4 best software to learn Spanish like a native
Hola! This is probably the one word most people know in the Spanish language, but technology has made it possible for anyone to know it better.
Our top picks for the best software to learn Spanish looks into the content type and quality, ease of use, tools like tracking and progress reports, mobile apps and communities for further support, plus how versatile it is for you to brush up your skills, or get talking like a native in no time.
This is perhaps the most popular and recognizable name when it comes to the best software to learn Spanish.
Its courses, games, and exercises are all in Spanish with no English translations acting as a guide, so you’re forced to learn words, syntax, and grammar through association, rather than using lists and drills.
Its speech recognition algorithms ensure you get pronunciations correct, plus the core lessons are coupled with fun and exciting games, a mobile app, and online tutors for a truly immersive experience.
Lessons are based on flashcards, image-word association such that you match images to words and phrases like you did in kindergarten, with initial easy level lessons, and gradually you advance to harder lessons with grammar, conjugation and syntax.
Rosetta Stone also rewards you as you complete the core courses, by unlocking your ability to play BuzzBingo and Picari games which let you actualize what you’ve learned. You can also play with other learners, read stories, and much more.
To use it, you’ll need a USB headset with a microphone. A bonus feature of this software is the Audio Companion, which has MP3 lessons you can use with any media player, sync to your smart device and listen on the go.
The downside of this software is you don’t get to turn on subtitles or translations in English, plus you cannot change the speed with which the words and phrases are played. The good thing is you can always schedule an online tutoring session with a native Spanish speaker for about 30 minutes and get personal help.
Fluenz covers much ground when it comes to lesson content, except for cultural lessons and etiquette. Some of the lessons you can expect include travel, shopping, or how to order for something in a restaurant, with conversation-like teaching so you can learn grammar, reading and writing, plus proper pronunciations.
Each lesson begins with your virtual guide, Sonia Gil, who sets the expectations then introduces what will be the framework for the lesson as you go along, through a conversation. Specifically, she gives context to what you hear, gives instructions you must listen to, but you only get English subtitles once, then Spanish, then no subtitles after that, so you learn to hear and see words in the language that will help throughout the course.
You’ll come across matching, dictation, and speech recording, but the software gives you hints when you’re stuck, so you also need to have a pen and paper close to write what you hear. You can even record yourself and listen to the audio so you can tell whether you’re close or completely off.
With this best software to learn Spanish, you can adjust the difficulty level so you have a variety of words to learn from, plus you can enjoy audio, visual and interactive exercises, which can be downloaded as MP3s to save on your phone or media player.
Fluenz also gives you progress reports at the end of the lesson, and you can see how you’re fairing on. You can also get support by chatting up a representative live online, but not by phone.
This comes in a collection of five, or individually. The 5-in-1 Ouino Spanish system has individual programs that focus on different Spanish elements with vocabulary, grammar, conjugation, verbs, pronunciation and conversation.
Each of these programs has customizable features to help you adjust your own learning level, plus games and Spanish narrators to help you with the exercises. The good thing is that unlike Rosetta Stone, you can adjust reader speeds, number of hints with each exercise, and the timer length for speed games.
It is also flashcard-based for vocabulary, with clear images per word, which you can always repeat or skip to your liking. Vocabulary games like Fluency Sprint also help you answer quick fire questions with a timer, so you can test yourself like a pop quiz.
There are other games like Click-a-Pic and multiple choice games so you can learn more nouns, verbs, and others, though these can be challenging to first time learners. But the software has color and voice coded answers, plus male/female speakers who read the masculine or feminine nouns to help you learn better.
Grammar lessons cover language differences between English and Spanish, so you can learn speech mechanics and how to connect words. You get hints, sound playback, multiple choice and scrambled letters for better learning.
For conjugation, which is one of the most challenging phases, Ouino’s program helps you retain knowledge using quizzes and games so you can easily remember what you have been taught, including conversation lessons so you can call a cab, or order something in a hotel or ask for directions.
It may not have live tutors, but it has plenty of interactive lessons, audio and visual cues to help you learn Spanish fast. There’s a mobile app if you want to learn on the go, which also saves your progress and you can pick up from where you left off.
This language learning program delivers quality courses in 13 languages, exposing its learners to much vocabulary at once, which can be quite overwhelming, but it also thoroughly reviews the words and phrases.
The lessons are taught through listening and writing, compared to speaking and reading, but its downside is it makes learning a language more challenging than it already is.
However, the material is top quality, though not an impressive interface, but it still ensures that concepts are enhanced and reinforced as you learn them. Overall, the structure is good plus it has progress markers to track your work, and you know where to pick up where you left from.
Another plus is you are not locked into sequential learning – you can jump around the lessons, so if you start at the beginning, you can pick up a few words and move to the next lessons to your satisfaction.
Individual exercises focus more on writing, spelling and listening, with a voice-recognition system to tell if you’re repeating words accurately when prompted. It also keeps track of your progress, but if you quit, you have to start over.
Lessons take anywhere from 4 to 12 minutes to finish, but this depends on how well you know the material, but there’s a chance to repeat if you didn’t do very well. There’s also a review manager to go over words you’ve already learned and master them.
Babbel’s flaws stem from the fact that it has no offline content or downloadable MP3 files, and to use it, you have to be online. Also, there’s no e-tutoring or live classes in webinar style. It’s a good software to start with though.
Ready to learn some Spanish? Let us know which one you’ve used before or which one meets your needs to get started, by leaving a comment below.
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