Just the thought of hauling around a several-hundred page dictionary makes my back ache.
However, whether you live in a Spanish-speaking country or not, having a Spanish dictionary on hand whenever you need one is indispensable to your learning.
It is one of the easiest ways to expand your Spanish vocabulary on a daily basis.
Fortunately, technology is a wonderful thing.
Sure, it has its downsides and artificial intelligence will undoubtedly take over the world someday, but until then, tech is a Spanish learner’s best friend.
So take advantage of technology to boost your Spanish learning by downloading some excellent Spanish dictionaries to lighten your load.
The Benefits of Downloading a Spanish Dictionary
First and foremost, swapping your physical copy for a digital one will not break your back. After all, does anyone have any desire to relive those long days at school lugging around a heavy backpack crammed with textbooks? I didn’t think so.
So the real question is, why not download your dictionary and give your back a break?
There are so many reasons to use digital, offline-accessible Spanish dictionaries:
- They are portable: Laptops and tablets have made digital life more travel-friendly, but you still might not want to carry one with you everywhere.
That is why some of the best downloadable dictionaries are apps for your phone. That way, you can keep your dictionary in your pocket wherever you go!
- Reputable names are available: If you are deterred from trying a digital copy because you do not trust the accuracy of a downloadable dictionary in comparison to well established names such as Webster’s or Oxford, there is big news: You do not have to sacrifice quality in a downloadable dictionary.
And if you really want to be sure of the quality you are getting, the aforementioned reputable names and many other well-established companies also offer downloadable dictionaries of their own.
- They are affordable: Digital dictionaries are often free or at the very least cheaper than the dictionary you would buy in store.
- They are efficient: It is much easier to look up a word quickly when you have a search option. Just enter the word you are looking for and you will have its definition instantly!
- They offer many features: There are many special features that come with downloadable dictionaries, making them excellent resources for more than just defining words. Make full use of the extra features in your favorite dictionary to really bump your learning to the next level!
- They are available offline: By actually downloading your dictionary, you will have access to it even when you are offline—perfect for when you are traveling, have poor reception or are going off the grid and need some Spanish support while you are there.
How to Make Full Use of Your Downloadable Spanish Dictionary
The digital world opens a lot of doors, so take advantage of it! Downloadable dictionaries offer different features to support your learning that traditional dictionaries might not.
Often, downloadable dictionaries have conjugation tables or tools to help you learn your verb tenses. Studying Spanish verbs can be tricky, so these are a huge help in mastering them.
Some also have features like “Word of the Day” or flashcards. Use these to expand your vocabulary. It only takes a few minutes out of your day and can greatly improve your command of the Spanish language.
Most downloadable dictionaries even offer the option of marking words or creating your own vocabulary lists. If there is a word that you keep coming back to, mark it! Then go through those words on a regular basis until you get to the point where you no longer have to look them up.
Creating vocabulary lists is even more helpful, since they offer the opportunity to divide words by theme or group them in whatever way best suits you.
Better yet, use your dictionary together with flashcard apps, learning resources and vocabulary list creators.
Or, combine all three elements into one convenient program with FluentU.
Other sites use scripted content. FluentU uses a natural approach that helps you ease into the Spanish language and culture over time. You’ll learn Spanish as it’s actually spoken by real people.
FluentU has a wide variety of videos topics, as you can see here:
FluentU brings native videos within reach with interactive transcripts. You can tap on any word to look it up instantly. Every definition has examples that have been written to help you understand how the word is used.
Plus, if you see an interesting word you don’t know, you can add it to a vocab list.
Review a complete interactive transcript under the Dialogue tab, and find words and phrases listed under Vocab.
Learn all the vocabulary in any video with FluentU’s robust learning engine. Swipe left or right to see more examples of the word you’re on.
The best part is that FluentU keeps track of the vocabulary that you’re learning, and gives you extra practice with difficult words. It'll even remind you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned. Every learner has a truly personalized experience, even if they’re studying with the same video.
6 Downloadable Spanish Dictionaries for Convenient Language Learning
We have collected some of the best downloadable Spanish dictionaries below.
From free and paid apps to more traditional-style digital books, these resources will put the world of Spanish at your fingertips—whenever and wherever you need it.
Free Downloadable Spanish Dictionary Apps
Available for: iPhone | Android
This is definitely one of the most popular Spanish dictionary apps around and it is easy to understand why. It is one of the few apps which allows you to use all the features free of charge!
Search for any word to get a definition, examples, audio pronunciation and, if it is a verb, conjugation tables for every tense you could possibly need. And that is just the beginning.
SpanishDict has lists of basic phrases that you might need for things like directions or greetings and there is also the option of creating your own vocabulary lists.
The app also includes a grammar guide to help you master grammatical rules. Although this guide is only available when you are connected to the internet, everything else can be used whenever you want!
Spanish Translator & Dictionary + / Spanish English Dictionary
Available for: iPhone | Android
Over a million users cannot be wrong: This highly ranked app is a powerful dictionary to add to your arsenal. Although it has slightly different names on the Play and iOS stores, the included basics are the same for both types of devices.
The dictionary feature can be used offline and unlike many other apps, the audio pronunciation can be listened to offline as well.
The app includes other useful features such as quizzes, flashcards, phrasebooks and verb conjugation tables as well as a translation tool for longer phrases and sentences. There is also the option to access a greater number of entries and more features for an annual fee.
With this app, everything you need is right at your fingertips!
The Best Paid Apps Worth Every Penny
Ultralingua Spanish-English Dictionary
Available for: iPhone | Android
While this app is a bit pricier than most apps, you will not regret buying the Ultralingua dictionary app.
It gives you access to 290,000 translations without any need for an internet connection. There are also conjugation tables, audio and examples as well as lists of common phrases used with each word.
There are so many special uses for the Ultralingua app. If you have ever struggled with numbers, the app will translate any number you type into the Spanish word form. Mark words with a star to return to them later and browse your last 50 searches in the history section to review words you have already looked up.
Perhaps most importantly, the app includes slang terms as well as regional variations of spellings and definitions. It is no wonder that the New York Times gave the app a shoutout for its accuracy.
Word Magic Unabridged English Spanish Dictionary
Available for: iPhone
Another gem in the downloadable dictionary world, Word Magic offers many unique features for Spanish learners. If you are committed to long-term learning, we recommend investing in this slightly pricier dictionary.
Unlike most translation programs, this dictionary includes thorough definitions. It also has some great extras for those with more specific learning goals, including medical and legal terminology as well as slang. And best of all, it is all available offline!
This dictionary has everything you could need, from audio pronunciation to flashcards and conjugation tables with eighteen different tenses for each verb. You can create vocabulary lists and keep track of words you need to practice as well as ones you have already learned.
For the truly particular, you can even play around with the different voices the app offers in audio recordings as well as different fonts and color schemes.
Some additional curiosities for true word-lovers include fish and bird names, over 7,000 body parts (who knew you even have that many?) and information relevant in the modern day like the proper Spanish name of thousands of companies, locations and important cultural and historical figures.
Digital Tomes for the Traditionalists
If you are not willing to fully embrace the digital era, downloading an actual book might be a better way to go. The dictionaries below still use the traditional book format but will make your life a little lighter.
“HarperCollins Spanish-English College Dictionary”
Available for: Kindle (also works on Mac or PC)
Harper Collins has long been a powerhouse when it comes to producing high quality, reliable dictionaries. This Spanish-to-English Dictionary for Kindle users is no exception. With over 255,000 references, you will always find what you are looking for.
And do not worry: You can still type in a word to find it in your downloaded dictionary, no scanning required.
You might think that if you do not have a Kindle, this dictionary is useless to you. However, it is a little known fact that the free Kindle app can be downloaded to both Macs and PCs. So you can access your dictionary on any type of computer as well as a Kindle E-reader—as well as basically any other device that can use a Kindle app (which is most devices).
“Webster’s Spanish-English Dictionary”
Available for: iBook | Kindle
Another well-known name in the dictionary world, Webster’s has digitized its Spanish-English dictionary to save you from having to carry around 544 pages. With over 36,000 words, it is a bargain at $4.99 for iBook and $5.99 on Kindle.
You can use your dictionary on multiple Apple products including your iPhone, iPad and computer. The Kindle edition is a slightly older version but it is a great alternative if you are using a computer or a Kindle app instead of an iOS device.
iBooks allows you to bookmark pages as well as highlight words and make side-notes just like you would in an actual book, so you can always mark the words that you want to remember. There are also verb tables at the back of the book.
You can even change the font size and style as well as the text background for a customized reading experience.
Having a Spanish dictionary with you is a fantastic idea but you do not have to do it the traditional way.
Just download one (or all) of the dictionaries in this list to have excellent resources at the ready no matter where you are!
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn Spanish with real-world videos.