiting in an airport or traveling on a bus, but now you can make it educational too! El Mejor Ahorcado “The Best Hangman,” will keep you entertained while also teaching you new Spanish words on the go.
3) BA Cast w/ Dan and Fernando Podcast – My newest found addiction that keeps me laughing as I walk through the streets of Buenos Aires and even on crowded subways!! Dan & Fernando (the expat & the local), give their own perspective of porteño culture and life on varied topics about fútbol, the Dirty War, rules of maté, fernet, and more! (While also schooling you on local lunfardo “slang.”) This duo has just completed their first season, and I am anxiously awaiting more!!
4) Wordpower Spanish Lite (free) – Allows you to master Spanish one word at a time! Each day you are given a new word, with pronunciation by a native Speaker and the option to record yourself before moving onto the next word. Although this may seem like a slow process, it actually will help you build and retain your vocabulary “wordbank,” by reinforcing daily with practice flashcards!
5) Spanish Touch Trainer ($1.99) – This app will help you get accustomed to Spanish sentence structure, conjugation, and grammar in relation to English. Starting at a beginner or advanced level, you will be able to construct proper phrases one word at a time and earning points to make it more of a game! You will learn how to switch between tenses when telling a story about the past, present, and future, thus providing you with a greater proficiency in your conversations.
6) Gengo Quiz – Spanish ($4.99) – As you advance, you may want to quiz yourself so you can see just how far you have come! This app starts at a beginner´s level –Upper Intermediate, allowing you to gauge your progress. You may even surprise yourself how much you are learning.
7) Tune-in Radio ($.99) – Continue to embed yourself local porteño culture by tuning into local stations! Whether you are listening to talk radio, pop, or tango – you´ll pick up local expressions and the local beat of the city. And if you find a favorite radio show that you don´t want to miss, it even allows you to record stations to listen to later!
8) Gengo Grammar – Spanish ($9.99) – One of the hardest things about learning Spanish as an English speaker is learning a variety of grammar rules. Therefore this app is great in supporting your grammar at all levels while also aiding in a more extensive explanation. Along with your daily classes at Expanish – this is the perfect way to review and support your studies of adverbs, commands, passive voice, verb formation, etc…
9) Notes in Spanish Podcast – This podcast offers three different levels of oral conversation: Beginners, Intermediate, and Advanced. The couple Ben (England) & Marina (Spain) discuss common topics such as music, social situations, holidays, etc. Although their accent is a very distinct Spanish accent, you can train you ear by listening to normal conversations on a variety of topics. It´s a great way to improve your audio skills and you can even follow up on their website for worksheets about each podcast!
10) Porteño Spanish ($.99) – One more fun thing about learning Spanish is learning the local slang or as the porteños would call “lunfardo.” This fun app is meant to help you understand and possibly incorporate some local jargon into your conversation! However keep in mind that some of the terms should not be used on a daily basis!
Remember that we all have different ways of learning, so see which apps work best for you and your level! As well, let me know if you have any favorites not listed here!!