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.
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’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!
News In Slow Spanish
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.
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.
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.
Verbling is an online language-class marketplace where you can take lessons with teachers of your choice. It has some student-friendly extra features, including a built-in online classroom, flashcards, homework calendar, and a filing system for lesson materials. There are also useful but disorganized forums where you can discuss languages, share writing for critique, and do free language drills and exercises.
The lessons are generally high quality and well structured, plus the filters make it easy to find teachers who specialize in everything from accent reduction to interview preparation.
However, it can be slightly pricier than alternatives, so if you’re on a tight budget, you may want to look elsewhere. It also has fewer languages than some of the bigger competitors, so it might not be a good choice if you want to study Azerbaijani, Khmer, or Yoruba.
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.
WordReference is one of the best websites for single-word translations. It uses a combination of its own dictionaries and Collins’, depending on the language, and relies on professional translations rather than machine-translations. With each word you look up, you will receive multiple examples of how to use it, nuances of each meaning, and a list of how to incorporate it into multiple phrases. Whereas sites like Bab.la seem to have machine-translated examples that sound quite random at times, WordReference’s examples can be applied directly to your everyday conversation.
You can also find conjugation tables and the Collins COBUILD English Usage dictionary, which shows you how to use individual English words correctly — through its explanations, English learners will be able to differentiate between words that are easily confused (such as ‘current’ and ‘currant’). If the explanations don’t make sense, you can ask questions in the WordReference Language Forum — there you will find an active community of language learners discussing language learning topics.
Unfortunately, not all words have audio pronunciation, but those that do can be played back at different speeds and with different accents (depending on the language).
Although WordReference is a thorough resource, SpanishDict is probably a better option for Spanish learners, and Pleco is the only dictionary you will ever need for Chinese. Linguee is also similar to WordReference but specializes in formal language, and Forvo has millions of words pronounced by native speakers in hundreds of languages.
SpanishVIP is a service that connects students and teachers of Spanish for online video lessons. It offers an “unlimited lessons” model for a monthly subscription and could be extremely cost effective for learners that take several lessons per week.
It’s best suited for learners of Latin American Spanish at any level that want to improve their listening and speaking skills. It might not be the best fit if you’re mostly interested in Iberian Spanish or if you live in an Asian time zone.