Best for: Beginners, Visual Learners, Game fans.

Mindsnacks is perhaps the best foreign language learning app on the market and really takes the “gameization” of foreign language concept and excels at it like no one else has. The graphics are great, gameplay is excellent and fun, and you really end up learning a lot of essential vocabulary. I used both Spanish and Portuguese versions and learned Portuguese colors very quickly.

The app teaches vocabulary by having the student play different vocabulary games that test your speed,  understanding and spelling. The better you are and the higher the score the more games you end up unlocking. I expect more and more apps will try and do what Mindsnacks does, by putting a lot of time and money into creating fun games that students want to play, and as a result learn the foreign language.

This app is best for learning vocab and will not teach you much in the way of grammar, and they do have most of the vocabulary in audio form so you can hear the pronunciation, which will help with yours. Mindsnacks is best used to reinforce learning from a textbook or in a class, and is probably not the best for learning travel and common phrases.

You can try the Mindsnacks app for free in several different languages and upgrade to the full version with 50 lessons for $4.99.

Pros: Vocabulary, Audio pronunciation, Games are addicting and fun.

2.  Verb Champion and Vocabulary Champion

Best for: Visual learners, students who want more grammar practice, quantitative minded learners.

We are a bit biased because we designed these apps, but we really think they are some of the best Spanish learning tools available. Both Verb Champion: Spanish and Vocabulary Champion: Spanish (due out in early May) are designed to be fun ways for you to practice verb conjugation and vocabulary. Unlike other apps, that use flashcards to help you learn words, these apps make you spell it out to help improve memory retention. The concept is easy. The English verb or vocab words will randomly pop up and you need to spell or conjugate the correct answer. The process better mimics real life language use, rather than practicing verb conjugations on just one or several verbs and tenses at a time.

Verb Champion includes over 520 verbs to practice with and over 8 tenses that you can use to practice verb conjugation. You can play random or customize your practice session to help study for a test or help improve in a particular area. It also won About.com’s Readers’ Choice Awards for best Spanish app for Android.

Vocabulary Champion has over 500 vocabulary words to choose from, and even allows you to add your own custom words into the mix, which can be very helpful when studying for a quiz or test. You can also choose from several pre made lists like “Food” and “Adjectives” that can help students at any level.

Verb and Vocab Champion are primarily meant to be practice tools and should not be your primary teaching resource. They are best used in conjunction with a class or a textbook. The apps are free to try, but upgrade to full version costs $2.99.

Pros: Customizable, Fun, Effective way to learn verb conjugations and vocabulary.

3. Word Reference

Best for: Beginner and advanced learners. People who want to need definitions and are connected to the internet all the time.

If you have ever used the website www.wordreference.com, then you realize how great of a tool it is. Well, Word Reference also has an app now that you can use on your iPhone. Word Reference is a Spanish dictionary that provides translations in many different languages. It is our primary reference for Spanish to English translations, and has a huge following.

The best thing about Word Reference are the forums. You can search for phrases and chances are you will find a question posted by someone else about that phrase or word that has been answered.

Word Reference app is free to download and use and you can get an ad free version for $4.99. It is also important to remember that you have to be connected to the internet to look up words on this app, so look elsewhere if you want something that is stored on your device.

Pros: Easy to use, Forum participants answer your questions, and lots of definitions.

4. Now You’re Fluent

Best for: Intermediate and advanced learners. People who learn best through translation exercises.

When I first saw “Now you’re Fluent” I was sure I would not like it, but after using it for a while I have totally changed my mind. I think it is one of the better Spanish learning apps, especially for more advanced students.

Now You’re Fluent is a very simple idea, in fact, it is its simplicity that first makes you question whether or not it provides any value to your learning, but I promise you it does. The app is separated into days, and each day has 5 or so sentences that are in both English and Spanish. You can compare the two languages and learn new vocabulary and it helps a bit with verb conjugation as well.

Again, it sound simple, but in reality it is very difficult to find consistent translations of English sentences into Spanish to practice your own translation. The computer program "Verbarrator" does this a bit, and there are some books that offer it as well, but for the most part you are not going to find good English-Spanish sentences that are accurately translated and can be used for learning.

I find I use this app a lot, and it really has helped me to review words I already know and learn some that I do not know. There are no explanations of the rules, however, so this app is best used to practice with the help of a textbook or in class with a Spanish teacher. You can try it for free, and buy a years worth of lessons for $8.99 or purchases individual months (with 30 lessons in each month)

Pros: Lots of material, accurate translations, interesting topics.

5. YouTube

Best for: Students who want listening practice, students who learn best through hearing.

I know, Youtube is not a Spanish learning app, but it can help you to learn more Spanish than most any other app if used correctly. There are literally millions and millions of Spanish videos on Youtube that can be invaluable in practicing listening. One thing that is bad about most Spanish educational tools is that they audio practice is done very slowly and deliberately made easier so students have an easier time understanding. The videos uploaded to Youtube are not meant for students, but for native speakers and because of this you are going to find more natural and real interviews, documentaries, and stories than you would find in any textbook or Spanish learning app.

Youtube has tons of Spanish TV shows, news stories, as well as an incredibly variety of other Spanish language videos available. You like sports? You can find the latest news and interviews with your favorite Spanish athletes. Arts more your thing? There is an infinite amount of documentaries and stories highlighting arts communities in Spanish speaking country. Just find out what you are interested in and search on Youtube. Some videos even have English subtitles if you want them.

Since Youtube has so much material it can be a bit overwhelming to know where to start, but just think of vocabulary in Spanish that you are interested in and search. You will be entertained for hours and learn a lot! The app is free with no need to upgrade.

Pros: Almost infinite videos in most any language

Those are my top 5 Spanish apps for iPhone and iPad. I will be doing the next five in the next few weeks. Do you have any apps we should be looking at that missed the list?



04/14/2013 9:25am

Had mixed results with Wordreference. The website is good but the app isn't nearly as useful.

06/13/2013 9:10am

Wordreference has been my Go To app/website anytime I have trouble remembering a word. My kids really enjoy "My Galaxy", a read-along interactive book in Spanish/English; great tool to learn the language and read in it as well. If you like here's a link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/my-galaxy-mi-galaxia/id653169998?ls=1&mt=8

08/03/2013 6:33am

Thank you very much for sharing this useful information. I was doing a project and for that I was looking for related information. Some of the points are very useful. Do share some more material if you have.

08/23/2013 1:45am

I am extremely impressed thanks for sharing all information about iphone game for learning a lot of essential vocabulary. It is a great post for the people to get the proper information.thanks a lot......keep on posting....

Suzanne Kramer
12/27/2013 12:06pm

Your two apps won't work. They just keep asking for a player name without giving a way to input one.

02/04/2014 8:55pm

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02/06/2014 12:44pm

Hey that was great to read. Thanks for the great post .Loved every part of it.


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