7 Easy Ways to Improve Basic Spanish with Your iPhone
If you are in the process of learning Spanish and own an iPhone, try to use it in you favor. This handheld powerful mini-computer (a.k.a smart phone) can help you practice basic Spanish while on the go. Statistics indicate that “the average smartphone owner spends 128 minutes, or over 2 hours, looking at their phones each day.”  Use some of that time on your iPhone to improve your Spanish. Here are some examples of things you can do:
1. Change your language settings to Spanish
You already know by heart the interface of you iPhone. If you change your language settings to Spanish you will learn and remember more Spanish vocabulary. For example, your email buttons will change and you will be able to associate the new labels in Spanish with the previous ones in English. Check this out, Edit is now Editar, Delete is Eliminar, Cancel is Cancelar, Accounts becomes Cuentas, Mailboxes are Buzones, and Subject is Asunto.
This 40- second video show you how to change the language of your iPhone.
2. Download the free eBook The Spanish You Already Know
Yeah, I know that reading on a small screen is not the best thing to do, but this eBook is actually an excerpt of the book Let Me Show You How It’s Done: A Teacher’s Guide to Teaching Spanish. The free version will give you a general idea of nouns, gender, articles, forming plurals and adjectives. Along the way you will have lists of words that are similar in English and Spanish and links to practice exercises online. Even as a native Spanish-speaker I learned a couple of things.
3. Explore the iTunes U
When I updated the iPhone operating system early this year, I noticed that the iTunes U app was automatically installed. I never paid attention to it, until now. iTunes U is a catalog that distributes courses and materials from school districts, universities and colleges around the world. This is a gold mine!
Here is a free way to practice your Spanish listening comprehension. News is Slow Spanish is a series of podcasts slowly discussing the news and it also includes the transcript for you to follow. This is an extremely active podcast; episodes last an average of 40 minutes and since it is based on current issues, you will get plenty of updates.
5. Download the Royal Spanish Academy Dictionary App
If you are learning Spanish, you need a Spanish dictionary. It’s just that simple. The Royal Academy is the most important Spanish-language authority and it’s a blessing that we can have their dictionary available for free on our fingertips. This app gives you access to more than 80,000 entries.
6. Download a Free Translator App
The reality is that sooner than later you will get stuck with a word in Spanish. While it is not recommended to translate full paragraphs, an automatic translation app -such as Google Translate and iTranslate- will do the job for one word or two. The best feature of these free translation apps is the audio button that will pronounce the word for you.
7. Check out Spanish slang App Hispanismos
Spanish is different in every Spanish-speaking country. As you probably know this is the reason why Speaking Latino exists. When you reach an advanced Spanish level, you might need a reference source for slang. The Hispanismos free app can help you with this task giving you a Spanish country definition, synonym and antonym. A small downside for some people is that the app is only in Spanish.
If you want to know English definitions of Spanish slang search the Speaking Latino online dictionary. In your iPhone Internet browser access www.SpeakingLatino.com and use the Search box located on the right side bar.
Can you think of other FREE thing you can do to practice basic Spanish with your iPhone? If so, please share it in the comments.