Basic Spanish for Dummies

App review by
Christopher Healy, Common Sense Media
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Flawed app too limited to be good learning tool.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

The organization of the words and phrases is not great. And with no way to find out the different conjugations of verbs, learning how to speak in proper sentences is difficult.


This app is part of the long-running "For Dummies" book franchise.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Words like "beer" and "wine" are in the dictionary.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Basic Spanish for Dummies is generally OK as a phrasebook, something to refer to when you need to know a specific sentence in a specific situation (like, say, ordering at a restaurant or asking directions). Using it as a method of learning Spanish would be extremely difficult. The number of phrases, while increased through recent updates, is still not incredibly long or diverse. And there are no grammar lessons. Our review is based on the iPhone app; the Android app may have some differences in functionality.

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Is it any good?

Ask anybody who has learned Spanish as a second language and they will tell you that learning how to properly conjugate verbs is the most challenging aspect -- it's also an aspect missing from BASIC SPANISH FOR DUMMIES. The app gives you a very limited Spanish-English dictionary and flashcards for various "common phrases" (like "I've just been robbed"). In the "Basics" section of the app, you'll get to see some conjugated verbs, but rules or instructions on how to conjugate are nowhere to be found. The app needs a lot more to it in order to be a truly useful tool.

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire
  • Price: $0.99
  • Release date: April 27, 2010
  • Category: Education
  • Size: 6.80 MB
  • Publisher: Skava
  • Version: 1.3
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 2.2.1 or later, Android 1.5 or later
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

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