App review: Spanish for dummies

Posted on 06/10/2011

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iPhone 4 showing the home screen.

Image via Wikipedia

If you’re just starting out on your Spanish journey, you could do a lot worse than investing 69p in the Spanish for Dummies iPhone app.

There’s a “words/phrases” section, which are handily divided up into categories like work, travel, greetings and small talk, and which you can then test yourself on, using the “flashcards” page. There’s also a fuller dictionary, and a “parts of ten” page with more phrases and expressions and – my personal favourite – “ten things that will make you sound fluent”. (Things like “We had a great time”, or “What on earth is that?”. If you’re interested, that one is “Y eso con qué se come?“, or “And what are you meant to eat that with?”)

Then there’s the reason I want to recommend it to all my students – but how do you do that without offending them by implying they are dummies? Anyway, it’s the grammar section.  It doesn’t tell you how to form tenses, but it’s an excellent way of revising. You choose, say, “adjectives” or “the simple past tense”, and get phrases in English, and you can test yourself, then tap to get the Spanish translation, and even, if you want to, hear  it.

You’ll probably outgrow this app quite quickly, but then, I bet you’ve spent more than 69p before on something that wasn’t going to last you forever.

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