It’s a wonderful time to be a Spanish learner.
You’ve never had better access to the Spanish language than you do right now.
The world is becoming an incredibly small and interconnected place.
Ever-smaller phones, tablets, computers and other neat devices mean that we can easily carry the world in our pockets or backpacks.
Why Spanish Apps Are Must-haves for Any Learner
- You can use them anywhere, anytime. We carry our phones with us everywhere we go. Whether we’re waiting for a bus, train or friend, we can jump onto our phones and instantly be immersed in a world of Spanish learning. If you add one or two minutes of studying to your routine in odd moments, it can really add up!
- The fun, diverse choices will ensure you don’t get bored. Smartphones allow us to access hundreds—nay, thousands!—of apps that we can use to listen, speak, play games, organize our lives, work and even complete crosswords. App developers strive to give you variety in their creations. There’s always something new to try, so you won’t get stuck reading or learning the same information over and over. Every day can be a different experience.
- They employ different learning tactics. With the vast selection of apps there is to choose from, we can strengthen our language muscles in reading, writing and listening. We all learn in different ways, so you can find the specific app that develops any areas you need to improve. You can also rotate between a few choice options to get a well-rounded linguistic workout.
- They’re interactive and hands-on. Not only are smartphone apps fun to use, many of them connect you with people from the Spanish-speaking community, thereby increasing your interactions with natives, exposure to culture and practice with social skills. Engage in conversations, learn about the culture of Spanish-speaking lands or simply make a new friend.
Tips for Maximizing Your Learning
- Take every opportunity to learn. Got some unexpected free time on your hands? Whether you’re on your morning commute or hanging out in a local coffee shop waiting for a friend to show up, you can always snag five minutes to power your way to stronger Spanish with the push of a button.
- Change your phone settings. Be sure to include Spanish as a language on your phone. Sometimes there are “American Spanish” options that allow you to interchangeably write in Spanish and English—while your phone checks and corrects both! This will allow you to write notes, send text messages and shoot out emails in Spanish, without pesky English autocorrect getting in the way and “correcting” Spanish words it can’t recognize. This is a simple strategy, but one that will allow you to familiarize yourself with using the language more often and in conversation.
- Check your current apps. Many apps support multiple languages, so you can update your favorite—and most used—apps to utilize Spanish whenever you want. Check Facebook or play a game. Learning Spanish can be that easy! Using apps that you’re familiar with can help you navigate the language easier and learn at the same time.
12 Great Apps to Boost Your Spanish Learning at Any Level
FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons and multimedia flashcards.
Learning and strengthening Spanish through native videos is a fantastic way to engage in comprehensive, immersive language learning. Most videos aren’t too long, thereby allowing you to snag a quick 10-minute (or less) session of power-learning whenever you have time to spare.
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 like soccer, TV shows, business, movies and even magical realism, 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. 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 it recommends you examples and videos based on the words you’ve already learned. Every learner has a truly personalized experience, even if they’re learning the same video.
Start using FluentU on the website with your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play store for iOS and Android devices.
Here’s an app that takes you far and wide across a range of Spanish learning materials. Listen to podcasts, audiobooks, interviews and real-life conversations between native Spanish speakers. Dive deeper into your audio and video than ever before with the transcripts, vocabulary tools and flashcards which accompany them. Stay motivated with the lively community forums, your ever-changing personal avatar and your progress trackers.
All of this is not available within the LingQ apps, but the essentials of the program are. Playlists, courses, audio lessons and interactive learning tools abound on the app, and all of your progress will be saved for you even when you’re offline.
The MosaLingua app strives to teach you Spanish in the way that’s easiest and most efficient for you. By having you learn the most useful phrases and only review what you need to review, it makes the most of the time you have to study, which is especially great for busy learners on the go.
The basic app gives you access to content like flashcards, audio and dialogues. However, you have the option of adding your own content, too. With the web app, which works alongside the mobile app, syncing between all devices, you can explore a library of content selected just for learners.
You can even create flashcards from words and phrases in this content and feed them back into your review pile, giving yourself the combined advantages of context learning and reinforcement.
In 24 Hours Learn to Speak Spanish
Want to get a huge boost up from the newbie level of Spanish?
If you’re starting from zero (or very little) Spanish, look no further for your first Spanish learning app.
Whether you want to focus on topics surrounding family, relationships, shopping, work or prepositions, you’ll find excellent beginner to intermediate lessons here. This app is great for students, travelers, tourists and businesspeople alike. No matter the topic, it allows you to rapidly learn and improve your Spanish with gripping audiovisual tools.
Given your choice of 24 areas to concentrate on, this app gives you a vast amount of language lessons to concentrate on at any hour of the day or night. It’s especially great for listening to in the car, as each topic is a list of words or phrases that are spoken in both English and Spanish—and they give you plenty of pauses so you have time to repeat everything aloud.
Speak Spanish for Survival and Travel
This is a great app for competitive people.
Love a little healthy competition? Hate losing? Enjoy the thrill of winning? I thought so.
This app regularly tests you on commonly-used words and phrases using smart flashcards, and it also has a leaderboard based on the number of cards studied and how many days in a row you use the app. Winning isn’t so much about being a brainiac who gets every answer right, but rather about being consistent and putting in the time and energy. How great is that?
So, whether you want to improve your conversational Spanish, build a massive vocabulary or strengthen your grammar, there’s something for every type of learner at every skill level here.
Get connected to natives!
Not only will HiNative help strengthen all your Spanish skills, it will also allow you to learn about any topic you want. The great thing about this app is that it allows you to learn from native Spanish speakers like no other.
Got a question about culture, grammar, descriptions, menu orders or basically anything else? Ask it here and get a fast answer from a native speaker. Need some feedback on the correct terminology? You can simply type in your questions or hold and speak so you can be corrected. Wondering how legit your pronunciation is? Upload a recording and get comments from the people who know best.
This app is the gateway to a fantastic learning community that makes studying Spanish fun and social.
As students, we’ve all created our own flashcards to aid our studying techniques at some point. While that can be helpful, you’ve probably noticed that it’s also extremely time-consuming.
Brainscape allows you to skip making flashcards yourself, as it has already put every Spanish flashcard deck you could possibly need at your fingertips.
With all different skill levels represented, you can easily pinpoint your exact proficiency level, test yourself and rate how well you know the answers. The higher you rate your knowledge of a given flashcard, the less you’ll see the card pop up again, allowing you to focus on areas that really require your attention.
This app also allows you to listen to the flashcards so you can improve your listening and pronunciation skills simultaneously.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve never taken Spanish classes before or if you’re simply practicing all that you know. Lingo Arcade is a fun place to learn for anyone at any skill level.
With different games that quiz you on identifying visuals, words, sentences and listening skills, the competitor in you will want to play and score until you achieve top ranks.
The best way to improve your Spanish knowledge is to immerse yourself in the language, but traveling to another country isn’t always an option. Readlang allows you to engage in Spanish immersion from the comfort of your own home.
Once downloaded, this app will become your sidekick when you want to read Spanish articles, web pages and any other kind of authentic Spanish content, that’s written by Spanish speakers for Spanish speakers. You’ll be reading like a true native before you know it!
Simply go to the Spanish site, begin reading and, if you get stuck on a word, swipe your finger to see the translation. Readlang will pick out the most useful translations and store them as flashcards for future practice.
Want to make new Spanish-speaking friends in your community?
Not only does UTandem tell you where the nearest language schools are, it will also connect you with fellow Spanish speakers in your town. Whether you want to meet in person, in public online chat rooms or in private messages, this app makes learning social and fun by adding recommendations on language events that you or your fellow speakers are hosting. You can even add your hobbies so you connect with people who have similar interests.
Downloading a Spanish newspaper app won’t only keep you up-to-date on local, national and international events, it can also help develop your reading skills at the touch of a button.
Pair the official El Pais app with Readlang and you’ll be whizzing through Spanish-language articles in no time. You can even set yourself a goal of reading one article per day, which could go perfectly with your morning cup of coffee.
Spanish Radio Apps
If you’re an active person, you can encourage your Spanish listening skills to blossom by downloading a Spanish radio app. While I’ve linked you to some highly recommended options above, your best bet is to choose radio shows that cover topics you love and use the regional variety of Spanish you’re most interested in learning and understanding.
Use your Spanish radio app to listen to the news, music or sports, and pop it on any time you’re on the go and would like some background chatter or tunes.
Allocate a specific amount of time per day to listening to Spanish. A quick five minutes is enough to introduce you to a new word, or continuously acclimate you to regional accents. Don’t try to understand every word that’s being said, but ask yourself after a news item whether you could explain a quick summary of it to someone who hadn’t heard it.
Spanish learning apps are designed to get you on the road to fluency.
Use these to your advantage as much as possible, but don’t stop there!
Keep those headphones plugged in and spice up your travels with some salsa music.
No matter where you are, who you’re with or how little time you have, these apps will guide you and raise your Spanish skills to new heights. Let us know how things work out for you!
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn Spanish with real-world videos.