A few short years ago, smartphones weren’t that smart.
Now, they’re our portals to the world.
For Spanish language students, smartphones make awesome learning tools.
By keeping handy Spanish flashcard apps with you on the go, you’ll always be ready to learn more.
If you choose wisely, you’ll find that the right Spanish flashcard app will make learning simple, easy and entertaining.
While you’ll be getting rigorous linguistic training, you’ll be having more fun than ever.
And, after integrating flashcard learning into your daily routine, Spanish will always be present in your mind.
Why Download Spanish Flashcard Apps?
Want some solid reasons why you should spare some precious memory space? Well, first of all, that’s kind of ridiculous considering the amount of storage space these smartphones have nowadays. Second, there are plenty of excellent reasons why a flashcard app may be just the learning tool you’ve been looking for.
- They’re free! Or, at least, they’re very cheap. Most Spanish flashcard apps out there will allow you to play an extensive free trial—which will help give you a quick boost in the basics—and others project advertisements to allow you to access the whole darn thing at no cost whatsoever. Beware the apps that try to lead you down a gaping black hole of in-app purchases, as these are usually more focused on gimmicks and less focused on learning.
- Keep your vocabulary organized. Vocabulary and phrases are almost always kept in neat, thematic categories in these kinds of apps. This will help compartmentalize Spanish in your brain so you’ll always know when to say what.
- Use them like virtual phrasebooks. Due to their clear categories, flashcard apps have a dual function as handy phrasebooks. Sitting in a restaurant and wondering what you need to say to the waiter to make things happen? Whip out the flashcard app and track down the “food” or “restaurant” category for quick, useful phrases.
- Keep track of essential words. Are there some words you just can’t remember for the life of you? Many flashcard apps will allow you to mark these separately or create entirely new flashcard decks of hard-to-remember words. This way you can review those tricksters until they’re glued to your brain.
Learning in a Flash: 11 Smart Spanish Flashcard Apps for Your Smartphone
Now that you’re ready to start downloading, here are the best and brightest Spanish flashcard apps that we can recommend to you. First, we’ll start with the Google Play apps.
Looking for something that goes a few steps further than flashcards? FluentU brings flashcards to life.
And when I say “FluentU brings flashcards to life,” I want you to imagine the bewitched paintings in Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where the illustrations are so alive that they actually talk to students and wander casually from frame to frame. That’s what I’m talking about—FluentU’s flashcards move, breathe, wave to you—they’re the most alive and engaging flashcards out there.
That’s because FluentU makes flashcards out of real-world videos—like cinematic trailers, news shows, Disney movies and YouTube clips. Just take a look at this very, very small sampling of the video content below.
You can get a pretty good idea of the diversity of the content from that little list alone, but I strongly encourage you to click over to the site and take a better look, up close and personal!
There are a few different ways you can go about playing with these flashcards. After choosing an individual video based on your skill level and personal interests, you’ll be prompted to choose between “watch” and “learn” modes.
If you opt for “watch,” you’ll watch your videos as normal with interactive subtitles that are translated both by word and by sentence.
If you click on “learn,” then you’ll go straight to the personalized flashcard content using key vocabulary from the video, giving you a chance to practice either ahead of time or after watching the clip. This “learn mode” actually integrates pictures, video clips and example sentences into the flashcards, making for truly memorable in-context learning experiences.
You can start using FluentU on the website with your computer or tablet or, better yet, by downloading the app from the iTunes store or Google Play store and bring FluentU’s innovative language-learning tools to your iOS and Android device.
Want to cut out the fluff and get right down to learning? This app is for all those minimalists out there. No nonsense, just flashcards. No choices to make, no flashy cartoons or pictures—just constant delivery of words that you need to know. You launch the app and the flashcards get straight to work. Here you’ll at least get exposed to lots of random words you may otherwise not have seen. Thousands of words come with this app, all at no cost to the user.
Words come at you in no particular order. You simply click “translate” when you’re ready to see the other side of the digital flashcard. The only real say you have in all this? You choose whether you want to look at the English sides or Spanish sides of the cards first.
Sweet and simple, this app is a must-have for absolute beginners. While it appears that the app is still in development and makers are working to build up available decks, it’s worth downloading to help you get a grip on the essentials. At no cost to you, you’ll have hundreds of key words at your fingertips.
You can go through categories of cards in alphabetical order or jumble them all up and practice with them more organically. You’ll also get to listen to flashcard content in audio version, and you’ll also be ale to change which language appears on the front side of the flashcards, English or Spanish. Simply tap a card to see what’s on the other side! Keep in mind that you can’t scroll through flashcards in list format with this one.
This app comes free with the option to upgrade, and a paid web version that can be used to enhance the mobile versions. With the iOS or Android app, you get pre-loaded flashcards, audio and dialogues that you can learn with at your own pace.
With the web version, you’re given access to an online library of selected content such as e-books, videos and more. You can browse this content with a special translation tool that will instantly give you definitions for words and phrases you come across.
You can then complete the learning cycle by painlessly adding vocabulary from the content to your flashcards for later review, ensuring it sticks in your memory.
This is arguably the sleekest, smartest and most dynamic out there. I’ll personally endorse this one any day of the week. Ads are present on the borders of the app at times, but that keeps it all free as opposed to relying on in-app purchases and short-lived trial periods which badger users to open their wallets.
Here, you get a Spanish flashcard app with a budding community of language learners built around it. You can build your own flashcards sets or peek at the ones others have created. So, not only do you get extensive flashcards which cover far, far beyond the basics—you’ll also get awesome, user-made decks full of raunchy slang, fun-to-say phrases and general real-world speak. I mean, what other flashcard app is going to teach you sexually explicit vocabulary and straight-up potty talk? It’s freaking great.
Just keep in mind—especially with slang decks—that the region of origin is not always noted. This means that you could be learning Mexican slang words that sound beyond crass (or just like total jibberish) in other parts of the Spanish-speaking world. Always look up the origin of a word on WordReference before officially integrating it into your vocabulary.
The first six basic Spanish lessons are totally free, but for the rest of the package (another 32 lessons and thousands of new vocabulary flashcards) you’ll need to dish out $4.99. With the free trial, you’ll cover some basic greeting, restaurant vocabulary, feeling words, colors, conversation starters and more. All in all, this gives a good sense for whether or not this is the right app to meet your personal language learning needs.
There are plenty of plus sides to choosing this app as your go-to, one huge one being the ability to start from languages other than English. For example, if you’re a native Chinese speaker, you’ll be able to see Chinese phrases on the front side of your flashcards instead of English. Each Spanish flashcard contains the text and audio of the word in your chosen base language (English by default), along with an illustration, Spanish text and audio pronunciation. The Spanish audio is clear as day and pronounced in a relatively neutral accent.
This nicely designed tool for Spanish language learners is all about conversational Spanish. Not only will this help you practice basic words and simple phrases until you nail the basics, it’ll also help you drill yourself in Spanish sentence structure formation. For every flashcard which contains a single word, you’ll find two that have more lengthy, complex sentences.
Sounds like it might be a little much, but it’s great for beginner and intermediate level learners to start familiarizing themselves with full-on Spanish sentences. Not to mention, the sentences ain’t just pulled out of a hat—they’re specially selected to help you navigate all sorts of common, everyday situations you’ll encounter in the Spanish speaking world.
The key is to remember that Spanish is a pretty flexible language, and the sentences presented are not the be-all and end-all. You could easily rephrase most of these sentences in 12 different ways, using different vocabulary and grammar patterns. But it’s an awesome jumping-off point to get your brain accustomed to hearing more Spanish.
The app allows you to click little star icons and assemble a “favorites” flashcard list. You can play audio versions of each flashcard, slow down the audio for easier comprehension, and even record your own voice and play it back for comparison. I double dog dare you to try and sound as chipper as their Spanish audio voice. She sounds very enthusiastic about even the most common Spanish words like salchicha (sausage) and cangrejo (crab). That’s bound to keep you in high spirits while learning!
Alright, that’s enough for Google Play for the time being. Now, let’s move on to the best iTunes apps for the rest of the Spanish learners out there.
While not as “next-level” as FluentU, this bad boy still takes things a step further than your basic flashcard app.
It’s all about personalizing the learning experience with features and settings that can be switched on and off at the will of the user. You can choose to read the Spanish side or English side first, you can choose your thematic category and you can choose how in-depth the backsides of the flashcards go into the answers.
As you study your flashcards, the app will tell you which ones you get right and wrong along the way. When you make mistakes, Spanish! will tell you exactly where you went wrong. The 1,000 words you’ll flash through are all accompanied by native audio, and you’re free to add your own flashcards to the mix as you see fit.
The best part? This app is smart. It’ll keep track of your progress, identifying the flashcards in rotation that you tend to have a hard time getting right. These problem words will be set aside in a special vocab list for you to review when you’re ready to tackle them head on. Whenever you want to check in on your progress and see how much of an improvement you’ve been making thanks to Spanish!, you can go into the statistics and see precisely how far you’ve come.
This is produced by the same company as #3. You’ll be happy to hear that Superflashcard is somewhat superior in a couple of notable ways.
While it sticks more closely to formal Spanish than #3 (which is focused on introducing slangs, expressions and colloquialisms), you can import and create flashcard sets rather easily. Not that you’ll really need to add flashcards though—they start you off with upwards of 4,000! You can also check out the Superflashcards website at any time to discover even more cards and sets to add to your collection.
The aim is to hammer down the fundamentals of the Spanish language through intensive vocabulary memorization and retention. All of the words are divided into nine major categories for easier studying. You can customize the content and appearance of the flashcards however you see fit, and you can even use the text to speech (TTS) feature to study vocabulary by listening and speaking, rather than just staring at the words.
Moreover, you can play with your flashcards using lots of different game settings, keeping things fun and fresh as you progress. Keep track of your improvements by watching the statistics they provide you, but don’t let yourself get too obsessed with your success rate!
Going off the grid but want to continue your Spanish studies without a glitch? This offline phrasebook and flashcard app will come with you wherever you go, regardless of your reception or WiFi availability. It costs $3.99, but I’d be remiss not to include it. This one will last you months—possibly years—of Spanish study, and you’ll keep discovering new things to love about it as you go.
For one, it boasts that it has “no robot voices,” pushing you to learn outstanding pronunciation from native speakers. Another feature is that it provides native audio to teach you pronunciation in both European Spanish and Latin American Spanish. You can slow the audio down to turtle speed in order to better hear the nuances of pronunciation, and can even toggle on phonetic spellings to help you sound out new vocabulary on your own.
The flashcard portion of the app is extensive and well-organized, allowing you to dive in without complication. You’ll find everything from basic survival phrases to more advanced vocabulary, and can even review common expressions and key phrases on flashcards as well.
This app is trying to create a flashcard revolution. Their thinking is that traditional flashcards don’t get the job done, and that vocabulary retention can be greatly improved by jazzing things up with memorable, eye-catching imagery and native audio. It’s a great choice for when you want to mix things up a little bit. Your typical text-only flashcards can admittedly become tiring—so, why not play some fun, addictive vocabulary games?
Here, you’ll get to play mix and match games, games where you connect the vocabulary words with its translation and even games where you match vocabulary with corresponding images.
Bonus: Make Your Own Flashcards
Sometimes, being hands-on is the best approach to learning a new language. Starting from scratch and designing your own flashcards, complete with text and images, can really help to cement key phrases and critical concepts in your mind. It’s kind of like how you’ll remember a lecture better by taking notes on what’s being said. By creating your own flashcards, you’ll end up solidifying your new Spanish knowledge in your brain better than ever.
SuperCard Flashcards is a great app for this. It will allow you to add whatever images you see fit—you can even go ahead and doodle your own images right there. Just be sure that you’re checking for correct spellings, translations and grammar along the way. Don’t accidentally train your brain in incorrect Spanish!
And there you have it, 10 smart flashcard apps for easy-access Spanish vocab practice whenever you have a spare minute. So choose one (or more!), download it and get started today!
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn Spanish with real-world videos.