If you are looking for a way to learn Spanish as a second language, your Apple iPad has access to all of the materials you need. While many apps are geared towards children, there are thousands of apps designed with adults in mind. Whether you are looking to travel or conduct business in other countries, Spanish is a good language to know. More than 500 million people in the world speak Spanish as their native language, including half of the population in the Western Hemisphere and nearly 38 million people in the US alone.
Spanish Words and Phrases
For beginners, a good way to introduce yourself in Spanish is to begin with some phrases. There are hundreds available for the iPad. The more comprehensive apps do require payment. These apps teach you basic words and phrases, like how to say "how do you say…?" Look for apps that use audio, so you can speak into your iPad's microphone to practice the words as well as read them on the screen. Rote memorization can be tiresome, even for adults, so many of these apps combine games like fill-in-the-blanks and crossword puzzles to make learning Spanish a little more fun. Apps include Spanish Class, Speak Spanish - for Survival and Travel and Spanish Phrases 24/7 Language Learning.
No Spanish language learning app is going to include every word or word combination you will need, so it's a good idea to supplement your learning with a good English-Spanish dictionary. Unlike the dictionary you had in Spanish class, there's no need to thumb through any pages to find the word you need. Simply type the English word and the dictionary will show you the Spanish equivalent. There are many free and paid apps available for the iPad. Make sure the one you get is available offline if you want to use it while travelling.
As with other language learning apps, there is a variety of Spanish apps for different requirements. For example, if you need to learn Spanish primarily for business purposes, you may want to supplement your learning with a business-oriented app like an English-Spanish business dictionary. There are differences in how Spanish is spoken in Spain compared to Latin America, so if you are travelling to Mexico, consider an app designed for that region like the WordUP Spanish (Latin American) app.
Music and Video
Before going on a trip, don't forget to check out the audio books available on the iPad's Music app. These are a great way to focus on the spoken portion of the Spanish language. You can turn on the audio book on the plane, close your eyes and immerse yourself in the beauty of the language. To further increase your comprehension of the language, you may want to consider downloading the Spanish version of your favorite movie. This will give you an understanding of the language in contexts you are already familiar with after seeing the movie in English.
- Apple iTunes: Spanish Phrases 24/7 Language Learning
- Apple iTunes: Speak Spanish - for Survival and Travel
- Apple iTunes: Spanish Class
- Apple iTunes: Spanish-English Dictionary (University of Chicago)
- Apple iTunes: Free Spanish English Dictionary +
- Apple iTunes: English-Spanish Business Dictionary
- Apple iTunes: WordUP Spanish (Latin American)
- Apple iTunes: Learn in Your Car: Spanish - Level 1
A published author and professional speaker, David Weedmark has advised businesses and governments on technology, media and marketing for more than 20 years. He has taught computer science at Algonquin College, has started three successful businesses, and has written hundreds of articles for newspapers and magazines throughout Canada and the United States.