As my readers know, I am always looking for unique ways to learn a language, so finding interesting or effective little apps or other software has become somewhat a pastime of mine. Ever since I mentioned the Lingogo App in my Learning Spanish in Spain post, I’ve had some questions asking how it all works and if it is worth it to purchase the books. I decided to write this post to go into a bit more detail about what Lingogo is all about and how you can use it to your advantage.
If you haven’t heard of Lingogo, it is essentially an app that makes reading in Spanish a breeze – and helps you learn a lot at the same time! There are a number of books in Spanish to choose from, and then you get access to the audio book, phrase by phrase human translations and word by word dictionary translations.
Lingogo works on the basis of spaced repetition – you probably have to read the books a few times until every word will have properly sunk in.
In my opinion, the Lingogo app is a simple application but it is very effective no matter what your level of Spanish is. Their website describes how to use it in general, but I would like to explain how you can use this tool to your advantage at each stage of your Spanish-learning journey.
ABSOLUTE BEGINNER (you know no Spanish):
Strategy: Sentence by sentence, word by word
Start with one book. Read each sentence, and tap to get the translation of the sentence, and then tap on each word you don’t understand to get its translation. You can also tap to listen to each sentence one-by-one as you decipher it. It might take a long time to get through a whole book, so just take your time and don’t rush! Once you have gone through the whole book, go back to the start. You are ready to start learning as a beginner.
BEGINNER (limited Spanish):
Strategy: Guessing game
Start reading a book. Before you tap to get the sentence translated, stop. Before each sentence, think and see if you can guess a meaning for the sentence. Then tap on it to see if you were right. If you didn’t quite get it right, find the words you had trouble with and try to think of their meanings individually in the context of the sentence. Only if there are words you really can’t guess, tap to get their translations.
INTERMEDIATE (getting there):
Strategy: Test those ears
Once you have gone through the story a few times and feel you have the general idea, it is time for ‘Extras for Experts’ mode at the end of the book. Listen to the story and follow the text with your eyes. Hear how it sounds in a native Spanish accent, and if you feel like pausing to try and sound out words, go for it. The idea is to link your sight and hearing and ensure that what you see and understand on the screen is what you hear as well.
ADVANCED (awesome Spanish):
Strategy: No peaking
You probably consider yourself a bit of an expert when it comes to reading in Spanish, but the first step is to read the book and make sure you understand each and every word or phrase. Once you’ve done that, it is time for ‘Extras for Experts’ – it is time to listen to the story and see how much you understand listening alone. Close your eyes and let those Spanish words roll over you. If you don’t understand the story (or at least get the gist of the story) – you may need to slip back to the intermediate level.
Is Lingogo worth it?
In my opinion, it is worth it to use Lingogo at any level. At less than $4USD per book with all the advantages it brings it is certainly an investment for life. If you keep reading, you can even get one of the books for free so you can see if it is right for you before making any purchases! Of course, I wish I had known about the Lingogo app back in my beginner days, but even as an advanced learner I can see a lot of benefit from it. It is always so important to read in your target language, and Lingogo simply found an easier and more fun way to do that.
I have found the Lingogo app really useful as, although I am at a high level in Spanish (see how I did it), there is always more vocabulary to be learned and this app is a great, easy way to pick up words and see how they are used in a practical context. It is also perfect for improving listening skills and pronunciation.
For more apps and websites to learn a language, read my list of the best online courses.
SPECIAL OFFER FOR MY READERS:
I have partnered with the creators of the Lingogo App to get you all started with your Spanish success story! Download Lingogo and use the promo code ‘thewanderinglinguist’ to unlock the full e-book, Leon, totally free!
How to redeem the code and get your free Spanish book:
1. Download Lingogo from your app store (it’s free and works on any iPhone, iPad, android phone or tablet).
2. Go to ‘My Account’ and enter your promo code ‘thewanderinglinguist’.
3. Jump back into the Books-Shop section where you’ll see our much-loved original ‘Leon’ is now free. Download and enjoy!
>Have you used Lingogo? Or re you going to give it a try? I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments!