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Spanish Resources

SpanishDict
Price: Free, Premium subscriptions start at $12.99/mo
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There is no online dictionary better at supporting Spanish learners (or Spanish speaking English learners) than SpanishDict.

When you search for a word on the website, you will find a series of definitions, examples of how to use the word in context, conjugations, synonyms, and common phrases that include the word. For those of you who create SRS flashcards in Anki or other apps, each dictionary entry contains a relevant picture that you can save to your decks.

You can add dictionary entries to their Spaced Repetition System flashcards, find quizzes and flashcards for the most common Spanish textbooks, watch video pronunciations of thousands of words, or engage in video lessons and exercises for various grammar topics. There are also extensive articles on grammar, vocabulary, tongue twisters, and language learning that contain clear explanations, audio pronunciations, and links to related articles.

Both the mobile app and website are worth your attention, but the website contains significantly more features and pronunciations by native speakers. The website is free and supported by advertisements, but by subscribing to their Premium membership you can get some extra features and remove the ads.

The current rating is our best estimate. We haven’t had the opportunity yet to more thoroughly evaluate this resource, as we do for our full reviews.

Anki
Price: Free
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It is the go-to app for free (except on iOS) Spaced Repetition System (SRS) flashcards. It has a simple user interface with various features that more hard-core users can dive into if they choose.

Your flashcards will appear according to your natural forgetting curve; the app will test you in increasingly spaced out intervals, with more difficult cards appearing more than once in a session, while easier cards spacing out over weeks — or even months and years. An SRS system is the most effective way to drive information into your long-term memory.

The cards can sync between the web, desktop app, and mobile versions to keep your flashcards updated and with you at all times. You can add images and audio clips to your cards and change the text formatting (if you use it on your computer). One feature unique to Anki, as opposed to other SRS flashcard apps, is the “Cloze deletion” function, which allows you to block out parts of your card and create a “fill-in-the-blanks” type card format.

If you want a resource for how to make effective flashcards, check out the book, FluentForever. The author leaves a whole section dedicated to understanding how to use your Anki deck to advance your skills quickly.

The current rating is our best estimate. We haven’t had the opportunity yet to more thoroughly evaluate this resource, as we do for our full reviews.

LangCorrect
Price: Free
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LangCorrect is a free community-driven writing site where users can both contribute to editing others’ work and receive feedback on their own writing.

After writing your piece, you may submit it to receive feedback from other site users. In order to ensure accurate feedback, multiple users can cross-check the corrections that were made and add comments.

Volunteers and Patrons have access to writing in up to 10 languages, but typical users can write in a maximum of two languages at a time. Everyone is encouraged to both write and correct others’ work on the site.

If you are looking to improve your writing skills in one of the over 100 languages available, trying out this resource is a must! However, if you’re studying a less common language and not finding many users to give you corrections, consider trying the exercise section in italki’s community features.

The rating is our best guess, but we haven’t yet had the opportunity to fully test and review this resource.

Forvo
4.8 
Price: Free
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Forvo’s mission is to improve spoken communication across cultures. Anyone can explore pronunciations of millions of words in over 390 languages with maps displaying where each speaker is from. The site also organizes popular categories and essential phrases for when you don’t have a specific word in mind.

As a registered user, you can contribute to the site by pronouncing words or phrases in your native language or by requesting pronunciations in a specific language. You are also encouraged to vote on audio files in your native language to help others identify the best pronunciation. For those of you who enjoy using Anki, Forvo allows you to download mp3 files to use in your learning endeavours.

Forvo also has an e-learning course for French, Spanish, and English; you will find three levels and a group of topics with sets of the most common words in your target language. Using an SRS flashcard system, you will be able to learn the pronunciation of these words and view an example of how to use them in a sentence.

If you are looking for a pronunciation reference guide, look no further than Forvo’s extensive database!

The current rating is our best estimate. We haven’t had the opportunity yet to more thoroughly evaluate this resource, as we do for our full reviews.

News In Slow Spanish
4.8 
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News in Slow Spanish is easily one of my favorite language learning resources I’ve come across. They offer so much more than just current events narrated at a slower pace. It’s a comprehensive, engaging, fun, and effective way to study Spanish. It offers material in three different levels, for beginner, intermediate, and advanced learners, along with lessons using Spanish from either Spain or Latin America.

Instituto Cervantes
4.7 
Price: Freemium archives, lessons start at 20€, courses start at 75€
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The Instituto Cervantes is a non-profit Spanish organization developed by the Spanish government to promote the study of Spanish language and Culture.

On their website, you can find self-guided courses for levels A1 to C1. Sixteen 30-hour courses cover 48 topics, each with videos, reading material, and interactive exercises. There is a 3 month limit on access to courses, and a 3-week limit on the individual 10-hour lessons.

You can also purchase an affordable 1-year membership to their library of digital content, which has thousands of books, audiobooks, databases, online dictionaries, and more for studying Spanish.

Although the user interface is not very modern, the Instituto Cervantes has some of the few online platforms that meticulously takes you through each of the CEFR levels with structured, high-quality, and interactive lessons. If you know you can motivate yourself to self-study and have some spare cash to invest in your learning, it will probably be time and money well spent. Unfortunately, each course must be purchased separately and they are quite expensive. You can take a look at the archived lessons here and decide if you want to purchase the full course to provide more structure. 

Beginners may want to download the Readlang Chrome extension to help with translation, as most of the webpages are entirely in Spanish. Also, nothing beats learning through speaking the language, so check out italki, SpanishVIP, and Baselang for online Spanish tutors.

The current rating is our best estimate. We haven’t had the opportunity yet to more thoroughly evaluate this resource, as we do for our full reviews.

Tandem
4.7 
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Tandem is a popular language exchange app with over one million active users. It’s available for iOS and Android and aims to bring language learners from all over the world together. It’s largely centered around its chat capabilities and language tools that facilitate communication, but there is also a tutoring service offered in the app.

Destinos
4.6 
Price: Free
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From the producers as the French video series, French in Action, Destinos is an award-winning beginner Spanish video course from the 1990s that will train your listening comprehension and speaking abilities. Each of the fifty-two 30-minute episodes follows a dramatic storyline of a lawyer investigating a family secret. Throughout the course, you will learn about Spanish-speaking cultures and accents in Spain, Argentina, Puerto Rico, and Mexico.

Destinos seems to follow the Carpretz Theory for language learning, throwing you into full immersion from day one. You shouldn’t worry if you have difficulty following the conversations between the characters; the context and body language of each episode should be enough to help you understand what’s happening. You will gradually be able to understand more as you listen, respond to the lawyer, Raquel’s, comprehension questions at the end of each episode, and complete the accompanying exercises that are linked below each video (be careful you don’t miss them — the text is quite small). Also, the Spanish-speaking narrators speak at a slower pace, so you will gradually be able to pick up new words through them as well. Nevertheless, if you’re struggling to keep up, try watching BBC’s series, Mi Vida Loca first, then dive into Destinos.

Although the videos themselves are outdated, the developers seem to have kept up with current resources. The additional vocabulary, grammar, dictation, and multiple-choice activities contain external links at the end for supplement practice.

Overall, Destinos provides an excellent introduction to Spanish, and it’s free!

The current rating is our best estimate. We haven’t had the opportunity yet to more thoroughly evaluate this resource, as we do for our full reviews.

Spanish 55
4.5 
Price: Premium subscriptions start at $140/mo
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Spanish 55 offers a free 55 minute trial lesson to determine if it is the right platform for you. During this time, you will meet with one tutor, but you may be able to work with multiple tutors who will communicate with each other and collaborate on your learning. If you decide to continue, you can choose a monthly plan of either 1, 2, or 3 lessons per week.

Spanish 55 emphasizes that there are several important qualities that tutors should have in any language learning context; most importantly, they should be able to motivate you, help you feel comfortable in your learning environment, speak to you at a level that is slightly above where you are at in order to help you progress, and be prepared with a lesson plan and objectives for each session. Based on Spanish 55’s Youtube videos, website, and exceptional reviews that it has received on several sites, it seems safe to say that the website strives to hire tutors who meet this criteria.

If you’re someone who is looking for more intensive learning with unlimited group or private classes, you can check out our reviews for Baselang, Spanish VIP, or  Go Spanish. Verbling, iTalki, and Preply also offer classes that can be purchased individually.

The current rating is our best estimate. We haven’t had the opportunity yet to more thoroughly evaluate this resource, as we do for our full reviews.

Linguee
4.5 
Price: Free
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Linguee was developed by over 400 lexicographers. It is unique in that it does not use machine-translation to provide examples of words in context — instead, it sources words from articles and research papers in the original language. As a result, it is an excellent dictionary app to find translations for specialized terminology.

You will learn the subtleties of various translations by reading paired paragraphs of text that have each been professionally translated, not translated by a machine. In some languages, you can listen to pronunciations by native speakers and read multiple translations of your chosen word or phrase.

Although translations are highlighted in each paragraph so you can compare how to use them in each language, they can be difficult to navigate quickly. If you are looking for a website with simple and professional translations, you can check out WordReference for several different languages. SpanishDict is also an excellent option for Spanish, and Pleco is the only dictionary you will ever need for Chinese.

The rating is our best guess, but we haven’t yet had the opportunity to fully test and review this resource.