One way to learn a foreign language is through repetition — to
continually practice your reading, writing, and speaking. If you’re
learning a language then, you might look for a good mobile app, as it
will allow you to practice your language learning on the go. Ideally a
good educational app is more than just a set of digital flash cards. A
good language learning app should take advantage of the phone’s features
– its graphics capabilities, for example, or its ability to play and
record audio, or translate text with a combination of the camera and
OCR. And no matter the app’s sophistication — in terms of technology or
in the learner’s level, the app should be engaging. After all, that’s
what willl help you practice and learn. Here are four of iPhone apps
that can make your language practice fun, mobile, and worthwhile.
MindSnacks is a language learning app with games and lessons to help you build your Spanish vocabulary and conversational skills. There are 50 levels of content and six mini-games, with a vocabulary of over 1400 words and phrases. The app includes a personalized learning algorithm that helps you both memorize and retain the language. The app is $4.99 and while it’s currently only available in Spanish, MindSnacks plans to launch other language apps soon, including French, Italian, and Portugese.
Babbel‘s free iPhone apps come in seven languages: German, French, Spanish, Italian, Portugese, Swedish, and English. These apps are aimed to boost your vocabulary, giving you access to 3000 words all used in sample sentences and pronounced by a native speaker. Babbel’s apps compliment its web-based course offerings, and although you can synchronize your progress with the website, you needn’t be a course subscriber to use the apps.
The iStart apps, developed by Mirai Language Systems, are available in four languages — German, Chinese, Japanese and Spanish. There are free, ad-supported versions of each language, as well as paid versions ($4.99). The apps each provide between 20 to 50 language lessons, with instructions in both English and in the respective foreign language. The apps provide a clear explanation of grammar and vocabulary, and the lessons culminate with quizzes so you can test your skills.