• Spain's news in English
Five brilliant apps to help improve your Spanish
You really can learn wherever you are...even on the beach! Photo: Michael Coghlan /Flickr

Five brilliant apps to help improve your Spanish

The Local · 20 Jul 2016, 15:29

Published: 17 Feb 2016 13:16 GMT+01:00
Updated: 20 Jul 2016 15:29 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit


Duolingo makes learning fun, turning the drudgery of learning a new language into a game. Earn points, race against the clock and scale the levels as your Spanish improves. The app won the Best Application award in the Apple Store in 2013. It also lets you practice reading, writing, listening and speaking – recording your answers and rating your spoken Spanish. One downside to Duolingo is it is not as grammar-focused as other apps; it focuses on the ten most commonly used tenses.


The Babbel app claims to have "reinvented language learning" and gives users a new language-learning experience in which they can connect with fellow language learners. Babbel’s method focuses on repetition, not unlike Duolingo. The app is free to download after which there is a monthly subscription cost. Babbel also uses a gamification strategy – encouraging learners to collect points as they progress through their language learning.


This iTunes App of The Year 2014 is different from many of the other games-based apps on the market in that it encourages users to interact with native speakers. The app offers vocabulary, audio and grammar lessons as well as allowing users to submit practice exercises where native speakers will help you perfect your skills. Users can also take part in interactive courses and direct interaction with native speakers via an integrated video-chat application and peer-to-peer text corrections.


Story continues below…

Memrise does what it says on the tin – helps users memorize thousands of words, but what is special about this app is that it uses funny wordplay and memes in order to help users remember new words. The app offers hundreds of courses with titles such as: Learn Basic Spanish, 100 most popular Spanish verbs and 350 Spanish sayings. One example of a wordplay used to help with Spanish learning is for the verb bañarse – to wash or bathe yourself – it is remembered with the phrase: “However shy you are of nakedness as you shower, you’ll never be able to ban your ‘arse’ from the bath!”


The Mindsnacks Spanish app features nine games designed to teach essential vocabulary and conversation skills – all while completing what looks like a colourful children’s book. Users are asked to complete various challenges according to their language proficiency. 

For more news from Spain, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.es)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Spain's Podemos sees golden opportunity in Socialist woes
Pablo Iglesias is ready to step up in opposition. Photo: AFP

As Spain's conservatives prepare to re-take power after 10 months of political limbo, anti-austerity party Podemos has set its sights on replacing the divided Socialists as the main opposition force.

Wildlife ranger accused over decapitated bison in Valencia
The headless corpse of Sauro was found last month. Photo: Carlos Alamo / Reserva de Valdeserrillas

The case of the beheaded bison at a wildlife reserve in Valencia just got a whole lot weirder.

Spain jobless drops below 20% for first time in six years
The unemployed queuing up outside a Madrid job centre. Photo: AFP

Spain's unemployment fell below 20 percent for the first time in six years, official figures showed on Thursday.

'Saints not ghouls' insists Spanish church for Halloween
Suggested outfits from the Bishopric of Cadiz and Ceuta. Photo: Shower of Roses

Spanish bishops are urging good Christian children to forgo zombie, ghost and devil outfits and instead dress up as "saints, virgins and apostles".

Tough road ahead, Spain PM warns before return to power
Rajoy will try and form a government this week. Photo: AFP

Spain's acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy warned on Wednesday of a tough road ahead as he prepares to take power again at the head of a minority government with little support.

Russia withdraws request to refuel warships in Ceuta
The aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov was due to dock in Ceuta

Russia has withdrawn a request for its aircraft carrier group to be refuelled at the Spanish port of Ceuta, authorities confirmed.

Bulls replace guard dogs at scrap yard in Valencia
Two bulls will be patrolling the scrap yard in eastern Spain. Archive photo: AFP

Guard dogs were not proving enough of a deterrent to thieves at a car breakers yard in eastern Spain so the owner has brought in a pair of fighting bulls.

Two-headed shark born in Spanish laboratory
Scientists are studying the rare find. Photo: IBIMA / University of Malaga

Scientists at the University of Malaga found the embryo of a shark with two heads and just one body.

Spain under pressure to stop refuel of Russian warships
Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov is due to arrive in Ceuta. Photo: Mil Ru / Wikimedia

Spain is facing international pressure to refuse permission for a Russian warship flotilla to refuel in Ceuta en route to continuing airstrikes against the Syrian city of Aleppo.

Most wanted: Fugitive rapist arrested in Tenerife
Mohammed Jahangir Alam was arrested n Tenerife. Photo: Crimestoppers.

Mohammed Jahangir Alam, one of Britain's most wanted fugitives, who fled the country in 2008 after allegedly raping a woman, was found working in Tenerife.

Analysis & Opinion
Out of the dark: Five years on from Eta ceasefire
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Spanish 'La Mafia' restaurants banned after Italian complaint
Spain's top court overturns bullfighting ban in Catalonia
Hunt launched for ten most wanted Brit fugitives hiding out in Spain
Napflix: Spaniards launch very boring TV channel for siestas
Madrid parish church faces fine over 'too noisy' bells
Celebrate expat life at Madrid’s THRIVE convention
Fury after kids told to bring their own loo roll to school
Disney announces plans for Don Quixote action movie
Activist tells 8-yr-old matador wannabe with cancer 'just die'
King to make last minute push to avoid third vote in Spain
Amazing photos of Catalonia's 'human tower' contest
What's on in Spain: October 2016
'No way, Jose! You'll never get your hands on our Rock'
Recipe: How to make a classic Spanish tortilla de patatas
Chorizo in paella? Go back to cooking school Jamie Oliver
Spain in eye of a perfect storm after 10 months without govt
Thousands share clips of life for 'Spain in a Day' film
Ten incredible Spain locations for Game of Thrones season 7
Analysis & Opinion
Why moving to Spain could be the best decision of your life
Seven reasons why autumn is the very best season in Spain
Spanish study finds four types of personality. Which are you?
New search underway for civil war grave of poet Lorca
jobs available