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I'm looking for an app to learn Spanish. I'm not finding enough specific information on all the available apps to know which one is right for me. I have three wishes:

  • The app should focus on fast acquisition of a lot of vocabulary and grammar (quantity over quality), since I only have two months.
  • I want to use the app primarily while riding the subway, so I cannot 'speak' into my phone, i.e., the app should not force me to practice pronunciation (although it would be nice to have the option to do this now and then).
  • I would also like to have a listening-only mode that I can use while walking somewhere for 20-30 minutes.

Anyone know a good app that offers some or all of these things? Thank you!

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  • There are four skills in knowing a language: listening and speaking, and reading and writing. If you don't practice speaking, what's the point? Fast acquisition? Acquisition speed is different for everybody but generally you need basic structures to acquire more vocabulary. There is no app that will focus on speec of acquisition. That depends on you. And frankly, I don't know anyone who has a good level in a language after only two months.
    – Lambie
    Feb 1 at 18:49
  • @Lambie Thank you for your input. I support what you're saying. The wishes that I've stated above are probably specific to my situation, which may differ from a typical language learning scenario. I'm gonna be in Spain in a few months and I'm gonna have the chance to listen to and also speak with native speakers a lot. I don't have as much time as I would like to learn the language before I get there, so my goal is to use the time I do have (e.g. subway) to at least increase my passive vocabulary so I can read and understand a bit better once I'm there.
    – CodeFlo
    Feb 2 at 13:12
  • Pimsleur is a well-known audio-only course. It is designed to be audio-only from the beginning. Most other traditional courses (e.g. Assimil, TY) have accompagning audio, but probably they can only be used realistically in "listening-only" mode once you have done the lessons already. I.e. you can use them as review in listening-only mode.
    – Brandin
    Feb 5 at 5:52

2 Answers 2

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I use DuoLingo both while riding the bus and walking.

It allows you to supress the "speaking" mode for 15 minutes at a time (when a speaking exercise comes up, you just need to click "Can't speak now", and it will not ask you again for 15 minutes).

It doesn't have a mode that is entirely listening-only, but it has a "stories" mode that involves minimal interaction, and would probably work for when you are walking.
Alternatively, it has many podcasts available with simple, clearly-spoken Spanish that you could listen to while you are walking.

If you are spending 20-30 minutes a day on it, you should be able to accumulate a passable vocabulary and grammar within a couple of months.

I'm not familiar with other language-learning apps, so there might be something else that fits your requirements better, but I think DuoLingo is a pretty good fit.

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  • Thank you! I haven't tried this app, yet, and it sounds like a good option for what I have in mind.
    – CodeFlo
    Feb 2 at 13:03
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I quite like Podcasts in Spanish. I only use them for listening, but they have transcriptions and worksheets available. These are all real conversations at 3 different levels and I find them great for bus rides. Download a bunch while searching to find that perfect app ;)

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