Tag Archives: Language Technology

Brief Review of Language Learning Apps for iPod Touch and iPhone

ipod_touch.jpgI recently combed through the Apple App store to look for free versions of language learning apps that were good to use with language studies. Here’s a list of apps I downloaded and tried out on the iPod touch (with reactions listed under comments- images by Sir Stig-CC licensed):


Name of App Paid Version Available Comments
24/7 Tutor Lite Yes,  $7.99 I liked the content, but the organization is a little boring to somebody that has used language learning software. Audio, quiz, flashcard, puzzle components.
Arabic pod 101 (pocket Arabic Yes, $4.99 I liked the content but the layout was boring. If iPod has recording abilities, can record
audio in some of the exercises, has audio. Can add words to word bank (words that are already in lessons).
Hiragana Lite No, only free version in App Store Very basic flashcards. Drag flashcards across screen, drag them up to see the answer.
Touchcards Yes, $.99, and $1.99 Good for creating new lists of vocab. Can import from Quizlet, Studystack, and Google Docs. Interface is not appealing
7 Jours Yes, $4.99 This app is suppose to allow you to learn French through News on TV5Monde, but it never loaded after it asked for my location. It looks promising though (video, audio).
CherokeeLite Yes, pay to upgrade to get more words I liked the simple basic layout of this app. Has audio.
Michel Thomas Method Yes, $4.99 (Hour1, Hour 2, Hour 3-$14.99 (4-8 hours) I liked this app. It has the audio from his series and I like the
flashcards that go over the audio lessons. If you are a fan of his other products, you will like this app. Easy to use and nice layout.
ChineseBiz No, Only free version in App Store All text. The layout is slightly confusing, and it has a dictionary. Mainly flashcard review. No audio.
ChinesePod No, only Free Verso in App Store, but you can purchase package lessons I don’t like that it prompts you to log in to an account you can create to save (but you can use without an account). Content is good, but the delivery of content in the podcast may feel like it’s dragging on.
iPronunciation and Translation No, only free version in App Store This app is a simple look up word dictionary for 53 languages and it pronounces the words you look up. Audio for pronunciation did not work.
German FlashCards Lite(Declan Software) Yes, $14.95 Other languages available. Good for word review (audio, phrases, and spelling). Did not like the layout. Has audio. Paid version you can add more word lists.app is a little pricey for what it can do compared to other apps.
MemWords- Memorize Words- In Spanish Yes, $6.99 I liked the content and layout of this app. Has a dictionary ,flashcards, audio, and games. Set to only learn 20 words a day.
Gengo Lite Flashcard No, only free version in App Store You have to guess what the word means in each flashcard, no formal text word is shown to you. Has audio and images. I would not recommend for beginners.
AccellaStudy Essentials by AccelaStudy Yes, $4.99 I like the layout of the lessons. It has audio, flash cards, spaced repetition, quiz, audio quiz,and you have access to the dictionary app inside this app to look up words. Very nicely laid out and good content.
Kana Lite No, only free version in App Store Has audio and flashcards. Also has a quiz that records your score. Not bad layout and decent for review.Has ads at the top.
Prometoys Limited-Word of the Day No, only free version in App Store Just text, random words. No audio for pronunciation. Has a  game where you spell the words you learned by dragging and dropping the letters to spell words. Not good if you are looking for  pronunciation and phrases. Basic layout.
LangLearner LLC Yes, $4.99 Flashcards and audio. The layout is not appealing, and the images are poor. Good for audio basics for getting around town and on travel.
Kana Tap No, only free version in App Store Only a multiple choice review, no audio, no images.
iReview Flashcards No, only free version in App Store Just type in text, no audio. Review using flashcard method. Layout is awkward. 
Babbel Mobile Yes, €5.99 (Lifetime Advanced and Basic package Needed to register, so I was not able to view the app.
Word Power Lite Yes, $.99 Basic info, did not like the layout or content. Had audio, and was in a flashcard format. I could not record audio and play it back. Ended up deleting from iPod Touch.
Japanese Phrases FREE (TheJapanesePage.com) Yes, $9.99 Has audio, quizzes, study bank, and flashcards. Did not like the overall layout of the app. Ended up deleting it from iPod Touch.
Study Arcade Yes, $4.99 Good for collecting information on different phrases for languages (even though language learning is not this apps focus). Since these are so many options, it’s very hard to navigate for basic use. Ended up deleting it from iPod Touch.


Using Google Wave to Teach a Foreign Language Class

I recently came across a blog post on the TeachPaperless blog titled "More on Using Google Wave in the Foreign Language Classroom". The instructor uses Google Wave for student group work. The instructor gives them a passage and the groups of students have to translate that passage in Google Wave. With Google Wave, you can record the history of what they students are typing into the Wave. You can see their thought process and it has the basic text editing tools like highlight and text colors. To read more on how this instructor used it in his Latin class, click on the link below:



Mobile App That Translates Text in Photos

Google is giving a preview of a prototype of their software called Google Goggles. Goggles is an Android visual search application that  translates text in a photo into another language. A person with an Android device can use the app to take a photo and then the app runs an OCR  (Optical Character Recognition) process on the words and then translates them into another language. So far, Google has not set a release date for the app. To learn more about Google Goggles, click on the link below (from a Mashable article) or you can view the video:

Mashable Article on Google Goggles


Web Browser Chrome: Google Translate Extension

The web browser Chrome (by Google) now has the ability to add extensions to your browser. The one extension I recently installed on my Chrome browser was Google Translate. The great thing about this extension is that it allows you to translate a whole page into another language. It’s not a 100% perfect, but it’s a great way to learn a language by using everyday media and materials you use and read on the internet (and you can switch back to the original language). Another useful feature is that you can hover over the translated text and see the original text in yellow (without having to switch back, you can compare the texts).  I had to restart my Chrome to get the extension to work. It has 52 languages to choose from (for now).To learn more about this Chrome extension, click on the link below: