There’s an absurd number of apps available for studying Spanish, and searching through the options in the Apple or Android app stores can be overwhelming. The apparent quality of a lot of these apps, however, can be discouraging.
Luckily, a quick scroll through the app store doesn’t accurately represent the quality of Spanish learning apps available today. There are actually a lot of excellent apps out there that can teach you nearly every aspect of the Spanish language – though it does take some mix and matching.
The apps will be loosely organized into categories, based on what they do best. A lot of them could fall into a few different categories, so I’ll try to put them into the section that makes the most sense.
Let’s see what we’ve got…
GENERAL COURSES available as apps
Best for Oral Communication Skills: Pimsleur
Best Lesson Structure: Babbel
Best Interactive Course: Lingodeer
Best Free Interactive Course: Duolingo
Best Free Audio Course: Language Transfer
apps for READING AND LISTENING practice
Best for Interesting Content: News in Slow Spanish
Best Lessons in the Style of a Podcast: SpanishPod101
Best Reading Content: LingQ
Best for Side-By-Side Reading Practice: Beelinguapp
apps for SPEAKING AND WRITING practice
Best for Feedback on Writing: italki
Best for Feedback on Pronunciation: Speechling
VOCABULARY AcQUISITION apps
Best Dictionary App: SpanishDict
Best for Easy Vocabulary Practice: Memrise
Most Customizable Vocabulary Practice: Anki
Best for Free Practice in Context: Clozemaster
Best for Learning Words in Context: Lingvist
apps for TUTORS AND LANGUAGE EXCHANGES
Best for Finding a Tutor: italki
Second-Best for Finding a Tutor: Verbling
A few of the resources mentioned in the video aren’t available as apps, but can be found in our post about the best Spanish courses. Be sure to subscribe and stay tuned for the second video where we cover 12 more good apps and courses for learning Spanish.
Not too surprisingly, a lot of courses (even the old-school ones) are now fully accessible through an app. We’ll take a look at these first because they’re most likely to cover all of the categories, making for more comprehensive resources.
It’s worth noting, however, that these are not necessarily my favorite Spanish courses. Rather, they’re the Spanish courses that also have apps. For a comprehensive look at all the different course options you’ll have, I’d suggest reading our post about Spanish courses.
Best for Oral Communication skills
Pimsleur is an old-school course that began long before apps were even a thing.
My favorite thing about the course is that it gets you speaking Spanish right away. The lessons mostly ignore the written language and grammar, focusing on listening and speaking instead.
This means that students who use Pimsleur’s courses will almost certainly develop oral language skills more quickly than with other resources. Considering most people studying Spanish want to be able to use it in conversations right away, that makes it pretty appealing. Review.
best lesson structure
Babbel is pretty similar to Duolingo, Lingodeer, and a few other courses, but less gamified. It will have more of an appeal to learners looking for a no-nonsense study resource.
While their courses aren’t exactly unique, they’re well-structured and generally solid. What they lack in flash, they make up for with the quality of their courses.
It’s affordable, teaches useful Spanish that you’ll need in real life, and explains grammar very clearly. Review.
best interactive course
Lingodeer is one of several closely-related apps, newer than most in its class. I’ve listed it before the others because it’s the one I tend to recommend the most for new students getting started with Spanish.
The app structures its lessons around a variety of themes and offers practice opportunities in a variety of exercises, testing your understanding in multiple ways.
There are several reasons I prefer Lingodeer over similar apps. It’s got better audio quality, informative grammar explanations, and a greater variety of exercise types, which keeps things interesting. It’s also offered at a comparable price, some of the content free. Review.
best free interactive course
Duolingo is an insanely popular app, among the most famous language learning platforms in the game. Launched in 2011, it’s a free program that has opened up language learning to people all over the world (over 100 million downloads in the Google Play Store).
It teaches Spanish, among many other languages, in short, easy, gamified lessons. This approach makes learning Spanish much less intimidating, and it’s especially good for those who may struggle with motivation.
Here are a few things I don’t love: the audio recordings for many sentences don’t sound natural (which can be a huge problem for new learners), there are lots of nonsensical sentences that you would never say, and their grammar tips aren’t included in the app. Still, it’s not a bad way to get started with Spanish. Review.
best free Audio course
The Language Transfer project has been in development since 2011, but 2020 saw the first app launch for the program on both iOS and Android – available for free. The LT Spanish course is made up of 90 audio lessons that help learners build a foundation in the language by teaching a method for thinking your way through it.
The course is best for English speakers, as the instruction draws heavily on the similarities between English and Spanish. It’s also better for learners that don’t need to be visually stimulated as they learn – this isn’t a fancy app with animations or pictures. As far as quality of instruction and learning potential, it’s hard to beat the value of a free app like Language Transfer. Review.
Both of these apps offer online courses from universities around the world, open for registration at any time, and self-paced. Advanced learners can take courses on many different subjects taught in Spanish, and others will be able to find courses teaching the language. Courses are free, and most offer a certification upon completion if you’re willing to pay.
Rocket Spanish is… just OK. It’s got lessons that focus on teaching useful language through a variety of practice methods and grammar explanations, but it never goes above and beyond. Review.
Busuu is another very popular app and its Spanish course is pretty good. Although it may not do as well with grammar as Babbel, the incorporation of writing and speech corrections from other users is a stand out feature. Review.
Udemy is an online platform where users can create and sell their own courses on any subject. The majority of Spanish courses are aimed at beginners, but there are some options for learners at all levels. Keep in mind that quality will vary from course to course and that courses are frequently offered at major discounts.
This app is available in a ton of different languages and has some nifty features, but it doesn’t stand out over similar apps. Review.
This one takes a similar approach to other popular options, but it underperforms in pretty much every area. The lessons aren’t well-structured, the design isn’t as good as other apps, and they don’t explain important things like conjugation rules, among other issues. Review.
One of the more famous resources, Rosetta Stone avoids explanations in favor of teaching language purely through exposure. The lessons are repetitive, boring, and not worth the cost. Review.
Synergy Spanish teaches the language through sentence repetition. Unfortunately, the instruction isn’t thorough and the app feels outdated. Review.
reading and listening skills
Putting yourself in a position to read and listen to a lot of Spanish material around your level is extremely useful for improving your overall skills. Since both of these skills involve consuming media, there are a number of resources that are worth looking at. With many of these apps, you’ll be able to practice both reading and listening simultaneously.
Best for interesting content
News in Slow Spanish is one of my favorite resources for improving Spanish. While their content is phenomenal, the app is below average, so it’d be better to use a mobile browser. They have two variations, one which teaches Spanish from Spain and one that teaches Latin American Spanish; both have materials for three levels – beginner, intermediate, and advanced.
They release weekly podcast episodes focusing on current events and culture, while also teaching some grammar and expressions. I love their teaching methodology as it’s both effective and a lot of fun. Review.
best for lessons in the style of a podcast
SpanishPod101 could potentially belong in the general courses category because it offers practice in a variety of skills. I’ve put it here because the lessons are mostly audio and the course structure isn’t completely linear.
The app contains a ton of content — there are nearly 2000 lessons ranging from absolute beginner to advanced levels, though the majority of content is designed for learners at a lower level.
Lessons are presented in a podcast-style format. Two hosts discuss and translate a dialogue, providing plenty of grammar notes and cultural information. There’s quite a bit of English happening at the lower levels, but this phases out as you progress to more advanced material. Review.
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best reading content
LingQ is a very useful app where you can find interesting material to practice reading and listening, regardless of your Spanish level. Much of the content has actually been added by users, so you may already be familiar with some of the sources. For example, there are podcasts from Radio Ambulante, textbook passages, news stories, and much more. You can also add your own material to read.
As you read, the words you don’t need to look up are marked “known.” This gives you a very broad measure of how many words you know. There are a bunch of other features that I think are either pointless or bad value such as their avatars, points, and tutors. A subscription costs $12.99 per month.
best for side-by-side reading practice
Beelinguapp is a pretty cool app that seems to keep improving. With it, you can read and listen to stories in Spanish, and many other languages. What’s unique is that you can have the original text and a translation on the screen at the same time, or you can hide the translation if you’d prefer. The app also highlights the text as it reads it aloud, making it easier to follow along.
Previously, most of the content was children’s stories, but they’ve been adding news stories and interesting articles on a variety of topics. You can access a ton of content for free or subscribe for premium content.
Amazon’s audiobook service, Audible, is a great way to get a ton of listening practice. Advanced learners can find classics and current bestsellers narrated in Spanish, and those at lower levels can look for easier short stories or even courses from Pimsleur and others.
Listening to music you enjoy is a fantastic way to get passive listening practice in the language you’re learning, and Spotify makes it easy. Whether it’s Spanish hip hop (a personal favorite), language podcasts, or courses like, “Learn Spanish in Your Car,” there are plenty of options.
Flowlingo uses material from sources like Vice, Wikipedia, and BBC to help you improve your reading skills. You can also search the web for content and watch videos with interactive subtitles.
FluentU teaches Spanish through videos with interactive captions; simply click on a word to see its meaning. While this is great and there’s quite a bit of interesting content to learn from, the price is a bit high for what it offers. Review.
speaking and writing skills
There aren’t nearly as many resources available that will specifically help you with speaking and writing. Still, most of the general courses will have some speaking component, and you can always practice mimicking anything that you listen to.
Best for Feedback on writing
I’m also going to include italki in the section about tutors and language exchange partners. While it’s better-known for being an online tutor directory, I wanted to add it here because the Exercise section of their community features is very useful and not as well-known.
Basically, it allows you to write anything in Spanish and share it with italki’s community. Then, some native Spanish speakers will come in and give you feedback on your writing. It’s a really easy, effective, and free way to improve your writing. Just be sure to return the favor and help others with their writing. Review. Right now get a $10 credit with your first purchase.
Best for feedback on pronunciation
Speechling is an excellent app to help you improve your speaking rhythm and pronunciation. One of the best ways to improve your speaking skills is by mimicking native speakers, and Speechling makes it easy. You can listen to a recording and then record yourself saying the same sentence, making it easier to spot the differences. This and several other features are completely free to use.
If you’re willing to pay $19.99 per month, you can also send as many recordings as you’d like to a tutor and they’ll give you feedback on your pronunciation. More advanced Spanish speakers will benefit from the freestyle mode where you can record anything, or by describing a picture and sending your recordings to your coach. Review.
Save 10% on a subscription to Speechling by using the coupon code ‘ALR123‘.
You might also consider LangCorrect as another place to get quality feedback on your writing. The community isn’t massive like it with italki, but it’s free and works exceptionally well.
In order to have any success with Spanish, you need to know a lot of words. While every resource I’ve mentioned so far will help you learn new words, the following apps are built specifically for teaching vocabulary.
best Dictionary app
Having a good Spanish dictionary on your phone is important, and SpanishDict is probably the best. It’s easy to use, it’s free, and it’s got some useful extra features. For example, looking up a word yields lots of example sentences with the word in context. You can also see verb conjugations, listen to pronunciation, and learn phrases that use the word.
best for easy vocabulary practice
Memrise is a ridiculously popular app with over a million downloads in the Google Play store. While they do have a premium version ($8.99/month), the free version will be sufficient for most users. You can learn grammar and other skills with Memrise, but it’s most suitable for learning vocabulary.
Memrise uses what are essentially gamified flashcards and a spaced repetition system (SRS). This is an effective way to commit vocabulary to memory — you’ll be prompted to practice the words you struggle with more often until you become comfortable with them.
The official Memrise courses are fairly high-quality, some including videos. The user-created courses vary in quality, but the number available is massive, and many are quite good. Review.
most customizable vocabulary practice
Anki is a powerful flashcard app that is highly customizable. You can create your own cards, adding in pictures and audio, making it really useful to study vocabulary, grammar, and sentence structures. It can be slightly intimidating for new users, as there’s a bit of a learning curve to get started, but you can also find lots of shared decks created by others.
Like Memrise, it uses SRS, which limits the amount of time wasted studying cards you’ve already mastered, showing you difficult cards more often. It’s free to use everywhere except on iOS, where it costs $25.
best for free practice in context
If you like the way that Lingvist teaches vocabulary but aren’t willing to spend money on it, definitely check out Clozemaster. It’s a very effective app for growing your vocabulary and improving your reading skills. It’s available in a large number of languages, and most will find the free plan to be more than sufficient.
I like it a lot because it teaches languages in context. So, instead of studying isolated words, you’re learning how words work within a sentence. There are thousands of sentences that ask you to fill in the blank with the missing word by typing it in or answering a multiple-choice question. It’ll be especially appealing to those that like its old-school arcade stylings. Review.
best for learning words in context
Lingvist has a somewhat minimalistic design and is pretty straightforward. Its scope isn’t limited to learning vocabulary, also teaching grammar, listening, reading, and speaking skills. You’ll learn words in flashcard-like exercises that present words in context sentences.
There are also challenges to practice other aspects of the Spanish language, and a new feature called the Course Wizard that allows you to curate material for your own courses. Lingvist costs $19.99/month, or $6.67/month if you purchase a full-year plan. Fortunately, you can try it for free before buying. Review.
Mosalingua is a powerful SRS flashcard app with lots of extra features. It teaches phrases used in a variety of contexts and uses a variety of practice methods, including a record feature for pronunciation practice.
The Drops app is simple, beautifully designed, and intuitive. Unfortunately, I like the way it looks and feels more than it’s performance as a learning resource. Review.
uTalk only teaches set words and phrases, meaning its usefulness is limited. It teaches a huge number of languages and could make sense for someone preparing basic language for a vacation. Review.
This app uses a flashcard creation tool and spaced repetition to help users memorize a new language, but it’s lacking in grammar explanations and is still in development. Review.
This one is fun for its underwater theme and simple exercises, but it’s also repetitive and lacks depth (pun intended) in terms of explanations. Review.
tutors and language exchange
The whole point of learning Spanish for most people is to be able to communicate with others. Not surprisingly, finding a regular tutor or someone to practice Spanish with is probably the most effective and fun way to improve.
best for finding a tutor
There’s no resource that I recommend as often as italki. The fact that there are over 700 native Spanish teachers on the platform makes finding a tutor super convenient and affordable. You’ll be able to find someone from whichever Spanish-speaking country you’re interested in, at a time that works for you, and that matches your learning style.
Tutor prices are also much more affordable than you might expect. Over 200 of the Spanish teachers on the site charge less than $9/hour. If that’s still too much, the platform is a quality place to find language exchange partners, ask Spanish-related questions, and get feedback on your writing. Review. Right now get a $10 credit with your first purchase.
second-best for finding a tutor
Verbling is a platform that’s quite similar to italki and a solid option for finding a Spanish tutor. I tend to prefer italki because Verbling has fewer teachers, and they typically charge a little more money. That said, Verbling is still very affordable, especially compared with other options.
Their platform is also very well-designed, making it easy to book lessons and take classes. Review.
best for language exchange
HelloTalk is probably the most popular language exchange app. It’s been downloaded millions of times by people all over the world. You can text, send voice and video messages, correct writing, get translations, and more. It’s free to use, but you can upgrade your subscription for $4.99/mo to take advantage of extra features. Review.
Tandem, in most ways, is very similar to HelloTalk, but some may prefer it’s sleeker design. Both platforms have a large language learning community and a variety of useful features to facilitate language exchange. As with HelloTalk, most people would be more than satisfied with the free version, but a paid subscription ($6.99/mo) gives access to more perks. Review.
Similar to HelloTalk and Tandem, Speaky is a social app built to facilitate language exchange between learners around the globe. It works well, but a sizeable portion of the community is interested in things other than language exchange. Review.
Lingbe has a smaller user-base than the other language exchange apps, and it works a bit differently. Instead of having to find someone you’d like to talk with, you just hit the call button and are connected with a native speaker. You can also help others practice English (or another language) to earn credit that can be used to practice the language you’re learning.
HiNative is a Q&A app where you can ask questions to native speakers, get feedback on your writing, pronunciation, and more. It’s mostly free to use, but there’s also a premium version with some extras. Review.
There are a ton of apps for learning Spanish, but they certainly aren’t your only (or even best) option. Although we’ve included over 30 apps on this page, some good resources, like Baselang or Spanish Uncovered, weren’t included since they don’t have an app.
Regardless of how you choose to study Spanish, just be sure to have fun, stay patient, and do a little bit every day.
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