Choosing the best Spanish learning software can be extremely confusing because there is just so much choice. But how do you cut through it all?
We’ll help you do that when you read on below.
Why Do You Need to Learn Spanish?
The first thing is to understand what your needs are, and also your budget.
Do you need to learn Spanish for study or academic purposes?
For business communication?
Or simply for pleasure?
How much of the written language do you need or want to understand?
Do you have a preference for Castilian (European) or Latin American Spanish?
Your budget is also important, as Spanish language learning software can run anywhere from $30 to $600.
Once you answer those questions, you are in a much better position to decide what the best software to learn Spanish is for you.
A good way to narrow your choice is to look at the four most popular brands of Spanish learning software because they differ from each other in significant ways. There are some teaching methods, for example, which you may not like, or certain programs may cover too much or too little grammar and writing skills.
The top four Spanish language learning software brands are Rosetta Stone, Tell Me More, Fluenz Spanish, and Rocket Spanish, and below you will find our Spanish software reviews.
Resetta Stone is the most popular brand of language learning software in the world, and for many this would automatically come to their mind as the best Spanish learning software.
However, Rosetta Stone’s teaching philosophy is a little unusual, and not suited to everybody. They believe that the best way to learn a new language is to learn it just as we learned our first language when we were babies: by looking and images and situations, listening to sounds, and observing contexts in order to derive meaning. In other words NO ENGLISH TRANSLATIONS! You have to THINK in Spanish from the start.
This method has worked for millions, who swear that this is the best way how to speak Spanish fluently. However, there are critics, and very severe ones at that. Rosetta Stone is concerned about teaching you spoken Spanish primarily, so a lot of the grammar rules and other aspects of written Spanish are not concentrated on. This is bad for students and people who need to translate business documents, for example.
Given the premium price commanded by Rosetta Stone, many see this as a significant failing. Others have complained about a “cookie cutter” method that Rosetta uses as a business model, but to be fair, Rosetta Stone’s Spanish course has been seen as one of the more successful ones.
You should read some customer reviews and decide for yourself if Rosetta Stone is right for you. Click the links below to learn more.
Tell Me More
Tell Me More is an impressive language learning software system that gives you tons of material, far more than Rosetta Stone, for instance.
They concentrate on the written language as much as the spoken language, and so there are many exercises and lessons devoted to both aspects, giving you quite an intensive Spanish course.
Tell Me More offers so much material, however, that some people have complained about feeling overwhelmed. What they have done, however, is to introduce three different learning modes to help you with your learning style. One is a simple mode of pre-set Guided Mode, the other is a Free-to-Roam mode, and the final one is the Dynamic Mode which chooses your next lessons based on your strengths and weaknesses in previous lessons.
Tell Me More is used by thousands of academic, business, and government institutions around the world.
Unfortunately for Mac users, however, it is only available in Windows format. Like the others here, the lessons come in MP3 format so you can learn Spanish in your car, commuting to work, working out, or wherever you wish.
You can read customer reviews by click the link below.
Fluenz is a relatively new “boutique” language learning software system which has also come out with a directly opposing teaching philosophy to Rosetta Stone.
Fluenz is based on the idea that having a great tutor teaching you one-on-one is always the best way to learn, from the time of Socrates to the present day, and their software aims to provide you with such an experience.
Instead of the “cookie cutter” approach, Fluenz develops each of its language programs in its own unique way, based on Spanish’s specific and special differences from English. Indeed, Fluenz strongly disagrees with Rosetta Stone’s approach and argues that adults do not learn like children, and that the nuances of the Spanish language and its logic MUST be translated into English for an English-speaker to learn Spanish fluently.
In addition, Fluenz pays special attention to beautiful design, sort of the way Apple does with its products. For many, this is the best Spanish learning software hands down.
Fluenz, like the other programs above, comes at a premium price, however. But you can get around it by purchasing only the beginner’s levels at first.
You can read customer reviews and see for yourself by clicking the links below:
Rocket Spanish is a full-featured language learning system that can be had at an extremely reasonable price if you order the Download Only version (as opposed to the boxed CD-ROM version).
It teaches both spoken and written Spanish as well, with culture lessons, games, downloadable audio lessons for your iPod or other MP3 player, 24/7 online support, community forums, personal support from an instructor, conversational Spanish lessons and more.
There are features included in Rocket Spanish that more expensive programs such as Fluenz and Rosetta Stone do not even have.
They have put together a comparison chart so you can evaluate the value for money that you can get with Rocket Spanish:
Rocket Spanish has in fact developed 3 different levels, plus a video-oriented course called The Español Episodes, which takes you up to higher and higher levels of learning.
For students on a budget or absolute beginners, Rocket Spanish is by far the best starting point, and they even offer a free version comprising the first lessons of the program.
You can click on the link below to learn more:
Our Recommendations for the Best Spanish Learning Software
Given the above language software reviews, our recommendations for the best Spanish learning software are as follows:
If you only need to learn spoken Spanish and are prepared to pay a premium, then Rosetta Stone is for you.
If you are a student and need a thorough Spanish language education in both written and spoken Spanish, then Tell Me More is perfect.
If you are particular about design and quality and can afford a premium price, then Fluenz Spanish is the right choice for you.
If you are a beginner or on a budget, then Rocket Spanish is by far the best pick, as it gives you the best value for money.
With this guide, you should now be able to choose the best program to learn Spanish for your needs.