Foreign-language programs for your smartphone?

  • slimnmuscly

    Posts: 541

    Dec 06, 2011 10:51 PM GMT
    Another smartphone-dumb-user question: Can you get software for learning a foreign language on your smartphone? I've always felt lame for not knowing Spanish, especially now since most of my friends back home are Latino, so I thought while I'm on a road trip might be a good time to try and pick up a little of it.

    Any recommendations for an Android? The more idiot-proof the better, please. I still can't figure out Grindr to save my life. Right now, it reminds me of LinkedIn, which in turn reminds me of the Talking Heads' version of Heaven - a place where nothing ever happens. I must be doing it wrong.
  • Mattheus1018

    Posts: 1

    Dec 06, 2011 11:59 PM GMT
    Finding a chart in proper English to help you grasp what is meant by certain terms may help prior to this suggestion but there is a Spanish Verb Conjugation tool on Android for free.

    I am a polyglot so there is more to just classes and grammar involved in understanding how the language works... there is also a cultural and historic and regional aspect to it as well... when practicing, act as if you are mocking them to imitate their dialect... Spanish has many dialects and each is different and cultural depending on all of those factors...

    your cell phone programming may have a Spanish interface already.

    Youtube is a good tool to give yourself a good sense of the Spanish dialect you want to learn depending on the region...
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    Dec 07, 2011 4:19 AM GMT
    I haven't searched for full-scale language programs yet, but on my Droid I have three apps which I love. Italian Translator is the one I use most. I suppose one could use it while traveling, but I use it in reading Italian magazines and newspapers (which I do to practice my very poor Italian). Type in a word or phrase and you get a passable and usually correct translation. I also have used the French Translator and German Translator.
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    Dec 07, 2011 4:21 AM GMT
    A lot of the language apps for smartphones are lame. They're mostly flashcard type things. If you already have a basic understanding of the language, it may not be a bad thing. But if you're an absolute beginner, I don't think it will be very useful. I took Spanish in high school and college. So I've got a word of the day app to help me remember certain words and learn new ones.
    https://market.android.com/details?id=com.declansoftware.wordofthedayspanish
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    Dec 07, 2011 4:26 AM GMT
    slimnmuscly saidAnother smartphone-dumb-user question: Can you get software for learning a foreign language on your smartphone? I've always felt lame for not knowing Spanish, especially now since most of my friends back home are Latino, so I thought while I'm on a road trip might be a good time to try and pick up a little of it.

    Any recommendations for an Android? The more idiot-proof the better, please. I still can't figure out Grindr to save my life. Right now, it reminds me of LinkedIn, which in turn reminds me of the Talking Heads' version of Heaven - a place where nothing ever happens. I must be doing it wrong.

    Ditch the technology. I'll be more than glad to teach you the language of luv while you sit on my lap. See? That way everyone wins. icon_wink.gificon_lol.gificon_cool.gif
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    Dec 07, 2011 4:26 AM GMT
    Sign up for news updates from a news service or daily like El Pais or El Mercurio or a Spanish radio network...
    You probably won't understand at first, but that's the whole point haha. Do a little bit everyday and find stuff about subjects you're interested in and it'll come to you in time.

    It works for me, so I hope it does for you. icon_smile.gif
  • slimnmuscly

    Posts: 541

    Dec 07, 2011 2:50 PM GMT
    xrichx saidA lot of the language apps for smartphones are lame. They're mostly flashcard type things. If you already have a basic understanding of the language, it may not be a bad thing. But if you're an absolute beginner, I don't think it will be very useful. I took Spanish in high school and college. So I've got a word of the day app to help me remember certain words and learn new ones.
    https://market.android.com/details?id=com.declansoftware.wordofthedayspanish


    I did take French 20-plus years ago, so I at least have some (extremely rudimentary) Romance-language grounding -- when I see signs in Spanish, Portuguese or Italian I can sometimes figure out the gist of what they mean because of that experience.

    My biggest problem is that I've never had the ear for it -- even when my French was at its best, conversing was difficult because what people were saying would fly right by except for stray words and phrases. When I was railing around Europe, I had the best luck in Brussels and Luxembourg City because people talked more slowly -- at least that's how I remember it.

    When you say "flashcard type things," do you mean oral or written? If they're speaking words to me out loud and making me repeat them, that might at least be better than nothing. Back home I'm often in group settings where the conversation turns to Spanish and they switch to English if it's something I really need to hear, which is fine, but even being able to pick up more words might come in handy.

    Thanks for the suggestions and comments, guys.