Learn a New Language with Spanish For Dummies

I have been taking Spanish classes for almost a year now, but feel as if I need a helping hand in order to get a firm grasp of the Spanish language as sometimes I find that certain words and phrases just will not stick in my head no matter what I do. Enter Spanish For Dummies, an app version of the popular book that goes by the same name.

Spanish For Dummies can teach you basic Continental Spanish from the comfort of your own home, using text, audio, and even games to make the learning process as fun and pain-free as possible. Hit the jump to read more.

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Getting Started

Before diving into Spanish For Dummies headfirst, you are presented with a tutorial briefly outlining what to expect from the book and how to navigate your way around the app. Here, you can also create an Inkling account which will store and sync any notes, bookmarks, or progress that you have made, although this step is entirely optional and can be skipped if you prefer.

Before you begin, Spanish For Dummies briefly outlines what to expect from the book.

Before you begin, Spanish For Dummies briefly outlines what to expect from the book.

For those new to the Spanish language, Spanish For Dummies includes a pronunciation guide displaying a literal pronunciation of that word or phrase. For example, yo llevo (I carry) is pronounced yoh yeh-bvoh, and la baƱera (the bathtub) is lah bvah-nyeh-rah with stressed syllables written in italics.

Conversing in Spanish

Spanish For Dummies is geared toward introducing you to the simpler aspects of conversational Spanish, starting with simple greetings and pleasantries, and progressing to the more complicated topic of handling emergencies and banking. Unlike class-based learning, with Spanish For Dummies you can progress at a pace that suits you, and re-read or practice anything that you don’t understand or are having trouble pronouncing.

Part of Tens is a roundup of ten useful phrases and words per list.

Part of Tens is a roundup of ten useful phrases and words per list.

As is common in the For Dummies reference series, Spanish For Dummies includes a chapter dedicated to the Part of Tens. For the uninitiated, Part of Tens is basically a roundup of ten useful phrases and words per list, such as ten phrases that will make you sound fluent in Spanish and the slightly more humorous Ten Things Never to Say in Spanish (soy un americano, for example!)

Fun?

At the end of each chapter, there is a ‘fun’ game featuring everything you have learned from that particular section. These appear in the form of word searches, crossword puzzles, and other interactive activities which are designed to quiz you on your newly acquired knowledge.

At the end of each chapter, there is a game featuring everything you have learned from that section.

At the end of each chapter, there is a game featuring everything you have learned from that section.

Now, I am not exactly a big fan of crossword puzzles and word searches (in fact, I find them positively boring) but even I cannot deny that they are a great learning tool when used this way as they help you retain the information in your brain, thus giving you a greater chance of remembering what you have learned at a later stage in life.

Search and Save

Spanish For Dummies enables you to jot down notes on any page of the book by tapping the speech bubble in the top right-hand corner of the screen. These notes can then be accessed from the menu bar or from the page itself by, again, tapping the speech bubble. Additionally, each page can be bookmarked by tapping the star next to the bubble which can then be accessed in exactly the same way.

Jot down notes by tapping the speech bubble.

Jot down notes by tapping the speech bubble.

One of the many benefits of purchasing Spanish For Dummies as an app rather than a physical book is that you can quickly search for information via the search bar rather than consult an index or tediously scan each page. Naturally, the ability to do this saves a lot of time and is especially useful if you are using the book in class or during a conversation and need to look up something quickly.

Easy on the Eye

Like every book in the For Dummies series, Spanish For Dummies is characterized by its distinctively familiar black and yellow color scheme and minimalist layout, along with clear and concise information about the topic at hand.

Large blocks of text are broken up with headings, subheadings, and illustrations.

Large blocks of text are broken up with headings, subheadings, and illustrations.

Spanish For Dummies’ font size can be adjusted to suit you, and the font itself is clear and legible, with headings, subheadings, and illustrations breaking up large blocks of text.

Navigation

Navigating your way around Spanish For Dummies is simple, albeit slightly different than flicking through your average e-book. Instead of scrolling from right to left, you must scroll up and down to progress through the book or, alternatively, use the menu bar situated on the left-hand side of the screen to select a page or chapter.

Conclusion

Spanish For Dummies is a quick and easy way of learning a new language, but do not expect to be fluent by the time you have finished reading this book as it is aimed primarily at beginners or those wishing to brush up on their Spanish for an upcoming vacation. It is written in a way that is easy to digest, and is not overwhelming like a lot of others Spanish books and apps out there.

Yes, at $14.99, Spanish For Dummies is certainly not cheap, however, when you consider the price of the physical book vs. the portability and interactiveness of the app, Spanish For Dummies is most definitely worth its price tag.


Summary

An interactive book that's ideal for beginners or those wishing to brush up on their Spanish.

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