The Best Apps for Learning Spanish Before a Trip to Latin America

Mompox, Colombia
Mompox, Colombia | © Chris Bell
Jack Guy

If you’re heading off on a long trip to Spanish-speaking countries, it makes sense to learn a bit of the language. Even if it’s basic vocabulary and questions, having some language skills will be a massive boon when you’re on the road. Here are some of the best apps to help you on your way.


This great app focuses on videos to help you learn more Spanish. It uses real-world material such as commercials and news to ensure that you learn the language as it’s spoken on the street. Highly recommended for audiovisual learners.

Use apps to help swot up on your Spanish


A free app that’s available in a multitude of languages, Duolingo is split into themed units that help you to pick up vocabulary. The focus is very much on learning new words rather than grammar, which is good for some people but sometimes frustrating for those aiming for greater fluency.

Rosetta Stone

The classic Rosetta Stone language-learning system now has its own app, which is free for a demo version. You won’t be using English at all, because the Rosetta Stone approach is to do everything in the target language. This means you’re learning like a child in a Spanish-speaking country rather than an English-speaking adult.

Make sure to download the useful apps before your flight


The focus of this free app is to memorize new vocabulary, and its makers have come up with an innovative approach to help you do so. For each Spanish word, there is an English phrase that contains similar words. Some of the phrases are really funny, which makes them stick in your head.

Sit down with a coffee and start studying

Cat Spanish

Made by the team behind Memrise, this is another humourous app which uses cats to help you learn. The features and design feature friendly felines, and there are challenges that you’ll have to navigate using common Spanish phrases. Some people might find it gimmicky, but others will love it.


At $14.99, Fluencia doesn’t come cheap. However its makers claim that once you’ve completed the 50 units of lessons, you’ll be able to speak as well as someone who did a one-year college course in Spanish. Worth a go if you’re serious about picking up as much as you can.

Open Language

This professional-looking app has lessons that correspond to the official levels of Spanish language qualifications as set by the Instituto Cervantes. If you are a serious student and want to know how your skills measure up against a globally recognized qualification, download Open Language today. Be aware that a subscription costs $30 per month, so it’s an investment.

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