Blast Off! The 11 Best iPhone Apps to Learn Spanish at Light Speed
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to explore space?
What if I told you that you are about to do it?
Not for real, of course… unfortunately, I am still working on building my spaceship.
For now, imagine the Spanish language is outer space, and thanks to powerful iPhone apps for language learners, you can travel to some amazing planets.
On each of these planets you will learn something new, something different or maybe review something you already know. Your vocabulary will expand like space itself, your grammar will grow at the speed of light and your listening and speaking skills will shine like a supernova.
All right, all right—tired of my metaphors?
Then we will get back down to earth.
In this post, we will show you 11 useful, unique iPhone apps that cover a range of Spanish language skills. Some are totally free and some have both free and paid features. We will walk through the pros and cons and help you decide which options are best depending on your personal language learning needs.
Ready for liftoff?
- Planet FluentU
- Planet Learn Spanish for Beginner
- Planet WordPower
- Planet FunEasyLearn 6000 Words
- Planet Easy Ten
- Planet iLang Learn Spanish
- Planet Tandem
- Planet PixWords
- Planet VerbForms Español
- Planet Duolingo
- Planet Bueno, entonces… Learn Spanish
Blast Off! The 11 Best iPhone Apps for a Universe of Spanish Learning
The following 11 iPhone apps are the best I have been able to find in my travels through the universe of Spanish learning.
Wherever you are in your own learning journey, there is an app for you.
This planet looks a bit different to every Spanish learner who visits it.
FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.
After you watch a video, you will get flashcards and exercises to help you retain the new words you have encountered.
You can set your own pace and skill level, since the videos are organized by difficulty. FluentU even takes into account what you have learned already and what your level is, so it can suggest new videos that will be best for you. It also has built-in progress tracking features so you can watch your skills blast off!
Of course, you can take your learning anywhere with the FluentU iPhone app, but there is also a browser platform so you can set FluentU up on your home or work computer to squeeze in some extra practice whenever you get a moment. (Android users, we have you covered, too!)
Planet Learn Spanish for Beginner
If you are looking to expand your knowledge to limits unbeknownst to man, then I do not recommend you visit this planet. If you are just starting your journey and what you need is a good vocabulary basis, then I am sure you will love it here.
Learn Spanish for Beginner is a cute app that will make you spend many afternoons having fun in front of your iPhone. It organizes vocabulary thematically with more than 30 different categories. You will start with the alphabet and go on to learn about food, travel, insects, weather, nature, holidays and more!
I recommend you start from the very beginning and do all the exercises for each topic before going on to the next one. Earn stars along the way and take the final tests in order to master the whole game!
The list of words you will learn is rather short—I personally finished the whole game in around 30 minutes. Use this app if you have just started learning Spanish or want to review the basics.
Travel to planet WordPower if you want to learn new vocabulary quickly and effectively.
It is free to travel around here, but if you want to get full access, you will have to pay $4.99.
This is one of the most feature-filled Spanish learning apps. Here are some of the things you can do with it:
- Get more than just definitions: You can listen to every single word and example you have in the app’s flashcards. You can also click on the pictures in the lower-left corner to get more info about the word and even learn about the part of speech or grammatical gender.
Since you have full sample sentences with translations and pictures, you will be able to see your new vocabulary in context and have a clear view of how to use it in your everyday conversations. Personally, this is one of my favorite features.
- Choose between different courses, levels and categories: This makes learning even more straightforward and relevant to your goals.
- Study new words thanks to the flashcard feature: Flashcards will help you to see if you have really mastered your new vocabulary for the long-term.
- Personalize almost anything! This is something I just love about this app. From playback speed for the audio, to flashcard deck order, text magnification, number of cards per session… Have a look on the “Settings” tab and be amazed at how personalized your learning can be!
If you enjoy this app, here is another exciting planet for you to explore: SpanishPod101. This awesome audio and video podcast comes from the same team behind the WordPower app. With SpanishPod101, you get thousands of lessons crafted by Spanish education experts. The goal behind the program is to make Spanish learning both entertaining and effective. It’s a great way to make sure you are rounding out your Spanish learning experience between your app explorations!
As always, nothing is perfect, and there is something I do not exactly love about WordPower: its not-very-user-friendly interface. It takes a little time to find your way in this maze of courses, flashcards and lists of words, but once you feel at home, you will understand why I am recommending this app.
Planet FunEasyLearn 6000 Words
You may think I sometimes overuse the word “awesome,” but I cannot use another word to label this app for learning Spanish vocabulary. It is simply awesome!
When you open the app for the first time, you will be asked about your native language and the language you want to learn. After that, you will be given a short presentation of what you have to do to start learning. The app is very user-friendly, so you will not have any problem finding your way.
When you are on the home screen, just choose the vocabulary topic, then the subtopic and finally the game you want to play in order to practice vocabulary. I recommend you start with the game “Vocabulary,” since it will show you the words in full, which will let you get to know them and start learning them.
Once you are in the games, you will be able to hear the words at normal speed and slowed-down. This is especially helpful if you are a beginner.
Tap the icon on the upper-left corner to see your overall progress, your level and your achievements. You can also make purchases, contact app support and personalize the app there.
Planet Easy Ten
Easy Ten is one of those apps that seem very basic at the beginning but can surprise you more and more as you start using it.
The idea of it is simple: learn 10 words a day and improve your Spanish vocabulary without even noticing it.
Select your native language and the language you want to learn in order to start. You will be presented with a list of words in the form of cards, from which you can choose the 10 words you want to learn that day. You can also add your own words and or select the difficulty of the words so you can be sure you are learning for success!
Once your 10 words are ready, you can start having fun!
Scroll through the words and learn all their different meanings. Have a look at the examples and listen to the words. When you think you have memorized a word, mark it as ready and it will be added to the quiz you will have to do later.
After all the words are marked as ready, you will have to pass a quick test containing the 10 words of the day. Correct answers will allow you to earn points while wrong answers will make you lose them. At the end, you will be given a score that can be compared to your friends’ scores… yes! Have I not told you that you can invite your friends to the app and compete against them? If you are one of those people who needs a little bit of a rush in order to be able to learn, this feature will be your favorite!
Do you want to practice your listening? Then try tapping the second icon on the upper part of the main page (the one similar to a notebook) and you will be able to listen to your words with or without their translations. Pause, move forward, rewind… do whatever you please as long as you are learning!
I think this app is great if you are not in a hurry and want to enjoy your learning at an easy pace.
Planet iLang Learn Spanish
Here is another easy-to-use app to learn vocabulary. It has eight free topics you can choose from, but if you buy the full version, you can have a total of 27!
However, the free version contains around 1,000 words, which will come in handy if you want to learn some Spanish core vocabulary. You probably will not find a lot of words for your DELE C2 exam, but you will surely build a great foundation for your Spanish learning journey.
To start with, select a topic you want to learn more vocabulary about. You will then see nine different ways you can learn the new words, including:
- Study list: Here you will find a long list with all the words related to the topic. If you click on the English word, you will see a picture and the Spanish translation and you will be able to listen to the word in Spanish and record your own audio!
- Memory: You will see pictures and hear words in Spanish. After four words have been given to you, the app will say a word in Spanish and you will have to tap the correct picture.
- Meaning: Find the meaning of a Spanish word among four different English translations.
- Spelling: You will be given an English word and will have to tap letters in order to write the Spanish translation.
- Review list: Words you fail to remember or words you make mistakes with while learning will automatically appear in the review list.
If you have ever participated in a language exchange, you probably already know that a tandem can be much more than just a weird bicycle.
Tandem is one of those apps that allows you to connect with other people in order to find a partner for learning a new language. I personally love this kind of language learning system because not only is it free, but it also allows you to personalize your learning path.
A tandem is a two-way street. You learn a new language while teaching your own. What you do is find a language partner from the list of people who want to learn your language and can teach you the language you want to learn.
For example, consider Antonio, from Spain, whose native language is Spanish and wants to learn Polish. He logs into the Tandem app and searches for people from Poland who want to learn Spanish. He finds Marysia, a Polish student who wants to improve her Spanish. They connect, decide what they can do for each other and then they start teaching each other while talking. It is really that simple!
When you open an account in the Tandem app you will be asked three short questions:
- What topics do you like to talk about?
- What kind of person would be a perfect tandem buddy for you?
- What learning goals do you want to achieve?
The answers to these three questions will be added to your profile, so that people looking for a someone like you can find you.
The next step is to choose the age and gender of the person you want to meet and wait for your invitation. All you have to do after that is find your perfect language partner and start learning your own way.
If you are a crosswords enthusiast and your level of Spanish is at least intermediate, this app will be just perfect for you.
I have to confess, I was a little skeptical at the beginning. When I started using this app, I felt learners could get easily bored just by solving crosswords. Fast forward 10 minutes and I was still having fun (and even having a hard time with some of the words!). Fast forward again four more hours and I was still there. Today, two weeks later, I play it every single day and I am absolutely addicted!
This app is simple and easy to use, but most of all, it is fun. You just need to create a new game and start solving crosswords. You will see hints in the form of pictures and the only thing you have to do is tap the letters in the lower part of the screen in order to write the correct answer.
If you are not sure about what you are looking at, tap on the image to enlarge it.
Having problems with one of the words? Just tap the question mark and you will be given four options: show the first letter of the word, show a random letter, delete unnecessary letters or ask friends for help. Except the “ask friends” option, which is free, all the other hints will cost you coins, which you can earn by solving crosswords and spinning the wheel of fortune every eight hours.
While you are solving a crossword, you can jump to the next word by just tapping on it.
I recommend this app for intermediate to advanced learners of Spanish who do not want to get bored while learning new words and for those of you who like a casual challenge and do not mind the occasional neuron sweat.
Planet VerbForms Español
This app is one of those that can be described very briefly but will be able to help you from the very moment you start learning Spanish until… well, actually some native speakers of Spanish would definitely need it, so it will come in handy forever.
The app offers an alphabetical list of Spanish verbs with their English meaning(s). Just search for the verb you are looking for and you will be presented with its full conjugation!
What else can you do with this app, apart from learning how to fully conjugate Spanish verbs? You can listen to them! Choose whether you prefer the Spanish or Mexican accent, set the reading speed and tap your way through the verb. Let the app read everything for you!
Finally, you can create lists of verbs to study and review. Just tap the “+” sign on the upper part of the screen and create a new list. Add the verbs you need in each list and you are ready to go.
The basic version of the app is free, but it only includes a couple dozen verbs. The full, 7,000-verb version costs $3.99.
This is the best app of its kind, but it only offers conjugated verbs, so if you want to practice vocabulary or other elements of Spanish grammar, you will need to travel to another planet in this list.
Here is a huge planet populated with tons of Spanish learning explorers.
Duolingo is one of the best-known apps for learning Spanish (among many other languages) and it never ceases to surprise me. It contains a lot of cool features that will keep you interested while learning and will make you want more and more every time.
The coolest feature? Well, I personally think the fact that you can take a placement test at the very beginning is fantastic, since it personalizes your learning experience. You will start at exactly the right level—no slogging through stuff you already know, or drowning in material that is too difficult.
Duolingo also provides tons of different ways to learn Spanish vocabulary and grammar, from tapping word pairs to voice-recorded pronunciation practice to answering questions… the list goes on!
It is also a classic “gamification” app, meaning it turns language learning into a game. Here is how:
- You have a set of lives you have to maintain in order to be able to keep learning. Do not worry—they refill by themselves every few hours and you can also buy them with gems you earn along the way.
- Your knowledge is rewarded with gems that you can use for bonus lessons and other fun stuff. This incentivizes learning and keeps you motivated.
- You can unlock bots for practicing Spanish conversation! Get fun, real-world conversation practice without worrying about sounding silly.
The app itself is free, but as we all know, business is business, so if you want to have even more fun, you will have to pay for it. Gems are the game’s currency, and you can buy them for $1.99. You can then use your gems to buy power-ups and make your learning rocket travel even faster! The power-ups include health refills, health shields (a specific amount of time where you will not lose lives) and more.
The drawback to this app is the ads, but that is a small price you will have to pay if you want to learn for free.
Planet Bueno, entonces… Learn Spanish
The moment I landed on planet Bueno, entonces… (Well, then…) I knew I had fallen in love with it. It is so fantastic!
A few disclaimers before we jump into its great features:
- For starters, it is quite expensive. You have 30 lessons at $2.99 each, or you can buy all of them together for $44.99. Not everybody can afford to pay this price for a Spanish course, but if you ask me whether it is worth it or not, I can only say yes! I will tell you why below.
- It focuses only on Argentinian Spanish. If you are planning to travel there, need to communicate with Argentinians or just love the accent, then this app is great. But if you want to have a good grasp of all of the Spanish varieties and accents, then this may not be the app for you.
- The lessons run at a fast pace. You have to pay attention to every second of the videos and try not to get lost. The pace is intense and you will really master conversational Spanish in a few weeks, but you will need to engage yourself 100 percent if you want to succeed.
But apart from this, Bueno, entonces… is such a delicious, comprehensive, fun Spanish app that I cannot help but tell you to try it.
The first lesson is free, so you can get to know how the course works and decide if you feel comfortable with it. Each lesson consists of a 40-minute video where you will be introduced to different topics in a very addictive and funny way. Each lesson is in the form of a dialogue between a British and Argentinian person. You will get a long dialogue between the two of them, where the Argentinian teaches different topics and grammar concepts while the British speaker tries to repeat what she says and put it into practice. It is super entertaining!
You can read the dialogues and their translations along the way in the app’s Pizarra Mágica (Magic Blackboard). Each word is color coded, making it easier to remember Spanish word genders and parts of speech. (This is a great method I use with my students and it really works!)
There is a professor who looks exactly like Einstein who will explain how the Magic Blackboard works, so in case you feel lost, just go to him and he will be glad to help.
All in all, this is a complete conversational course that will immerse you in the Spanish language. It promises you will be speaking Spanish in five weeks, and after having done the first three lessons I can tell you I do not doubt it. So if you are ready for an intense experience and have the money, do not hesitate to buy the whole course.
And there you go! 11 great apps you should not miss if you want to take your Spanish to a whole new solar system. One finger is all you need to travel to these 11 planets that will make your brain grow one tap at a time.