Byki Spanish ($7.99) by Transparent Language, Inc. is a fantastic mobile solution for learning Spanish on the go.
Byki’s three step language retention method has been expertly ported to the iOS platform, bringing with it a wealth of conversational knowledge and a nearly unlimited potential for acquisition progression.
The price is certainly high, but with a repertoire comparable to that of desktop software like Rosetta Stone, Byki Spanish is well worth the high price of entry.
Byki Spanish is designed to be an all in one instructional tool for learning conversational Español. Whether you need to learn the language for business or an upcoming trip, or even just want the knowledge of a second (or third) tongue, Byki is built from the ground up to have you speaking like a native.
The learning method offered here is more traditional than the visual flavor of Rosetta Stone. Instead, Byki first presents the user with a set of vocabulary cards featuring both the English and Spanish of each word. Once each entry has been viewed several times, the app progresses to another set of cards featuring only the Spanish. The user must come up with the English on their own, and then profess their progress to the app.
The final rung of each stage features only the English, asking the user to present the Spanish. This learning method forces the student to memorize and produce the foreign language in a studied and progressive manner. This is the same style of learning used in a university course, only applied to a mobile device.
Byki Spanish features an impressive amount of vocabulary, in addition to an excellent learning platform. The app comes stock with about twenty card sets, with dozens more available on the Internet. Users can query online stacks for a specific word or phrase set, opening up hundreds of acquisition doors.
Byki also takes great pains to keep the student informed about their progress. Notifications can be created to alert the user to new lessons, while the statistics tab keeps track of every new noun, phrase, or completed lesson.
All in all, it’s a comprehensive package offering an intuitive and tested way to learn a new language. The developers have spent a lot of time optimizing Byki Spanish for the iPhone, and the end result is a simple, touch-based solution for mobile studying.
However, Byki Spanish does rely on more traditional rote memorization. For fans of the totally visual Rosetta Stone, this may not be the best approach. That being said, Byki’s text-based interface makes downloading new lessons a cinch.
There’s also no comprehensive list of verbs or conjugations, and little to no grammar charts. Byki Spanish instead focuses on your ability to understand and produce the foreign language, rather than large-scale lessons in minutae.
The price is also high (Byki Spanish clocks in at $7.99 in the App Store) but the app is still relatively cheap compared to a traditional foreign language text.
Regardless, Byki Spanish is well worth the price of entry, featuring a rock solid learning approach stretched across a fluid interface.